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Rear Differential

16506 Views 37 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  DaleB
Does any body know if the rear differential (for 4WD) is really needed very time you have an engine oil change?
I sent my MDX last weekend to the dealer for the first oil change (@4200 miles) and they suggested changing the rear differential oil. I didn't have them change it because the cost was $87.99 +tax.
I checked in the manual and it mentions that the engine oil and rear differential oil needs to be changed every 7500 miles.
First of all, does the oil need to be changed or just check its level?
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Thanks jnbsdad,
I kinda knew that they were trying to "sell" a service which is not needed specially when they said, every time you change the oil.
Then the Acura will be the most expensive car to maintain and keep. Imagine, a $100 oil change every 3750 miles.
I also agree with the importance of changing the fluids after the break in period. I think they initially use certain types of metal conditioners that needs to be in these mechanical systems, i.e. Engine, transmission, differential or even radiators.
I think the VTM is the rear differential. Lets say that VTM-4 is the electronic system that controls the torque transmitted to the 4 wheel drive.
Usually, front wheel drive has a differentail that is lubricated using the same fluid as the transmission (I am not sure though). Vehicles with rear wheel drive has a differential that require checking the fluid level every 15000 or so, but in the case of VTM-4, it may need more attention.
Just being curious. How did you drain and fill this VTM-4 fluid? Is it like a bolt that you remove to drain the fluid then another one for filling?
Before selling my MDX, I changed the VTM-4 oil myself and I noticed some fine metalic particles sticking to the plug, which is a magnet. I took that magnetic plug to Los Gatos Acura (in San Jose) to be in the safe side. The guy behind the counter confirmed that this was typical and that the reason behind replacing the oil at the 7500 miles is breaking the VTM system.
There seemed to be a lot of this fine metalic particles though.
Did any one tried to call Acura and ask them?
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