Cars & Vehicles Auto Parts & Maintenance & Repairs

How to Drain the Front Differential for a 2002 Toyota Tacoma

    • 1). Drive the vehicle for approximately 10 miles to warm up the front differential lubricant. This will help the lubricant to drain. Park the truck and shut off the engine.

    • 2). Raise the truck with the jack and use the four jack stands to support it securely. Do not get under the truck when it's supported only with the jack. If you do not have the proper equipment, you may skip this step entirely, but it will be harder to move beneath the vehicle.

    • 3). Place the drain pan beneath the front differential drain plug. The plug is located on the bottom driver's side of the front differential. The differential is the center portion of the front axle, directly behind the oil pan. Offset the pan slightly to the driver's side to allow for the initial surge of fluid when you remove the plug.

    • 4). Use a socket to loosen the plug, and continue to remove it by hand. Once it's free from the threads, quickly pull out the plug and move your hand. Fluid will quickly flow from the differential. As the flow slows down, readjust the pan if necessary.

    • 5). Replace the plug and tighten it. Check the bottom of the drain pan for small particles of metal, which can indicate a problem with the differential gears. If you detect metal, have the differential inspected by a mechanic.

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