Help, I need advice.

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Bill in Utah

Staff member
Nov 11, 2002
Hi, First of all... [Welcome!]
Rear differential Front differential Transfer case
The differentials prob take just good old gear oil and do need to be changed. The rear one should be real easy. The front is a little tricker since it's independant front system. The Diff there is prob alot harder to get to but put it on ramps and take a look! Just by whatever the manual states. No need for expensive oil here. Look in the owners manual for what they recommend for all 3 items. The Transfer case can be a little tricker with push button, auto clutch, etc stuff these days. I've seen everything from 10-30 normal engine oil to gear oil to special blue oil (in my Moms 2002 Silverado). All of them should be easy to change out if you have the correct tools. ALWAYS make sure you can get the fluid IN before draining. Take the fill plug out and look on how to get the oil in. You'd be surprised how many outfits get driven with out oil or towed in because folks drain before seeing how it refills. [Roll Eyes] So, the first thing is to find out what fluids and how much are needed. Then how to fill and than drain away! [Big Grin] It's good to see you taking care of the cars in your family. [bowdown] I'm quite a bit older and still do all the maintenance for quite a few rigs in the family. Take care, Bill [Coffee] PS: Whatever the Stealership charges is too much.. [Bang Head] (Can you tell I'm not someone who takes their outfits to the dealer too often unless it's warrenty work? (and I've had 2 newer cars that have never been back so far.. [Big Grin] )
Singingstallion: It has been a long time since I was 18 but I can remember being where you are now. I got my first car at that age and I had a strong desire to learn to maintain it myself. Over the years I learned a lot. I've enjoyed a great sense of satisfaction in knowing exactly what went into any component that was drained and refilled. I think you are starting down a road that should result in "...getting it done correctly" and good long life for the cars you learn to maintain. I know it put me well ahead of most auto owners and I'm sure it will do the same for you. Go for it !!!
I'm an 18-year old with a new interest in cars. I guess my obsession with maintenance started when my dad says he will never buy a car for me again [Duh!] . Fair enough. I thought I should keep my 2000 Honda Civic running as long as possible (135,000 miles). I give it oil changes every 3,000 miles and recently changed the spark plugs, transmission oil, coolant, and tires. It's running great so far. My mom has a 1999 Kia Sportage with 127,000 miles and has hardly had any maintenance done to it other than oil changes and a recent timing belt and coolant change at the dealership. Rear differential Front differential Transfer case These things are scaring me. I don't know what the heck they are, but I know that old fluids have been slushing around in there for 127,000 miles, and I know I don't like how much the dealership charges for things like this. You guys seem to know how to keep your cars running the longest and any advice on what to do would be appreciated.
Hah, my first car was an 82 BMW 320i w/ 90,000 miles on it. What an adventure! Just do things as correctly as you can. I'd get a Haynes manual if I were you and pay attention to the periodic maintenance checks. I've had a Haynes or Chilton for every car except 1 and they are indespensible.
GOOD place to start. My first non-two-wheeled vehicle was a 54 Ford F-100...and the engine parts were all contained in wire baskets. Took almost a year to get it running. Lots of knowledge comes from the experiences of maintaining your own'll probably take better care of it when you drive, too! All it takes is mild curiosity, a little dexterity, the right tools (usually), and a good service manual. Best of luck to you in your greasy adventures!
These things are scaring me. I don't know what the heck they are
singingstallion: As others have already said, get a Haynes or Chiltons manual for the vehicle(s) in question, then go get your hands dirty. Having an expert right there beside you while you do everything may be the ideal way to learn, but most of us don't have that option. You most likely WILL make mistakes (heck, I STILL do, but not as often) but don't be afraid of them, just try to learn from them and keep'll be better for it.
Skip the Haynes or Chiltons manual. Get a real factory shop manual. Try Ebay. Much more of the detail you need as a beginer.
I think I have it figured out. They are the bulbous things on the center of the axles. I bought a jug of gear oil and a plastic hose and I will be getting my hands greasy soon. It's also about time for an oil change for my dad's Honda Pilot. Thanks for the warm welcome and see ya guys around.
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