Honda crv 4wd with 58K miles on it; growls rear end; diagnosing or plumbing? the noise!

honda
noises

#1

on my 2003 CR-V, automatic, when i make a tight turn, either left or right [only in tight turns, not regular street turning 90s], i hear a rumbling, grumbling noise–a sound like what you might hear when a rolling front tire is turned far enough to contact the wheel well.

this sound tho, i think, is coming from the rear wheel(s) area.

i’ve been told it could be a differential problem, maybe the ring gear. Honda service told me it was “normal”. Huh? a Honda parts person told me, "oh, yeah–happens all the time; it is low on differential oil–renew or restore the oil and it will cure the noise.

i checked the diff fluid and it was full and completely clean! the vehicle has 58K miles. always well maintained.

i don’t know what this sound indicates–any ideas?

michael


#2

On a couple of occasions, Tom & Ray have mentioned that noise from the rear differential is a known problem/phenomenon on CRVs. They stated that changing the differential oil seems to cure the condition, so I would suggest that you do that.

Just in case Honda specifies a unique type of oil for their differential (as they do with their transmissions), be sure that what is used meets the Honda specs.


#3

My 2000 CRV had that problem back when it had 30,000 miles. Changed the differential fluid (use Honda’s dual pump fluid) and it has never returned. It has 95,000 miles on it now. It doesn’t cost much and isn’t that hard. I would try that first.

ref


#4

thanks for the feedback; i guess that’s an encouragement. i would have expected full clean x-mission fluid (probably honda spec oil, too)in the diff case to rule out prospects for a simple change of oil being a likely remedy for that noise problem.
we’ll see. thanks a bunch for your note.
michael


#5

i’d be very interested in hearing some details on that experience. it would seem unlikely to me that changing the full, clean diff case of oil would, in itself, clear up a noise problem of this kind.
it’s not terribly loud, but it’s there under the described conditions.
your remarks are encouraging. can you say more?
thanks,
michael


#6

I didn’t believe it myself. I brought the car in to the dealership because of the slight growl it made during hard turns (I turn around at the bottom of my street frequently). They suggested replacing the fluid- which I thought was crazy as well- the manual says 90,000 miles! The dealer said that they have this problem frequently and it should be changed every 30,000. The fluid looked clean to me, but I changed it. Problem went away. I have changed it one more time since then. Still have never had a problem. I don’t know what the heck it changes, but it has definitely worked in mine. The dual pump fluid can only be bought from honda, but it only used around 2 qts.

ref


#7

honda told me, and the user manual on my '03 honda says, 1.1 qt.
anyway i’m off to try it today.
incidentally i’m taking care of this because i have the car on the market (craigslist, detroit version) i am not really sure in a practical way if i’ve got it listed too high. you have any experience in the buyer selling realm on these CR-V autos?


#8

i can confirm that the rear differential fluid (honda dual-pump fluid) is the cause of the sound. i thought it was the power steering pump, but was relieved that a $53 fluid drain and replace fixed the problem… at 40,000 (never mind the 60,000 in the 2004 manual).


#9

you know, i’m glad you chimed in! i just did the drain and refill myself, actually i did it with my wife (so i say the success that was phenomenal . . . well, it was hers); with a proper selection of vinyl or other tubing, say 3/8" diam. or so, about six feet of it, you can hold the quart of diff. fluid at the height of rear driverside wheel, and syphon the quart into the filler hole. the hose threads easily from the wheelwell to the diff case. DATA: the drained fluid measured one quart; it differed in appearance from the new only by being a bit darker red. The refill amount was in fact about 1.3 quarts (as the 2003 User Manual specs stated). i found this very thin polyvinyl spout that threads on to the standard plastic one-quart auto oil top–this plastic accordion telescoping item ($1.49 cost) happens to have a spout that accepts the 3/8" tubing as a tight slip fit; that way you don’t have to syphon, you can just turn the can upside-down. doesn’t hurt to put a pinhole in the base of the oil container to allow a control or open flow.
Got in the car, backed out, and made some tight turns, and never heard a sound of trouble. Fantastic. in fact, i think some associated sounds that i took to be just the CR-V’s “road noise” from tires, or eeeekkk, wheel bearings???–well, that was alll, all, gone. too.
unbef-nk-ull–eeevie, i mean ieve, able.
thanks you all.


#10

This is just ONE of the many benefits of AWD…


#11

I am going thru the same problem now. Changed the fluid twice. Replaced the rear diff. mount. replaced the diff. clutch. Replaced the complete diff. Now we do the wheel bearings. The problem only occures under load. The honda dealer is clueless. Honda tech is clueless. Glad I bought the warranty. Will fill in the blanks if I ever get it fixed. It has 68,000 mi.


#12

I have not heard of that problem. The people I know who had to change the fluid, including me, only heard the noise during sharp turns. Mine never made a noise under load. However, it does make a noise at about 2,200 rpms that I have decided is the heat shield vibrating. Are you sure the noise is from the rear end?

ref


#13

I have not heard of that problem. The people I know who had to change the fluid, including me, only heard the noise during sharp turns. Mine never made a noise under load. However, it does make a noise at about 2,200 rpms that I have decided is the heat shield vibrating. Are you sure the noise is from the rear end?

ref


#14

I confirm as well, I had the exact same discrepancy. Repaced diff. and problem disappeard. Should be replaced every 30K, same as the trans, 30K.


#15

I’m brand new to the list and have exactly the same problem (noise while making sharp turns at slow speeds). I will be headed to change the differential fluid ASAP and hope that the problem disappears!