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Old 11-17-2011, 08:10 PM
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Question Differential breather hose leaking diff fluid? Updated post 9

Just trying to figure out what is up with my 2007 WK. The morning after a 140 mile round trip I pulled out of the garage and left a small puddle of what my husband thought at the time was oil. It was about 3-4 inches across. Upon investigation last night I found where oil had come down just inside of the front passenger tire. Looking at the top I found a breather hose that had a really smelly oil under it. The breather hose is above the strut...that area. So, looking like differential. I haven't heard anything different about my Jeep such as a bearing going out, but could be. Sound right to you all? Or is there something else that the mechanic should be looking for? It is unfortunately at a Chevy dealer as the Jeep dealer couldn't get it in to even LOOK at it until after Thanksgiving. But, they said they have mechanics that'll work on other makes so crossing my fingers that they have one who can get this fixed for me. Leaving it parked just isn't a reasonable idea right now.

Thanks in advance for any ideas!
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:00 PM
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Re: Differential breather hose leaking diff fluid?

Do you have an aftermarket cover on the diff? If so it could be that its been overfilled.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:02 PM
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Re: Differential breather hose leaking diff fluid?

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Originally Posted by StoneCold View Post
Do you have an aftermarket cover on the diff? If so it could be that its been overfilled.

Nope, all stock. Last service was on October 10 and if it would have been overfilled I think it would have shown before now. Is it possible that I have a bearing getting hot and the heat pushed it out?
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:12 AM
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Re: Differential breather hose leaking diff fluid?

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Originally Posted by Sorrel'sWK View Post
Nope, all stock. Last service was on October 10 and if it would have been overfilled I think it would have shown before now. Is it possible that I have a bearing getting hot and the heat pushed it out?
If the fluid's are correct I wouldn't have thought it would be overheating, but you never know. Can you post a pic of where you think it's leaking from?
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:54 AM
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Re: Differential breather hose leaking diff fluid?

The breather is there to equalize the pressure inside the diff with the outside. On the diff itself they put the breater tube at a higher point, so that normally only air will come out. That it never leaked out before could mean that for example water has entered the diff, raising the fluid level. I would start checking the fluid level in the diff and check for any water contamination in the fluid. A bearing going bad could increase the temperature of the fluid more, but if there would be an increase of fluid volume, it will be a little and it would only push some air out. A bearing going bad normally comes with some strange noises as well. There should be a small cap on top of the breather hose, which prevents water entering the diff, but still lets air passing by. When the cap is gone, water could enter the diff easily.
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:49 AM
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Re: Differential breather hose leaking diff fluid?

I can't get pics right now as it is in the shop, but if they haven't figured it out by the end of the day I will.

I haven't been through any water and there haven't been any noises. I did smell something "hot" when I pulled it in the garage Tuesday after driving it 80 miles, and decided to keep an eye and ear on it...lo and behold, a puddle that my husband put floor dry on before I could take a look and see if it was oil. He says oil, but could have been diff. fluid.

I am going to search an auto repair database I have access to today (librarian=lots of good places to research) and see what I can find. But, I'm hoping the shop can give it a good look today and work on getting it figured out. I hate being separated from my Jeep...driving my husband's truck is fun, but just not the same.
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Old 11-18-2011, 07:55 AM
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Re: Differential breather hose leaking diff fluid?

You'll definitely know if it's diff oil! lol

I had a quick look around and the most common cause seems to be overfill or water entering the tube.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:34 AM
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Re: Differential breather hose leaking diff fluid?

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Originally Posted by StoneCold View Post
You'll definitely know if it's diff oil! lol

I had a quick look around and the most common cause seems to be overfill or water entering the tube.
What I found really smells bad. When I walked in to the garage last night to take it over to the shop I could really smell it as well. So, definitely leaning toward something up with the differential.
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Old 11-18-2011, 02:20 PM
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Re: Differential breather hose leaking diff fluid?

Shop called my husband (really perturbs me when they call the man...it is MY vehicle and I know more about it then he does!) and he relayed to me that they need to replace the breather, differential fluid level is fine, and it is safe to drive. So, is it possible that at some point the diff. was overfilled and it just this week kicked out the excess? Last oil change was Oct. 10th, not sure if they messed with the diff. If the fluid level is now fine I am thinking it was overfull...but how...and it shouldn't be water as I haven't been through any, not to mention it would have had to be deep to get in the diff in the first place, right? Even out deer hunting we didn't get in to anything. Car wash maybe? That would seem odd...

Confused and wishing I could find some bloody knowledge on how this works and is set up so I could understand it...hate not understanding it. Might have to buy a repair manual and start reading!
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Old 11-18-2011, 07:14 PM
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Re: Differential breather hose leaking diff fluid?

Maybe the breather hose cap got stuck and the air could not escape, causing some overpressure inside the diff. When it then finally opened at a certain pressure, some fluid came along with the air.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:15 PM
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Re: Differential breather hose leaking diff fluid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frango100 View Post
Maybe the breather hose cap got stuck and the air could not escape, causing some overpressure inside the diff. When it then finally opened at a certain pressure, some fluid came along with the air.
If that is possible than that is probably likely. They ordered a new breather for it. I flat out asked if they were sure this was it or if they were just throwing parts at it in hopes of scoring and they do believe that this will do it. So...we shall see. $105 installed, won't be too huge a setback...unless it happens again.

I did go to the public library and checked out the Chilton's for this vehicle...of course no mention of a breather hose.

Thanks all for your help and ideas with this, I appreciate it!
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:51 PM
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Re: Differential breather hose leaking diff fluid?

... bump, I know...

$105... wow! I hate mechanics, I should get ASE certified and steal from people legally...lol
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