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2007-2013 Silverado: Front Differential Service

Time: 15-30 min

Difficulty: easy

Cost: $30-90 (fluid preference, gasket if cover removed)


High temperatures and heavy loads break down the protective properties of gear oil over time. Gear wear and moisture from venting to atmosphere further contaminate the fluid which can lead to leaks and premature part failure.


Replacing the front differential fluid every 30-60,000 miles is good maintenance. Frequent 4x4 operation, start/stop driving, towing, high temperatures, or exposure to heavy dust or water might merit the earlier end of the range, while straight-and-level commuting would allow for a stretched-out interval.

If the vehicle isn't accumulating many miles, every 3-5 years would be wise. Condensation and rust can result from infrequent use.


While some front differentials have a drain plug, most do not. In order to drain the fluid, the cover has to be loosened, removed, or extracted by vacuum. Front differentials are often in tight spaces which don't allow for easy removal of the cover. If you loosen the bolts to drain it, it may be difficult to reseal causing a leak after the service. Due to the limited access, extraction is often the best option on front differentials.

If the fluid capacity is not known, general practice is to fill the differential with the recommended gear oil to just below the fill hole (approx 1/2"). This allows for fluid expansion when hot without overpressuring the seals or causing the oil to foam and cavitate.

The video below shows the service method on a 2007-2013 generation Chevy Silverado 1500.

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Gear Oil

75W-90 Synthetic Gear Lube

Bucket Pump

5-gallon bucket pump

Disposable Shop Towels

Scott Blue Shop Towels in a Box


Aerosol brake and parts cleaner

Teardrop Ratchet Set

1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" drive teardrop ratchet set by GEARWRENCH

Disposable Gloves

8mil disposable work gloves

3/8" Torque Wrench

10 - 100 ft lb 3/8" drive torque wrench.

Bottle Pump

Quart and gallon bottle pump

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