Toyota Celica 1986-1993 Repair Guide

Transfer Case



All models use multipurpose gear oil API GL-5; SAE 75W-90 or 80W-90


The oil in the transfer case 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), even more frequently if driven in deep water or mud.

  1. With the car parked on a level surface, remove the filler plug from the front of the transaxle housing. The plug should use a 24mm hex head wrench.
  3. If the lubricant begins to trickle out of the hole, there is enough. Otherwise, carefully insert your finger (watch out for sharp threads!) and check to see if the oil is up to the edge of the hole.

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Fig. Fig. 1 Checking the transfer case

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Fig. Fig. 2 Filling the transfer case

  1. If not, add oil through the hole until the level is at the edge of the hole. Most gear lubricants come in a plastic squeeze bottle with a nozzle; making additions simple. You can also use a common everyday kitchen baster.
  3. Replace the filler plug and tighten it to 36 ft. lbs. (49 Nm). Run the engine and check for leaks.


Once every 30,000 miles (48,000 km), the oil in the transfer case should be changed.

  1. The transfer case oil should be hot before it is drained. If the engine is at normal operating temperature, the oil should be hot enough.
  3. Raise the car and support it properly on jackstands so that you can safely work underneath. You will probably not have enough room to work if the car is not raised.
  5. The drain plug is located on the bottom of the transfer case. It should require a hex head wrench (24mm on models with manual transaxle and 10mm on those with automatic transaxle). Place a pan under the drain plug and remove it. Keep a slight inward pressure on the plug while unscrewing it, this will keep the oil from pouring out until the plug is removed.

To avoid personal injury, remember that the oil will be hot. Be careful when you remove the plug so that you don't get burnt.

  1. Allow the oil to drain completely. Clean off the plug and replace it, tightening it until it is just snug36 ft. lbs. (49 Nm).
  3. Remove the filler plug from the side of the case on models with manual transaxle. There will be a gasket underneath this plug. Replace it if damaged.
  5. Fill the transfer case with gear oil through the filler plug hole as detailed previously. Refer to the Capacities Chart for the amount of oil needed to refill your transfer case.
  7. The oil level should come right up to the edge of the hole. You can stick your finger in to verify this. Watch out for sharp threads.
  9. Replace the filler plug and gasket, lower the car, and check for leaks. Dispose of the old oil in the proper manner.