2011 Rav4 V6 AWD – Rear Differential Fluid Change

How-To for the rear differential on the Rav4 – this should apply to all Rav4.3’s with AWD, so I believe 2006-2012. Do all work at your own risk.

Tools needed:

  • Ramp or stands
  • M10 hex head
  • Extension
  • Drain pan
  • 1.1 pints of 75w90 GL5 Gear Oil (Red Line 75w90 Gear Oil)
  • Fluid pump

Start off by jacking up the rear or driving it backwards up ramps to easily access the rear. The drain plug is on the driver’s side, and the fill plug is on the passenger’s side. Pretty standard job for rear diffs – drain plug, and refill. Quick job for the weekend DIYer. Don’t pay the dealer to do this, and don’t believe “lifetime” oils. Took probably 30 minutes max for me to do this in my driveway.

*Always make sure you loosen the fill bolt so you aren’t stuck draining and can’t refill it.

Fill plug (Passenger’s side) – Loosen this first before draining. It’s a little bit more difficult to access than the drain plug, but should be fine with an extension.

Fill plug (Driver’s side)

Drain plug (Passenger’s side)

Loosen with M10 and drain. Tighten back down once complete. As far as torque specs go, I usually get everything relatively tight, and if I notice any dripping, I tighten it back down. Not very scientific, but usually torque specs from the factory are too soft and everyone else tightens it down way too much.

To refill, I used a hand pump to pump fluid back in until it started dribbling it out. Just insert the hose into the fill hole until oil starts backing out. Do this slowly, as it does take the oil some time to get everywhere it needs to get to.

Button the car up, and that’s it!


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