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Old 04-30-2012, 07:48 PM   #8
Alex323Ci
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Huntington Beach -Surf City USA
Posts: 16,453
My Ride: M3 & 323Ci (sold)
That's very early for a diff. They are fairly strong unless you do a lot of burnouts in the ice and then maybe a spider gear.
But if it leaks and gets low you usually notice the diff making noise or hum/howl.
A used diff can be found for $250 fairly easy. It's about 2-3 hrs labor at most from an independant shop.

On a side note. If you have SSG(aka SMG-1) then really be sure you know what's to expect when that transmission pump goes out. It's an expensive fix and recently a dealer charged a guy $8K to fix.
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