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2015 Scat Pack with 19,500 miles and a relatively easy life.

So I've recently developed the shudder from the rear differential while making slow speed tight turns. I found the TSB 03-008-16 that details the fix that Dodge will do for this. In the meantime I did a brake fluid flush and a oil change this weekend, and while I had the car up I was just eyeballing the Rear Diff to see if there was anything else going on there that was above and beyond the simple fluid change that I'm expecting Dodge to do.

What I see there is a coating of grease/oil all over the forward facing parts of the differential.

I'm wondering if anyone else has come across this? I'm just looking for some thoughts before I take the car into the dealer for the TSB. Is there a likelihood of a bigger issue than the TSB that is going on there because of the grease film? It looks like the source of the grease should be the driveshaft, given the way the grease has sprayed over the front facing side of the diff, but I see no evidence of a leak there. I traced the driveshaft forward and can't find any obvious source of grease that could magically only cover the front of the diff.
 

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The shuddering is due to lack of friction modifier or incorrect friction modifier. As for the coating of oil, looks like the pinion bearing seal is bad which could be a sign that there is too much play in the pinion bearing. These ZF diffs aren't really serviceable and for <$1k for a replacement (the 3.90 limited slips used on manual trans are ~$740 shipped) the dealership will most likely just replace it (unless they want to make money off of you). Takes less labor to swap out a diff then to service it.
 

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These ZF diffs aren't really serviceable and for <$1k for a replacement (the 3.90 limited slips used on manual trans are ~$740 shipped) the dealership will most likely just replace it (unless they want to make money off of you). Takes less labor to swap out a diff then to service it.
You are probably correct about the seal, I just don't see any obvious sign at the seal itself that it's leaking, just the obvious symptom of grease spray over the diff.

I'd expect a rear differential replacement or repair to be covered under the 5 year Drivetrain warranty at this point in time.
 

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What are you expecting? A red arrow pointing at the seal? Red circle of death?


If the fill plug is tight, if the drain plug is tight, the diff housing is not cracked, and there's no source of "grease" or some kind of fluid from upstream of the diff the presence of diff fluid is it. That's the obvious sign of a leak.
 

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You are probably correct about the seal, I just don't see any obvious sign at the seal itself that it's leaking, just the obvious symptom of grease spray over the diff.

I'd expect a rear differential replacement or repair to be covered under the 5 year Drivetrain warranty at this point in time.
The spinning pinion gear slings the leaked fluid all around.

Under vehicle air flow further spreads the fluid around.

It's a bad pinion seal alright. Could be excessive play, may be just a bad seal or sealing surface on the pinion gear.
 

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What are you expecting? A red arrow pointing at the seal? Red circle of death?
I was expecting a Sublime coloured arrow.


If the fill plug is tight, if the drain plug is tight, the diff housing is not cracked, and there's no source of "grease" or some kind of fluid from upstream of the diff the presence of diff fluid is it. That's the obvious sign of a leak.
Indeed, there is no obvious source of grease - obvious to my eyes anyway. I was thinking there might be a little trail of grease coming from a seal before it hit the edge and was spun off into the airflow. I just couldn't see anything, just the aftermath.
 

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It's a bad pinion seal alright. Could be excessive play, may be just a bad seal or sealing surface on the pinion gear.
Thanks, I think I'll now let the local Dodge dealer take a look and determine the warranty status. I now have sufficient opinions that its a seal leak. Which makes sense, I just couldn't see the point where anything had leaked.

Thank you all.
 

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Update: Car at the local dealer

Ok, I dropped the car off with Dodge, here is what they are saying.

Dodge wont pay for the TSB that replaces the differential fluid. They are telling me it it is routine maintenance. The dealer is still claiming to be arguing with Chrysler to get them to pay, but they could just be saying that. I asked why there was a TSB if Dodge didn't recognize their mistake filling the differential with a problematic fluid? No answer.

They can't find a leak.
I ask them what all that black oil is all over the differential is then?
I ask them why it is very, very specific to the differential and there is zero oil anywhere else under the car. So it couldn't have come from another source and then been blown there as there is no evidence of another source. They even suggested that maybe I have a leak from a shock absorber. Which there isn't by the way, otherwise they'd have found that. I laughed at that suggestion, that a shock can leak and the only evidence is on the differential, nowhere else.

I suggested there is a small leak in the seal where the drive shaft enters the front of the differential, and it is small enough that there is no evidence, and it is only leaking when the driveshaft is spinning. So no obvious leak.

They offered to have me come into the dealership and get under the car with their technician to look for a leak. I've already been under the car myself and couldn't see any source, hence this thread asking for your advice.

Trying to decide what to do now. Maybe suck up the differential fluid change and then drive the car a few 1000 miles more until the differential is again covered in oil and take it back to the dealer.
 

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Quick update: Got a phone call from the dealer on Friday afternoon. They are replacing the differential under warranty.
 

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That is good news.



I was sort of thinking about formulating a reply offering some suggestions as to how you might approach the dealer (and factory) regarding this but I'm glad things are moving towards I hope a satisfactory resolution without you having to do anything out of the ordinary.
 

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I'm going though the EXACT same thing.
I had the TSB for the ticking noise at low speed - sharp turns fixed 3 months ago at my Dodge Dealership.

2 Weeks ago I was under the car and noticed a coating of oil. I cleaned it off and today I checked the diff and saw more oil.
I am going to make a appointment for Monday for them to check it out... Hopefully they don't give me a hard time....
987257
 

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I'm going though the EXACT same thing.
I had the TSB for the ticking noise at low speed - sharp turns fixed 3 months ago at my Dodge Dealership.

2 Weeks ago I was under the car and noticed a coating of oil. I cleaned it off and today I checked the diff and saw more oil.
I am going to make a appointment for Monday for them to check it out... Hopefully they don't give me a hard time....
View attachment 987257
Hi Greg, We sincerely regret to hear of your trouble. If we can be of any additional assistance as you are working with your dealer, feel free to send us a private message. We'd be more than happy to help.
Rob
DodgeCares
 
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