For those who operate a four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicle, there are a number of important parts that are necessary. The front output shaft oil seal is one of those parts, and is a gasket that is circular in shape. Its job is to stop leaks of transfer case oil. If these leaks are allowed, they will end up all over your oil shaft.

Because this is a seal, it needs to be in close to perfect condition to continue to work as it is meant to. Over time debris can get in it, dirt, and wear and tear starts to take its toll. All of this adds up to a seal that is worn and no longer able to do what it is meant to do. This is when replacement is necessary. You won't find this listed as regular routine maintenance instead it's on you to watch out for the warning signs and nip them in the bud.

If you think your front output shaft oil seal may be faulty then a visit to a professional mechanic can give you a proper diagnosis. As well you can watch for the following signs, which can mean it’s time to replace the front output shaft oil seal.

  • You may begin to hear a grinding sound or whining noise coming from the transfer case. This is not normal and should be investigated right away.

  • If you start to see fluid leaking from the driveshaft, this is another warning sign. The liquid would appear pink in color and shows that the seal is no longer operational.

  • This is not a problem you want to ignore or leave for a while because the longer you allow fluids to leak, the more damage you can potentially be causing. It can even get to the point where you will need to replace the entire transfer case.

The front output shaft oil seal ensures that a proper seal is maintained at all times. It ensures that the transfer case oil doesn’t leak. If you leave the problem for too long, transfer case fluid leaks can end up ruining your transfer case, which will lead to a much more expensive replacement job.

If you’re experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms and suspect your front output shaft oil seal is in need of replacement, get a diagnostic or book a front output shaft oil seal replacement service with a certified mechanic.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does a Front Output Shaft Oil Seal Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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