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Differential Service – University Place, Tacoma WA

McCabes Automotive has been family owned for over 50 years. We offer front and rear differential service repairs and replacements to the greater Tacoma area. Come into our University Place, Tacoma location and see why our community chooses us when looking for honest mechanics that provide lasting services that strengthen our neighborhood.  

Give us a call (253) 565-5173, send us an email or reach out to us on social media!


The differential is responsible for allowing the drive wheels to rotate at different speeds during turns without the wheel binding or hopping. This is a prominent part of your vehicle and with proper maintenance should last the duration of your vehicle’s life. 

Have you ever stopped to think that while turning a corner your outside wheels have a slightly longer distance to go than the inside wheels and that means that the outside wheels must turn a bit faster than the inside? Probably not, but if you have, your question has been answered. The part of your vehicle that makes that possible is your differential!

this is an image of a car differential


Differentials are strong, and built to last a long time, depending on how long you own a vehicle you may never need to replace one but that’s why it’s important to keep your differential properly lubricated. Differential fluid cools and protects the gears to prevent metal-on-metal contact that can cause premature wear.  

There are many instances that could warrant a replacement, such as collision, excessive wear and tear, and the occasional parts failure. We can help diagnose, repair, and replace rear differentials as well as front differentials. 


Replacing a differential costs upwards of $1000-$2000 depending on if it is a new part. That is why it is important to always have your differential inspected and have a differential fluid change as part of your vehicle’s regular maintenance routine. You can check your vehicle owner’s manual to see their recommended differential service schedule, or you can call us at McCabe for information on how we can help you with front differential fluid or rear differential fluid change.

According to Popular Mechanics, car differential fluid only needs to be changed every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. 

Performing it yourself? Here is a tip, make sure to check that there are no metal shavings in the differential fluid. If there is, this could mean that there is grinding in your differential. Repairs should be made accordingly to prevent further damage


  1. Damage and wear down of your tires sidewall

  2. Reduced control and handling around corners

  3. Intense vibrations while accelerating

These are all signs that point to possible symptoms of a bad differential. Remember, it is better to check early to prevent any potential permanent damage. It is important to remember that these could be an indicator of many different issues, including steering and suspension problems.

close up of differential on red truck


If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is on the rear axle. You’ve seen that bulge in the middle of the axle when you’re behind a truck – that’s the differential! Now if you have a front wheel drive vehicle the differential function is handled by your transaxle. In an all-wheel drive vehicle, they have differentials on both axles and they also have a center differential or a transfer case between the front and rear axles to compensate for speed differences between the front and rear.


Our highly skilled technicians check and top off your differential fluid at every major service here at our shop located in the Greater Tacoma Area.

Not sure when the last time your differential was checked or serviced?

Give us a call (253) 565-5173, send us an email or reach out to us on social media!

Give us a call today to schedule your appointment with one of our specialists!

Call us: (253) 565-5173

3147 Bridgeport Way West,
University Place Wa 98466

(253) 565-5173 

Monday – Friday
8:00am – 5:00pm

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