Rear Differential Replacement Honda CRV

I have a 2012 Honda CRV with 20,700 miles. Just had the oil changed and was told by Honda dealer that rear differential fluid needed to be replaced. Cost was $94.00. It seemed too soon for that, so I didn’t have it done. When I looked in the owners manual for the mileage for this service, there isn’t any. There isn’t any mileage for any service. Apparently that is all maintained in the cars computer. At any rate, what is the recommended mileage for a rear differential fluid replacment? This car has the real time 4 wheel drive that only kicks in when it feels the wheels slipping. Also, where I can I get the mileage intervals for regular maintenance on this car? I couldn’t find any maintenance mileage intervals on the Honda website either. Thanks.

I looked at the 2013 manual and it apparently is in the maintenance reminder computer as a sub item. Doesn’t say how many miles though, I guess you just have to rely on the computer, but it does say 30K or 2 years if the car is being towed. You could use that I suppose if you wanted to ignore the computer. I change the rear diff fluid in my Ford truck about every 40-50 K miles, and has worked for me. However if I ever go through water high enough the diff is submerged then I change the fluid straight away.

"Code 6 ● Replace rear differential fluid*

*If you tow your vehicle behind a motorhome, the transmission fluid must be changed every 2 years or 30,000 miles (48,000 km), whichever comes first."

For service information, today, you must buy a Factory Service Manual for your car…I have found that placing a powerful magnet inside automotive gear cases is cheap insurance.

Rear diff on CR-Vs has a very long history of specific problems, related to the hydraulic fluid condition etc. Had you googled it deep enough, you’d have found a lot of info on it… in short, you better change the fluid every 30K miles (sooner under harsh conditions), or may potentially risk variety of issues ranging from growling sound in the rear diff while car is turning, to a total disintegration of the differential. On my 2003, years ago I had that sound issue, did my research and since then change the fluid myself every 30 to 40K miles, also doing burnishing once in a while. You should only use specific Honda fluid.

I just checked the manual and no interval dates for maintenance, I think its computerized. I checked the recommended oil and its 0w20 for all climates?? Doesn’t matter if its freezing or a very hot summer day. Confusing. My 98 Crv owners manual has all the regular service intervals plus a whole list of oils for different climates.

Given the issues, I might do it every 30k or so, or when the code comes on. But 20k is too often, to me.

Older CRV’s have a recommended 30k service interval for diff fluid replacement. I’d go with that.

0w20 doesn’t sound right for diff oil. Normally we’re talking 80-90 wt. gear oil, and special lubes for limited-slip and positraction diffs. 0W-20 sounds like your engine oil. Check the manual again–I could be wrong but that sounds way too thin for this.

@umair, you’re talking about engine oil. The differential takes special Honda Dual Pump Fluid (DPF).

Yea I was talking about the engine oil and not the differential fluid. I was saying that 0w20 is very light oil and how can it protect in winter and also summer as recommended in the owners manual. Confusing. It says 0w20 will give protection from -30 to +40 Celsius and up.

Many recent cars use 0W-20. I wouldn’t worry about it. It’s synthetic, which helps.

It’s a function of how the parts in the engine are designed and machined, especially bearing clearances. Modern manufacturing techniques are much more precise than earlier efforts and allow for such a thin oil. Using a thicker oil will actually reduce lubrication efficiency and will cause accelerated wear. The oil will function properly in all seasons, so don’t worry about it. My 2008 Rav 4 also calls for 0w-20, and I use it without hesitation.

Yeah, saying that 0W-20 oil is too thin is like a guy from the 50s looking at your iPad or Android tablet and saying “That’s a computer?? Where’s the rest of it?”

Go on line and address your question to a CRV related forum. You get some really informative references and personal experiences on a crv related topics. When I have issue about the operation of my cars I do that. These guys have collectively “seen it all” and have a ton of suggestions explicitly for your car.

My 2006 CRV had “the grinding noise” when doing a tight turn at slow speed - like in a pking lot. Did a search. Found discussion of water getting into the rear dif through some kind of port. YouTube -UK has several videos on the correction - basically flush, refill, drive 20 min making tight turns or engage in drive on a lift, drain and refill. Solved the problem. Used my local garage. Cost @$100 US