2005 Burb leaking fluid from front diff vent.

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by Imposter71, May 3, 2012.

  1. Imposter71

    Imposter71 New Member

    I have a 2005 Suburban. 180,000 miles. Noticed it has been leaking fluid out of the vent tube for the front diff. Drained and changed the fluid. Refilled according to manual with the correct type. Still did it. Pulled the vent tube off and inspected for cracks. holes,etc. Hose OK. Blew air through it to make sure it wasn't clogged, reinstalled and changed fluid again. Still leaking. Have noticed at fluid changes that there is a uncormfortable looking amt of metal shavings in fluid.

    I don't know that much anyway and I am getting nowhere so it is time to ask for help. I prefer not to go to the dealer until I have asked here first and within reason tried what I can on my own. As always any input / suggestions are greatly appreciated......


  2. bazar01

    bazar01 Rockstar 100 Posts

    Is the fluid getting hot after driving for a while? Oil expands with temperature rise. A mechanical issue could be generating so much heat making the fluid overflow.
    I would take it to a shop that specializes in transmissions and differentials.
    Good luck!
  3. Imposter71

    Imposter71 New Member

    Thanks for the reply. In the process of trying to check that now. Figured I would try to check and see how hot it gets as I drive it this weekend. I also added a reservoir at the end of the vent to try to isolate it a bit and get a better idea of how much is actually coming out. Hopefully that will help determine if that is the only place it is coming from or if there is something else I am missing.....
  4. Imposter71

    Imposter71 New Member

    So...In order to try to islolate things a little I made a temorary resevoir out of a drink bottle and ran the vent hose into it. Figure this way I will:

    1) get an idea how much it is leaking and

    2) see if it is leaking anywhere else by cathing the fluid from the vent.

    I don't see any other leaks around that area and there isn't fluid all over everything anymore so it appears that is the only place it is coming out. Have a couple ounces collected in the bottle now. Is an uncomfortable silvery color.....

    Also used the 4wd this past wknd. Worked fine but immediately afterward " Service 4WD" came up. The next day I noticed no lights at all on my switch( control Module). That is the first time that has happened (no lights) although last summer the "service 4WD'" did come up.

    Not sure if this is related or if 2 seperate issues........
  5. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    With the maintenance you've already done and the observations you included I'd suspect the diff lube is overheating and expanding.
    Sounds like you may have a bearing or gear issue.
    Probably time to look at the gears and make sure they still have a good wear pattern then look at the bearings for signs of excessive wear.
    I dont think your 4wd system incorporates a temp sensor in the front diff, but the system might be detecting some binding or something of that nature and that could be the cause of the light.
  6. nvestysly

    nvestysly Rockstar 100 Posts

    I'm resurrecting this old thread to see if the OP ever found the source of the problem. I just noticed a similar issue on my 2005 Suburban and have a comment/question.

    The breather tube on mine is routed upward to the driver side inner fender well. I realized the end of the tube was allowed to "dangle" so the end of the tube was slightly lower than the rest of the tube. I'm guessing vapors rise to the end of the tube and since the end of the tube is low the vapor collects and ultimately condenses and drips from the cap on the end of the tube. I've cleaned the area and used wire ties to hold the tube in a vertical position. I'll keep an eye on this to see if that's the fix.

    So I'm wondering if the OP ever found a solution. If so, I hope they'll reply.

    For others out there... do you think the end of my tube dangling a little low could contribute to the oil residue?
  7. Imposter71

    Imposter71 New Member

    Wow, this was a while ago. I still get the email notifications so I saw this. Sad to say I have never really done anything else about it. I got a lot of good suggestions from here. My mechanic skills are not the best. I was in " observation mode" with it. Made sure there was fluid in it and the plan was to keep an eye on it and see if I learned something new or found some info that narrowed it down a little more. This burb has been a great truck and it just keeps on going. I left the homemade reservoir on there and I honestly I haven't looked at it in a long time. If I get some time this weekend I will check it and post up. It has never caused a problem, I just got back from a weekend in the Outer Banks of NC and everything worked fine while I was there.

    Post up on how yours is doing and I will do the same. I am thinking of selling mine here soon. Wife and I are getting ready to be empty nesters and we have an Avalanche as well (hers). Hard to justify 2 full size 4wd vehicles once it is just the 2 of us. I have this problem with dragging home projects so there is usually something else around to drive ( at least when they are running)...
  8. xPosTech

    xPosTech Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I don't think the end of the tube being lower than the high point will make it appear to leak. GM probably designed the tube to turn down at the top to keep out water if the truck was submerged to that point. A tube pointed up would allow water in if submerged.

    You asked what I thought. I don't actually know one way or the other.


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