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Discussion Starter #1
This is my rear differential 75w-90 gear oil after only 6,000 miles. I knew it would be dirty but i never thought I would be this bad. The magnetic plug had a mound of very fine metal on it as you can see! That was a clean empty gallon jug with the 6,000 miles gear oil in it. Change your fluids! The most wear occurs during the first few thousand miles of everything braking in.
 

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Was it difficult to change yourself? I'm at 2,100 miles in one month of ownership (with a week off for the holidays!). 6,000 miles will be upon me in no time flat. TIA.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Very easy. There are 2, 10mm allen head plugs. One on the bottom and the other is half way up on the drivers side of the differential. Remove the side plug first and then the bottom one. Drain all the fluid, replace the bottom plug and fill the diff. in the drivers side plug until the fluid starts to come out. It will take just shy of a quart. I use in Lucas 75w-90 Full Synthetic in all my vehicles. It already has the limited slip additive in it.
 

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Sounds simple enough to make my husband do. ;) Thanks for the info!
 

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My .02



I'm no stranger to changing fluids prematurely, in fact I overdo it. I change the oil filter on a new Traverse at 1000 miles simply to get rid of that shorty filter used to aid in assembly and replace with the PF63(E) specified in the manual. Thereafter every 3K miles. Receipts for purchase by DIYer is sufficient to prove proper maintenance should there be a claim under the warranty.


But, no way I'd touch the transfer case fluid in the AWD at 6K. The manual doesn't recommend a change and even that engine killer DIC doesn't monitor it. And if the AWD craps out and they find non GM stuff in the case and the owner's proof is a receipt for anything less than the correct GM part numbers.... the warranty is void ad the receipt good only for use as bathroom tissue.


In the real world if out of warranty you can go with anything you want, i.e any 75W-90 plus a friction modifying additive. The question/problem is exaclty what chemical(s) are used as friction modifiers and how much to add to a Transverse sized case? GM specs are for 75W-90 which is OK with using a generic of the same rating, but the friction modifiers and amounts added are specific to each vehicle. Think it doesn't matter? Want to to take a gamble and later cry when the dealer denies the warranty claim? That's why if you do your own service and later make a warranty claim, you had better have receipts for the correct GM spec.replacement fluids and not another brand with who knows what and how much of a friction modifying additive is contained in the non GM oil....you have given the dealer justification for a warranty denial.



GM website specifies exactly the volume and type of friction modifier to use. My previous post lists the correct GM friction modifier to be used.


https://www.traverseforum.com/66-2018-chevy-traverse-general-discussion/17931-2018-redline-4wd-rear-diff-fluid.html


 
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Interesting...

If the oil gets dirty that fast, shouldn't GM recommend doing a Transfer Case/Differential oil change after 3000 miles or 5 months?

After seeing the pictures that Diesel328 posted, I can certainly understand the need of changing the oil sooner than later.

Thank being said, I also agree with Thomcat about either getting the dealership to do the work or DIY using approved GM oil and additives to prevent potential warranty claim issues.

Interesting topic though; food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have worked for a GM Powertrain engine plant for 22yrs. I have discussed this topic with the engineering department. Along with people on both the management and union side, whose only job is to address warranty and dealer issues. The GM fluid is recommended, not required. As long as it meets or exceeds the manufacturers specifications.
As a consumer you also have the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act to cover you if the dealer decides to play unfair.
 

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Maybe it makes no difference at all, but technically non OEM violates the warranty, not for the oil, but for the additive. You have no idea what materials are used on the new '18+,1-2 Sprag clutch facing or the bonding agents used for the bands. Maybe in your discussion someone might remember the fiasco that occurred when the previous version of Mopar tranny fluid was used in newer Torqueflites and it loosened the adhesive on the bands causing catastrophic failures.





Maybe no damage, but maybe there is, and maybe it even exceeds specs and maybe it doesn't because the aftermarket premix contains the incorrect concentration of additive., but ....so you save a few bucks and have to fight with the dealer and go through arbitration if it craps out. And the Magnuson-Moss Act won't help you when the dealer wins by showing you invalidated the warranty using an unapproved additive.


It all boils down to one question you have to ask yourself......."Would you be pi$$ed if you take your new $50K car for service and the mechanic sticks in some generic oil containing an unknown generic additive instead of the specific AC Delco oil brand and exact concentration of the specified AC Delco additive just to save $10 bucks?" And you can't judge how "dirty" an oil is simply by looking at color especially when you don't have a bottle of the proper OEM oil to compare it against.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Believe me, its not about saving a few bucks! Its about using a superior product. You may like the recommended GM products, some are good... but they aren't the best thats out there.
As far as the color of the oil that came out of my rear differential.... a proper bottle of the GM oil does not look like that. Its amber in color, not black with metal glitter shimmering around....is it!
You should check out bobistheoilguy.com If you want to find the best lubricants to use...thats the place to look.
 

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Better safe than sorry. I would definitely change fluids at or before the recommended interval. Case in point....I also have a Lincoln MKS which states that the PTU fluid doesn't need changing

Axle and PTU Maintenance
The Power Transfer Unit (PTU) and rear axle (AWD only) in your vehicle does not require any normal scheduled maintenance. The PTU lube will be more likely to require a fluid change if the vehicle has experienced extended periods of extreme/severe duty cycle driving. Changing or checking the PTU lubricant is not necessary unless the unit has been submerged in water or shows signs of leakage. Contact your authorized dealer for service.

After following my MKS pages, I went and changed the PTU oil. It was like grease...not fluid at all at 44k miles. It was not the easiest thing to change either.

My Avalanche 4x4 was similar, though more fluid like. It was very dark and had shiny speckles in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I just got back from the dealers service department and I am getting a new rear differential. I had a high pitched gear noise that was getting louder every day. The noise would go away when you would engage the 4wd. I changed the fluid and you all know what I found.
The service advisor confirmed the noise and had the techs check it out. I had all the latest software updates, so the next step was to replace the rear differential. This must be a common problem because the part is on backorder.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
No, it was a 2018 purchased last July. The Traverses built now will not have this issue. It was only the ones built before a certain date in 2018.
I highly recommend this vehicle. The only reason I noticed the problem is that it so quiet inside. Gm really hit a homerun with this model. I came from a 2010 Suburban LTZ and I dont miss it at all.
 

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I am surprised that I never seen this problem so far even on the first batch of Traverse. Yours was probably just a few with some bad gear alignments inside the differential and the cause of all the craps found inside your oil. Not normal that the oil gets so messy specially on the magnetic drain plug in a so low milleage.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
No problem. You should really take the time to test drive them all, but I think the Traverse will come out on top.
A good friend of mine bought a VW Atlas the same time I bought my Traverse, and I think he is having buyers remorse. He is only getting 16 mpg and I have averaged 22 mpg since I drove it off the lot. With a better ride, more room and way more power the Traverse is tough to beat.
 

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No problem. You should really take the time to test drive them all, but I think the Traverse will come out on top.
A good friend of mine bought a VW Atlas the same time I bought my Traverse, and I think he is having buyers remorse. He is only getting 16 mpg and I have averaged 22 mpg since I drove it off the lot. With a better ride, more room and way more power the Traverse is tough to beat.
I had a brief moment when researching that I considered the Atlas as well, but obviously didn't go that route. :) 16 mpg is about what our H2 gets on the highway (when I'm driving. Hubby has a lead foot. haha)

I'm averaging right around 24 mpg on my Traverse, but I drive 70 miles a day mostly highway for work. The around town stuff is what brings it down to the 24 I'm seeing. For this size vehicle, I think it'd be pretty darn hard to beat the fuel economy.
 

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Yep, when I was researching vehicles as well, saw a lot of reviews and opinions of Atlas owners who were being horrified by the bad and dismal Atlas MPG they were getting.

The Traverse is getting just about what I had expected with my driving. Plus, it's only about 5MPG lower than what I was getting my Subaru Legacy with the same driving as well (mixed FWD/AWD with the Traverse though).
 
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