Do I Need a Transfer Case Fluid Change? | AG Auto

Our expert mechanics at AG Automotive offer a full-service transfer case service which includes replacing the fluids within the transfer case or replacement of the transfer case itself. This article intends to inform the reader about what a transfer case is, explain its function, and help you identify the warning signs of a failing transfer case that needs to be serviced by an expert automotive technician. 


If you have any questions or concerns regarding your front or rear differential, call AG Automotive and schedule an appointment today!


What is a transfer case?


A transfer case is a primary engine component used by all-wheel-drive and 4-wheel-drive vehicles. The transfer case is connected to both drive shafts as a means to transfer power and torque created by the engine and distribute it to the front and rear axles.  It is attached to the backside of a truck or SUVs transmission. 


Compact and mid-size all-wheel-drive vehicles have a smaller but similar transfer case called a power transfer unit (PTU or PTO). Similar to the transfer cases used by trucks, the power transfer unit distributes the torque created by the engine to the rear drive shaft through the transaxle. From there, the rear drive shaft transfers the power from the power transfer unit to the rear axle, causing the tires to rotate. 


What is a transfer case fluid service?


A transfer case fluid service should be on your scheduled regular vehicle maintenance list- along with regular oil changes, brake flushes and tire rotations. Having fresh & clean lubricating fluid within the transfer case ensures an efficient transfer of heat away from its moving components, increasing the lifespan of your transfer case’s hard working gears and bearings. A transfer case fluid service also helps your vehicle function at peak performance! 


Here is how our expert mechanics at AG Automotive perform a typical differential fluid service for any vehicle that needs one:


  1. Remove transfer case fill plug to check level
  2. Drain all fluid out of transfer case
  3. Check and clean magnet filter (If Equipped) 
  4. Check and clean breather tube including check for proper routing
  5. Add new fluid (Check for proper OEM Fluid)
  6. Clean and test drive
  7. Recheck fluid level and for leaks
  8. Quality Check 


When should I get a transfer case fluid service?


As always, you should refer to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation to see when it’s time to schedule a transfer case fluid service. The service interval depends on the type of vehicle and its use. On the lower end of the scale, some manufacturers recommend that your transfer case fluid should be changed around every 30,000 miles. But in some trucks, the manufacturer recommends under normal commuting conditions, and every 60,000 miles if the vehicle is under a constant load. 


Warning signs of a failing transfer case:

  1. Shifting through gears is rough 
  2. Your vehicle won’t stay in 4-wheel-drive 
  3. There is fluid leaking from the transfer case that smells like sulfur
  4. Your vehicle’s 4-wheel-drive check engine light is on


Have your transfer case serviced by our expert mechanics at AG Automotive today!


If you have noticed that it has become harder to shift through gears, your vehicle won’t stay in 4-wheel-drive, or notice a fluid coming from your transfer case that smells like sulfur, Ag Automotive will have you back on the road in no time after we identify that your vehicle needs a front differential service. Our expert technicians have the tools and knowledge to replace the fluid in front differentials or replace the entire front differential quickly and efficiently.


We want the job to be done right the first time, so we ensure your front differential is working properly and exceeds the manufacturer’s specifications after our service is complete. We offer our customers a full service inspection and service of their front differential so they can get back out on the road in no time and drive with confidence knowing their vehicle was serviced by the best. 


Don’t Second-Guess the Condition of Your Vehicle

Many auto owners struggle to know if the right work was done the right way on their car. As a courtesy, we provide digital vehicle inspections and photos so you can quickly and easily see what our experienced, professional technicians are seeing. Overall, we go the extra mile to help you make informed decisions on the repair and maintenance plan of your vehicle, so you can drive with confidence every time you get behind the wheel.