Really dirty diff fluid at 14k miles? - Jeep Wrangler Forum
Jeep Wrangler Forum

Go Back   Jeep Wrangler Forum > JK Jeep Wrangler Forum > JK Tech Forum

Join Wrangler Forum Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on WranglerForum.com
Old 01-24-2014, 03:00 PM
Thread Starter
  #1
Jeeper
 
misfit1981's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 83
Really dirty diff fluid at 14k miles?

I took my JK to the dealer for a warranty claim, the backlight for the fan speed knob is intermittent. Parts on order. As part of their courtesy inspection they found the rear diff fluid to be "extremely dirty" and wanted to charge me a zillion dollars to change it. I went back into the garage and they showed me, the fluid is dark black as dark black gets. Looked at the front diff fluid and it looked only slightly dirty. I said so whats the problem - whats causing this... The tech's explanation was "It's recommend to change the diff fluid every 15k miles." (his exact words). I explained that the book doesn't say that, and asked where was he getting his info from. He said its what his shop recommends, especially for Wranglers!

Now, I'm gonna show my colors here, but the JK mostly gets driven as a commuter. We have taken it on one REAL off road trail, and a few dirt trails that a civic could have driven on. Basically it babied (I know...I know... but it's a Rubicon!). It doesn't tow anything or get loaded down, and the diff is certainly not being overheated.

Owners manual: first mention of inspecting front and rear axle fluid is at 24k miles. I only have 14k. I just checked my RAM (with 20k+ miles) and the rear diff fluid is no-where near as dirty. I towed the Jeep on a trailer behind my RAM from CA to VA this summer. If anything my RAM should have some dirty a$$ diff fluid..........

So... Is it likely the vent isn't sealed properly? Is it likely there is some other problem? What could those problems be? I am an amateur mechanic, so be gentle

__________________
MODS: TeraFlex 2.5" Spring Lift with Shock Adapters; Smittybilt XRC front bumper, end caps and stinger; semi-matte black powder coat oem wheels; spidertrax 1.5" wheel adapters; Bestop Supertop NX; Rugged Ridge 1/2 doors with oem style mirrors; Smittybilt Comp Winch, Synthetic rope; Aspen Creek Offroad flip-up hawse fairlead license plate mount.
misfit1981 is offline   Quote
Old 01-24-2014, 03:03 PM   #2
Jeeper
 
lee indy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Middle Georgia
Posts: 5,799
maybe it got contanminated some how. just swap it yourself. my rear was nasty at 14k when i swapped in my new dif covers but not bad. when you swap it check for metal on the magnetic drain plug. you can do this job yourself in less than 5 minutes

__________________
Oscar
Director Of Public Relations
Southern Four Wheel Drive Association
My Build Thread
lee indy is offline   Quote
Old 01-24-2014, 03:55 PM   #3
Jeeper
 
brighton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,065
My rear diff was pretty dirty when I changed it at 20K, front looked clean. Definitely should do it yourself. Before I looked into how to do it, I asked my dealer who wanted to charge $125 per axle, lol.

As Lee indicated, it's a simple job, easier than changing the oil.
__________________
Current: '14 JK Rubi Black/Silver
Previous: '10 JKU Mango Tango
brighton is offline   Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-24-2014, 04:33 PM   #4
i'm back

WF Lifetime Member
 
tabber02's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: left coast, florida
Posts: 13,706
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee indy View Post
maybe it got contanminated some how. just swap it yourself. my rear was nasty at 14k when i swapped in my new dif covers but not bad. when you swap it check for metal on the magnetic drain plug. you can do this job yourself in less than 5 minutes
^^ this. if you're wheeling a lot and your axles get dunked... might want to check them a bit more frequently.
__________________
-bob

2010 JK - Mountain Edition - SOLD
2016 JKUR - Family Edition

i will spend way too much money on it... that's all


Do you like bacon? I do too, but only supporting members really like bacon, so.... Support the WranglerForum, you spend enough time here! Click here to find out how to become a Supporting Member...


Do it! DO IT NOW!!!!!
tabber02 is offline   Quote
Old 01-24-2014, 04:43 PM   #5
Jeeper
 
pbujkurdu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 140
I was told to ignore that diff change interval for the first change and get mine done before 15k by a dealer tech at my (free) oil change. When I finally got new diff fluid ( and diff cover) in last week ,the old fluid in the rear was looking pretty bad. My guess is that something is known about that initial diff fluid or some other wide experience. I'll ask the tech when I go back.
__________________
13jku sport s pbu, https://www.wranglerforum.com/f314/tr...ld-623482.html
pbujkurdu is offline   Quote
Old 01-24-2014, 05:14 PM   #6
RETIRED MODERATER

WF Lifetime Member
 
Old Dogger's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Hot as Hell Arizona, the home of the mighty Dragon. Beware of your surrounding, because of DANGER!
Posts: 34,505
The Dealers charges way to much, for that simple to do oil change, so just do it yourself.
I change all of my own fluids, except the automatic trans, that one I leave for the Dealer!
Old Dogger is online now   Quote
Old 01-24-2014, 05:57 PM   #7
i'm back

WF Lifetime Member
 
tabber02's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: left coast, florida
Posts: 13,706
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miser View Post
The Dealers charges way to much, for that simple to do oil change, so just do it yourself.
I change all of my own fluids, except the automatic trans, that one I leave for the Dealer!
great advice!
__________________
-bob

2010 JK - Mountain Edition - SOLD
2016 JKUR - Family Edition

i will spend way too much money on it... that's all


Do you like bacon? I do too, but only supporting members really like bacon, so.... Support the WranglerForum, you spend enough time here! Click here to find out how to become a Supporting Member...


Do it! DO IT NOW!!!!!
tabber02 is offline   Quote
Old 01-24-2014, 06:18 PM   #8
Jeeper
 
Wharfrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NW NJ
Posts: 1,528
Should be done after break in then probably every 15k rear and 30k front.
Wharfrat is online now   Quote
Old 01-25-2014, 12:31 AM   #9
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,938
Both My rear diff fluid and my wife's was black at 3k miles and again at 8k. Pitch black. The front diff fluid is still completely amber, as it should be with minimal 4wd use. We only offroad lightly and only maybe once a month.

Its no big deal, the fluid is cheap and it's only 2qts. You gotta pay to play, afterall. If you're ok with paying fuel costs for a wrangler, then you'll definitely be ok with diff fluid costs.
__________________
2013 Commando Green Freedom Edition JKU
2013 Billet Freedom Edition JK
legitposter is offline   Quote
Old 01-25-2014, 08:02 AM   #10
Jeeper
 
Nuke83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: NW of Atlanta
Posts: 973
Has anyone happened to check the fluid on a new Jeep? Perhaps there's a graphite additive for break-in they're using on the rears making the diff fluid that color and it's not actually "dirty"?
Nuke83 is offline   Quote
Old 01-25-2014, 11:13 AM   #11
RETIRED MODERATER

WF Lifetime Member
 
Old Dogger's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Hot as Hell Arizona, the home of the mighty Dragon. Beware of your surrounding, because of DANGER!
Posts: 34,505
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuke83 View Post
Has anyone happened to check the fluid on a new Jeep? Perhaps there's a graphite additive for break-in they're using on the rears making the diff fluid that color and it's not actually "dirty"?
I checked both of mine at about the 5,000 mile interval, and the oil looked clean, with no black residue!

My guess is, that maybe some of the banjo housings sat outside on crates, and then were not cleaned properly before assembly.

Just think about it, the diffs are sealed units, other than the breather tube. There really isn't anyway for them to become contaminated, other than running in water over the breather hose. So that leads me to believe, that the contamination was already there at assembly time, or the factory had some contaminated oil, which is not likely.......

The only other possibility is, that the factory was using a different brand of oil for a given period of time, that was black to start with. I have seen new gear oil that is very dark in color, almost black!
Old Dogger is online now   Quote
Old 01-25-2014, 12:58 PM   #12
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 259
I had my gears changed at 17,000 miles and the rear bearings were shot due to contamination of some sort , they were heavily pitted
__________________
On the mighty Rasin in my 11 jk 2 dr with 315/75/16`s 4.88`s and Eaton elocker 3.8 6 speed
79,cj-7 304 4 speed
85,cj-7 258 5 speed
02 tj 4.0 auto
weldporn is offline   Quote
Old 01-25-2014, 02:22 PM   #13
i'm back

WF Lifetime Member
 
tabber02's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: left coast, florida
Posts: 13,706
always a good idea to swap the bearings when you regear.
__________________
-bob

2010 JK - Mountain Edition - SOLD
2016 JKUR - Family Edition

i will spend way too much money on it... that's all


Do you like bacon? I do too, but only supporting members really like bacon, so.... Support the WranglerForum, you spend enough time here! Click here to find out how to become a Supporting Member...


Do it! DO IT NOW!!!!!
tabber02 is offline   Quote
Old 01-25-2014, 04:09 PM   #14
Jeeper
 
Nuke83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: NW of Atlanta
Posts: 973
I'm at about 8k mileage and may change fluid tomorrow just for fun. It's about the only mod I can afford right now. . . .
Nuke83 is offline   Quote
Old 01-25-2014, 06:24 PM   #15
Jeeper

WF Supporting Member
 
chucky cheese's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: We eat stuff outa ditches!
Posts: 4,954
This thread got me thinking. 2011, 31,000 miles 80 percent highway at approx. 70mph
Pulled trailer about 1,000 miles, the rest stop and go. Thinking to go check the diff fluid. Looked like normal fluid, nice golden color. Front and back. Same with my Ram van. 1997, changed the diff fluid at 13 years and 130,000 miles. Fluid looked good.

There has to be something there if your fluids are dark or black.
__________________
It ain't easy being cheesy:

Sometimes I make decisions like famous people.
George Armstrong Custer "lets go over that hill, I think those are friendly indians!"

Titanic's Captain Smith "What icebergs? Full speed ahead!"
chucky cheese is offline   Quote
Old 01-25-2014, 06:52 PM   #16
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by tabber02 View Post
always a good idea to swap the bearings when you regear.
I did
__________________
On the mighty Rasin in my 11 jk 2 dr with 315/75/16`s 4.88`s and Eaton elocker 3.8 6 speed
79,cj-7 304 4 speed
85,cj-7 258 5 speed
02 tj 4.0 auto
weldporn is offline   Quote
Old 01-26-2014, 09:22 AM   #17
Jeeper
 
CJ7nvrstk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Prosper, TX
Posts: 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by chucky cheese View Post
This thread got me thinking. 2011, 31,000 miles 80 percent highway at approx. 70mph
Pulled trailer about 1,000 miles, the rest stop and go. Thinking to go check the diff fluid. Looked like normal fluid, nice golden color. Front and back. Same with my Ram van. 1997, changed the diff fluid at 13 years and 130,000 miles. Fluid looked good.

There has to be something there if your fluids are dark or black.
Not necessarily. For whatever reason, they decreased the change interval from 30k to 15k. (Was 30k for my 08, 15k for my 11). I always change it at or before the interval and its always funky. (Rear). There is nothing wrong with either axle, that's just the way these JKs are. I think they decreased the interval because they saw what was going on and realized the fluid needed to be changed more frequently.
__________________
11 JKU
85 CJ

RED Friday. Remember Everyone Deployed
CJ7nvrstk is offline   Quote
Old 01-26-2014, 08:02 PM   #18
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 65
I just changed my front and rear doffs today, thanks to this thread. At 20 k miles, I had black oil with some sludge on the drain plug in my rear. The front looked like it had water contamination, a little milky green color. Looks like I will change every 15k going forward. Next time I will likely pull the covers and reseal them.
al_safety is offline   Quote
Old 01-26-2014, 09:58 PM   #19
Jeeper
 
JKJeepit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 679
installed new diffs at 5988 miles/5 months old and both looked normal... both on and off road use.
JKJeepit is offline   Quote
Old 01-26-2014, 10:32 PM   #20
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_safety View Post
I just changed my front and rear doffs today, thanks to this thread. At 20 k miles, I had black oil with some sludge on the drain plug in my rear. The front looked like it had water contamination, a little milky green color. Looks like I will change every 15k going forward. Next time I will likely pull the covers and reseal them.
Edit to add, I do some off-roading, a couple of deep water crossings back in June might have caused the milky front fluid. The rear diff had a good bit of sludge attached to the drain plug. Curious what it will look like next year when I do it again. I've got the trac-like limited slip , so the sludge might be clutch debris, as I've actuated that feature a good bit off-roading in slippery conditions.

al_safety is offline   Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Jeepģ, Wrangler, Liberty, Wagoneer, Cherokee, Gladiator, Mopar and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to FCA US LLC.
Wranglerforum.com is not in any way associated with FCA US LLC.