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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, two days ago I noticed a little bit of oil on the driveway since I started parking my truck in another spot.
I know nothing about diffs, but I assume this is a pinion seal leak?
It drips very slowly (I'd say 3 drips per day), but it looks very wet? I assume it must've leaked much worse when I drove a bit faster... I don't know when this started happening, but the stains on the driveway aren't very big / bad yet, but I obviously don't know how much I'm losing when it's spinning.
I kinda feel like it's still leaking a little even though I haven't driven since I noticed it, except for one time but it wasn't really leaking 'more' after the drive.

Can I take the fill plug off to check / refill and then put it back, or is the fill-plug a one-time thing?
I wanna stick my finger in there to see if I've really lost a lot.

I'm getting it fixed next week because I had to bring it in for service anyways, but is it safe to drive like this? My dealer (or service center, cuz it's not a dealer) is pretty far away (about 100 mi, only hwy at 75 mph), I prefer them because they're very honest and good.





Thank you in advance
 

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I believe that the plug is made of rubber & it should be in line with the axle tubes

 

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I believe that the plug is made of rubber & it should be in line with the axle tubes
Wow, thanks for your quick reply!
I was pretty sure that's indeed where the drain plug is, but since you said it's made out of rubber, I assume it can be taken off and put back pretty easily?

Not like it gotta be replaced every time someone takes it off, right? :)
 

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It is reusable, i know that the older generations of Dodge Rams had a threaded metal plug, but they seem to be trying to save money where ever they can during the building process
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It is reusable, i know that the older generations of Dodge Rams had a threaded metal plug
Thank you! Mine is a 13 so already getting older, but I'm pretty sure it's the same plug!

In case I need to top up to make it to the dealer, can I just add Castrol's 75w140? That's the only one I can order pretty quickly and I noticed that the viscosity what they used last time they changed the diff oil as well.
How much oil does the entire thing hold?
 

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The rubber plug just pops off and goes back in. You can use something flat and blunt like a butter knife or putty knife to pry it out. I'd just keep it topped off until you get the seal replaced.


Make sure you use oil with friction modifier if you have a limited slip differential. Actually FM doesn't hurt open diffs, so just get an oil with the FM in it already.


Drain plug is here:



Fill plug is in the top left corner of this pic, above the sway bar


 

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Thank you! Mine is a 13 so already getting older, but I'm pretty sure it's the same plug!

In case I need to top up to make it to the dealer, can I just add Castrol's 75w140? That's the only one I can order pretty quickly and I noticed that the viscosity what they used last time they changed the diff oil as well.
How much oil does the entire thing hold?
It holds 4.5 pts. If you have a limited slip diff then be sure to add 4 oz friction modifier.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The rubber plug just pops off and goes back in. You can use something flat and blunt like a butter knife or putty knife to pry it out. I'd just keep it topped off until you get the seal replaced.
Thank you, I'll do that!
I was planning on using CASTROL SYNTRAX LIMITED SLIP 75W140, because I'll have it the next day (tomorrow is Easter Monday so I can get it on Tuesday).
It's only for driving about 100 miles to the dealer/service center.

Does the fluid get very hot wile driving? Because if it's really leaking that bad, I might want to stop every so many miles to make sure it's not getting too low / top up? I still need to figure out how bad the leak is.
 

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Thank you, I'll do that!
I was planning on using CASTROL SYNTRAX LIMITED SLIP 75W140, because I'll have it the next day (tomorrow is Easter Monday so I can get it on Tuesday).
It's only for driving about 100 miles to the dealer/service center.

Does the fluid get very hot wile driving? Because if it's really leaking that bad, I might want to stop every so many miles to make sure it's not getting too low / top up? I still need to figure out how bad the leak is.

It doesn't get too bad if you aren't towing or driving it hard; if it's only leaking a couple drops a day then you are probably good to top off before you leave and be fine for the 100 mile drive. Its not really that far
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It doesn't get too bad if you aren't towing or driving it hard; if it's only leaking a couple drops a day then you are probably good to top off before you leave and be fine for the 100 mile drive. Its not really that far
Thank you.
I agree, it's just that I'm paranoid that the harder the diff spins, the faster the oil moves, the more might leak out... It's 99% highway.
I've only seen a couple of drops a day in the driveway, but I don't know what's happening when it's spinning and as you can see on the pictures, it looks very wet... but then again, I know a little bit of oil can make a huge over-dramatic stain that makes it look like you dropped much more oil than you did, if that makes sense.
 

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A 1/4 pint of oil on a hard surface can look like a quart !!
 

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How many miles are on the truck and how often do you change the gear oil?
 

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How many miles are on the truck and how often do you change the gear oil?
I haven't owned it for very long and honestly don't know much about when the gear oil was changed...
Owned it since november, 106k km (65.200 mi) and replaced the gear oil (as well as a noisy bearing, while the diff was open) pretty much immediately, now at 118k km (73.300 mi) and time to change the oil and filter again, ... maybe get the transmission fluid changed because nothing's 'lifetime'.

So the oil was not that old yet. How often does it need to be changed?
 

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Huh. I did my first change at 50,000 miles, but changed to every 25,000 after my dad had his pinion seal go out at about 120,000 miles on his 2009 1500. He's never changed his though.


I am using Redline Synthetic in mine FWIW
 

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Thank you.
I agree, it's just that I'm paranoid that the harder the diff spins, the faster the oil moves, the more might leak out... It's 99% highway.
I've only seen a couple of drops a day in the driveway, but I don't know what's happening when it's spinning and as you can see on the pictures, it looks very wet... but then again, I know a little bit of oil can make a huge over-dramatic stain that makes it look like you dropped much more oil than you did, if that makes sense.
Well if it is any help my WJ Jeep has a dying rear axle that is whining to hell and back and it hasn't blown up yet, going on two years since I just haven't gotten around to swapping the other axle in. 280000 mile axle that was never maintained, almost no fluid left in it.

I'm sure you will be fine for the drive over to the dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
but changed to every 25,000 after my dad had his pinion seal go out at about 120,000
Wait, are you trying to say there's a connection between changing the oil and the pinion seal going out? I assumed mine just started leaking because it's getting older.

I'll stick to 25k mi as well then, that's like 40k km which is already a decent amount of kms, and the oil really isn't that expensive at all...

I'm sure you will be fine for the drive over to the dealer.
Same. I just checked (sorry it took me so long, I didn't have to drive the past few days so I didn't check) and even though it's hard to 'feel' it, I think the oil sits like 1/2 of an inch below the fill plug.
I tried measuring it by putting my finger in there lol

Don't know if you can really see it:


Also, this is what the oil looks like... Is that normal?
It's been changed + 7,5k mi ago, or 12k km, but it already looks very gray-ish. Is it normal to have that many metal shavings this quick?
When you put your finger in there, the gray/metal part immediately slides off and the oil left on your skin is very clean and gold.


Thanks guys for all the help so far!!
 

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Wait, are you trying to say there's a connection between changing the oil and the pinion seal going out? I assumed mine just started leaking because it's getting older.

I'll stick to 25k mi as well then, that's like 40k km which is already a decent amount of kms, and the oil really isn't that expensive at all...

I think so; just like with brake fluid you'll talk to people who don't change it, or transmission or transfer case fluid because they "never had and never had a problem."


Unlike engine oil, differential oil doesn't accumulate combustion residue (why your oil turns black). It also doesn't have a filter, and over time wear metals will build up. You get that out by changing the fluid. Over time the oil will wear and can get condensation in the pumpkin depending on conditions, so fresh oil keeps fresh additives in there and keeps down wear materials that accelerate wear
 

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Discussion Starter #19
so fresh oil keeps fresh additives in there and keeps down wear materials that accelerate wear
Oh okay I see what you're saying, well the oil was changed once according to dealer records (but I obviously don't know what the previous owner did him/herself or at another garage). Assuming (s)he drove 50k km (30k mi) with the oil that came from the factory, and 30k with the new oil, it could be possible.

I thought assumed because it's a seal (and not a lot of oil gets to where it actually seals) it's just getting old...
If your car starts to 'sweat' engine oil, I assume the part that's starting to fail would've failed even if you skipped the last 2 oil changes (if your engine didn't fail first lol) and even if you changed it every month.

At least I'm glad there's still a lot in there, not like I've lost a crazy lot of oil while driving. Oil comes in tomorrow so I can top it off :smileup: and then gotta wait for my dealer appointment!
 
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