The main job of a transfer case is to transfer the generated power from the vehicle transmission to the axles through drive shafts. If a transfer case leaks into your vehicle, there will be unsafe driving circumstances that could be dangerous for both the driver and the vehicle.
Generally, brittle output shaft seals, worn-out housing gaskets, and bearings are the main causes behind transfer case leaks. However, if you can detect bad vehicle components associated with the transfer case, it becomes easier to prevent such leaks.
In this article, we have discussed everything about transfer case leaks, including the most possible causes and fixes. So, let us just dive into this to make things easier for you.
Why Should You Care about a Transfer Case leak?
Basically, the transfer case of any vehicle works as a sealing system for gear oil, transmission fluids, or other lubricants. These fluids are essential for the smooth functioning of the gears and shaft.
In case the transfer case leaks due to unavoidable reasons, the fluid level drops down drastically. As a result, the internal components might wear out soon, causing failure of the transmission gear and other associated parts.
So, if you notice the transfer case of your vehicle leaking, it is necessary to take measures to deal with it. Otherwise, you might experience unwanted situations that can cause huge damage to your vehicle.
Why Does a Transfer Case Leak?
There are a bunch of reasons behind a transfer case leak that can lead to serious damage to different vehicle parts. Here are some of the most common causes of a transfer case leak.
Brittle Output Shaft Seals
Over time, the output shaft of your vehicle might get rusty and brittle. In such cases, they dry out, and the seal starts to leak. This causes a transfer case leak which you can identify by noticing the wet and oily surrounding of the seal.
Worn Out Bearings
Bearings are one of the core internal components associated with the transfer case. When the bearings get worn out after working for a long time, it can cause leaks in the transfer cases by destroying the seal of vehicle fluids.
Faulty Housing Gasket
Basically, the housing gasket acts as a seal between two halves of the oil housing and prevents oil from getting out. A transfer case is often located along with the housing, so a faulty housing gasket can create leaks in the transfer case.
Physical Damage of the Transfer Case
If your transfer case has any external and physical damage, you can identify it easily by just looking closely. A damaged transfer case causes a leak, and as a result, the level of lubricants and vehicle fluids can drop down and hamper the functions of the transmission.
How to Fix a Transfer Case Leak?
If you notice the transfer case is leaking oil, it is essential to fix and replace it so that the overall function of the vehicle remains unaffected. For your convenience, a step-by-step procedure for fixing a leaking transfer case is mentioned below.
Step 1 – Checking Fluid Levels
Before replacing the transfer case, check the fluid level to ensure whether you need to add fluid or not. If the level is low, add fluid to the optimum level.
Step 2 – Removing the Driveshaft
Unscrew the seal plate after removing the driveshaft attached to the transmission. Now, remove the leaking transfer case.
Step 3 – Replacing the Transfer Case
Replace the leaking transfer case with a new one, and remember to use sealant for the new transfer case seal. Finally, wrap up by checking the fluid level again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to drive with a transfer case leak?
When the transfer case leaks, the components can’t work properly due to the lack of fluid. It can damage the components, and as a result, the vehicle can not shift to the transmission, which can create unsafe driving conditions.
Can you repair a transfer case?
As a transfer case can wear out and get damaged after using it for a long time, repairing it can increase its lifetime. You can repair a transfer case with proper servicing. However, if repairing doesn’t help, it is better to replace the faulty one.
How can you test a transfer case?
You should notice the control indicators of the transfer case shift to test it properly. While observing the indicators, turn on the ignition. If you notice a flash in the indicators, the transfer case is well-off; otherwise, it is having issues, and you need to work on that.
Transfer case leaks are common problems faced by vehicle owners. The internal components associated with it, including the drive shaft, housing gasket, and plug wires, mostly affect the leak.
In case you observe any leak in the transfer case, follow the above-mentioned procedure to fix it as soon as possible. Hopefully, this article helped you know the actual causes and fixes related to transfer case leaks so that dealing with such situations gets easier.