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  1. #1
    Senior Member Two Rings Dan_Q's Avatar
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    B8 A4: DIY Rear Differential Fluid Change

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    Youíll need minimal mechanical ability for this one and 1+ qt of the proper gear oil. This is even easier than changing your oil.

    I used Redline MT-90 75W/90 Synthetic fluid.



    Step 1: Get the car up levelly on four jackstands . You need the car level in order to fill the diff properly.

    Step 2: Remove the fill plug (red) using a 10 mm allen. Remove the drain plug (blue) using an 10 mm allen as well. Always remove the fill plug first, because if you open the drain plug first and the fill plug ends up being stuck then youíre Fíd.



    Step 3: Drain the fluid into a pan.



    Old fluid wasnít looking too good (This is actually my trans fluid). I took a pic of the diff fluid as well but it looked identical. I labeled the fluids in the photo so you can tell the difference. Very tough to tell the difference at first glance.



    Step 4: Once empty, reinstall the drain plug. This is the only car Iíve ever owned that didnít have a crush washer on these plugs. I have no idea what the torque is but I torqued it to 32 ft-lbs. Seems about right for this size bolt.

    Step 5: Pump fluid into the diff through the fill hole. I use my trusty syringe which holds about a half qt of fluid.



    Step 6: Keep filling until you get a steady stream of fluid draining out the fill hole. Mine took just over 1 qt.

    Step 7: Reinstall the drain plug (again no crush washer). Again I have no idea what the torque is but I torqued it to 32 ft-lbs because that seems about right for this size bolt. This is obviously a non critical bolt and torquing it is good practice but not all that critical. I spray everything down with brake cleaner when I'm done so that if a leak ever happens it will be evident.

    Step 8: Lower the car if youíre done.

    I do this on all my cars every 30k miles. Audi recommends never doing it and says the stock fluid will last the "lifetime" of the differential. Of course the "lifetime" of the differential will be severely shortened if you never replace the fluid. If you do it every 30k miles it will basically last forever. Total cost for 1 qt of synthetic fluid is about $8-9. Not sure what the cost of a new differential is for sure, but it seems it's probably more expensive than a quart of gear oil every 30k miles.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Three Rings jbradle7's Avatar
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    Good info, thanks!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Three Rings eyrah's Avatar
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    excellent! now i have something to do on sunday, you need to come up with one of these ever week until football season starts please and thank you.
    - Pauly

    2009 Audi A4 Quattro BB/B

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Two Rings simplicity's Avatar
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    delete - double post.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Two Rings simplicity's Avatar
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    Very nice! I noticed you were able to get jack stands on the jackpoints pretty much spot on.......where did you place the jack to get all 4 stands in there?

    I think the torque specs are 26lb/ft for the drain plug and 13lb/ft for the fill plug (per a DIY for B7RS4 rear diff change)
    2011 Brilliant Black A4 Sedan Quattro | 8 speed tiptronic | P+ | Sports Package
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Three Rings yma4's Avatar
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    Thanks Dan-Q! Great DIY....definitely doing this next weekend :)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    Great DIY! Doing this for sure!

    Love the syringe to!
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  8. #8
    Veteran Member Three Rings jfo's Avatar
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    Thanks Dan. Is there a spec for this fluid if Redline isn't available, and do we assume the rear dif is the same for Tip transmission?
    2011 A4 Avant quattro tiptronic/ Eurocode Sway Bars, End Links, Alu Kreuz/ 034 Catch Can/ Various VagCom

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Four Rings TCHUN003's Avatar
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    I love you Dan. Beer + DIYing is so fun when you have pictures/instructions lol.
    Quote Originally Posted by jfo View Post
    Thanks Dan. Is there a spec for this fluid if Redline isn't available, and do we assume the rear dif is the same for Tip transmission?
    I'm interested in this as well
    Thomas
    Brembo/REVO/CxRacing/DMH/ST/Hotchkiz

  10. #10
    Senior Member Three Rings TheHeiko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCHUN003 View Post
    I love you Dan. Beer + DIYing is so fun when you have pictures/instructions lol.


    I'm interested in this as well
    I'm only at 30K miles now but do I sense a fluid change day at Jaysen's? We could buy some Redline bulk and save some dough.

  11. #11
    Veteran Member Four Rings TCHUN003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHeiko View Post
    I'm only at 30K miles now but do I sense a fluid change day at Jaysen's? We could buy some Redline bulk and save some dough.
    Your spider sense is pretty accurate because that's what's going to have to happen. Brady should come too. I'm always down to buy in bulk and save some dough!
    Thomas
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Three Rings yma4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCHUN003 View Post
    Your spider sense is pretty accurate because that's what's going to have to happen. Brady should come too. I'm always down to buy in bulk and save some dough!
    I'm in! Tell me when gents

  13. #13
    Veteran Member Four Rings Highlander1010's Avatar
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    Much appreciated Dan. I'm going to be in DIY heaven when I get home in a few weeks. EC Pulley, Fluids and the Rear Diff mount.

    2009 A4 2.0T Tiptronic Quattro Prestige - OEM+
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Two Rings Dan_Q's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyrah View Post
    excellent! now i have something to do on sunday, you need to come up with one of these ever week until football season starts please and thank you.
    Oh donít bring up football! We just picked up Wes Welker and it is all I can do not to think about it every 5 min. Since youíre in SD, I hope youíre not a Charger fan. Because they wonít have a shot at winning the AFC West until Peyton retires!

    Quote Originally Posted by simplicity View Post
    I noticed you were able to get jack stands on the jackpoints pretty much spot on.......where did you place the jack to get all 4 stands in there?
    Iíve got two floor jacks. I start out by putting one on where each of the Lower Control Arm Bushings connect to the frame to lift the front up. If you only have one jack you could lift one side then get a jackstand in its lowest setting under that side. Then swap to the other side and do the same thing. Then repeat to get up to full height.
    For the rear I just stick a block of wood on the jack to distribute the load and jack from the rear subframe.

    Quote Originally Posted by simplicity View Post
    I think the torque specs are 26lb/ft for the drain plug and 13lb/ft for the fill plug (per a DIY for B7RS4 rear diff change)
    13 sounds really low for a bolt that large but maybe. The bolts are big enough that 32 ft-lbs certainly isnít going to strip them. But like I said, it isnít a critical location so ďtightĒ is probably tight enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by jfo View Post
    Is there a spec for this fluid if Redline isn't available, and do we assume the rear dif is the same for Tip transmission?
    Any 75W/90 gear oil should work. That is the weight of the factory fluid which runs about 8X the cost and is no doubt is inferior to a high end synthetic. The diff should be identical on an automatic. The only diff that is substantially different is the optional sports diff on the S4. And I'm sure that one takes a different fluid.

  15. #15
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    Redline shockproof heavy is better for the rear diff than MT-90. Nice DIY though! I need to do mine too next time I change the oil.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Two Rings Bezlar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_Q View Post
    Oh donít bring up football! We just picked up Wes Welker and it is all I can do not to think about it every 5 min. Since youíre in SD, I hope youíre not a Charger fan. Because they wonít have a shot at winning the AFC West until Peyton retires!
    .
    Stop it. How did that playoff game go for ya. My chiefs will have somthing for ya soon.
    2005 1/2 imola S4 gone
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  17. #17
    Veteran Member Four Rings Highlander1010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDIaholic View Post
    Redline shockproof heavy is better for the rear diff than MT-90. Nice DIY though! I need to do mine too next time I change the oil.
    Why is Redline shockproof heavy better? Just for education's sake.

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  18. #18
    Veteran Member Four Rings k9lovr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bezlar View Post
    Stop it. How did that playoff game go for ya. My chiefs will have somthing for ya soon.
    Oh wishful thinking...Go Broncos!!
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  19. #19
    Veteran Member Four Rings k9lovr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander1010 View Post
    Much appreciated Dan. I'm going to be in DIY heaven when I get home in a few weeks. EC Pulley, Fluids and the Rear Diff mount.
    Im in the same boat....
    Current: 14 S4, Prem +, DSG, Navi, ALPHA/AMS, Roc-Euro, P3, Xpel Ultimate, ECS RS4 Grill, HR OE, SPC Uppers
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Two Rings simplicity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_Q View Post
    I’ve got two floor jacks. I start out by putting one on where each of the Lower Control Arm Bushings connect to the frame to lift the front up. If you only have one jack you could lift one side then get a jackstand in its lowest setting under that side. Then swap to the other side and do the same thing. Then repeat to get up to full height.
    For the rear I just stick a block of wood on the jack to distribute the load and jack from the rear subframe..
    Thanks, I might drive the front up ramps and then jack the rear at the frame underneath the rear diff.


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  21. #21
    Veteran Member Four Rings Highlander1010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simplicity View Post
    Thanks, I might drive the front up ramps and then jack the rear at the frame underneath the rear diff.
    That sounds a wee bit risky. The car would want to be coming back down the ramps towards you. You can block the back wheels to help I suppose.

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  22. #22
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander1010 View Post
    Why is Redline shockproof heavy better? Just for education's sake.
    The shockproof heavy has EP additivies, which makes it behave like an oil with higher viscosity when it comes to film thickness. It doesn't work well in the trans as it's not really compatible with synchros.
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  23. #23
    Veteran Member Four Rings Highlander1010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDIaholic View Post
    The shockproof heavy has EP additivies, which makes it behave like an oil with higher viscosity when it comes to film thickness. It doesn't work well in the trans as it's not really compatible with synchros.
    Interesting. Do you know of anywhere to read up more on this?

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  24. #24
    Veteran Member Four Rings k9lovr's Avatar
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    B8 A4: DIY Rear Differential Fluid Change

    Just wanted to update this thread....2009's have different differentials in the rear as I just completed this and the drain and fill plugs are on the drivers side of the differential and the bottom looks different. You will need a swivel and extension to get over the exhaust to remove the fill plug. Here are a few pics I took.....
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  25. #25
    Established Member Two Rings nikatrel's Avatar
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    So do we have a confirmation it is the same oil on an auto as a manual?
    Nick - Extremely busy law school student
    2009 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro Premium (APR Stage II, EC HFIC, EC Test Pipe, EC DV Valve, K&N Intake) [35% / Debaged & Dipped / H&R Sports / Vag-Com]

  26. #26
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    The rear diff oil is always the same regardless of transmission. The Sport diff could be different, I'm not sure.

    The only difference between the manual and automatic oils is that the auto tranny has its own oil, and the torsen center diff has its own oil, where as in a manual tranny the center diff shares the transmission's oil.
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  27. #27
    Active Member One Ring
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    great info!!!

    Do we need to change the front diff oil as well, or it shares oil with the transmission?

    I have been struggling to find DIY write up for the DSG oil change...

  28. #28
    Established Member Two Rings
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    What about the seals that are included in the ECS service kit?

    http://www.ecstuning.com/Audi-B8_A4-...Kit/ES2593489/

  29. #29
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by feistyfoo View Post
    What about the seals that are included in the ECS service kit?

    http://www.ecstuning.com/Audi-B8_A4-...Kit/ES2593489/
    Did any body replace them?

  30. #30
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    Don't touch the seals unless they're leaking. I'm not sure why ECS includes them in the kit as 9 times out of 10 you don't need to replace them when replacing the diff fluid.
    ______________________________________
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  31. #31
    Senior Member Four Rings oascom's Avatar
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    Well.. Ordered this Redline MT-90 75W/90 Synthetic fluid and will try to change it.

    Now only need to change Trans fluid...
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  32. #32
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Dumb question... Should the front differential fluid be changed too? Is it possible? In my old Touareg, the procedure was practically the same for the front and rear.

  33. #33
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    If you have a tiptronic transmission then the front diff has its own oil. If you have a manual the diff and trans share the same oil.
    ______________________________________
    2013 A4 B8.5 Avant 1.8tfsi quattro, Ibis White. Mods: 18" OZ Leggera HLT wheels, OEM trunk organizer rails, Underseat storage bins.

  34. #34
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Cool. Thanks for the info. I saw the kit for the front on ECS so I didn't know.

  35. #35
    Veteran Member Three Rings jfo's Avatar
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    After looking at Redline's web info, I have a question about MT90 use in the rear dif. Audi calls for GL-5 oil in the rear dif. Redline's application guide suggests MT90 for both the manual trans and the rear diff. MT90 however is GL-4 grade, which is required for the manual trans but not the rear dif. The MT90 product details then says MT90 is "not for use in differentials with hypoid gears" Isn't our rear dif a hypoid gear system? I wonder why Redline doesn't suggest their GL-5 gear oil for the rear dif?
    2011 A4 Avant quattro tiptronic/ Eurocode Sway Bars, End Links, Alu Kreuz/ 034 Catch Can/ Various VagCom

  36. #36
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    GL-5 is one of the reasons why I'd recommend Shockproof Heavy instead of MT-90. The higher the GL number, the more additives it has. Myself, I would not use MT-90 in the rear diff.
    ______________________________________
    2013 A4 B8.5 Avant 1.8tfsi quattro, Ibis White. Mods: 18" OZ Leggera HLT wheels, OEM trunk organizer rails, Underseat storage bins.

  37. #37
    Established Member Three Rings Mina08's Avatar
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    I will changing the rear diff oil tonight and i will be using this, will also post some pics



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  38. #38
    Established Member Three Rings Mina08's Avatar
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    B8 A4: DIY Rear Differential Fluid Change

    Got it done last night takes 20mins, also did the B6


    Last edited by Mina08; 03-05-2015 at 06:52 AM.
    2011 2.0 TFSI S-Line Avant/S-Tronic/Quattro/Quartz Grey/18"OEM15mm/VCDS+Mods/XCL+Mirracast/LED/R8Coils

  39. #39
    Active Member Two Rings
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    At what mileage are you all changing the differential fluid??

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