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Old 12-29-2006, 02:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2006 PILOT AWD Rear Differential Fluid Change Frequency question

How often does the Rear Differential Fluid need to be changed on my 2006 Honda Pilot AWD? My dealer is telling me I need to have it changed at EVERY oil change at a cost of over $100. This seems excessive and sounds like the dealer is fleecing me. How often does this REALLY need to be changed. Note, I do not do any off-road driving.
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Old 12-29-2006, 02:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2006 PILOT AWD Rear Differential Fluid Change Frequency question

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Originally posted by roguebabe
How often does the Rear Differential Fluid need to be changed on my 2006 Honda Pilot AWD? My dealer is telling me I need to have it changed at EVERY oil change at a cost of over $100. This seems excessive and sounds like the dealer is fleecing me. How often does this REALLY need to be changed. Note, I do not do any off-road driving.
Perhaps if you and your dealer sat down together and read the maintenance section of the owners manual you would both know the answer.
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Old 12-29-2006, 04:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The maintenance minder will tell you. I have about 11K on ours and the B16 service reminder just appeared with the 15% oil life remaining. The 6 represents the VTM-4 change. If they charge too much, I will do it myself.
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Look in the maintenance section of your manual. You either fall under the "severe" or the "normal" category. Figure out which one you fall under and follow that schedule.
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Old 12-29-2006, 08:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2006 PILOT AWD Rear Differential Fluid Change Frequency question

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Originally posted by roguebabe
How often does the Rear Differential Fluid need to be changed on my 2006 Honda Pilot AWD? My dealer is telling me I need to have it changed at EVERY oil change at a cost of over $100. This seems excessive and sounds like the dealer is fleecing me. How often does this REALLY need to be changed. Note, I do not do any off-road driving.
The 2005 has a maintenance listing in the owner's manual. For VTM its 15K, 30K and every 30K thereafter. Severe service is every 15K. Mt dealer charges about $65.00 to flush and refill VTM.
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As someone else said, on a 2006 the maintenance system will prompt you when it's necessary with "6" in the display. It's as simple as that. If the service advisor tells you it should be done more often, ask him to justify this extra maintenance, note how ridiculous his explanation is, and then tell him to go jump in a lake.

On my 2006, I got the VTM "6" right at the 2nd oil change at about 10K miles.

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Old 12-30-2006, 09:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Re: 2006 PILOT AWD Rear Differential Fluid Change Frequency question

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Originally posted by ptsmh73


The 2005 has a maintenance listing in the owner's manual. For VTM its 15K, 30K and every 30K thereafter. Severe service is every 15K. Mt dealer charges about $65.00 to flush and refill VTM.
I'd be curious to see what the "flush" consists of. I'll bet it's a simple drain and refill.

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Old 12-30-2006, 09:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by whizmo
As someone else said, on a 2006 the maintenance system will prompt you when it's necessary with "6" in the display. It's as simple as that. If the service advisor tells you it should be done more often, ask him to justify this extra maintenance, note how ridiculous his explanation is, and then tell him to go jump in a lake.

On my 2006, I got the VTM "6" right at the 2nd oil change at about 10K miles.

- Mark
How does it "know"? 10K seems early, when the severe schedule on the '03-'05's has us do it at 15K. I wonder which one is "right"?
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Old 12-30-2006, 09:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2006 PILOT AWD Rear Differential Fluid Change Frequency question

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Originally posted by roguebabe
How often does the Rear Differential Fluid need to be changed on my 2006 Honda Pilot AWD? My dealer is telling me I need to have it changed at EVERY oil change at a cost of over $100. This seems excessive and sounds like the dealer is fleecing me. How often does this REALLY need to be changed. Note, I do not do any off-road driving.
RUN, do not walk away from this idiot! Change it when the service minder tells you to, not before. Some people change it themselves for a substantial savings.
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Old 12-30-2006, 03:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Roger
How does it "know"? 10K seems early, when the severe schedule on the '03-'05's has us do it at 15K. I wonder which one is "right"?
Most of these systems do it by algorithm based on total miles, cold starts, calendar time, etc. It's possible that the computer keeps track of how much the VTM system has been engaged since it's under computer control.

I was surprised to see it come up at 10K, but I'm also surprised to see oil changes come up at 5K intervals. For the most part, I think these automated systems should be better than following a fixed schedule since the fixed schedule is not able to factor in driving conditions.

This is the second car I've owned with such a system. My first one (a german car)) seemed to extend things way too much, and in fact, the mfg did have to go back and add an extended engine warranty to their products when it was discovered that engines were wearning prematurely with their recommendations.

On the Pilot, so far, the recommendations make complete sense - I'd change oil at about 5K intervals if I was doing it by mileage. So I'm just planning on following the lights with this car.

- Mark
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Old 01-01-2007, 05:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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For the differential re-fill, can we use Amsoil synthetic gear lube or do we have to stick with Honda OEM fluid?
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Old 01-01-2007, 06:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spartus
For the differential re-fill, can we use Amsoil synthetic gear lube or do we have to stick with Honda OEM fluid?
Why would you risk using something other than what the Honda engineers believed to be the appropriate fluid? If the vehicle is under warranty, why give them something to blame in case you have a problem with the tranny?

Use HONDA fluids.
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Old 01-01-2007, 06:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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If we can get N_Jay out of the current events or political threads, he'll explain the technical advantages of using Honda fluids.
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Old 01-01-2007, 07:23 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spartus
For the differential re-fill, can we use Amsoil synthetic gear lube or do we have to stick with Honda OEM fluid?
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The VTM system must use the Honda branded VTM-4 fluid. You can use regular ATF if you're in a pinch, but must flush out the ATF and refill with the VTM-4 fluid ASAP or you're VTM system will crap out and void your warranty.
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Old 01-01-2007, 08:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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ok, thanks. How about the auto tranny fluid? Can we use synthetic such as Amsoil or should we stick with the Hinda oem?
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