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I thought I would share a little problem that happened to me when I checked my diff oil recently. I have also implemented a fix so hopefully it does not happen again. Read on...

It relates to the poor design of the diff dipstick, specifically on the 3.0l auto. Not sure if other models will have the same design - potentially so.

Basically the design of the diff dipstick lets a small pocket of water and other contaminants build up just above the o-ring, so that when you pull the dip stick out to check it, this water and muck drops straight into the diff. You might not even realize that this has happened. You will then probably feel compelled to change the diff oil even if it was not actually needed before you dropped the water into the diff casing, which means a trip to the dealer to pick up a washer, buying diff oil, and the almost impossible (here in Aus at lest) task of getting your hands on a torx T70 bit (or risking it by using the more commonly available but undersize T60 bit).

My solution (after changing the oil) was to form a seal at the top of the dipstick using plumbers teflon tape (PTFE) which I believe should be able to withstand engine temperatures and oil without degrading. I wound this tape on in a tapered manner, forming a tight seal at the top of the dipstick.

Given that there is already an o-ring on the dip stick, I don't believe that the diff needs to breathe through the dip stick, so I am reasonably confident that I have not done anything here but improve on the original design. If any experts think differently please post a comment.

Here is a link to a youtube clip that describes the problem and shows my solution.

 

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2013 Outback 2.5Ltd w/EyeSight
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Could have swore that I read that as a vent for the diff.. I think in AllData somewhere.
 
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