Honda Pilot 2011 Rear Differential problem

honda
pilot

#1

Hi,
I have a Honda PIlot 2011 which I took to my local Shell service shop . The code the car showed was B1236. One of the many things they did was to change the differential fluid. After I picked up the car from the shop, I noticed a slight sound from the rear wheels when I would make a right turn. I took it back to the shop and had them look at it. We did a few sharp right and left turns and we heard nothing. I drove the car away and a few days later noticed the sound to be more noticeable. At this time, I took it to my Honda Dealer. They noticed that the fluid in the rear differential did not seem to be right one and the sound was because of that . Can a wrong fluid damage the rear differential?

They are also recommending that we change the rear differential which off course is extremely pricy.

I would really appreciate some views on this…


#2

Yes, you should use only Honda differential fluid. But I wouldn’t assume the fluid change damaged the differential. First I’d have the Honda dealership drain and fill the differential with Honda fluid. Then drive it for a while. If you’re lucky, the sound will disappear with Honda fluid.

And if the sound doesn’t disappear, make sure you diagnose the source correctly before going further with attempted remedies. The Honda dealership may or may not have diagnosed it correctly. Wheel bearings and brake components can also make noise.


#3

That differential requires VTM-4 fluid

I somehow doubt the Shell station happened to have that on hand

I don’t really doubt the Honda dealer’s statement that the fluid seemed to be the incorrect type


#4

I agree that a Shell Service Center will not likely have the correct fluid as a stock item. In the old days one could throw some generic 80/90W hypoid oil into the manual transmission or differential of just about any car on the road without worry.
Not so anymore and yes the wrong fluid can create problems or cause major damage.

Best change it ASAP and hope.


#5

They did many things? Like what? You can get Honda dealer to provide written letter saying wrong fluid is causing issue to require new diff. Maybe a lawyer can poke shell shop? You tell dealer about rear end noise. Dealers only fix is to change diff. They can’t perform magic. Will a new diff fix your noise?


#6

Thanks a lot for all your views…


#7

Before replacing the differential, I’d just change the fluid to the correct type Honda specifies and see if it helps. If it does, but not entirely, wait a couple weeks and change it again. You can’t get all of the wrong fluid removed on the first change.

For a 2011 Pilot I think you’d be more satisfied with your auto repair and maintenance service if you established a relationship at a well-recommended inde shop that specializes in Hondas or at least Asian cars. Not at a gas station nor the dealership. This might be a good time to do that. Noises like this need to have someone right there looking and listening, can’t be diagnosed over the internet. This could easily be a brake rather than a differential problem for example.


#8

Change the fluid in rear diff with proper one , pray to your favorite diety, cross your fingers and hope it is fine.