How To: Changing your Differential Fluid for 2nd Gen Tacomas 05+

The front differential takes 1.5litres (1.6 quarts) and the rear transfer case takes 2.8 litres (3.0 quarts).

The hand pump I used I purchased at Canadian Tire, it screws onto the gear oil bottle. Looking back, I’d recommend to wear gloves because wow used oil smells gross.

Take your truck for a spin around the block, allow the oil to heat up. It will make the draining a lot quicker since it’s warm (higher viscosity)

Front Differential Plug Locations

I found the front a lot easier to work on than the rear as it had a bit more room. For the front, you’re going to be using the 10mm hex socket.
Before you loosen the drain plug, make sure you can loosen the fill plug first! The reason for this is if you can’t take out your fill plug, your vehicle is SOL and you can’t drive anywhere!

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If the bolts are really stuck on there, I’d recommend a rust remover like PB Blaster. A few sprays and it will help loosen the bolt 

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If your oil looks like this, it’s 100% time for a change!

Take a look at your drain plug and give it a good wipe down with a rag. The plug itself is magnetic and picks up on any metal shavings. 

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Next step is to put the drain plug back in, and start pumping in the new oil!
This part is just a pain in the ass, I’ll be honest.

Rear Differential Oil Change

The procedure here is the same as the front, except you’ll be using a 24mm socket and pumping more oil in.

Make sure you can loosen the top fill plug first, then take off the bottom drain plug. Let it all drain out, wipe the drain plug, tighten it back up and start pumping!

Front and Rear Differential Torque Specs

  • Rear diff drain plug – 36 lb-ft (24mm or 15/16″)
  • Rear diff fill plug – 36 lb-ft (24mm or 15/16”)
  • Front diff drain plug – 48 lb-ft (10mm hex)
  • Front diff fill plug – 29 lb-ft (10mm hex)