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Honda CR-V Rear Differential Problem?

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  • mickdmickd Posts: 9
    I have a 2007 CR-V. I heard the grinding sound on sharp turns and had the differential fluid changed at no charge (after some discussion) at my dealership. That was at around 30K miles. The sound has not returned. I now have 63K miles and am planning a cross-country road trip soon so I made an appointment to have the fluid change again. The cost will be $59.99. I don't think this is unreasonable. This is my 2nd CR-V and 3rd Honda. No, I have never had to do this with any of my other cars. Sure, it would be nice if Honda admitted that there is a problem here. But Honda makes great cars. I will continue to own Hondas and considering the low cost of owning a Honda in general, I will just consider this maintenance, just like oil changes. (What bothers me more is NOT changing my oil every 3-4K miles).
  • tedtcbtedtcb Posts: 39
    Mickd Writes: (What bothers me more is NOT changing my oil every 3-4K miles).

    Why don't you? I change my oil every 3K, always have, always will
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    Well, add another to the list. I encountered the same "grinding" noise, a friend said it could be the differential. I did my net search, found this forum as well as others before taking in my CRV to the dealership. When I took it into the dealership, they told me they would look at it and let me know. They called me 2 hours later and told me the differential fluid needed to be changed (32k), would do it for free. That is when I told them I was aware of TSB07-21 and and TSB07-24. During my conversation, the :"shift" was always towards consumer blame on behalf of the dealership and claimed that the manual does state changes every 15-20K(not). They agreed to do the fluid change and burnishing free of charge this time, but told me there would be a charge in the future, as if they expect it to happen again. My main concern is what happens if the differential locks up? I have the Honda Care extended warranty, but it states that "mechanical breakdowns due to contaminated fluids are not covered". The way Tsb07-24 is worded is "noise from contaminated fluid" appears to indicate a loophole for convering differential replacement resulting from their problem. Should I contact Honda Corporate? Concerned my $$$ was wasted on the extended warranty for defective craftsmanship................

    How is changing differential fluid a defective craftsmanship? Sounds like part of regular maintenance regimen.

    However, since we are all experts on what defective craftsmanship and what is not, on these boards...

    Please tell us, in your expert opinion, what do you expect the dual pump fluid to last (distance and time) in this particular application?

    Also, what chemical modifications would you, as an expert, perform to prolong the life of the dual pump differential fluid?

    Perhaps provide a sample chemical formulation for the new and improved dual pump fluid that satisfies the regimen outlined in the first suggestion.

    Feel free to use organic and inorganic friction and viscosity modifiers, and bear in mind the cost limitation of the per quart value that average consumer is willing to pay.

    Thank you. Looking forward to expert's advice.

    :shades:
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,184
    The fluid should last as long as the owner's manual says it should. I assume Honda breaks it down by miles/time and normal or severe service. Is the manual wrong?

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  • tedtcbtedtcb Posts: 39
    Steve writes: Is the manual wrong?

    You're joking right?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,184
    No.

    And I change my oil every 7,500 miles too. Just like my manual says to do. Any more frequent is just a waste of good oil imo. I guess it's fine if you are one of those oil change hobbyists but that's not me.

    Why wouldn't you want to follow the service recommendations as published by Honda. Don't you trust their engineers?

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  • mickdmickd Posts: 9
    The last time I had the oil changed (at around 5K/ 60% on the maintenance minder) the mechanic said I was wasting my money to do it more often than when the maintenance minder got down to 20-30%. He said he used to work for a Honda shop and these cars are so "efficient" that the oil just doesn't need to be changed more often. I am old school and it just feels WRONG to go that long. But I am not the expert...
  • tedtcbtedtcb Posts: 39
    For my first 15- 20 years as a Honda owner, I changed the oil myself.
    For the least 10-15 my mechanic does a “service” every 3K. We drive 240 miles a weekend up north and back and the way I figure it, yes, it’s overkill, but no one ever robbed life from a vehicle by changing the oil too much.

    Did I forget to mention that I also change my transmission fluid with every fill up? ;)
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Did I forget to mention that I also change my transmission fluid with every fill up?

    Weren't you the guy who said you could change your transmission fluid in 30 seconds flat? :P

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • tedtcbtedtcb Posts: 39
    No tidester, you're confusing me with some other lunatic

    t
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,638
    Some people are adverse to spending one more nickle on maintenance than they have to. Those maximum numbers are for those kind of people. Other people like to take better care of their cars than that.

    So, how much longer will an engine last that has had 3-4000 mile oil changes vs. one that only gets an oil change every 7500 miles?

    I don't really know. I do know they guys in our shop change the oil in their own cars pretty often.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,184
    The Europeans have been on 10k plus oil change intervals for lots longer than the US and I can't believe their engineering and oil standards are that much better than ours, or that they have worse driving conditions. My van has 132k on it with 7,500+ mile intervals on the oil, and one drain and fill on the transmission, and I think it's more likely to die from non-oil or transmission fluid related causes.

    The data I've read over the years (the infamous CR taxi study and all the fleet reports) doesn't show that more frequent fluid changes increases the life of the drivetrain for most people.

    If Honda's engineers thought that the pumpkin needed to be lubed every 30k, I think they would have put that in the owner's manual.

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,638
    If Honda's engineers thought that the pumpin needed to be lubed every 30K I think they would have put that in their owner's manual"

    Yep but different people drive their cars under different condtions. If I still lived in So. Calif, it is doubtful that our CRV would ever engage 4WD. In that case the fluid maight last the life of the car.

    In a snowy climate or under hard use, 90,000 might be pushing it.

    It snows here sometimes so I changed mind at 30K. Not expensive to do and no big deal!
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    If Honda's engineers thought that the pumpkin needed to be lubed every 30k, I think they would have put that in the owner's manual.

    Apparantely, the maintenance minder system does require differential change at around 15,000 miles now, and people are complaining about it being too often.

    You can't win.
  • We have the opportunity to purchase a 2005 CRV EX with only 29K miles on it at a very good price. The ownership record is as good as one could ask for (one owner, purchased/serviced regularly and traded in for the newest same model all at the same dealership from which we're looking to purchase). I had seen the Consumer Reports ding on the '05/'06 and began investigations which led me to this thread. :-}

    I've read each and every post to date. I'm naturally inclined to lean toward the group that views this as a maintenance issue realizing we need to change the differential fluid more often than the manual may state. My husband is a most competent DIYer. Is the fluid change/clutch burnishing something he should be able to contend with himself? My biggest concern there is his time. It is valuable to us and we'd need to decide, based on time required, whether it's worth it to take it in to the dealership to do.

    Past that, I guess I'm just looking for a bit more peace of mind since I have just read through all the posts (good and the bad). This car will be for our teen driver (who has learned to drive on our Tundra and Sienna so the size of this vehicle is not an issue). We shopped primarily for VSC and our journey has led us to this car which is being "certified" (7 yr/100,000mi power train warranty) in the Honda shop Monday.

    We're to test drive it Tuesday am after the certification process and detailing are complete. Meanwhile, my sister in law test drove it yesterday. (The dealership is out of town from us but where she lives). She noted an intermittent noise that seemed to emit from the front left tire at around 40 mph but nothing like what has been described in this thread that others have experienced with their rear differential.

    The salesman informed me that, due to the already terrific price on the vehicle, if it needs new tires (he also heard the noise and suspects possible steel belt breakage in the tire) we would need to fund them. We're fine with that (unless, of course, the problem is traced to the rear differential issue). I'll be calling them first thing tomorrow morning to share with them what I've learned and to make sure that that aspect (RD) of this car is thoroughly evaluated. Is there anything in particular you'd recommend I say?

    Past that, with reason, please share your thoughts on the reliability/serviceability of this particular car for our teen driver. (I'm sure there will be a few in this thread who would respond with something to the effect "No way, Jose!" because of your individual issues with your car). I'm looking for a more general consensus based on the history of the car over all rather than an isolated incident here or there.

    We aim to purchase something for her that will see her through college and would buy new, if necessary, to have a car with the VSC. Meanwhile, we found this one and it has look really good to us thus far, primarily because of the ownership record and the low mileage.

    Thanks in advance.
  • I meant to ask, too - we live in southeastern United States. How often would you recommend we change the differential fluid if there are no symptoms (groaning/moaning with turns, etc) of trouble?
  • Scrapperanne, I am an owner of a 2006. My only problem with it has been this rear differential problem. The car has been fine otherwise.

    If you read the technical bulletin, you will see that the car has to be lifted on a lift and left to run for 10 minutes before the fluid is changed again. I don't know how much equipment your husband has, but this is (in my book) a bit beyond a DIY job.

    Francis
  • Thanks for the response. Would you buy your car if you had it to do over again? We are long time Honda/Toyota drivers (more than two decades of ownership now) and believe in the relative quality of their products. Have the pros outweighed this con for you in your mind regarding your vehicle?
  • I have a 2001 CRV which I purchased in 2003 with 27,000 miles. I still have my CRV as my only vehicle and it now is getting ready to turn over 80,000 miles. If you are able to get a 2005 with only 29,000 miles on it at a great price, I'd go for it. This will be a fantastic car for your son.

    My dealer told me that the rear diff needs to be changed approximately every 15K miles. Now, given that I've put 50,000 miles on my car in the last 6 years, I don't drive it all that much. I've had my rear diff changed twice and it's due again. I live in Ohio, it runs me about $120 to have done and I wait for it.

    I've done normal maintenance on my car over the last six years, timing belt change, new clutch, oil changes, etc. and this CRV is absolutely the best car I've had to date hands down (I've had Toyotas and other Hondas as well). I think especially for a teen, this will be a great vehicle in good weather and bad - I have a 16 yo son who is learning to drive now, although isn't able to drive my 5 speed yet, but I wouldn't hesitate to get him the same thing.

    Good luck with the test drive - I would ask the dealer to make sure the rear diff is changed before you do take it - when I first bought mine (out of state), they told me it was the brakes, which I had replaced at that time. The rear diff is an easy fix.
  • Thanks for taking the time to respond. Our teen driver (a daughter, actually) turns 17 this November. She's not driving actively just yet, either, but when this opportunity presented itself, we couldn't look the other way. I figure if she waits another year to drive, I can at least use this vehicle to escort her to her various and sundry activities and save the mileage on my Sienna which is a 2005 and has $86,000K on it! :P
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,638
    You really have nothing at all to worry about. Minor things can get so overblown in these forums! The vast majority of CRV's will never have any kind of a problem with their differentials making noise.

    I change our rear diff fluid in our CRV every 30K and that's probably overkill.

    If you had read the fourms before you bought your Sienna, you probably wouldn't have bought it! Some V-6 Toyotas had problems with their oil sludging up and ruining the engines. The forums made it sound like EVERY Sienna was doomed to premature failure but as a percentage, very few were affected.

    The people who had the problems wee the people who stretched out their oil changes too long.

    I suppose if Sienna owners read these tales of sludge it may have led them to rethink their oil change schedule.
  • Thank you for this note of encouragement. Incidentally, I LOVE my Sienna and could not be more pleased. (My husband does change the oil regularly. ;) ) Actually, I've purchased two, new since 2001 and my first one (sold to my sister) is going strong as well. :D
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,638
    The bad publicity I'm sure hurt Toyota as these problems tend to get over amplified in forums such as this. Misery loves company and a lot of people love to blame their lack of attention to the manufacturer.

    V-6 Toyota engines probably are more sensitive to lack of oil changes than some other cars and people who skimp on oil changes end up with sludged engines.

    For people like you and me and most others, there would never be a problem.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    I own an 05 EX AWD, and change the fluid once a year. I am in Buffalo, so AWD gets its daily work out between the months of October and April.

    I have yet to have to burnish the clutches. It is only needed when the noise is persistent. A simple fluid change is all it needs. Use Honda DPF od DPFII, there is no aftermarket alternative.

    Also, if the vehicle you are looking at is automatic, change the ATF as well. Use Honda ATF Z-1 only, there is no substitute.

    Brake fluid needs to be changed every 3 years, regardless of mileage. You can use Honda DOT3, or quality DOT 3 fluid. I prefer using Honda fluids in all of my Hondas.

    I do all my own maintenance, it is not difficult. A couple of jackstands, an SUV jack and a set of tools is all one would need. Helm Inc publishes the official shop manual for Honda, and sells them to the public. It is great for DIYer!!!! It has all the specs and detailed diagrams.

    If the CR-V you are looking at has the original Dueler H/T tires they are way past their useful life. When looking at tires, you should buy all 4 at the same time, as the AWD system is activated by the difference in rotation velocity between front and rear wheel. Different tires may or may not set it off and cause binding, overheating, and/or failure.

    I am just curious what you would consider a good deal on a 2005 CR-V EX AWD (I would assume) with 29,000 miles?
  • wardbobwardbob Posts: 2
    Where can I find the technical bulletin?

    Thanks!

    Bob
  • motoguy128motoguy128 Posts: 146
    So, how much longer will an engine last that has had 3-4000 mile oil changes vs. one that only gets an oil change every 7500 miles?

    You're assuming that oil at 7500 miles offers significantly less protection than at 4000. Why not change hte oil at 1000 then? Why is 3000 OK and 2000 too short???

    The reality is 3000 miles itnervals were originally used as a standard for older cars with inferior engine seals, piston rings, incomplete combustion, among other issues. On top of that, oil quality and performance has improved dramatically.

    All mfg's recommed at least 5000 and most 7500 or even 10,000 unless it's "severe" duty, where the engine spnds a lot of time idling (taxis, police cars, commercial use) or at high RPM's (towing).
  • I am fighting to have my 2006 Honda CR-V repaired. My differential is also making noise. The dealership in Co Springs; Front Range Honda, told me that I needed to change the differential fluid at 10,000 miles and since I didn't have it changed then I basically breeched my warrenty and now I have to pay for any repairs!! What a lie!
    I have called Am Honda Motor Co., Inc and they just repeated what the dealership told me! Can you believe this!? I even told them that my manual states that 90,000 miles or 5 years is the recommeded time for changing differential fluid and they still tell me that it should have been done at 10,000 miles!!! I am so angry that they are talking to me like this. I can't believe that they keep telling me this outright lie to my face! I am fighting a fight but who do I call now? Help - I'm pulling my hair out!:-
    :mad:
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,184
    I think the FTC handles Magnuson-Moss warranty type complaints.

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  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    I am fighting to have my 2006 Honda CR-V repaired. My differential is also making noise. The dealership in Co Springs; Front Range Honda, told me that I needed to change the differential fluid at 10,000 miles and since I didn't have it changed then I basically breeched my warrenty and now I have to pay for any repairs!! What a lie!
    I have called Am Honda Motor Co., Inc and they just repeated what the dealership told me! Can you believe this!? I even told them that my manual states that 90,000 miles or 5 years is the recommeded time for changing differential fluid and they still tell me that it should have been done at 10,000 miles!!! I am so angry that they are talking to me like this. I can't believe that they keep telling me this outright lie to my face! I am fighting a fight but who do I call now? Help - I'm pulling my hair out!:-


    Call Honda corporate and explain that if they did not issue an ammended manual with the 10,000 mile intervals they are violating FTC regulations and can be subject to sanctions.
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