Tuesday, November 10, 2009

CRV--changing the differential oil

Supplies Required: (Photo 2) (Available at your dealer or HandA)

A) 2 Quarts of Honda Dual Pump Fluid II (Capacity of the 2007 is 1.3 quarts)

B) 2 Crush Washers, 20 mm, Honda Part Number 94109 – 20000

Caution! You must use Honda Dual Pump Fluid II. Using any other fluid will result in the destruction of the clutch plates in the rear differential. (Photo 3)

Tools Required: (Photo 2)

A) 3/8" ratchet

B) 3/8" extension 3” long (optional)

C) collection pan – big enough to hold 1.3 quarts (I cut down a windshield washer fluid jug, milk jugs are too flimsy)

D) rags or paper towels

E) 5/8" Outside Diameter Hose 10’ long Weber brand available at Lowes.

F) Funnel and hose clamp also available at Lowes (Items E & F were $6.00 total)

G) Scotch Bright or a pan scrubber

Time Required: 30 to 45 minutes


Step 1. Change into some grubby clothes. To protect your skin from contact with the fluid, wear oil resistant gloves.

Step 2. Shut off your engine, make sure the car is in park and the brake is set.

Step 3. Collect your supplies and tools. You don't need to jack the car up. It is a little harder without the car elevated, but it is much safer. Do not jack up your car unless you are very knowledgeable on how to raise the car and support it safely.

Step 4. (Photo 4). Gather your drain pan, ratchet, 3” extension, and paper towels. Let’s take a peek in the nether regions and see what we are getting into. Photo 4 shows the rear differential and the locations of the fill and drain plugs. Each plug has a square 3/8” hole that matches the square drive of a 3/8” drive ratchet. We will use a short extension to get the ratchet head out away from the housing. Personally I hate that “righty tighty lefty loosey” nonsense. Before you climb under, set the ratchet so that it turns the extension in the counter-clockwise direction, and ratchets in the clockwise direction. Under the car, facing the wrong way, it is easy to get it backwards.

Step 5. (Photo 5) Take a piece of Scotch Bright or a pan scour pad and clean the areas around each plug. The goal is not to make it shiny, but to knock off the loose crud so that it won’t end up in your differential. Caution! If you have driven the vehicle in the past few minutes, feel the differential housing. If it feels hot to the touch, let the differential cool some more before working on it.

Step 6. (Photo 6) OK, now the fun starts. I was totally amazed at how tight both plugs were. Make sure your ratchet is set to spin the extension Counter Clockwise and ratchet in the Clockwise direction. You really don’t want to tighten this plug. We are going to loosen the fill plug first. Why? There have been reports of being able to get the drain plug out but not the fill…a bit of a sticky wicket one would think. Alright, put the square end of the extension into the plug. Try to pay some attention to where your knuckles will end up when the plug breaks loose. Pusssshhh! Agggghhhh! Crack! Sounds like a gun going off. Use one of the paper towels to wipe up the blood from your knuckles. Don’t take the plug out, just loosen it.

Step 12 (Photo 12 a & 12b) When you open your bottle of Genuine Honda Dual Pump Fluid II (the only thing you can use), be sure to remove all of the foil seal. While her ladyship, the lovely Dame Black Pearl provided precision pouring (photo 12 a), I manned the nether regions to keep an eye on the progress (photo 12 b). Pour in the entire first quart. Then slowly add the 0.3 (9.6 ounces) of the second quart. Somewhere between 8 to 10 ounces, it started to run out of the fill hole.

Step 13 Place a new crush washer on the fill plug (photo 13 a). When the fluid runs out the fill hole, pull out the fill hose and re-install the fill plug with the new crush washer. Torque the plug to 35 ft-lbs. (photo 13 b). Remove the fill hose from the nether regions of your V. Use care not to slop fluid on the exhaust pipe or rear brake disk and calipers.

Step 14 Tightly recap the unused portion of remaining second quart. Drain the residual oil from your fill hose and store it in plastic bag so it doesn’t get dirty. Clean up the mess. Recycle the fluid. If your other scheduled services are done, reset the Maintenance Minder. (Photo 14) Record the mileage and date in your maintenance records. Keep your receipts to protect your warranty.

Photo 15: The used oil. Hmmmm! Not the greatest looking stuff. It didn’t smell bad. I checked the bottom of the pan and there was no particulate. This oil has 16,000 miles. Suburban driving, no off road, no immersions in water, and a little winter action but not excessive. I have had no noise problems.


  1. http://www.crvownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6585

  2. One thing I tried that seemed to work well is the fill device I had laying around for whatever reason. I think it was purchased at autozone for a couple of bucks like 3 years ago, but it worked well. You can screw it onto the plastic container of fluid and have it turned off so no fluid will come out until the yellow end is turned 1/4 turn. There is enough room to have the plastic container lay fairly flat, but still being above the level of the fill hole. Once set, a 1/4 turn and let it flow. One other thing I did was pour the .3 quart in the empty container from the full one and it just barely started to run out the fill hole when done. Keep the drain pan under your work area and not a drop spilled.

  3. http://www.piloteers.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=15667 PICTURE

  4. http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29533

    You can use some sorta pump (like the one I left at work) or a funnel and some hose to replace the fluid. I used a hose clamp to affix a piece of vinyl tube ( ½” ID x 5/8” OD) to a funnel and routed the hose around the rear wheel and across the axle to the diff.