The rear drive axle, or differential, is found on 4WD models.
The fluid that must be used is hypoid gear oil API GL-5, SAE 90 for temperatures above 0 degrees F, and SAE 80W or 80W-90 for temperatures below 0 degrees F.
FLUID LEVEL CHECK
The oil in the rear differential should be checked at least every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) and replaced every 25,000-30,000 miles (40,000-48,000 km). If driven in deep water it should be replaced immediately.
- With the car parked on a level surface, remove the filler plug (usually a 10mm hex head) from the back of the differential.
- If the oil begins to trickle out of the hole, there is enough. Otherwise, carefully insert your finger (watch out for sharp threads!) into the hole and check to see if the oil is up to the bottom edge of the filler hole.
- If not, add oil through the hole until the level is at the edge of the hole. Most gear oils come in a plastic squeeze bottle with a nozzle. You can also use a suction gun.
- Replace the filler plug and drive the car for a while. Stop and check for leaks. Tighten the plug to 36 ft. lbs. (49 Nm).
DRAIN AND REFILL
- Park the vehicle on a level surface. Set the parking brake.
- Remove the filler (upper) plug. Place a container which is large enough to catch all of the differential oil, under the drain plug.
- Remove the drain (lower) plug (usually a 10mm hex head) and gasket, if so equipped. Allow all of the oil to drain into the container.
- Install the drain plug. Tighten it so that it will not leak, but do NOT overtighten. Tighten to 36 ft. lbs. (49 Nm).
- Refill with the proper grade and viscosity of axle lubricant. Be sure that the level reaches the bottom of the filler plug. Do NOT overfill.
- Install the filler plug and check for leakage.