2012 Honda CRV with 15,500 miles on it. Dashboad light comes on with code B 1 6 indication oil change. Why would the dealer also want to change the rear differential fluid? Did I get blind sided?


Asked by May 14, 2013 at 09:36 AM about the 2012 Honda CR-V EX AWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

2012 Honda CRV with 15,500 miles on it.  Dashboad light comes on with code B 1 6 indication oil change.  Why would the dealer also want to change the rear differential fluid? Did I get blind sided?

15 Answers


yes you did, the diff. fluid does not need to be changed at 15,500 miles.

15 out of 15 people think this is helpful.

Some would charge you for headlight fluid, halogen fluid is more expensive, if they could get away with it. As kbro said, yes you did get blindsided ..or in other words, screwed.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
Kos MotorCars

Dont worry if you plan on keeping the car you did a GREAT thing if you can afford it. Your your cheap/broke then maybe you could of held it out but if your car calls for Service 1(Rotate tires,** inspect for wear and adjust pressure) and Service 6(Replace rear differential fluid 4WD only) then YOU did the right thing. You can always check for your self at Honda website itself so your not worried ** http://www.honda.ca/owners/honda-services/maintenance-calculator **

9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer

Thank you but I may be confused. I have a AWD not a 4WD there used to be a difference, is that not so?

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

AWD is in 4WD all the time. Usually if the vehicle says its 4WD then you have the option of being in 2 or 4WD with AWD you do not have the option the vehicle is either spinning all 4 wheels all the time or has a device that the computer controls to transfer power when it thinks it needs to.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

It is the later and the maint schedule does state if required for 4wd so I guess they were correct and I need to offer them an apology. Thank you all

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

I had a 2007 2WD CRV that I traded in with 97k miles for a 2012. I never changed the diffrential fluid on that car or any vehicle I have owned for over 50 years, Some with over 200k miles. My 2012 is AWD and has 27k on it and no one has said a word about changing the fluid and it's serviced at a dealer.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
Amir Salamat

Sperony your 2007 Cr-V doesn't have a rear deferential so you don't need to change anything. For your 2012 I guess your dealer spiked it, I changed the rear DEF Fluid on my 2012 CR-V and my 2008 one. so its one of the services that your new car needs, my dealer told me the reason for that is, to empty the Rear Def from any debris caused by the friction of gears inside the DEF. just in case if there is anything is in there.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

My 2005 doesn't call for a differential fluid change until it has 80,000 miles on it. The oil change light has nothing to do with the transmission or the differential fluid.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Actually The 2012 Honda Calls for the Differential Fluid to be changed at 15,000 miles and every 30,000 miles there after. So the dealer did follow the recommended change. Better to safe than sorry.

13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.

Talked with several dealers and it appears the newer model CRVs with all wheel drive do in deed call for a change of fluid at 15,000 and every 30,000 after that first fluid change. Interestingly, the charge with service has ranged from a low of $59.95 to $109.00. The high price dealer claimed to be adding an "additive." I can't imagine why one would need an additive if you are changing the factory recommended fluid at these intervals.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

Honda of Santa Maria charged me $170 for an oil change, differential change and tire rotation of my 2013 CRV at 17,000. Robbery!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

On the newer CR-Vs, Pilots, and Ridgelines, Honda engineers recommend the break-in fluid be changed once at 15k, and replaced with fluid of a different viscosity. That fluid doesn't need to be changed until at least 50k. In my experience, if the break-in fluid doesn't get changed, you start to hear a growling noise coming out of the back end, but luckily, that is resolved by replacing the fluid. In regards to whether or not the dealer is "ripping you off," all they can do is recommend what Honda says to do - NO ONE CAN SPEND YOUR MONEY FOR YOU. Just say no; it's your car, the choice to maintain it or not maintain it is yours alone.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

I just had the rear differential fluid changed at my Honda dealer for $169.95. Seems the price I paid was clearly on the high side, but given the way Honda has now set up the number and timing of all these services "buried" in the maintenance minder it is a real disappointment for me with "Honda". It reminds of how expensive my early Honda models were to maintain with crazy expensive and frequent service and special Honda parts that had to be used or warranties were voided. Besides American cars becoming more reliable, service costs and maintenance drove me away from Honda before and looks like it will again. I also do not like the fact it is difficult for Honda to come clean and publish these maintenance minders as recommended services and just put it in the owner's manual where it belongs. Instead it comes as a surprise on your dash board and an even bigger shock when you are presented with rip off dealer service pricing. You know what they say about "fool me once". No more Hondas for me.....nice cars, but they are not that great and there are many good choices out there these days. Cost of maintenance with Honda has always been expensive and seems like it always will. And as is typical of the American automobile dealer service world, the chance to make money is just too tempting for these businessmen and as long as what they charge is "legal", they don't care how they make their profit. Since the internet has somewhat leveled the playing field with buying new cars, the dealers have resorted to gouging and ripping off the customer in the service departments even more than before. I fault Honda for not taking better control of this situation. Clearly the cost of proscribed preventive maintenance like an rear differential oil change should not be disguised in terms when the service should be done and how much it should cost. I hate this kind of dealer maintenance crap so bad I bought longest extended warranty I could buy from Honda to avoid the outrageous service bills that inevitably come....even with Honda as they age. I get all of it....pay me now/pay later, fool me once.....it all applies in the scum bag world of American automotive dealerships. There is really good reason car salesmen got their rotten reputations....and now they have moved into the service departments where I am sure the service writers are all pain great bonuses and commissions on the rip off services they write. Adios Honda....hello Tesla...lets hope Musk gets it right.

John Broecher

I just bought a used 2005 CRV with 104K miles and since I didn't know if they had ever changed the rear differential fluid I decided to try it myself. It was a really easy DIY project. If you can change your engine oil you can do this. The cost was $25 since I used the more expensive Genuine Honda fluid.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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