Temporary Edit: New Copy
DISCLAIMER: Alas the fine print, except it is not fine because I want you to actually read it. Use these instructions at your own risk! Read through the instructions to the end before starting any work. If there is any area that you do not understand or feel is beyond your competence, do not perform this work. You assume all responsibility for the proper and safe maintenance of your vehicle.
APPLICABILITY: The specific information in this procedure is applicable only to the 2007 US model CRV with a 2.4 liter gasoline engine with 4WD. The method should generally be applicable to any 4WD CR-V, but specific details such as the size and location of the plugs and the capacity of the fluid may differ.
The rear differential fluid should be changed when the maintenance minder displays a sub code 6. In photo 1 below, B 16 (red arrow) is displayed. This means that the tasks in maintenance schedule B should be performed but also subcode 1 (rotate tires) and subcode 6 (change the rear differential fluid). From reports of various club members, it appears as though the subcode 6 will appear between 15,000 and 20,000 miles on the second oil change.
This procedure is meant only for those owners who are changing their fluid due to the normal maintenance schedule. If your vehicle is making noise from the rear end in tight turns, especially if it is still under warranty, you should return the vehicle to your dealer and have the problem properly documented.
There are two TSBs regarding noise from the rear differential on the 07 CR-V.
If these TSBs apply to your vehicle, return the vehicle to the dealer for the proper service and warranty documentation.
To meet the minimum requirement of the service schedule, you should drain and refill the rear differential one time. TSB 07-024 does a 2X drain and refill with burnishing after the first and second refill—but this TSB is for rear differentials that have made noise. For a rear differential that has not made noise, a single drain and refill is all that is necessary. Again… if your rear differential is making noise, you should return the vehicle to the dealer and have it properly serviced to protect your warranty. This procedure is only for normal scheduled rear differential fluid changes.
Credit: I would like to thank ApriliaGuy from the Element Owner’s Club for not only developing the method used here but being kind enough to share it with the Honda on line community. ApriliaGuy’s EOC post employing photographs was the inspiration for this post and several other how to posts. Further I would like to thank Lizzurd for linking ApriliaGuy’s post to the CRV-OC.
Honda Element Owners Club Forum - View Single Post - Differential Fluid Change Info
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.
Continued in the next post.
EDIT 2-12-09 Added "Outside Diameter" in step E under Required Tools. Thanks SniperD for pointing out my omission.