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Old 06-12-2013, 08:38 PM   #1
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Differential Leak

Roughly 3-4 months ago I brought in my 02 GT to Meineke to have some exhaust things taken care of...they called and said my rear diff cover gasket was seeping and was in need of a a fluid swap and new gasket, which I knew needed to be taken care of because 3 days prior I saw the bottom of the cover very wet, so I said screw it take care of it....well they did the work and all seemed well until a few days ago I noticed a few drops of oil directly under the diff cover on my driveway , got underneath and ran my finger along the bottom and yep it's def seeping through the bottom of the cover..I called and they said drop it off whenever, but I'll be pissed if they try to hit me with another 120$ of whatever it was for the job, question is, do you think they'll charge? if so screw that ill take it home and figure it out on my own. Is this a simple job for a semi mechanically inclined guy in his driveway with some hand tools?
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:15 PM   #2
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My personal experience with meineke is this:


They always seem super nice and professional and almost worth paying a mechanic because they seem to do a decent job.

So far I've had the following simple repairs done with them:

Replaced a window regulator on my grand marquis. Two months later dead. Brought It back undue warranty...their system crashed and I had lost my receipt. They know me because my mom gets her car repaired and one of her mechanics even offered to buy my grand marquis. They refused to fix it on warranty on this technicality. Oh well.

Same car same day I got my oil changed as their comp. they said the oil pain was cracked it would be $800. Didn't show me just said it was cracked. Anyway I had that car parked since December because my mustang is my DD anyway. But yesterday I stopped Being lazy and I got tired of my front yard looking like a buy here pay here lot and checked the oil pan. No cracks just a hose leaking. I'm no mechanic but I doubt that's gonna be a $800 repair.

Anyway. I don't use them anymore because my local meineke seems shady. Also I felt like ranting! Lol


They shouldn't charge you tho.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:56 AM   #3
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Sounds like a ****ty gasket, a shoddy job, or an overfill. Hopefully you didn't have any of "tha good stuff" in there being pissed away....

See what they say first, making sure they wont charge a diag fee. If it goes sour, get a quality gasket or permatex, some RP, a few beers, and ponder the meaning of life afterwards

Im quite new here so i dunno if you've done gears or not, but now's a great time lol
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:10 AM   #4
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I'm guessing they fix it for free, any reputable shop would. If not, it's a very simple fix. On the skill level scale, its a #1.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:18 PM   #5
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Thanks guys I'm gonna drop it off tomorrow, if they attempt to charge me ill walk right out lol..how do I go about checking the rear diff fluid? I hear there's a full plug at the top or something that you just dip your finger in, if your finger gets wet it's good if not that it's running low?
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Old 06-13-2013, 01:41 PM   #6
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Like Tc said. Skill level about the same as doing an oil change. The hardest part is jacking up the car. On the side of the differential there is a plug that accepts a 3/8 ratchet extension. You basically want it to be filled to the point where gear oil barely runs out when that plug is removed. Good luck with it. If they are any sort of a reputable shop, you should have no problem with them standing behind there work...
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:10 PM   #7
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Is this the filll plug? Absolutely not enough room for me to get my finger in there, but I put twig down it to see if any oil would be on it and there seems to be NONE! Pushed it down a good couple inches too, am I not on the full plug? Missing something? I can't find any other type of plug/bolt on the diff
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:43 PM   #8
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The fill plug should be close to where the upper control arm bolts up.
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:45 PM   #9
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The fill plug should be close to where the upper control arm bolts up.
So is where my finger at NOT IT?
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:59 PM   #10
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So is where my finger at NOT IT?
Correct, it should be on the carrier about halfway between the pinion flange and the axle tubes.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:41 PM   #11
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Correct, it should be on the carrier about halfway between the pinion flange and the axle tubes.
Lol and now it's pouring outside..I'm pissed man F a meineke, I want to do it myself now, but gotta bring it back just on principle because I paid them...it's a good 30 minute drive too as its around the corner from where I work and I just wanna make sure I have fluid in it to take it that far tomorrow.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:03 PM   #12
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Haha. Your killing me NJ. A twig?!!??!? That plug is going to be on the differential towards the front of the car on the drivers side. Follow the centerline of the driveshaft back to the differential and you will see it there tucked up in a nook. By the way, what you were pointing at is a vent. One reason that diffs can leak is if that vent gets plugged. Your twig was doing preventive maintenance. Lol.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:11 PM   #13
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It's east to bend rear diff cover or not get it sealed right there is no gasket just silicone and it costs 120 for you because fluid is about 30 dollars a bottle times 3 and a half if it got completely empty.
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:41 PM   #14
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Dropped it off this morning..called and said I have a very small pinion seal leak, and told me honestly to not really worry about it right now, what do u guys think about that? I mean overnight I have what looks like a half dollar sized oil mark under the diff, kinda hard to believe its a small leak....I asked if my fluid level was good and he said yes like I said its a very small leak so you barely lost any oil at all...idk
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:52 PM   #15
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Yeah. You're going to have to keep an eye on the oil level. But he's right. Just a few drops can make a half dollar sized spot overnight. You should be ok till you figure out how you want to go about fixing it. Excellent time to consider a gear change...
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:56 PM   #16
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"Not to worry about it right now"?? It's been 3-4 months already, when exactly SHOULD i start worrying about it?

Lord....
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:31 PM   #17
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"Not to worry about it right now"?? It's been 3-4 months already, when exactly SHOULD i start worrying about it?

Lord....
Lmao +1
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:42 PM   #18
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"Not to worry about it right now"?? It's been 3-4 months already, when exactly SHOULD i start worrying about it?

Lord....
Well when I went there he left it on the lift for me to check it out..he completely cleaned everything up to see where it's coming from..when I got under there it's definelty the pinion seal but I mean tiny tiny leak, checked the fluid level and you can't event tell I lost any, they suggested me taking it somewhere else if I don't believe that is what it is but he told me 100% he stands behind that its a small pinion seal leak that yes of course I should fix when I get a chance, but if I don't get around to it soon just keep an eye on the level checking every week or so and I'll be fine..I mean if its had a small leak for 3-4 months, and its lost not enough fluid to even tell its getting low or anything, than I'm sure I'm good for a bit...but I will be fixing it in the next month...what kinda price tag could I be looking at for this? With gears/without gears install?
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:53 PM   #19
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Takes thirty minutes to put a dang pinion seal in tell him to quit being a Jew
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:01 PM   #20
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Takes thirty minutes to put a dang pinion seal in tell him to quit being a Jew
Damn really? According to him, if I replace the seal he suggests I replace the bearings and he's not setup to do that job...told me whenever I get the cash up I can go get it done but its not much to worry about at the moment as long as I keep an eye on it
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:26 PM   #21
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You don't have to done it 100 times
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:26 PM   #22
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You don't have to done it 100 times
Cheap job just for a seal replacement?
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:32 PM   #23
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It's pretty easy for the pinion seal, the only pain in the *** part is getting your rotating torque set. If you do it yourself you also need to buy a new crush collar along with the seal.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:11 PM   #24
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It's pretty easy for the pinion seal, the only pain in the *** part is getting your rotating torque set. If you do it yourself you also need to buy a new crush collar along with the seal.
Yea prob gonna take it to a shop to have it done, any idea what I'm looking at $$ wise?
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:12 PM   #25
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Yea prob gonna take it to a shop to have it done, any idea what I'm looking at $$ wise?
I honestly don't know, I've always done it myself
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:24 PM   #26
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You don't have to get a new crush sleeve but if you want to you can I replace them at work but not at home and never an issue
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:52 PM   #27
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You don't have to get a new crush sleeve but if you want to you can I replace them at work but not at home and never an issue
You get an improper torque spec if you don't replace them...
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:20 AM   #28
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Crank it down very tight with half inch impact everyone and there brother has gotten away with it for decades without issues..not a recommended practice but far cheaper and easier
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:07 AM   #29
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And completely ignore setting your bearing pre-load? That's a pretty smart idea right there. It's easier to do it right the first time than have to take it apart later on because it was improperly set up and wore out the bearing
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:28 PM   #30
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It's a cheap option and threw it out there knowing there are imperfections and exactly what it ignores but people have been doing it for decades lol
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:26 PM   #31
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And completely ignore setting your bearing pre-load? That's a pretty smart idea right there. It's easier to do it right the first time than have to take it apart later on because it was improperly set up and wore out the bearing
Most ppl are not going to have the tools necessary to set a new crush washer.

I too have set it by feel several times with no issues. Just did my pinion seal a few months ago with this method.
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:38 PM   #32
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Most ppl are not going to have the tools necessary to set a new crush washer.

I too have set it by feel several times with no issues. Just did my pinion seal a few months ago with this method.
All they need is a torque wrench that reads in-lbs, a socket that fits, and something to hold the flange.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:46 PM   #33
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Jdf easier said than done especially without a lift its very easy to over tighten one and you're never supposed to untighten it to fix preload technically you're supported to re start there are many ways you can break the "rules" on this and most people don't know how to accurately check the preload in first place cause you don't need just any torque wrench the beam type is the only accurate one to use in this particular situation and most people won't do that
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:18 PM   #34
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Jdf easier said than done especially without a lift its very easy to over tighten one and you're never supposed to untighten it to fix preload technically you're supported to re start there are many ways you can break the "rules" on this and most people don't know how to accurately check the preload in first place cause you don't need just any torque wrench the beam type is the only accurate one to use in this particular situation and most people won't do that
And that's why forums are here. Most jack will go high enough to let you check the pre-load and rotating torque specs, it's just not the most comfortable thing in the world to do
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:20 PM   #35
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Crank it down very tight with half inch impact everyone and there brother has gotten away with it for decades without issues..not a recommended practice but far cheaper and easier
A package of 4 is just a few $$$.
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