I purchased a 2004 Dakota 4x4 about a year ago. Put about 11,000 km on it
since then. Currently has about 48,000 km.
Noticed today that the plug/stopper from my rear axle differential was
Don't know where it went or how long it's been missing. The truck is always
I cannot touch any fluid when I put my finger into it, but a piece of wire
comes back with some oil on it. I haven't noticed any excessive noise, but
then again, I haven't really been listening for it.
The truck still has power train warranty for a couple of years. I made a
couple of anonymous calls to dealers today explaining the situation and
asking if warranty would cover it if anything was wrong. Both service
departments said I would have to talk to the manager. Both also said they
have never heard of a plug falling out.
I'm freaking out and terrified that this may somehow void my warranty. I
purposely bought this truck because it had warranty.
What the hell do I do now?
I don't think it's likely that it fell out without some help. Do you ever
get your oil changed at one of those Jiffy-Lube type places or had any work
done at a Midas shop? Some of them do a free "courtesy inspection" on all
your fluids hoping to sell you more than what you originally came in for.
They might have checked the fluid level and never re-installed the plug. For
piece of mind I think I'd change the gear lube when replacing the plug.
I would pull the cover and take a look see for any damage. If the metal
shavings etc are minimal I would clean it out and replace the plug and fluid.
If they are more than minimal and everything looks and sounds ok then I would do
the same and change the fluid again in about a month.
over pressures and poped the plug out(your nuts snowman) how can a
threaded plug pop out the only way it can come out is if the threads were
gone or was not tight and it would unscrew and fall off not pop out under
pressure also if it built up too much pressure it would blow the axle
seals or pinion seal first not blow the plug.
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Come on, the answer came from Snoman, it MUST be right!
Snoman, is this answer based off your vast technical abilities? The
same abilities that you told Roy he lacked? The same abilities that
led you to tell a poster to trade in a truck due to a bad $30 sensor?
God I hate to do this but in SnoIdiots defence it is a rubber plug that just
pops in. "BUT" I do think he's full of shit about the vent plugged and the
heat and the resulting pressure forced it out. That is stuff for Grimm's
Fairy Tales. Somebody just forgot to put it back in when they checked the
To the original poster, get a quart or two of fluid, fill it up and put and
new plug in it. Drive on and be happy. If there was any damage you would
have heard the noise.
I was not refering to the pop off valve Denny. BUT yes, if the only
thing in question or debate here was the vent valve then yes, all said
would be logically correct. However, from what has been indicated it
sounds like the fill plug was what was/is missing. Sorry, but the
amount of force (read pressure) that would need to be created to blow
out a properly inserted (threaded) fill plug would have likely damaged
the diff housing. SO, like you and others have indicated, the OP
should buy some diff lube, making sure he gets the correct type, as he
may or may not have an LSD, fill it to the proper level and put in a
new fill plug. HOWEVER, at this point, the locigal thing to do would
be to pop the diff cover off and inspect it as there is no indication
how long it has been like this.
But all is forgiven Denny, since you and Snoball are such great
friends. I won't hold this against you. <bg>
Larry, don't forget that the friggin' rabbit and the Idiot are neighbors.
IIrc the wide ride spent a few day's of his vacation sorta shacked up with
the Idiot and "the machine". Ya gotta expect that after the serious bonding
that took place, there is lot of admiration flowing between them.
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