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Maintenance schedule I'm looking at says first change should be at 12,500 miles. Can that be right? Any idea why so early? After that it's every 50,000 miles.
 

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Trust the Maintenance Minder in your CR-V.
If you look up the Maintenance Minder schedule in your Owners Manual you'll find that a 6 code tells you to change the rear differential fluid.
If you only have the small Owners Guide, you can download the full Owners Manual (over 600 pages) at owners.honda.com.
 

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Happy to trust the maintenance minder. From what I gather, rear diff change will come on at 12,500 miles. Just trying to understand the need for the early change.
 

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Where did you find 12,500 miles suggestion?

I checked the Owners Manual for a 2006 CR-V, which did not have a Maintenance Minder. The severe schedule says to change the Rear Differential fluid every 60,000 miles or every 4 years, whichever comes first.

Another way is to do the noise test.
Find an empty parking lot.
Roll down the drivers window and stick your head out.
Drive in a tight circle to the left, and then a tight circle to the right.
Listen for grumbling/moaning/groaning noises from the rear of your CR-V.
If you hear noise change the rear differential fluid.
You'll need two crush washers and about 1.1 liters of Dual Pump Fluid II.
 

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Happy to trust the maintenance minder. From what I gather, rear diff change will come on at 12,500 miles. Just trying to understand the need for the early change.
The differential is more than just a gear set, it contains an electric hydraulic pump, valves and a clutch pack. The early fluid change is to flush out the debris generated during break in. Honda was having some problems with fouling of these parts. The first change is around 15k on the MM. After that its a long time before the MM will want the diff fluid changed again.
 

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The first change is around 15k on the MM.
And if you have an oil change indicated by the MM at 12,500 it MAY throw the code for the differential fluid (as in, it doesn't want you to wait for the next oil change to change it).

That's Honda helping you take care of your car!😑
 
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