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Honda CR-V Rear Differential Problem?

2001hondacrv2001hondacrv Posts: 11
edited December 2013 in Honda
First off, I love my CRV and have had few problems with it. I've searched the forums and it appears that I'm probably needing to have my rear differential fluid replaced or at least checked - I get a "rubbing" noise when making a hard turn, either left or right. Okay barring that - how dangerous is it to continue to drive w/out having it checked or replaced? And what could the end result end up being? Also, with my past dealer I explained this problem over and over and they had no clue what the problem was! ugh! Thanks in advance everyone.
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Comments

  • fdisk78fdisk78 Posts: 1
    I was just having the same issues with my 2007 CRV.

    In my case, it'd be either A) After the car's been idle, going slowly in reverse with the steering wheel cranked all the way to the right or left, it'd just start vibrating, or B) Sharper turns at speed -- seemed that the noise would come from the front.

    I just got back from the dealership and had the rear diff. fluid replaced, and seems like the noise is gone.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    First off, I love my CRV and have had few problems with it. I've searched the forums and it appears that I'm probably needing to have my rear differential fluid replaced or at least checked - I get a "rubbing" noise when making a hard turn, either left or right. Okay barring that - how dangerous is it to continue to drive w/out having it checked or replaced? And what could the end result end up being? Also, with my past dealer I explained this problem over and over and they had no clue what the problem was! ugh! Thanks in advance everyone.

    Replace the fluid with HONDA's Dual Pump fluid (You can only get it at the dealer, at about $6 a quart, you will need 1.2 quarts per change). If that does not help, replace 3 more times with driving for a day or two in between. If that does not help, then the differential is beyond repair. You can ghetto rig it by removing the propeller shaft and just drive in 2 WD mode.
  • wgn4snowwgn4snow Posts: 17
    Interestingly, I took my wife's 2003 CRV in for a regular oil change this week. With no complaint from me (I don't drive the car regularly) they did a road test, found a "rubbing noise" in the rear differential, and replaced the differential fluid under the Powertrain Warranty. I suspect that this is a known Honda issue amongst the dealers.
  • Thanks for your replies everyone! I was curious because I was about to embark on a 1,500 mile road trip last weekend, which ended up being fine. I did learn something though - I don't drive my car much (about 1,000 miles a year) because I take public transportation. The rubbing noise TOTALLY stopped on my trip, probably because the fluid got moving enough around to actually lubricate everything - amazing. No noise at all since I returned last Sunday. My car is scheduled to go in for service in another week (I have a front end rattle that sounds like a loose heat shield), so I'm going to ask about it as well. Since I don't drive a lot, I'm not sure how to correct the problem and I'm not sure of what the damage in the end could be. I appreciate all your responses!
  • cdamechcdamech Posts: 31
    Hi my wife has as 2006 Honda CR-V EX 4 WD Automatic. We had the vehicle for a year with 27Km on it. Starting about a month ago, she noticed the same problem of rubbing when she makes a sharp turn in either right or left. What I do not understand is how is this related to the Rear Differential Fluid.
  • I ended up taking my Honda in a month or so ago for a major tuneup (mine is the 2001). The rear differential is a lubricant for the back wheels (it has to do with turning speed of the wheels), think of it like an oil change. My Honda had 57,000 miles on it for its tuneup and when I asked the service people about it (Honda doesn't even mention changing the rear diff fluid until about 90K) - the service manager told me it's something that should be changed every 27K-30K miles, however, most people don't notice a problem (the rubbing noise) until closwer to where my mileage is. It sounds like you just need yours changed - I haven't had a problem since and mine is running like a brand new car! Hope this helps.

    NAS
  • mnfmnf Posts: 404
    I had this issue a month ago took it in they wanted to charge me for the rear differential change I mentioned the reading on this site and others on the issue and the good will warranty. Since I have been good customer over the years he gave me a good will warranty and did a N/C on me. Talk to them mentioned the good will warranty they should take care of it for you.

    Good Luck....
  • cdamechcdamech Posts: 31
    Hi Everyone. Thank-you for the advice. I took the 2006 CRV into the Dealer and the Service Associates knew about the problem immediately. I questioned what the issue was and they told me that it was contaminated fluid in the Rear Differential. They told me if was covered under the warranty and the procedure to fix this is to FLUSH the Rear Differential with new Fluid THREE (3) Times. I left the vehicle in the morning and it was complete by noon.

    My CRV is driving very smooth now and even the shaking when stopped at a Signal light in DRIVE Mode is now gone. I thought that was due to the 4 cylinder engine but WOW, this must be somehow related to the 4 Wheel Drive and you can feel it on the entire Drive Train. It is now gone.

    My only question is if HONDA knows about this, why are they quietly servicing customers? I wonder when the next this will appear again. The Maintenance schedule calls for at 90,000 KM but I ended up doing this at 28,000 KM. I will keep an eye on this and maybe do this FLUSH every 25,000 KM.

    I thought HONDAs were solid and I am now thinking not to purchase HONDA for my second vehicle.

    Anymore thoughts on how many people are seeing this and if HONDA has proactively done a Total RECALL on all CRVs to fix this? I checked RECALL web page for Honda CRVs and there is nothing.

    CDNMECH
  • Just my own personal opinion, but this is my third Honda and I think I've had the best experience of all my cars with Hondas - I wouldn't trade mine for anything in the world - even having to change the rear diff fluid every 28,000 miles! I've had the least amount of maintenance and/or problems with my Hondas, even less than the the Toyotas I had - or the Mitsubishi. I think Honda is a very solid choice, but again, my own .02!

    2001HondaCRV
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    Hi Everyone. Thank-you for the advice. I took the 2006 CRV into the Dealer and the Service Associates knew about the problem immediately. I questioned what the issue was and they told me that it was contaminated fluid in the Rear Differential. They told me if was covered under the warranty and the procedure to fix this is to FLUSH the Rear Differential with new Fluid THREE (3) Times. I left the vehicle in the morning and it was complete by noon.

    My CRV is driving very smooth now and even the shaking when stopped at a Signal light in DRIVE Mode is now gone. I thought that was due to the 4 cylinder engine but WOW, this must be somehow related to the 4 Wheel Drive and you can feel it on the entire Drive Train. It is now gone.

    My only question is if HONDA knows about this, why are they quietly servicing customers? I wonder when the next this will appear again. The Maintenance schedule calls for at 90,000 KM but I ended up doing this at 28,000 KM. I will keep an eye on this and maybe do this FLUSH every 25,000 KM.

    I thought HONDAs were solid and I am now thinking not to purchase HONDA for my second vehicle.

    Anymore thoughts on how many people are seeing this and if HONDA has proactively done a Total RECALL on all CRVs to fix this? I checked RECALL web page for Honda CRVs and there is nothing.

    CDNMECH


    Glad differential flush fixed your problem. Although I am not sure how the shaking was related to the differential, unless dealer also flushed the tranny (assuming you drive auto).

    There won't be a recall since this is not a safety related issue. The noise gives you enough warning to change the fluid.

    As to the longevity of the fluid, it depends on the amount of AWD action you get, and how wet your area is. There is a breather tube on top of the differential and water can get in, which dilutes the fluid.

    Generally, people have been changing rear differential fluid at 15,000 mile intervals and auto tranny fluid at 30,000 mile intervals.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    Hi my wife has as 2006 Honda CR-V EX 4 WD Automatic. We had the vehicle for a year with 27Km on it. Starting about a month ago, she noticed the same problem of rubbing when she makes a sharp turn in either right or left. What I do not understand is how is this related to the Rear Differential Fluid.

    "Rear differential" in the CR-V is not a real rear differential, but more like a transfer case and limited slip differential in one.

    On the 05-06 the fast acting cams engage the rear wheel when the front wheels turn faster than the rear, essentially transferring the power to the rear. Then the rest of the power is transferred through the same dual pump hydraulic system used on Honda's since 1986 Civic Wagon AWD (including 1997-2004 CR-V).

    The hydraulic system relies on speed differential to create enough pressure to activate the clutch packs to connect the rear wheels to the spinning propeller shaft.

    When fluid is old or contaminated it may inadvertently engnage the rear, and act as if the transfer case was locked in a conventional 4WD system, hence the scrubbing and the noise.

    When you turn, the inside wheels travel less distance than the outside wheels. This is side to side differential, CR-V has open differential. But, when you turn the front outside wheel travels more than the rear inside wheel, which in a conventional locked 4WD system will cause binding. Here the rear differential acts as a limited slip transfer case, allowing some slip front to rear so that the driveline does not bind.

    There is a great video on HondaSUV on how the "Real Time AWD" system works.
  • cdamechcdamech Posts: 31
    Thanks blueiedgod; That now explains why fluid is important. I am an Engineer and I am now concerned that this is a complex mechanism using fluid and mechanical linkages. For the main power plant of a vehicle, it should be built to last and should not be so sensitive. Honda should keep it simple as they are asking for trouble when this complex. I am now convinced that they should create a breather to let air in/out but keep moisture out OR Seal it tight. They are asking for trouble. I am now more convinced simple engineering principles were not used in the design and I will change fluid every 25,000 Km instead of the 90,000 Km maintenance schedule.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    Thanks blueiedgod; That now explains why fluid is important. I am an Engineer and I am now concerned that this is a complex mechanism using fluid and mechanical linkages. For the main power plant of a vehicle, it should be built to last and should not be so sensitive. Honda should keep it simple as they are asking for trouble when this complex. I am now convinced that they should create a breather to let air in/out but keep moisture out OR Seal it tight. They are asking for trouble. I am now more convinced simple engineering principles were not used in the design and I will change fluid every 25,000 Km instead of the 90,000 Km maintenance schedule.

    It is actaully a lot simpler than other automatic AWD systems out there. Think of VTM that Honda uses on the Pilot/Ridgeline/MDX, it is controlled by the main computer.

    I think that Marketing people got a hold of the maintenance schedule and changed the intervals, just like they changed the valve adjustment intervals on the First Generation CR-V from 15,000 mile (Acura Integra) to 90,000 mile intervals on the CR-V, which uses essentially the same engine.

    If you want simple design, Honda is probably not going to fit the bill. The engine in your CR-V constantly advances or retards timing depending on the load, speed, throttle position, and octane rating of the gas.

    Then, on top of that, the engine (Gen 2 and up) switches from 12 valve operation (from idle to 2500 RPM, VTEC-E mode) to 16 valve operation (from 2500 RPM to 5000 RPM), and then the lift and duration of the valves is adjusted to the high RPM operation (not on CR-V, but on Acura TSX, which is 90% the same). While at the same time changing the ignition advance or retardation.

    Honda is not about simplicity. Everything they do is about pushing the limits of engineering. But making sure that longevity is preserved. Honda engines pretty much outlive the shell.

    The new A-VTEC engines that are going into the 2008 Accord are going to be the most advanced gasoline engines out there.

    Honda had first VTEC in a mass produced vehicle in 1991, it took the rest of the companies at least 10 years to catch up. Now, everyone has a version of it, VVTL-i, VANOS... ect.
  • fnamowiczfnamowicz Posts: 191
    What kind of an Engineer are you? and since you mention mechanical linkages are you talking about the transmission or differential.
  • lcierilcieri Posts: 2
    I purchased my 2006 Honda CRV a year ago April. It now has 25,000 miles on it. I have heard a clunking noise underneath the car since I have owned it. I keep taking it to the dealer and they say that they can not duplicate it. It recently started to make a different noise when I would turn sharply to the right or left. I took it in and they did not ackonwledge the problem about the contamination of the rear differential fluid until after they had flushed it 3 times. My paper work described the problem and noted as per a Honda bulletin. The dealer now says that the orginal clunking noise may have been a part of the rear differential problem. I have not test driven the car yet to know if the 2 problems are related.

    I have also have intermitten shaking problems when braking. In addition I have a problem with the car gearing down after I have taken my foot off of the brake.

    I am concerned about how the fluid is becoming contaminated. I have spoken to some people who have said that there is something breaking down-failing that is causing the contamination. Do you know what causes the contamination?
  • nplattnplatt Posts: 1
    Yesterday I went and had the rear differential fluid changed as well for the noise in the rear of our CRV. Ours only had about 21,000 km (13,000 miles) so I am worried about what the long term maintenance issues are. I have seen the service bulletin that the Honda technicians have seen and says to replace the clutch as well. Ours is a 2007 model EX-L that was purchased last mid December.I am wondering out loud if this will be an ongoing issue or and occasional maintenance thing. When I went to pick up the CRV a receptionist gave me the keys so, no contact with anyone with any knowledge. And when I dropped off the CRV nothing was said from the service advisor either. Conspiracy of silence?
  • tedtcbtedtcb Posts: 39
    I have 32K on my 2006 SE and just heard the noise this past week- When I called the dealer the service manger immediately asked “Did we change the rear differential on your car” My Response was no so he said bring it in tomorrow.
    The thing is, this is my 15th Honda since 1977 and so far I have more problems with the CRV than any other Honda I’ve ever owned.
    At 25K the check engine light came on—the problem was a “Fuel tank pressure sensor” It took the dealer two attempts to at least get the light off, but the car has never been the same. The accelerator pedal feels “hard” Cruise Control is slow to respond and feels sluggish on grades and gas mileage is barely 24.
    The vehicle was assembled in UK
    Comments?
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    Honda just released Dual Pump Fluid II to replace the old Dual Pump fluid used in the CR-V.
  • lcierilcieri Posts: 2
    http://www.crvownersclub.com/TSBs/2001/01-079.pdf

    I was very surprised to find out that this is an on going old problem and the dealers just wait until a consumer complains about the noise. My dealer did mention "as per bulletin" in the repair paper work but did not tell me that this is an on going problem. I had thought that this must be a new problem related to the 2006 model. I am feeling very uneasy about the performance of the car.
  • drive62drive62 Posts: 637
    The TSB you linked was for CR-V models starting in 1997. If this was causing real problems I think you'd hear a bit more about it. It's a maintenance item that needs to be done a little more frequently than they originally thought.
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