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Transfer Case Fluid Replacement

In all-wheel and four-wheel drive cars, the transfer case is what takes power input and splits it between the front and rear of the vehicle. The spinning gears are put under a large amount of load and automatic transmission fluid is used to lubricate the process. If the transfer case fluid is dirty or contaminated, it will need to be replaced to avoid damaging the internal components. 

What is transfer case fluid?

Generally it’s automatic transmission fluid. It fills the transfer case to ensure lubrication under high heats and pressures. It helps keep all the parts cool and lubricated to ensure that they do their job properly. Due to the pressures that the gear oil experiences, it breaks down over time.

Why do you need a transfer case fluid replacement?

If transfer case fluid isn’t doing its job properly it can lead to damage to the transfer gears and transmission. The transfer case fluid is a cheap oil that prevents expensive maintenance. 

How to tell if you need new transfer case fluid

If the fluid is checked and is dark or gritty then it will need to be replaced. If the fluid needs to be topped off then it’s probably a good idea to change the whole fluid.

What’s involved in getting transfer case fluid replaced?

The mechanic will hoist the vehicle up and drain the fluid while checking the coloring. They will then replace the fluid with the correct weight and amount of ATF. They will check all the seals around the transfer case and test the engine. If the car has low and high range settings those will be tested too.

How much does a transfer case fluid change cost?

It is fairly cheap, as little as $100 to around $350 depending on the required fluid and access.

How often do I need transfer case fluid flushed?

Each car is different but the service interval swings around 50,000km to 85,000km.

Is contaminated transfer case fluid unsafe?

It can lead to serious damage to the transmission and that’s something that you’ll want to avoid. Flushing your transfer case fluid should be something that is done regularly. 

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