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Old 03-17-2014, 06:30 PM   #1
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Dealer rip off?

Hey Everyone, I've been trolling these forums for a few months since purchasing a 13 JKUR Sahara so this is my first post. I love the Jeep life, and have never enjoyed any other vehicle as much as my Jeep. My Sahara is my DD, but also a light weekend wheeler on local fire roads. Checking out this forum has quickly become a nightly ritual for me, so much great advice and info.

Inquired at my dealer (which I have used only for oil changes and tire rotations) about changing the fluids in both differentials. Quoted me a price of $190 per axle. I asked if that was a drain and fill, or if they broke open the pumpkin and cleaned up the gears. He told me it was a drain and fill, with special fluid, and that it was a two hour job.

I would do it myself, but my driveway is not exactly level and I'd just as soon not make a mess for I am an amateur. I've read here that its a simple and fairly fast job so I'm surprised at both the cost and the time he quoted me for the job. Thinking it might be time to find a good local mechanic. Any thoughts?

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Old 03-17-2014, 06:49 PM   #2
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Total ripoff

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Old 03-17-2014, 06:51 PM   #3
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For starters the 75w140 is $80 per gallon at parts house and $35 per qt from Chrystler. This fluid is required if you have Tow Pkg. and want your warranty to remain valid. If you don't have the tow pkg you can get by with 80 w 90 according to the owners manual. 80 w 90 is a lot cheaper.
It's a very easy job, do it yourself. Like changing engine oil, it just takes longer to drain it all out.
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:59 PM   #4
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Just wait till you can't wash the smell off diff oil is almost as bad as fresh skunk
I agree $190 per is steep
Are ya sure it not for both
Are you at the recommended mileage
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:05 PM   #5
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If yours is a 2013, then how many miles do you have on it, that the oil in the diffs already needs changing?
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:05 PM   #6
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An hour labor is a good price for a technician to prform the job. I guess if you were looking for cheap labor you try jiffy lube.
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:08 PM   #7
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For starters the 75w140 is $80 per gallon at parts house and $35 per qt from Chrystler. This fluid is required if you have Tow Pkg. and want your warranty to remain valid. If you don't have the tow pkg you can get by with 80 w 90 according to the owners manual. 80 w 90 is a lot cheaper.
It's a very easy job, do it yourself. Like changing engine oil, it just takes longer to drain it all out.
75w-140 is $20 a quart for royal purple with limited slip additive included. Not sure whats so special about the oil your talking about.
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:10 PM   #8
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I've had umpteen vehicles in 50 yrs of owning vehicles, many with over 200k miles on them and have never once changed the oil in the differentials and have yet to have to replace so much as a bearing in one.
Save your money for better things.
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:36 PM   #9
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75w-140 is $20 a quart for royal purple with limited slip additive included. Not sure whats so special about the oil your talking about.
Soooo...isn't that $80 per gallon?
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:42 PM   #10
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Soooo...isn't that $80 per gallon?
Ah yea i didn't read that close enough, i was in shock from the $35 a quart from chrystler.
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:49 PM   #11
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Find a good local shop. What's the mileage on your 13? Unless it's at least 15K you shouldn't have to change it. I don't know what the "special" fluid is unless they're using full synthetic, which I doubt. If you have limited slip you'll need the additive for the rear unless you use synthetic that already has it. It will indicate if it has it on the bottle. A dealer usually gives great prices on oil changes to keep you coming in and then they stick it to you on things such as dif. fluid changes.
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:50 PM   #12
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I've had umpteen vehicles in 50 yrs of owning vehicles, many with over 200k miles on them and have never once changed the oil in the differentials and have yet to have to replace so much as a bearing in one.
Save your money for better things.
Yes-sir, me too. But this is the first one that I have owned that was vented to atmosphere. When the vent tube gets knocked off offroad and you find out there is water in the pumpkin you had better change it or you will be replacing bearings.
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:56 PM   #13
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Yes-sir, me too. But this is the first one that I have owned that was vented to atmosphere. When the vent tube gets knocked off offroad and you find out there is water in the pumpkin you had better change it or you will be replacing bearings.
Well in that case...............
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:50 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the responses everyone. To answer some of your questions, current mileage is 38K. I commute about 50 mi daily (highway) The only wheeling has been once a week, light to very light. Almost no mud, been through about a foot of water twice. I don't have a tow pkg or a limited slip. The price quoted was 190 per axle because he asked twice if I wanted to do both. (I knew it sounded too high) Either going to do it myself, maybe call my neighborhood mechanic for his prices. Thanks for all of your feedback.
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Old 03-18-2014, 03:48 AM   #15
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I change mine every 18K miles, every 3 oil changes. I tow and wheel a bit and changing it is a zen experience anyhow.
And I have to change it while my wife is at yoga class; she can't stand the smell...

It's easy to do on a JK. But $190 should be for both axles. That would be an average price and is about what I paid for the service in my Power Wagon (that wasn't easy to change...).
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:09 AM   #16
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Total waste of money .Im a DSM for a truck leasing company.We have 2000 pieces of equipement on the road at all times in my district and we do not change diff oil unless 1: it's contaminated 2: someone shock loaded the diff on ice and blew the ring gear apart .Besides that we have never had to replace bearings or gears and a lot of our heavy trucks retire at 1000000 Km's or more.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:37 AM   #17
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Do it yourself if it needs to be done. Take the savings and use the money for mods, tools, beer, a night on the town, whatever.............
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:51 AM   #18
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total rip off. I changed mine around 35k and the fluid still looked brand new. Do it yourself. With the drain and fill plugs its a piece of cake.

I changed mine for the first time and it was super easy and im glad I did mine myself.


awesome write up from project JK
Project-JK.com - Jeep JK Wrangler Resource ┬╗ MAINTENANCE: Jeep JK Wrangler Differential Fluid Service Write-Up
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marshall1030 View Post
Hey Everyone, I've been trolling these forums for a few months since purchasing a 13 JKUR Sahara so this is my first post. I love the Jeep life, and have never enjoyed any other vehicle as much as my Jeep. My Sahara is my DD, but also a light weekend wheeler on local fire roads. Checking out this forum has quickly become a nightly ritual for me, so much great advice and info.

Inquired at my dealer (which I have used only for oil changes and tire rotations) about changing the fluids in both differentials. Quoted me a price of $190 per axle. I asked if that was a drain and fill, or if they broke open the pumpkin and cleaned up the gears. He told me it was a drain and fill, with special fluid, and that it was a two hour job.

I would do it myself, but my driveway is not exactly level and I'd just as soon not make a mess for I am an amateur. I've read here that its a simple and fairly fast job so I'm surprised at both the cost and the time he quoted me for the job. Thinking it might be time to find a good local mechanic. Any thoughts?
Actually, for diffs, you don't want a level driveway (oil changes as well actually.) Common misconception. Oil changes and diff changes are easier on an incline. Just make sure the exit of the fluid is downhill....so for an oil change, front is elevated. For the rear axle, front is elevated. Front axle, rear is elevated. It will take you 10 minutes (mostly waiting). Just make sure you have a decent fluid transfer pump to make the job easy and clean. You don't need to clean the gears (just clean the fill plug) but if you want to, it is a good time to get sexy diff covers. Spend the money you were going to waste on the dealer service on ARB covers or something. You will also make sure it's done right and not overfilled.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:57 AM   #20
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An hour labor is a good price for a technician to prform the job. I guess if you were looking for cheap labor you try jiffy lube.
I can change fluids in a driveway (all 3) probably in under 30 minutes (20 of them being waiting.) If I had a lift, I could probably get it down to 15, 14 of them being waiting. It's a ripoff.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:39 AM   #21
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My local Pep Boyz did my both of my differentials with the synthetic friction modifier (LSD in both axles), manual transfer case fluid, transmission fluid, and engine oil change for just under $300 in about 2 hours.

Jeep stealership quoted me over $600 for the same service.
HA! Laughed in their face and left with my free Challenger GT t shirt..

I'd say if you're gonna spend the money just do all your fluids at once so it's easy to track for next time. Did mine every 25,000 miles as preventative care.
If you don't tow a trailer or wheel in deep water you may not need it as often.
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Old 03-19-2014, 05:07 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Hilldweller View Post
I change mine every 18K miles, every 3 oil changes. I tow and wheel a bit and changing it is a zen experience anyhow.
And I have to change it while my wife is at yoga class; she can't stand the smell...

It's easy to do on a JK. But $190 should be for both axles. That would be an average price and is about what I paid for the service in my Power Wagon (that wasn't easy to change...).
Nice, another jeep n power wagon owner! We're definitely in a very small minority!

I plan to change dif fluid every 30K miles, but only because I do spend a lot of time off road in both vehicles plus tow with the PW. Or when re-gearing, which ever comes first.....

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Old 03-19-2014, 06:01 AM   #23
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The factory diff covers suck. I would use this as an opportunity to get better ones and do it yourself.

If not new covers it's still pretty easy to change yourself. It shouldn't take more than 10 minutes per axle.

If you do pop the pumpkin that will take about an hour. Then you got to worry about getting it sealed. I used a lube locker gasket on it and never had a leak. Do be careful about torquing the bolts. I've heard many people over torquing and breaking the bolts.

Funny they say 2 hours. I'm not that mechanical, but I replaced my diff cover in less than an hour. Guess they gotta eat.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:35 PM   #24
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I don't think you heard that right. It is 180.00 for front/rear and Transfer case. Just out of curiosity, what is the name of the Dealership. I'll call'em and ask for a quote.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:57 PM   #25
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Nice, another jeep n power wagon owner! We're definitely in a very small minority!

I plan to change dif fluid every 30K miles, but only because I do spend a lot of time off road in both vehicles plus tow with the PW. Or when re-gearing, which ever comes first.....

Make that 3 of us now. 2007 Power Wagon + 2013 Rubicon.
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:10 PM   #26
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I changed mine at 25k and the fluid was shockingly bad - front and back. I originally planned on not changing it often, but now it's going to be a ~20k deal.
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:25 PM   #27
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I changed mine at 25k and the fluid was shockingly bad - front and back. I originally planned on not changing it often, but now it's going to be a ~20k deal.
What was bad about it? Black does not equal bad.
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:33 PM   #28
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What was bad about it? Black does not equal bad.
It was like sludge.
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:38 PM   #29
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It was like sludge.
Gotcha. I generally switch it out to a quality fluid (like Mobil1) at around 3K, then I just check up on it. On my 2012, after 20K on Mobil 1, it was still perfectly healthy. It was a tad darker, but still amber in color, not black, and not sludgy.
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:41 PM   #30
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Gotcha. I generally switch it out to a quality fluid (like Mobil1) at around 3K, then I just check up on it. On my 2012, after 20K on Mobil 1, it was still perfectly healthy. It was a tad darker, but still amber in color, not black, and not sludgy.
I'll probably switch to that. Sounds good. I bought the diff fluid before I saw what came out. It has to be moisture coming in through the breather tubes, right?

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