"Chattering final drive"?

I’m glad to see my Honda CRV listed in the Top 10, however, the term “chattering final drive” has me puzzled and alarmed. Does this mean my drive belt is going to fall off when I hear a chattering? Will my 2001 tell me when it’s MY final drive by telling me it was nice to know me? Is chattering final drive something for me to worry about?


You sort of write as if we’re all in the middle of a conversation about something already. So I don’t have any idea what top 10 thing you’re talking about or where or in what context the final drive chatter is mentioned.

But the final drive is basically the differential and drive axles - in a general sense any “final drive” is the last link to the wheels in the power train.

I suppose that if you have a CRV and there is no chattering going on then I would just drive on. If you get any drive train chatter and if it is a common issue then presumably any decent mechanic who works on Hondas will know all about it.

If you follow the maintenance schedule that came with the vehicle, including replacement of the differential fluid(s), you won’t have to worry about “chattering final drive.”

This problem, like so many others, is caused by lack of maintenance.

Find the maintenance schedule. Read it. Follow it. Use ONLY Honda spec fluids.

I agree that the “Chattering Final Drive” issue is almost surely related to the problems that CRV owners have after ~70k miles with their center differential. The maintenance schedule for earlier model CRVs did not even list a change of the differential fluid, but perhaps Honda wised up later on and did begin to list this service.

If the differential fluid is not changed at least every 60k miles, using genuine Honda Dual-Pump Fluid, the result is binding of the axles on sharp low-speed turns and “chattering” from the tires. The Honda fluid is very pricey, but no other brand will work properly in this application. Incidentally, the rear diff on this car is connected with the center diff, and you perform the fluid change for both the center diff and the rear diff through the rear diff.

Incidentally, I am wondering if the OP’s reference to drive belts is an indication that he believes his car to be driven by a belt. No, Jayboe, your car is driven by solid steel connections in the transmission, driveshaft, and differentials. The drive belts turn your A/C compressor, your alternator, and your PS pump.

Is your CR-V an All wheel drive or just a front wheel drive??


Good point, transman!
If the OP has a FWD CRV, then there will not be any final drive issues, IMHO.

If your CR-V has all-wheel drive, just be sure to have the rear differential fluid changed with Honda fluid every 30k miles. If you don’t hear any whining or grinding noises from the rear, you’re fine. If you do hear the noises, that’s your rear differential phoning home…

This is Jayboe, and I do have AWD ‘on demand’. I just had the rear differential fluid replaced as part of the 90,000 mile tune-up, and I sure hope the previous owner had it replaced earlier on schedule. As this vehicle made Click & Clack’s Top Ten list of reliable vehicles, I hope to keep it on the road for a long time.

Thanks to all the respondents.

If it’s not whining now, you’re fine. Just keep on top of regular changes. Also be sure to have your valves adjusted every 30k miles. The #1 problem with these early CR-V’s is that the valves tend to tighten up over time, and many people have suffered severe engine damage because they didn’t have their valves adjusted periodically. Stay on top of the valve adjustment, and you’ll be golden.