Toyota Tercel 1984-1994 Repair Guide

Rear Drive Axle



The rear differential on four wheel drive Tercels uses API GL-5 hypoid type gear oil, SAE 90 or 80W-90.


See Figure 1

The oil in the differential should be checked at least every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) and replaced every 25,000-30,000 miles (40,200-48,200 km).

  1. With the car parked on a level surface, remove the filler plug from the back of the differential assembly. The plug on the bottom of the differential assembly is the drain plug.
  3. If the oil begins to trickle out of the hole, there is enough. Otherwise, carefully insert your finger (watch for sharp threads) into the hole and check to see if the oil is up to the bottom edge of the filler hole.
  5. If necessary, 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, making additions simple. You can also use a common everyday kitchen baster. Use standard GL-5 hypoid type gear oil, SAE 90 or SAE 80W-90, if you live in a particularly cold area.
  7. Replace the filler plug and run the engine for a while. Turn off the engine and check for leaks.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Fluid level in the rear differential on four wheel drive models


See Figure 2

The gear oil in the differential should be changed at least every 25,000-30,000 miles (40,200-48,200 km).

To drain and fill the differential, proceed as follows:

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface. Set the parking brake.
  3. Remove the filler (upper) plug. Place a container which is large enough to catch all of the differential oil, under the drain plug.
  5. Remove the drain (lower) plug and gasket, if so equipped. Allow all of the oil to drain into the container.
  7. Install the drain plug. Tighten it so that it will not leak, but do not overtighten.
  9. Refill with the proper grade and viscosity of axle lubricant. Be sure that the level reaches the bottom of the filler plug.
  11. Install the filler plug and check for leakage. </