2001 Dodge Ram PU, Change Differential oil

The dealer insisted that I change my differential oil to retain my warranty. After only 12,000 miles. 2WD, 5.9, automatic. Is this mandatory or needed?
Thanks Bob AZ
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What does your Owners Manual state? If the OM doesn't state a specific time/milage spec for diff lube change out, it's probably considered lifetime unless other work needs to be performed. Dealer can't refuse warranty work if fluids are changed at factory specified intervals.
Sounds more like a dealer trying to pad his business bottom line by being overly conservative on fluid change intervals, and if so, may be time to find a different dealer. You may want to have a small sample of diff lube analyxed by an indepentant lab speciallizing in lubrication fluid analysis.
RWatson767 wrote:

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If you go by schedule 'A', it is not needed. Schedule "B" calls for it every 12,000 miles IIRC. Do you tow, haul loads on a fairly regular basis? If not, use schedule "A" and not worry about it.
Chances are the dealer was not trying to pad his bottom line, just was going by the book and didn't check with you first on how the truck was used.
Denny

warranty.
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Denny

If you go by schedule 'A', it is not needed. Schedule "B" calls for it every 12,000 miles IIRC. Do you tow, haul loads on a fairly regular basis? If not, use schedule "A" and not worry about it.
I just checked the schedule and for schedule B it does call for changing the read end oil every 12,000 miles. A $60.00 service item. It does seem like a money maker since I am sure it takes less than 10 minutes. The oil was charged as $10.60. What has me wondering is what is the problem with the rear end? My 72 Dodge PU which never had an easy week for over 30 years and 300K miles never had new oil in the rear end and never gave a problem. I will be changing the rear end oil in the future. And I will have a receipt. Bob AZ
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It probably does take more than 10 minutes. By the time you take out the 10-12 bolts, remove the cover, let the oil drip a bit, clean off the old sealer, squeeze out the new sealer, torque down the bolts and refill it, I'm guessing about half an hour. I abuse a truck, using it for plowing snow and around the farm. I change all fluids every fall. I've found over the years, that changing fluid in the equipment and trucks is cheaper than fixing them when (or if) they break. It works for me, if it doesn't fit your useabe, so be it. <G>
Denny
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Denny

Somewhere I read that what is required is to suck out the old oil and put in new. Nothing about removing the cover. I will check into it some more. Bob AZ
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in
There is a suction gun that you can get to do this, looks allot like the barrel of a grease gun with a hose on the end instead of the pump. It will work but it doesn't get all the old oil out, just most of it. And you also don't get the chance to see if there is any metal shavings laying in the bottom of the housing or get a look at the wear on the teeth.
Denny
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RWatson767 wrote:

That can be done, but isn't the right way in my opinion. You really want to get out the sediment and you'll likely miss a lot trying to suck out the oil with a hose. Also, I like to inspect the gears for abnormal wear, signs of overheating, etc., and that is hard to do if you don't pull the cover.
Matt
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Matt, Denny et al.
I took a look at the "differential" and sure enough it has a removeable cover. I looked at the lubrication section of the Service manual and it makes no mention of how to change the fluid. I am persuing the manual more closely later this night. The cover on my vehicle has a coating of oil like it was not cleaned up after its removal. If it was indeed removed. So I am going to take it to a car wash, clean it and look at after a few days. I don't know whether it uses a gasket or sealing compound like permatex. But I will find out. I have read the Owners manual that is specific to the vehicle and it does mention changing the diff fluid at 12K mile intervals. So I will get some of the correct gear oil, wahtever is needed for gasket material and be ready. However as little as I drive the truck it will be 2 years now when it needs changing. I just am not pleased that Chrysler-Dodge has built a diff that needs the oil replaced everyt 12K and my 72 Dodge PU went 300K with no problems. I have to use the schedule B because I do mostly less than 10 miles trips. No Off-Road, yes I do live in the desert and we have a hot summer but his made no difference to my 72. It is now in the Nevada desertr hauling cactus. And I am sure the diff is still doing its' thing. To the 300 reply-I have a 2001 LHS and the diff and transmission is the same unit. I think. I can understand a more frequent lube schedule. But since I am at the 4K mile point there has not been an occasion to do more than change the oil. I will be checking the Schedule for this also. Thanks for the replies. I am learning. Bob AZ
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RWatson767 wrote:

Typically the details of such procedures are in the service manual, not the owners manual. Pays to buy one if you plan to do much of your own maintenance and repairs.

I'll bet your 72 Dodge had the same requirement, you probably just didn't know it. Not changing the diff oil on schedule isn't life or death and it might last a long time without changes, but then again it might not. Cheap insurance. Does your current truck have a limited slip differential? If it does, this is another reason the oil might need to be changed more often and also you may need a special oil or additive if you have a limited slip diff.
Matt
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Matt

<<I'll bet your 72 Dodge had the same requirement, you probably just didn't know it.>> For curiosity I just checked the Service manual for my 72. 32,000 miles is the recommended interval.
<< Does your current truck have a limited slip differential?>>
A conventional differential. I did have a choice but there was no real need.
Take care and thanks for the input. Bob AZ
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RWatson767 wrote:

What does the owners manual say? Do you tow with the truck? If you do, then this may well be required in the "severe" service maintenance schedule.
Matt
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I have a 99 Ram 1500 4x4 and followed the schedulue A maintenance. I decided at 75K to change the front and rear differential fluid anyway. I found 2 steal plates the size of a penny at the bottom of the rear diff case and the gear oil was full of metal flakes. I cleaned out the rear diff the best I could, replaced the cover, and filled with new synthetic gear oil and limited sliff additive. There still doesn't seem to be a problem.
Anyway, I took the plates to the dealer and they quoted me $1K on the low-end and 2.5K on the high end. This just happened last night, so I still have to decide whether to sell it, fix it myself, take it somewhere else, or let the dealer rip me off.
I write this for 3 reasons. First, if anyone has any recommendations for me, I'd appreciate them. Second, to point out that you SHOULD change your rear diff fairly frequently to catch problems early on. I wish I would of. Thirdly, don't get the fluid sucked out of the fill hole. Taking the cover off is the only way to check for problems.
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TomS wrote:

What do these steel "plates" look like? Where did they come from according to your dealer? And you can buy a good used rear assembly from a salvage yard for much less than $1,000.
Matt
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