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Discussion Starter #1
About 2 weeks ago I was changing all of the fluids in my Polaris sportsman 500, after changing the rear and engine oil I could not find the front diff fill plug, turns out the winch was in the way, I called my dealer and they said (Polaris would not design it that way) so it took it in and sure enough the winch was blocking the fill plug, they were nice enough to remove the front cover and remove the 4 bolts holding the winch in and partly remove the winch and change my front diff oil for free. My question is do I have change the front diff oil every year? I love the machine and plan on keeping if for a long time but this is a PITA. By the way this is a dealer installed winch.
 

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What atv is this on? Could you post a photo of this? I have personally never seen one in the way. As far as fluid changes go, this would depend a lot on your riding style. I change mine at least once a month, but I ride a lot of mud/water. If you just do some low mileage, normal trail riding or work around the yard, I would say yearly is fine. I wouldn't ever go longer than that, but some of that is personal preference. Oils seem to last a lot longer than they used to. I know some people that don't change them untill they start having 4x4 engagement issues. I know for a fact that my dad has a 2007 sportsman that he has never changed any fluids on other than the engine oil. So, about 6 years without changing the diff. fluids and no issues.
 

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I did my brothers 2012 500 and had to do the same thing. Depends if you ride in the winter, I change mine spring and fall. If you go through water and some gets in the diff, it could freeze in the cold weather and take out your diff.

For all that it costs and a bit of your time I would do it at least twice a year. Like said above it all depends on your riding style.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My Polaris is a 2013 sportsman 500 HO, I took a picture of the filler plug but you cannot see anything because the winch is in the way and I have snow and ice all over the machine, it is minus -2 degrees right now in MN. On my manual it says the filler plug is on the right side, throttle, but mine is on the left, brake, I watched the mechanic at the dealer do it and it is not to bad but it takes a while. Next time I change the fluid I will do it when it is warm out. PS my dealer said he is going to give his Polaris rep an earful about this next time he talks with him
 

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I didn't do it myself because I didn't have a winch on my 400. But I read on here, if you measure out the amount of oil needed, you can fill thru the breather hose. Then you don't need to take the winch off.
 

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Yes you can do it thru the vent. Although in reality it takes 10-15minutes to remove the winch and put back on. No a big issue.
 
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