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Old 02-05-2013, 02:10 PM   #1
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Exclamation Differential Fluid Dirty at 14K miles?!

Hi guys!

First post here, don't kill me if this is the wrong category!! Anyway, took the Jeep to the dealer today for an oil change (has 14K miles on it one year old) and they said my differential fluid is dirty and needs replaced?! $95 for one side or $215 for both...

Anyway talked to my farmer father he said BS on that it needs replaced at 14K miles....any ideas? I've never heard of replacing this with so few miles...

I appreciate the feedback!!! [:

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Old 02-05-2013, 03:30 PM   #2
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Hi Brewsar,
There is no concrete answer. Different vehicles have different needs. For instance an off-road vehicle may need the differential fluid changed as often as 15,000 miles and depends how often you off- road. A vehicle used for everyday travel may never need a differential fluid change. However the experts at car talk recommend a differential fluid change every 60,000 or 90,000 miles.

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Old 02-05-2013, 03:47 PM   #3
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Save your money. Unless your submerge your jeep it's real unlikely you need fluid changed before 50K miles.

I've done a lot of differential servicing over the years (and engine swaps and all sorts of builds) and get annoyed when dealers or quickie lubes try to take advantage of people. rant.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 3JKs1H1 View Post
Save your money. Unless your submerge your jeep it's real unlikely you need fluid changed before 50K miles.

I've done a lot of differential servicing over the years (and engine swaps and all sorts of builds) and get annoyed when dealers or quickie lubes try to take advantage of people. rant.
I agree. I have had my jeep buried in mud. I have 76,000 miles and my differential fluid is good.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:56 PM   #5
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save your money. unless your submerge your jeep it's real unlikely you need fluid changed before 50k miles.
+1
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:05 PM   #6
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Anyway, took the Jeep to the dealer today... they said my differential fluid is dirty and needs replaced?!
[:
Yeah, dealers will try to tell you the diffs are dirty even if they are not. I once changed mine, took it in for warranty work two days later and they said "they were dirty".
So... My thoughts, never fully trust a dealer.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:05 PM   #7
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lol, how did they come to this conclusion? did they actually check? do an oil analysis? what do they mean by dirty? brown fluid is normal.

i wouldn't go back there.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:05 PM   #8
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If and when it needs to be changed, it's even easier than changing your oil. Give them exactly zero monies.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:18 PM   #9
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And this is why I only go in for warranty work and anything extra they wanna do I inform them I'll do it myself.

Strangely I've had exactly zero warranty work done on either Jeep. There were checks ran on some things but no actual work.

If I ever have a blown motor they might try to claim "I didn't keep it serviced properly" but ya know... I've had a few of these over the years and coincidentally I've caught any potential issue before it became one anyway. So /shrug.

Find a new place to take it OP. And try to learn what you can for tech stuff. If anything it's really funny to play dumb then make them stumble on themselves when they realize you know they're full of it. As a chick I do this a lot. Hubby thinks its so funny he just sits back and watches.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by BrewSar View Post
Hi guys!

First post here, don't kill me if this is the wrong category!! Anyway, took the Jeep to the dealer today for an oil change (has 14K miles on it one year old) and they said my differential fluid is dirty and needs replaced?! $95 for one side or $215 for both...

Anyway talked to my farmer father he said BS on that it needs replaced at 14K miles....any ideas? I've never heard of replacing this with so few miles...

I appreciate the feedback!!! [:
I'll tell you what's dirty any dealer charging $215.00 to change them.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:21 PM   #11
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I'll tell you what's dirty any dealer charging $215.00 to change them.
truf
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewSar
Hi guys!

First post here, don't kill me if this is the wrong category!! Anyway, took the Jeep to the dealer today for an oil change (has 14K miles on it one year old) and they said my differential fluid is dirty and needs replaced?! $95 for one side or $215 for both...

Anyway talked to my farmer father he said BS on that it needs replaced at 14K miles....any ideas? I've never heard of replacing this with so few miles...

I appreciate the feedback!!! [:
I was told the same thing on my 2012 at roughly same mileage as you. I do do a fair amount of forest trails both in the summer and winter, so figured what the heck fine. I plan to do them myself from now on though
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewSar View Post
Hi guys!

First post here, don't kill me if this is the wrong category!! Anyway, took the Jeep to the dealer today for an oil change (has 14K miles on it one year old) and they said my differential fluid is dirty and needs replaced?! $95 for one side or $215 for both...

Anyway talked to my farmer father he said BS on that it needs replaced at 14K miles....any ideas? I've never heard of replacing this with so few miles...

I appreciate the feedback!!! [:
I am in the minority here but changing your diff fluid early is actually beneficial. First off, conventional or "dino" gear lube is naturally on the dark side so this doesn't automatically make it dirty, but..... diff gears go thru a break in process during the first few thousand miles and fine metal particles end up in the fluid. Most will stick to the magnet on the drain plug but some stay in the fluid and continue to circulate thru the gears and bearings. Next, if you have the Trac Lok limited slip, the new clutch plates also shed a tiny bit of friction material.
Last, a diff has no filter.

Drain and refill yourself. Here's one How To: Project-JK.com - Jeep JK Wrangler Resource » Jeep JK Wrangler Maintenance Differential Fluid Change Write-Up

Once you have fresh clean fluid in the diffs, you can follow a set schedule to drain and refill based on your driving habits. For example, every 25K or 50K miles.

You and your diffs will be better off in the long run!
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:39 PM   #14
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kind of funny if you have a regear done they recommend you change diff. fluid at like 500 miles. I wonder what the difference is between a regear and brand new? I agree with the Silversport on this.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:59 PM   #15
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Stick finger into fill plug, if it looks like oil it's fine, if it's murky or milky it needs to be replaced.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:53 AM   #16
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Does anyone read the owners manual these days? On page 96 of a 2012 JKU owners manual, it shows the chart of maintenance intervals of fluid changes and tune-up schedules. Unless you have been doing alot of mudding and submerging it in water, there should be no reason to change it out before 64,000 miles. These dealers capitalize on owners' ignorance. Everytime I go in there, they always try to make me do other "required" maintenance like oil changes every 3,000 miles, the differential scam, and air filter change among others. That's how they make all that money. not a stab at the OP, but be wary of dealers and their "concerns" for your vehicle.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:10 AM   #17
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Dealers make most of there money in the shops not so much on vehicle sales. My wife brought her car in for an oil change, an 09 civic and called me crying because they were telling her she needed new air filters and then charged her 167 bucks for them and put them in. So they were charging an hour and a half labor for literally 5 minutes worth of work. Needless to say when I showed up they gave her the money back and free oil changes. F that, dealer shops are GD scam artists. Sorry have not had good luck in Mass with shops, car, jeep, bike, you name it. Find a good shop or do it yourself.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:04 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Binx
Dealers make most of there money in the shops not so much on vehicle sales. My wife brought her car in for an oil change, an 09 civic and called me crying because they were telling her she needed new air filters and then charged her 167 bucks for them and put them in. So they were charging an hour and a half labor for literally 5 minutes worth of work. Needless to say when I showed up they gave her the money back and free oil changes. F that, dealer shops are GD scam artists. Sorry have not had good luck in Mass with shops, car, jeep, bike, you name it. Find a good shop or do it yourself.
They made her cry? A-holes.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:00 AM   #19
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I took my 2012 JKU in for an oil change to the dealer at 12k (have the free lifetime oil changes). They checked my rear diff and found it to be black and had metal fragments. I have the BLD and for some reason the clutch pack had already gone out. They covered it under warranty even though I put a lift and 35" tires on myself. The dealership said this has happened on a few of the new jeeps. Just something else to keep in mind.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:21 AM   #20
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I'll tell you what's dirty any dealer charging $215.00 to change them.
Exactly...thinkin' less than $20.00 and 20 minutes...
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:27 AM   #21
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There is NO way the dealer would know that unless they checked. No reputable dealer would bother to check at 14k unless you told them you were mudding all the time. I would stay away from dealers at all costs
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:35 AM   #22
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I personally change mine after every 4 wheelin excursion but if u don't offroad absoluty no reason to change fluid unless u dumped water in the breather hose lol.

And 215 for a change it takes about
5 minutes a dif if you don't know what your doing and about 12 dollars for oil haha
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:35 AM   #23
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Demand a print-out of their 'lab analysis'. Ask them what the concentrations are of metals in PPM; the concentrations of sulfur, phosphorus, the waxes, the foreign particulates, esters, corrosion inhibitors, etc.

Have them show you the 'break over' point on a chart where the contamination in PPM dictates that your DF is 'bad'.

The service manager, the service writer, and the techs will likely look at you as if you asked them to explain abstract algebras in Mandarin Chinese, because they are betting that you know nothing of petrochemical composition. You may have never taken a high school course in chemistry, but if they can try to BS you as a customer, you can bluff them and call them out for their 'profit margin padding'.

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