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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone! New member here. First time owner of a 2003 CRV EX AT. I am pretty new to cars in general so please excuse me if I sound like a newbie. I bought the CRV about a month ago with just under 53k miles on it. I wanted to know when I should change the brake fluid, steering fluid, oil change and any other fluids that I may need to change. How do I know when to change what? Do I look at the color of the fluid? How should the fluid look to indicate that I need to have it changed. So far, I have only refilled the radiator fluid/coolant and the windshield cleaning fluid. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! :)

-Danny
 

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Hey danny. Congrats on your purchase. So when i got my used crv i just went ahead and replaced my serpentine belt and tensioner, coolant flush and i replaced the brake fluid and power steering fluid. For most fluids if they are dark brown or black it is time to replace them. I replaced the brake fluid and power steering fluid myself. Look up some videos on youtube on how to do it. saved me a lot of money doing myself. I used valvolinte dot 3 for brake fluid and went with honda dealer powersteering. Used a turkey baister to suck old fluid out and refilled a few times. For coolant flush i got it done at dealer since honda has special coolant.
 

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If it's a AWD model, you will hear a squeal in the rear diff when doing sharp turns. This is when it is time to replace the rear diff fluid. You must only use Honda rear diff. fluid.

I highly recommend Synthetic Oil for oil changes, but that's a personal choice.
 

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If the at fluid is dark, smells burnt, or is not pinkish in color, it is most likely time to do at least a single drain and fill with Honda DW-1 or another compatible synthetic atf such as Valvoline MaxLife Dex/Merc, etc.
Brake fluid should be changed at around 3 yr intervals. If you take the cover off and it is real dark or black, it is probably due.
I'm not sure if there is a scheduled period for the steering fluid change. To me, if it is really dark, I would change it, but I don't think it is an operation that Honda says needs to be done, unless it is making noise. Most recommend to use only Honda Power Steering Fluid.

When you do the brake fluid, do a flush by bleeding all wheels until the fluid is clear.
Valvoline Brake fluid dot 3-4 seems to work well.

It is probably about time to do a coolant change. Pretty easy to do yourself. Write-ups on all the tasks can be found in these forums or on youtube. If you do the coolant change, put in a new OEM thermostat also.
If you get any engine misfires, check your spark plugs and only use the recommended NGK ones. Several owners have reported problems with using the Bosch ones.
Use a quality motor oil of the recommended wt. Many prefer synthetic but others have had great luck with regular oil.
Buffalo4
 

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Hi Danny !! Congrats on the CR-V !!! Car is going on 13 years old with only 53000 miles on the clock ??? That little driving tells me I'd change everything I could do myself and let a qualified mechanic do the rest. Bleeding brakes and a few other jobs need to be done by someone who has experience. LOW mileage like yours will almost always result in moisture in brake lines and acid coolant !! Do what you can afford ASAP in my opinion . Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey robinxr,

What year is your CRV? The last time the last owner changed the brake fluid, coolant, auto trans fluid, diff fluid was on Nov 9, 2013 @ 46461 miles. Right now, it is at around 54850 miles on it. (This guy keeps a meticulous record of everything... and yes, I do trust his records).

There was no timing/serpentine belt service or change.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey Rickman,

I don't think I hear a squeal on sharp turns. The diff fluid was changed on Nov 9, 2013 @ 46461 Miles. Right now, it is around 54850 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey Craig,

Thank you! :)

It was a co-worker of a family member who had the CRV for sale. He didnt have much driving to do since he only used that car for small errands within the zip code. I too was surprised at the low mileage on it. I took it to a mechanic shop to had them do a quick check on it and all seems right.

Can you please explain this: "LOW mileage like yours will almost always result in moisture in brake lines and acid coolant." <-- what exact does this mean and what do I need to do? My apologies for being such a newbie. Thanks.
 

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Don't put too much stock in that statement.
Still, changing the brake fluid is not difficult or costly, changing it is a damn good preventive maintenance item.
All Honda requirement for a coolant system change is simply draining the radiator and refilling it with Honda coolant fluid and burping the coolant system. The change is less than 2 gallons and is very easy to do yourself.
I would worry more about when the cabin air filter was changed. :)
Enjoy your new ride and keep the engine oil clean and use a high quality engine oil.
Buffalo4
 
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