How to change front differential oil on Porsche 911 (2005-2008)

Maintenance Interval 12 Years or 120,000 Miles (180,000 Kilometers)
Estimated Dealer Cost $400
Estimated Independent Mechanic Cost $250
Estimated DIY Cost $110
Repair Time 1.5 hours
DIY Difficulty Medium

Changing your front differential oil is important to keep your drivetrain smooth. Over time, the oil loses its critical properties that prevent metal on metal contact. This is a easy do-it-yourself as long as you have the proper tools and ability to get your vehicle off the ground safely. If you are unsure of how to do this procedure, please visit a certified mechanic.

Before you get started, check out the video from YouTube user, Jim Wong. While the video also covers the manual transmission/rear differential and all-wheel drive controller, the procedure for the those and the front differential are essentially the same. Detailed steps can be found below.

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Torque Specs & Fluid Capacities:

Front differential drain bolt: 22 ft-lbs
Front differential fill bolt: 22 ft-lbs
Front differential oil capacity: ~1.2 liters

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare your vehicle and work area.

  • Warm up your car’s transmission fluids by going for a 2-3 minute drive.
  • This will help the oil drain more easily while still allowing you to work on your car without getting burned.
  • Park your car on a level surface.
  • Gather parts and tools.
  • Put on eye protection and gloves.

Step 2: Raise your vehicle off the ground.

  • To give yourself enough clearance to work, safely raise your vehicle using a lift or jack and jack stands.
  • ENSURE YOUR CAR IS LEVEL! This is essential to ensure the correct fluid level.
  • NEVER rely on a jack to keep your car up; use jack stands to safely support your vehicle.
  • Also be sure to use wheel chocks to prevent your car from rolling.
  • Once your car is on jack stands, give your car a hard shove to make sure it is secure.
  • To lift your vehicle on jack stands, check out this helpful video from CarFanatic

Step 3: Remove the front underbody plastic panel.

  • Remove the front underbody plastic panel which is held on by 10mm bolts and T25 screws.
  • Be sure to store the fasteners in a container, so you don’t lose them.
  • With the front underbody panel off, you now will see the front differential, which is in front of the all-wheel drive controller.

Step 4: Remove the front differential fill bolt.

  • Locate the front differential.
  • Remove the 17mm fill bolt FIRST, which is located ABOVE the drain bolt.
  • IMPORTANT: If you cannot remove the fill bolt, STOP.

Step 5: Drain the front differential oil.

  • Place a drain pan below the front differential drain bolt.
  • Remove the drain bolt with a 17mm socket.
  • Allow the oil to drain for 15 minutes.

Step 6: Fill the front differential with new oil.

  • Re-install the drain bolt and torque it to 22 ft-lbs; it does not have a crush washer.
  • Add ~1.2 liters of Porsche gear oil into the fill port using a fluid transfer pump as shown in this video from BleeinJeep.
  • As long as your car is level, you’ve reached capacity once the oil starts to drip.
  • Re-install fill bolt and torque it to 22 ft-lbs.

Step 7: Reinstall everything in reverse order.

  • Ensure there are no leaks before re-installing everything.
  • Hand tighten all underbody panel fasteners.
  • Lower your car back on the ground.
  • Store your old oil in a container, so you can take it to an auto parts store to recycle.
  • Clean up your work area and put away your tools.
  • You’re all done!

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