A reservoir of lube within your axle housing basically counters the ever-present grind and friction coming from the turning gears and the moving axle shafts as you drive around in your car. The wear-and-tear and loads of friction is reduced significantly thanks to lube shouldering the brunt of the force itself.
However, once the seals on your axle tube begin to fail, your car will leak grease, thus making its axle housing dry as the desert. With that in mind, follow the following steps when it comes to axle seal repair and replacement. It typically involves taking apart your axle and brake assembly as outlined below.
How to Replace Your Axle Tube Seal
- Park the Car and Drain the Oil: Park your car, go to the front wheels, and put some wheel chocks on them. Use your car jack to lift the axle off of the ground. Put in jack stands for further support. From there, take off the rear tires with your tire iron and put the drain pan under the axle. Unbolt the differential cover with your ⅜-inch ratchet and socket in order to drain the oil into the pan.
- Unbolt the Brake Caliper and Pull the Axle Shaft: Afterwards, use the ⅜-inch ratchet and socket in order to remove the brake caliper from the axle. Hang it with a mechanic's wire to avoid breaking the brake line. Slide off from the axle shaft your brake rotor and unbolt the pinion shaft from the center of the pinion with the same ⅜-inch tool. Remove the axle's center and the c-clip with the needle nose pliers. Now you can pull the axle shaft from its housing.
- Remove and Replace the Axle Seal: Remove the old axle seal from the housing with the seal puller. Put on your replacement axle seal from hereon end, tapping the new part into the housing with a mallet. Afterwards, reinstall the axle shaft into your axle housing to really that seal in tight. Don't forget to use your needle-nose pliers in order to put the c-clip on the axle shaft along with your ⅜-inch ratchet and socket to put in the pinion shaft and lock bolt.
- Put Everything Back Together: Reinstall the differential cover with the ⅜-inch ratchet and socket, use your hand to slide the brakes into the shafts, bolt your brake calipers into the axle with the same ratchet, fill your axel with a new supply of gear oil, and put back the plug. Lower your car off of the car jack and jack stands. From here, observe it for a while to see if it's still leaking all about or not. This should fix your gear oil problem more often than not.