Transfer Case Fluid: How Often Should I Change Fluid and How to Change It

Brandon Trenton

Transfer Case Fluid

Whether you just want to make your daily commute in an easy way or you love gearing up for a long road trip, all of us can be inventive about our ultimate car hacks list. On top of the list is to check the oil to keep your engine in good shape. However, that’s not the only fluid hack that can put the pain out of your daily drive.

Of course, we don’t need to highlight the importance of fuel in your car, that is the liquid you need the most. There are quite a lot of fluid inside your modern car that you should look into. Ever heard about transfer case fluid? Don’t worry if you haven’t because now you have. Its time to know more about it.

Let’s dive deeper into the topic.

What Should You Know About Transfer Case Fluid?

I know your answer to the question above. As soon as you read it and the fact that most of us haven’t even heard about it lately, the first thing coming in your mind would be, “basically, what is transfer case fluid?”

Let’s unfold the mystery about this uncelebrated fluid, the transfer case fluid.

To keep it simple, the fluid inside your car’s transfer case is called transfer case fluid. To get the idea behind the science of transfer case fluid, you need to understand what is a transfer case. You don’t find it in every other vehicle moving around. Only a four-wheeler truck, SUV, van, or a pick up got a transfer case.

You can find it at the rear end of your vehicle, if you own a heavy four-wheeler, just behind the vehicle transmission. You will see some crazy gear layout with axels in case if you are wondering what must be inside this case. These gears and axles transfer power from the engine of your car, diverting it to the wheels on the back, working as the main drive train.

So, now you know how these four-wheelers roll on those roads effortlessly. A transfer case is more important than you ever thought. Without a transfer case, all of the four wheels will never spin, let alone in the right direction.


What does this Transfer Case Fluid do?

You must be thinking if the gear and axels keep your rear wheels moving, then what is this transfer case fluid do? Is that just for lubrication? But in such a large amount. Well, it’s not just lubrication.

Lubricate Moving Gears and Axles Inside Transfer Case

Obviously, the major purpose is to lubricate the moving gears and axels inside the transfer case. This way, the friction is reduced between these moving parts, so there is no energy loss, and maximum power is transferred to wheels at the back. It ensures the long life of the machinery within the transfer case giving you better mileage and longer rides with minimum energy loss.

Works as a Coolant for Gears and Axles

After greasing, another thing that comes in is cooling. It works as a coolant for those gears and axels. Keeping it cool saves energy from being wasted as heat, increasing the maximum transfer of power between the transmission. This also preserves the inner fitting to function properly in the longer run.

Do you Need to Change the Transfer Case Fluid Again and Again?

Now that you figured out the complete picture of what is a transfer case and what does the fluid inside serves as you know how important this fluid that you were so unfamiliar with. This is the master-mind that works as a drive train behind those rear wheels rolling.

To take care of this machinery, you have to keep an eye on the fluid and change it when needed. But when it’s needed and how would you know? That actually depends upon different aspects of the vehicle. The most important among them is your vehicle’s company and its type. You can check the operating manual that you receive when you get your car along with the paperwork. We would advise you to check the mileage suggested for changing the transfer fluid and get this done accordingly.

Let’s say, if you drive a Toyota RAV4, then the company recommends replacing the transfer fluid for every 15,000 miles covered. But if you own a Ford F150 truck, then they recommend checking it for every 60,000 miles covered.

What accounts for this big leap? We are not sure, but the major idea would mostly revolve around the transfer case efficiency. It must be more resilient inside a ford, hence producing less scuff in the fluid. So, reach out to your junk box and look for the operating manual to check the recommended mileage. Maybe, you might need to change that fluid now.

Things to Consider When Deciding to Replace Fluid Inside Transfer Case

There are other things that you need to consider before you decide to check and replace the fluid inside the transfer case. This will help you in understanding the durability of the transfer fluid case in the car.


Towing puts added strain on the transfer case of your cause because now the vehicle doesn’t have to carry its load only but had to pull harder for moving additional. If your truck is used every day for towing some load, then you should keep on checking with the transfer case fluid and change it quite often.

Off-Road Driving

If you usually drive off-road, then you should check and replace the transfer case fluid frequently. This is due to the placement of the transfer case. As it is beneath the vehicle without any case or covering, off-road driving exposes it to various impurities present on the surface of the road like mud and dust. They lodge off beneath the car as the vehicle passes through the potholes, streams, rivers, or water pools. Some of them get inside the transfer case mixing into the fluid, disturbing its consistency. That is why it needs replacement quite often then.

How Can You Change the Transfer Case Fluid?

Fortunately, it requires no rocket science to change the fluid. Take your car in the garage and get it up in the air on the jacks. Secure the jack with the stands.

Here you with the instructions about how to do it.

  • First, find the transfer case in your car. You will be found it placed on the left at the center of the transmission for sure.
  • Look for the drain plug on the transfer case. You will see it at the bottom of the case. Take a drain pan with you, and before opening the plug, place it underneath your car to save yourself from the mess. Let the fluid drain, till then you can scroll your Instagram.
  • Then, look on the sides of the case, and you will find the filler plug. Remove the plug, and with a small funnel, pour the transfer case fluid inside.
  • Place the filler plug back once you are done, and that’s it! It is done and dusted.

Winding Up!

I kept it for you, just like a KISS. That is keeping it short and simple. As you have unleashed the mystery of this special fluid, now there is nothing to keep you worried as you roll on your four-wheeler on the road. It gives your vehicle the main drive train. Most of the people don’t pay attention to little things, but it is a life-saver on your hacks list. This will keep your vehicle in good shape, giving you a good fuel economy as well.

Make sure to follow the guideline, and off you go, there is nothing to stop your speedy on the roads.