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Rear Differential

16509 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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ardvarkus said:
The VTM-4 is the type of rear differential used in the MDX. The terms for the mDX are therefore interchangeable.

There is a TSB for the MDX that emphasizes the initial interval for the rear diff (VTM) must be 7500 miles. They use a special fluid and you'll get proper break-in. I'm not surprised a dealership is going AGAINST a factory recommendation- despite Acura's assurance that "ask your dealer- they are factory trained and know what is best for your new vehicle" (right)

I've done three changes, and eack time the fluid I drained out was perfect. Still, follow the factory schedule, and don't buy the dealers' garbage.

Use ONLY VTM4 fluid. this is the only stuff you should put in the Honda Variable Torque Management Rear differential... ($19 a gallon)

On another front, watch the dealer on the transmission service. 30k (severe) or 45k (normal service)- heard of one guy that had a dealer suggest it every 15k...


Hmm, this TSB indicates 7,500 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. So, if you only drive 6,000 miles a year (like my wife, really, work & back 4 miles, makes me take her everywhere else), you would need to change the VTM fluid at 3,000 miles. The fluid doesn not need to be there for a minimum amount of miles, only maximum. The TSB also states not minimum limits, only maximum limits, noted by the terms, "whichever comes first." There also is nothing to indicate any particular break-in element to the fluid, nothing to make us think that the original fluid installed in the VTM is anything different than the VTM fluid used by Acura dealers. I think there is a sense of black magic paranoia here. Relax guys!
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