Honda Differential Fluid Change
The following information has been around for quite a while, but recently I have had several customers come to me with similar problems and not all were the same type of vehicle. The only connection was that they were Honda’s. So I began to research the problem. The process to repair this is quit simple, but very frustrating to car owners since it appears to be in the front end, when in fact it is the differential.
If your car makes a funny rumbling vibration type noise in tight turns….you probably need the differential fluid changed. It might feel like the vibration or noise is coming from the front end or steering, but listen closely and see what you can feel in the steering wheel and/or seat. It is common in parking garages, parking lots, and very tight turns in and out of driveways or entering onto a Freeway. If you feel or hear this vibration grumbling moaning binding noise you should change the rear differential fluid. Honda keeps changing the maintenance interval, but many owners report trouble in 30k miles or so.
The problem will seem to develop all of a sudden and when your mechanic takes it out for a test drive, if they do not drive it in tight turns, it appears to be more severe during hard right turns, then they will not be able to recreate the sensation. I should know, I tried a test drive, without and results until I had my second complaint from a customer. At that point, I knew I needed to research this further. You can take the car to your mechanic or if you are mechanically inclined, there are several websites that offer photos and forums on the problem and have some instructions and pictures for anyone interested in what is involved in changing the rear “differential pump fluid” of an Element (or CR-V). I have also found it on another Honda all wheel drives. They also offer tips on how to repair it yourself. There is really not much to the process, but you must make sure you use the correct fluid replacement.