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Rear Differential Housing Leaking

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I got back from a little spirited driving today and noticed a slight burning smell when I got out of the car coming from the rear. I crawled under the car and saw the rear differential housing was leaking, coming from a piece on the upper half of the diff. cover, please see the pictures below. What is this piece and what is it's purpose? It had a cap on it that was loose but crimped so it wouldn't come off easily so I didn't force it. The way it is tapped in to the cover it almost looks like a bleeder like on a caliper. I did get a wrench on it and tightened it a little but didn't want to tighten it too much until I found out what it's purpose was. Can anyone help?






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Yep, that cap is the vent and is loose so air can escape as the fluid heats. If you were driving it harder than normal, you just got the fluid to a higher temp. Some of it "sloshed" near enough the vent to make it "burp" out.

IMO, not a big deal, but keep an eye on it. If there is any there under normal driving, I would investigate further.

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