You change your Mazda’s motor oil faithfully but what about the differential oil? Mazcare isn’t picking on you. Most people don’t think about their differential oil because it’s an unsung hero that many haven’t even heard of. Generally, the differential oil (or fluid) should be changed every 30,000 to 60,000 miles, depending on what Mazda recommends for your model. Let’s learn more about differential fluid and why you shouldn’t ignore it because if you do, you might be facing an expensive automotive repair.
Let’s Talk About the Differential Itself First
The differential is more commonly known as the gearbox, and it is called this because there are numerous gears inside it. In very basic terms, the differential is a crucial go between, working with the driveshaft and transmission to rotate the drive wheels. Not all vehicles have a differential; they are most commonly found in AWD and 4WD vehicles. They are also found in automobiles engineered and built to have the drive wheels on a different end than the transmission, which many Mazda models do. We can tell you if your Mazda has a differential or you can check your owner’s manual.
Gears Need Lubrication
Any machinery with gears, automotive or otherwise, needs oil to lubricate the moving parts and your vehicle’s differential is no different. Differential oil works just like motor oil, but it’s thicker because there is more friction generated in the gearbox. The differential fluid protects the gears inside the box, preventing them from overheating and seizing. Although the two provide the same service, as motor oil prevents friction in your engine, too, differential oil is considered different from motor oil and classified technically as such. You need a different type of oil for your gearbox.
If you do not change your differential oil when Mazda recommends it, you may find yourself with a broken gearbox. As the gears overheat inside box, they lockup. Once locked, the gears will eventually break because they continue to overheat and attempt to move as they should. As you can imagine, repairing or replacing the differential can be very expensive, so it’s best to have the differential oil changed regularly so it doesn’t get dirty and thick and lose its viscosity. Even though it isn’t motor oil, it’s a good idea to think of it as such when it comes to Mazda maintenance.
Call Mazcare in Marrieta, GA, at 770-691-2089 if you need your differential fluid changed. If you’ve driven over 30,000 miles without doing so, it’s likely time for this service.