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What Are Diff Covers?

July 22, 2021

Are you considering upgrading your factory differential cover? If so, it’s good to be prepared by knowing exactly what a differential cover does and what some benefits and negatives are with aftermarket diff covers. 



Quick Links:

-What Does a Diff Cover Do?

-Why Should I Get an Aftermarket Diff Cover?

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What Does a Diff Cover Do?

So, what is an aftermarket differential cover going to do for you? If you’re planning on taking your rig off-road, this is a perfect upgrade to consider. It plays a big role in the performance of the truck’s differentials. It’s stronger, which gives extra safety to trucks that need to be able to handle the abuse of off-roading. Instead of an OEM diff cover that is probably made out of thin steel, sturdy iron diff covers will protect gears from debris like dirt, water, and rocks from doing damage. The extra protection for the gears will prevent issues like gear lube from leaking or contaminants entering the differential leading to accelerated wear. 

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A factory diff cover usually isn’t very big. Getting a bigger cover with more capacity will allow you to increase the amount of fluid in the differential. The increase in the fluid can decrease the temperature in which it operates. This is helpful to your truck because too much heat can cause extra stress on parts.  Also, it’s been said to have the potential to reduce fuel mileage. 


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On the other hand, if you exceed the recommended fill level with fluid, it can actually increase temperature and reduce efficiency. You also have to be mindful of putting too much stress on the seals, leading to leakage. So if you put an aftermarket diff cover on, check to see if there’s a recommended fill level and what it is. 


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Upgraded diff covers also use better materials and designs, like cooling fins, to dissipate heat easier to keep the oil temperature lower. This is important because if you’ve put some heavy, chunky tires on your rig, the extra weight causes your truck to need to work harder. This can result in overheating. Having cooler gear oil will allow it to be denser which provides better lubrication without breaking down as fast as warmer oil.


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The cool thing about aftermarket diff covers is that manufacturers have solutions built right into them to make your life easier. For example, instead of removing the diff cover to drain the oil and then having to clean or install a new gasket, you can just use a magnetic dipstick to check levels. Now, instead of going through the hassle of draining all the oil, that dipstick can help check for any indicators of damage. 

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Why Should I Get an Aftermarket Diff Cover?

On top of the functional purposes an aftermarket diff cover offers, it also enhances the look underneath your truck. This is an easy, upgraded look, especially for a lifted rig. Options like chrome-plated steel or polished aluminum are popular because they’re such a small, eye-catching change that add to the customization of your truck. 


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So, a factory diff cover does the job for daily drivers. For an off-road rig that encounters abuse often or needs to be able to tow heavy trailers, the benefits of an aftermarket diff cover are worth it. It will help accommodate any drastic mods like heavy tires or a lift kit, allowing you to regulate the temperature of the fluid in your differential, while also offering more protection from the off-road lifestyle. 


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Are you ready to start building your perfect off-road rig? If so, we’re here to be a part of that process. We’ve got wheel and tire packages that could be at your door in as little as seven days, so you don’t have to wait to hit the trails. Plus, bundling your wheels and tires will get you free shipping, mounting, and balancing. Now, with as low as 0% APR financing for those who qualify, you can build now and pay later.



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