Disclaimer: This is not professional advice or official procedure, just something I tried. I am not responsible for any damage or loss, direct or indirect to you or property resulting from someone following these steps.
This was done on a 2013 Juke S AWD that has about 19,000 miles. Nissan recommends replacing every 30,000 miles or 24 months only if towing a trailer, using a camper or car-top carrier, or driving on rough or muddy roads. For normal use they recommend inspecting every 15,000 miles and no specific interval for replacing.
My opinion: These gears work hard. The gear oil is not expensive - under $7 for 1qt. Same oil is used in rear differential as well. 1 Qt is more than enough to fill transfer case and rear differential. If you take time to open the filler plugs to check the oil, you might as well replace it. Filler plug is not easy to get to and you need to replace the Aluminum gasket anyway. You'll be throwing away less than a Quart total for both.
So, my plan is to replace both oils every 15,000 miles (or no later than 30,000 miles)
I was able to replace the fluid without jacking up the Juke. I could slide in with my head, neck and shoulders, that’s it. It wasn’t far enough to see the fill plug. But I did by feel and taking pictures ahead of time.
If jacks are used, four are needed so the vehicle is level in order to fill the fluid to correct level.
- Gear oil API GL-5 service 80W-90 (370ml / 3/4pt). I used Valvoline Gear oil from Walmart. The label said Limited Slip. However, it can be used on conventional and limited slip differentials.
- 2 Drain/Fill plug gaskets. These are made of Aluminum. Nissan part# 11026-1CA0A. Also, Dorman M18 095-149 ($1.99 ea @ Napa# 7041390. Amazon has a pack of 10 for under $9)
- Both rear diff and transfer case use same oil and gaskets. If you buy 1Qt oil, it's mor than enough for both. If you do them together, total material cost per change would be less than $11 ($7 oil +$4 for four gaskets)
- Fluid pump that fits narrow neck on 1 Qt. Gear Oil bottles ($9.99 from Oreillys)
- 10mm hex L wrench with a long handle (I used Harbor Freight #69084)
- 10mm S-type wrench. (I used Harbor Freight #99699). 10mm combination wrench will work, but I found the S-Type gave me that extra angle for turning
- 10mm hex bit socket
- Torque wrench
- Breaker bar
- 3/4” steel pipe for extra leverage
How to apply the S-type (or combination) wrench. Wrench is applied on the hex bit.
0. Located the Transfer Case: Three power-train components meet at the transfer case on the AWD model - left and right front drive shafts, and propeller shaft. Locate the rear end of the propeller shaft on the rear differential. Follow the shaft to the front of the car. The other end of the propeller shaft is connected to the transfer case. In the below picture the circled part is the engine oil drain plug. Transfer case drain plug is in the square. And the arrow is pointing to the front end of the propeller shaft where it connects to the transfer case.
Another way is to locate one of the front drive shafts, say the passenger side, and follow that to where it meets the transfer case.
1. Warmed up the fluid by driving around until Juke reached normal operating temperature.Wear chemical resistant gloves and watch for hot surfaces!
2. First removed the fill plug. Oil was not too dark. But It looked like it is time to changeUnexpected: Space in front of fill hole is only about 2”. It was not enough for a drain plug socket on a ratchet. I had to use the L-wrench, turn the plug some, and then turn it some more with hex-plug on S-type wrench alternatively.
When using the S-Type Wrench
When using the combination wrench
3. Nissan insists never to re-use the drain plug or fill plug gasket. Here’s why. The inner edge of the aluminum gasket is pressed into the hole forming a ridge/ contour. If it is reused, the contour lines could be different. This could cause tiny cuts on the gasket surface where fluid can leak from. These are about $4 a piece. I think it is worth the price rather than having a leak.
4. Placed an oil collector pan under the drain plug and loosened the plug using 10mm drain plug socket and breaker bar. Then removed the plug by hand. There is no magnet inside of drain plug. Both plugs looked identical. I left the drain open for 10-15 minutes.
5. Inserted a new gasket on the drain plug and tightened it to 26 ft lb.
6. Screwed-in the fluid pump on gear oil bottle. Inserted plastic tube into the fill hole. Slowly pumped for a couple of minutes, waited for a couple minutes to allow the oil to settle. Repeated this until oil started oozing out of the hole. Waited a few minutes and checked to make sure oil level is right at the fill hole.
7. Inserted another gasket on the fill plug. Tightened the fill plug to 26 ft lb.
8. Took the Juke on a test drive.
9. Checked both plugs again to make sure there is no leak.