Changing Gear Oil in a Nissan Titan Rear Differential

Changing the oil in your Titan's rear differential may seem like a daunting task, but in reality, it is nearly just as easy as changing you motor oil. Though often neglected, it is a good idea to make it a habit to refresh you gear oil regularly (I generally change mine every year before winter kicks in). Also be sure to use Nissan OEM synthetic gear oil, or something else compatible. I recommend using either Mobil 1, Royal Purple, or Amsoil synthetic products. They may cost a little bit more, but you are paying for quality.

Nissan took the time to design the rear end with a drain plug and a fill plug, so there is no need to remove the differential cover. This makes the job very quick, easy, and painless. It shouldn't take more than 30 minutes from start too finish.

I have compiled a step-by-step illustration of the process along with pictures. If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I'll help you out any way I can.

TIP: Drive your truck around for a few minutes before starting. This will warm up your old oil and allow it to flow more easily out the drain hole.

Amsoil Severe Gear 75W-140 Synthetic Gear Oil
Amsoil Severe Gear 75W-140 Synthetic Gear Oil

REQUIRED TOOLS:


  • 3 Quarts of Nissan Compatible Gear Oil
  • A 3/8" Ratchet
  • Oil Drain Pan
  • Transfer Pump*
  • Gloves**

*I use a Koehler Enterprises transfer pump for this illustration.  Other pumps can be used in a similar manner.

**You can do this without gloves, but be warned, gear oil smell terrible.  If you happen to get it on your hands (or clothes) the smell will follow you for a long while.  Believe me, you don't want to be sniffing this stuff any longer than you have too.

Loosen this first with a 3/8" drive ratchet to ensure you are able to budge it.  You don't want to drain your fluid only to realize you can't refill it.
Loosen this first with a 3/8" drive ratchet to ensure you are able to budge it. You don't want to drain your fluid only to realize you can't refill it.
With the 3/8" ratchet, remove the lower drain plug.  Be sure to position you drain pan directly underneath the plug.
With the 3/8" ratchet, remove the lower drain plug. Be sure to position you drain pan directly underneath the plug.
Let all the old fluid drain out completely.
Let all the old fluid drain out completely.
After all the old fluid has drained out, replace the drain plug.  Do not over-tighten-it needs to be only snug enough to stop the fluid from leaking out.  Go ahead and completely remove the fill plug.
After all the old fluid has drained out, replace the drain plug. Do not over-tighten-it needs to be only snug enough to stop the fluid from leaking out. Go ahead and completely remove the fill plug.

Now it's time to refill the rear differential with the new gear oil.  Some synthetic fluids come with a nipple attached to the bottle for easy refilling.  If you don't have that nipple, you will need to use a transfer pump.

Place the intake tube into the oil bottle and place the exit tube into the differential fill hole.  Now start pumping!  It shouldn't take too long to empty a quart.  After the first quart is gone, have the second bottle opened to quickly move the tube from the empty one to the full one.  Now pump until the second quart is empty.

After the second quart is empty, move the tube to the third oil container.  This model Titan only requires about a 1/4 of a quart (half a pint if you will) of the last quart (2.25 quarts total).  Pump slowly until oil begins to flow out the hole.  DO NOT OVERFILL! Let any excess fluids flow out.  Overfilling the rear differential may cause seals to fail due to excess pressure.

After the differential is full, remove the transfer pump.  Reinsert the fill plug and tighten, again, do not overtighten.  Wipe away any excess fluid that dripped out with a paper towel or shop rag.
After the differential is full, remove the transfer pump. Reinsert the fill plug and tighten, again, do not overtighten. Wipe away any excess fluid that dripped out with a paper towel or shop rag.

And that's all she wrote.  This is a relatively easy preventative maintenance procedure, assuming you have the right tools.

Now that you're finished, clean up all your tools and properly dispose of your old gear oil.

Make note in your auto records of the day, mileage, and type of fluid you used for future references.

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Comments 2 comments

jeanie.stecher profile image

jeanie.stecher 5 years ago from Seattle

Useful hub you have here Drew. Indeed if we can DIY these maintenance of our cars, we could surely save some bucks. Nice article.


KingDrew profile image

KingDrew 5 years ago from Knoxville, TN Author

Thanks for the comment Jeanie!

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