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Old 04-11-2012, 7:01 PM   #1
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Rear Differential Fluid Change ( Never trust Dealer )

I bring in my 2012 MDX in for oil change, software update and tire rotation. I get a call from service stating that my Rear Diff fluid looks dirty and I should change. I explain that I believe I got it done last year. He looks it up and states I got it done when the MDX had 14,000 miles and I should change every 15,000 miles, the MDX has 35,000 miles on it now. I was in the middle of a meeting and I said ok do it ($80.00). Then I thought about it...my MID didn't indicate that I needed it, so I looked at my manual and it states if drive in a mountainous region or tow you should do first change at 7500 miles then every 15,000 miles....well I live in FLA FLAT AS CAN BE and I don't tow anything! Well they got me this time but my question is this, the manual does not state if you drive in normal conditions what intervals should change my rear diff fluid??? Sorry for the long story but wanted to vent....dealers are stealers! Thanks
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Old 04-11-2012, 8:55 PM   #2
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Dealer is always looking to make some extra $$. You always have the option of saying no, but they caught you at a week moment.
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:35 AM   #3
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Diff fluid dirty.. how the fuck would he know that? BTW.. I have never seen the rear diff fluid come out much different then when it went in.

Fucking stealerships. If this guy called me, I would have laughed by ass off. I think most service writers are failed insurance and shoes salesman.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:52 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Gsmooth33 View Post
I bring in my 2012 MDX in for oil change, software update and tire rotation. I get a call from service stating that my Rear Diff fluid looks dirty and I should change. I explain that I believe I got it done last year. He looks it up and states I got it done when the MDX had 14,000 miles and I should change every 15,000 miles, the MDX has 35,000 miles on it now. I was in the middle of a meeting and I said ok do it ($80.00). Then I thought about it...my MID didn't indicate that I needed it, so I looked at my manual and it states if drive in a mountainous region or tow you should do first change at 7500 miles then every 15,000 miles....well I live in FLA FLAT AS CAN BE and I don't tow anything! Well they got me this time but my question is this, the manual does not state if you drive in normal conditions what intervals should change my rear diff fluid??? Sorry for the long story but wanted to vent....dealers are stealers! Thanks
Just follow the maintenance minder, it will tell you when it needs to be replaced. It's not going to hurt anything that they replaced it, so take a glass half full approach and feel good about the fresh fluid. It's common practice to call and say "we noticed this needs replacing" hoping to catch you off guard and uninformed.
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Old 04-12-2012, 1:05 PM   #5
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I had my maint. minder come on for a B16 service, which the 6 is the rear diff fluid. I did get it changed as per car, not what the dealer told me. I have 9,600 miles on the car but drive very short trips everyday.

Total cost was $180 with taxes here in NY. Also did the software update for the recall with the auto trans.

Everything seems to be fine now. Of course, they wanted to do more but told them no.
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Old 04-12-2012, 6:42 PM   #6
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A while back, during an oil change, my dealer told me the MID was calling out B16, but then he told me to hold off until the next oil change because in his words " a lot of people were bitching about this coming on so soon".......I had something like 7500 miles then. I got it done at 12K.
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Old 04-12-2012, 8:25 PM   #7
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Diff fluid dirty.. how the fuck would he know that? BTW.. I have never seen the rear diff fluid come out much different then when it went in.

Fucking stealerships. If this guy called me, I would have laughed by ass off. I think most service writers are failed insurance and shoes salesman.
Funny! So true....I was in a rush when that jerk off called but lesson learned....can't stand the stealers! Oh well fresh fluid
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Old 04-14-2012, 2:03 PM   #8
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Sale commisions of dealer non dealer service is what fuels this.
I still have not yet reached my first rear diff service but after reading this ... I will have them retain the oil when my 10 K minder calls for it.
Maybe he put his dirty finger in the plug to determine this.
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Old 04-16-2012, 7:47 PM   #9
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like someone above said, they cannot check if it is clean or dirty, second, the diff fluid always come out above the same color comparing new even it is 15k miles old ...
last, try change it yourself, it took me 20 min max, and you dont even need to lift your car, it is easily accessible from behind (need to lowered your spare tire) and process only involved unplug a fill and drain plug.
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Old 05-05-2012, 7:11 AM   #10
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Just to clear up any confusion and misleading information here, but I work for Acura as a certified Technician. The Diff is usually due around 10-15K, all depending on your driving habits and if your towing. The reason it's due so often is because of how the diff is designed. The fluid breaks down quickly and will cause a differential chatter while making sharp to moderate turns and accelerating. A lot of the CRV's have differential chatter and it was due to the fluid breaking down quickly, unlike Acura they don't use SH-AWD Diff's. 2007-2010 (2010 some diff's took new fluid) Use RED Honda ATF, some 2010 and all current 2011+ models use a new fluid called DPSF, it looks like gear oil. DPSF is easier to compare between new and used fluid, the color is off and generally speaking by much. Hope this cleared up any questions.
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Old 05-05-2012, 8:33 AM   #11
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I go to Superior Acura at Cincinnati. The guys there are very very sensible and in my opinion dont believe in making a killing. Every once in a while I do get the "we noticed this and that" but following it comes a "here's the recommendation or come stop by and we will show what is going on".

So it all comes down to how much you trust them. If you dont..never take it back again. If you do.. then maintain a long term relationship that pays off symbiotically.
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:38 AM   #12
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Just to clear up any confusion and misleading information here, but I work for Acura as a certified Technician. The Diff is usually due around 10-15K, all depending on your driving habits and if your towing. The reason it's due so often is because of how the diff is designed. The fluid breaks down quickly and will cause a differential chatter while making sharp to moderate turns and accelerating. A lot of the CRV's have differential chatter and it was due to the fluid breaking down quickly, unlike Acura they don't use SH-AWD Diff's. 2007-2010 (2010 some diff's took new fluid) Use RED Honda ATF, some 2010 and all current 2011+ models use a new fluid called DPSF, it looks like gear oil. DPSF is easier to compare between new and used fluid, the color is off and generally speaking by much. Hope this cleared up any questions.
I totally get what you' re saying but the question still remains: did they open the rear diff fill plug to see that it was dirty or did the service guy just made it up?
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Old 05-05-2012, 4:50 PM   #13
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I totally get what you' re saying but the question still remains: did they open the rear diff fill plug to see that it was dirty or did the service guy just made it up?
Usually no, we don't check the fluid condition unless we hear chatter coming from the diff. I'd tell you to follow the MID screen and wait for the number 6 to come up. Now again general rule of thumb is 10-15k, so it's not uncommon to recommend the diff service every 10-15k even if your vehicle didn't call for it. Doesn't hurt anything by doing it sooner, it will hurt if you keep pushing it off.
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Old 05-06-2012, 9:50 AM   #14
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G, how many rear diffs have you had to replace? Must be the worst fucking job ever.
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Old 05-06-2012, 2:26 PM   #15
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G, how many rear diffs have you had to replace? Must be the worst fucking job ever.
???????
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Old 05-06-2012, 5:13 PM   #16
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???????
Not you, 04WDP (Gus).
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Old 05-06-2012, 7:16 PM   #17
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Not you, 04WDP (Gus).
Truth be told, it's a straight forward job really simple. Takes us about 30 mins to do. Ive done a few on the 1st gen MDX's and only 1 newer MDX.
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Old 05-06-2012, 9:10 PM   #18
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Truth be told, it's a straight forward job really simple. Takes us about 30 mins to do. Ive done a few on the 1st gen MDX's and only 1 newer MDX.
Really? A local Master Tech told me it's a bitch to do, said he'd rather replace a trans than the rear diff. How many have you had to do though (frequency)? Like for every 2 MDX trans, you get 1 diff or more like for every 5 trans, you do one diff.
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Old 05-07-2012, 6:15 AM   #19
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Really? A local Master Tech told me it's a bitch to do, said he'd rather replace a trans than the rear diff. How many have you had to do though (frequency)? Like for every 2 MDX trans, you get 1 diff or more like for every 5 trans, you do one diff.
The shop does way more Transmissions than diffs hands down. They would do about 15 Transmissions before seeing a diff replacement. I doubt your local mechanic would love to replace a trans on the 07-11 MDX body, now that's a bitch to do.
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Old 05-07-2012, 9:47 AM   #20
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Good to know, not upgrading to the 2G X.
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Old 09-03-2012, 1:46 PM   #21
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what kind of differential do you guys prefer to use on an 04 mdx?
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Old 09-03-2012, 3:50 PM   #22
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what kind of differential do you guys prefer to use on an 04 mdx?
It's still recommended to use VTM4 on first gens.. including 1.5 gens. If it aint broke, don't fix it.
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Old 05-08-2014, 5:50 PM   #23
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Just to clear up any confusion and misleading information here, but I work for Acura as a certified Technician. The Diff is usually due around 10-15K, all depending on your driving habits and if your towing. The reason it's due so often is because of how the diff is designed. The fluid breaks down quickly and will cause a differential chatter while making sharp to moderate turns and accelerating. A lot of the CRV's have differential chatter and it was due to the fluid breaking down quickly, unlike Acura they don't use SH-AWD Diff's. 2007-2010 (2010 some diff's took new fluid) Use RED Honda ATF, some 2010 and all current 2011+ models use a new fluid called DPSF, it looks like gear oil. DPSF is easier to compare between new and used fluid, the color is off and generally speaking by much. Hope this cleared up any questions.
So my issue is my drain plug is seized. I've tried and had local Firestone try to break it loose. Firestone mechanic said he was concerned the aluminum diff would crack and he hesitated to use heat because of the aluminum housing. 2007 has 86,000 and I have not changed fluid since we got the car with 64k miles. I know it needs to be changed but don't want this to become super costly. Diff makes no noise. Any thoughts?
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Old 05-08-2014, 6:04 PM   #24
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Shop sounds a bunch of sissies. Definitely don't use heat, that guy is a derp. Definitely don't fuck up the rear diff. It's a bitch to replace and expensive.

Lift the rear, get a long breaker bar, tighten at first, then loosen. It should pop. Some modest pops with a hammer at the end of the breaker bar should help as well, just don't strip the plug (make sure it's secured).
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:53 AM   #25
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I just follow the MID. first one came up a little early. After that, it's been every second or third maintenance minder that I have to change the differential fluid.
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