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Is the dealer pulling my leg?
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slavabon



Joined: 08 Jul 2009
Posts: 215
Location: Northern New England

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:37 pm    Post subject: Is the dealer pulling my leg? Reply with quote

I was recently in for an oil change and as soon as they got my car on the lift, the service advisor stopped by and told me the tech found my diff fuild to be "black" and needing replacement. I thought is was a bunch of BS - I was sitting by the window into a service bay, looking at everything they were doing to the car and I'm pretty sure the tech never even checked the diff fluid. I think they looked at my mileage and figured they can try and upsell - i have 2010 with 30K on it. I told them not to touch anything but was curious - can the diff fluid get all black on a 2010 with 30K from mostly highway driving? This place always comes up with interesting suggestions every time i get an oil change. When do you guys recommend doing diff and transfer case fluids?
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volvite
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Joined: 16 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The simple answer to your question is yes, the diff fluid can turn back in only 30k miles.

Do you have your owners manual? That should give you an idea on when/how often you should change your diff fluid. It should give you a few different types of driving and when Nissan recommends you to change your fluid. I don't remember off the top of my head when Nissan recommends you to change the fluid, but 30k sounds about right. I know that was the recommendation on my 1999 Jeep. Things have changed in 10/11 years but not a ton. I just have not worked on my pathfinder too much to know the recommend fluid change intervals yet.

Edit: I also meant to say, unless the dealership is known for shady work, they are probably following the recommended schedule that tells them 30k is time for a diff fluid change. However it they are a questionable dealer, then I'd think otherwise.
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skinny2
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It can get black very quickly. Hell, it could be black when they install it...I dunno what the Nissan fluids look like. I believe the book calls for 30k mile fluid changes for extreme duty and 60k for normal. I'm at 63k miles and hope to get around to it soon. I personally wouldn't bother unless you're towing a lot or just want keep the thing forever.
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LittleStevie



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 193
Location: West Palm Beach, FL

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds suspicious. I'd seriously doubt they'd check your differential fluid as part of an oil change/inspection routine. I changed my differential fluid for the first time on my '05 around 30k...there was metallic particles and sludge on the plug, but I wouldn't say that the fluid was black.

I'd have to check the manual, but I believe that for normal driving (no towing or strenuous conditions) the diff oil doesn't need to be checked until 90k.

If you're worried about it, it's easy enough to drain and refill yourself. I want to say it's a 10 mm hex that you need for the plugs.
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twinblown



Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Posts: 155
Location: Central Florida

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The differential fluid is synthetic (at least in the 05 it is) should last many thousands of miles. I am at 140,000 and thinking about doing my first drain and fill at 150,000...will see what that looks like.
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jrjohn77



Joined: 28 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is exactly why I stopped having other people change my fluids. They're always trying to up-sell and I'm not confident that they're actually are doing the work I'm paying for or I'm getting lower quality fluids. I once even had the guy changing my oil try to sell me weed. Confused
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volvite
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Joined: 16 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

twinblown wrote:
The differential fluid is synthetic (at least in the 05 it is) should last many thousands of miles. I am at 140,000 and thinking about doing my first drain and fill at 150,000...will see what that looks like.


I agree with you about synthetic lasting a long time. Synthetic does not break down however it can fill up with contaminants, metal shavings etc and lose it's ability to lubricate.
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What did you do to your Pathfinder thread:http://www.thenissanpath.com/viewtopic.php?p=71760#71760
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twinblown



Joined: 13 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's hope that is what the magnetic plug is there for and cathches the vast majority of the shavings.
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twinblown



Joined: 13 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jrjohn77 wrote:
I once even had the guy changing my oil try to sell me weed. Confused


That's halarious!!! Laughing
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webmastir



Joined: 08 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saw a DIY on how to change the rear dif fluid, and taking it out looks ok but putting more back in looks to be a pain
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eieio
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Joined: 17 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

webmastir wrote:
Saw a DIY on how to change the rear dif fluid, and taking it out looks ok but putting more back in looks to be a pain

easy, stick an 8-10" piece of clear flexible vinyl hose on the tapered snout of the oil bottle, and squeeze the oil in there until it starts to dribble back out of the filler hole
it's a good idea to replace the drain & filler plug gaskets, torque to spec., as always
see service manual - maintenance section pg 28
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Tech



Joined: 16 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do it.
It will be black and your magnet will be covered in fuzzy metal crap. Yes, Syn lasts a long time, but all the crap build up (especially from the first break-in) will be bad. It's easy to do yourself. But you need a 10mm allen. DO NOT use the closest imperial. That sucker will be tight. It has an aluminum washer you need to keep track of. Same thing with the T-case, It won't be red, but dark brown.

Make sure you can get the fill plug out before you pull the drain.

R51's have 2 diff option I think; c230 and m220? (from memory). I would do or pay for a Drive-train service now...wait longer for the next one if you want. If you do water crossings or anything, you can also get water into the vent, or plug it up.

FYI - I've replcaed lots of Xterra rear diffs and Armada front diffs. R51's have been the most trouble free, but I wouldn't want that crap floating around in my fluid.
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smj999smj
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Joined: 22 Jan 2012
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Location: Prospect, VA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nissan doesn't specify a replacement interval for front or rear diff oil, only "inspect" at 15,000 mile intervals. this goes for the "normal" and severe duty schedules. Rear is synthetic; front is not specified as synthetic. I usually replace mine at 60,000 mile intervals, but I've never seen diff oil come out as "black." I always recommend one has the technician show you on the car what he recommends and why if one has questions or concerns.
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Tech



Joined: 16 Mar 2009
Posts: 395

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

how would one show you debris settled in the diff and/or on the magnetic drain plug without draining the fluid? I've personally done hundreds of drive train services on every gen of pathfinder....I would do it.

If your look at the manual, it says "REPLACE not inspect" every 30k miles/ 48K kms, if doing anything but being a pavement princess, including; car-top carrier, muddy roads....

Pull the filler first, then the drain, wipe the magnet from the t-case and rear diff on a clean rag. If after 30k you don't have a quarter sized dollop of debris, you can call me a liar. In the end, you can save the $15 per diff if you want. I'd do it and keep the receipts for your records to maintain your warranty.
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SHAWNATGERBROCK



Joined: 01 Sep 2006
Posts: 209
Location: Portland OR

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I change all the fluids every 10K miles on my '06 .... I will tell you all the Nissan rear diff fluids we do around 30K are BLACK Nasty .... When I did my '06 the first time at 10K I was amazed how dark it was !!
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