Car encyclopedia

Transfer Case Fluid Replacement

Over time, the transfer case fluid breaks down and becomes contaminated with debris requiring its replacement.

Why Should It Be Serviced?

Dirty or old transfer case fluid may affect vehicle performance, so it's important to have it serviced. If you don't, you may experience one or more of these symptoms:

  • Vehicle shuddering when turning
  • Whining sounds from gears

Warning! Not servicing or inspecting the transfer case fluid could be very costly.

  • Low or contaminated fluid could quickly lead to failure of the differential; replacing or overhauling the differential can be very expensive

When Should It Be Serviced?

  • We recommend replacing the transfer case fluid every 30,000 miles due to the degradation of the fluid's lubrication ability. Having it serviced at these intervals will help reduce the chance of any related drivability concerns. Please consult your owners manual for their recommendation for your specific vehicle.

How It's Done

It is best to have the vehicle up to normal operating temperature before draining the fluid. The technician then raises the vehicle on a hoist and removes the transfer case drain plug to drain the fluid. Often there is a magnet on the drain plug to catch any suspended metal particles—this should be cleaned off. Finally, the proper amount of new fluid is put into the transfer case and the level is checked and verified.

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