TRANSMISSION FLUID IN FRONT DIFFERENTIAL?

  • Tiny
  • mistakenmenace
  • 1991 Subaru Legacy
  • 310,000 miles

I accidentally put transmission fluid into my front differential. I plan to drain it and replace it in the morning. Can this cause any damage?

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Monday, June 25th, 2012 AT 4:46 AM

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  • Tiny
  • caradiodoc
  • Expert
  • 25,428 posts

Doubtful. Do you have an automatic or manual transmission? Most differentials are part of front-wheel-drive transmissions but you most likely have all-wheel-drive. Is that the case with yours?

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Monday, June 25th, 2012 AT 7:09 AM
  • Tiny
  • mistakenmenace
  • Member

Yes it is.

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Monday, June 25th, 2012 AT 7:10 AM
  • Tiny
  • mistakenmenace
  • Member

Also its automatic.

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Monday, June 25th, 2012 AT 7:10 AM
  • Tiny
  • mistakenmenace
  • Member

I know that there is different housings for both front and rear wheel drive. I just couldnt find an answer anywhere if it could hurt the car to have the transmission fluid in there.

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Monday, June 25th, 2012 AT 7:12 AM
  • Tiny
  • caradiodoc
  • Expert
  • 25,428 posts

Transmission fluid isn't going to hurt anything in a differential but you don't want to leave it in there if that's not what it came with. It has different lubricating properties. Similar gears are used in manual transmissions and many of those come with automatic transmission fluid instead of gear lube. I have an '80 Plymouth Volare that came with ATF in a manual transmission.

Front-wheel-drive cars share the same fluid between the automatic transmission and differential so that will tell you there's nothing to worry about with your car.

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Monday, June 25th, 2012 AT 7:49 AM
  • Tiny
  • mistakenmenace
  • Member

Thank you! Much appreciated! =D

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Monday, June 25th, 2012 AT 7:51 AM

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