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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, this is the first time on the Piloteers community. I've been doing this stuff all my life and I'm 71 years old and this is the first time I've run into this particular boondoggle. Everyone always suggest with Honda to go with all Honda fluids. I have a 2012 Honda Pilot EX-L 4-wheel drive w/112,000 miles. I bought a used so I take it for granted that anyone that owned anything before me did absolutely no maintenance to it whatsoever so I always do all the fluids check the brakes Etc on every used vehicle I buy.
I went to the Honda dealer and got all of the suggested fluids to do both diffs, the transfer case, and the transmission. Did the transmission fluid and eng oil/filter... no big deal to either.
But then when it came to the transfer case and the differentials the problems started. Of course everyone knows about the spare tire on the rear differential, but here's my problem, the dealer gave me "dual pump fluid ll", instead of the VTM-4 fluid. I'm not making excuses, but I honestly thought that the dealer would know what's going on, unless this is a replacement that they use in the 2012. I noticed that everybody uses the VTM-4 fluid and say to use nothing but, and that it only comes in a gallon jug.
The parts man gave me three, 1 quart jugs of the Dual pump fluid ll.
It's Sunday 14th of June 2020, and I'm having my car shipped from Florida to New Hampshire either tomorrow or Tuesday, I don't know yet because they haven't called. I won't know anything about the fluids from the dealer until tomorrow because they're not open on Sunday. Can anyone jump in here and give me a little advice? It would be truly appreciated, I'm used to working under a lift, but that's at my other place up north. It's so hot here in Southwest Florida that I actually installed a 10,000 btu window AC unit in my garage and the Pilot is up on car ramps. Not my style at all! LOL
Again any help would be appreciated, especially location of transfer case and anything in particular that would make it easier for me laying on my back. I've been on YouTube for days now and everyones videos are just a little bit different than the other guys, so that adds to the confusion also. My biggest problem is I got dinged up pretty good in Vietnam and it's a bit much for me getting up and down and laying on my back on a piece of cardboard. Again, any little tip will help me. Semper Fi, Robbie
 

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Yes, they gave you the wrong fluid, you need vtm-4. You don't have a traditional front diff, it's part of the transmission. The t case is tucked between between the trans and exhaust. A fluid pump of some type will make things easier for refilling the t case and r diff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you SLvr7.
If it wasn't for bad luck I wouldn't have any! I couldn't believe that the Honda dealer would actually give me the wrong fluid. What's worse is, having been in the Marine Corps my thing is "trust no one"! For the first time in a long time I trusted someone and they screwed me, LOL !
Now, just to add to the confusion, I swung by Harbour Freight while I was in Port Charlotte Florida getting the fluids at the Honda dealership, to get a pump. On the package it says will fit most quart and gallon jugs. It's a good thing I caught that, because it doesn't fit quart jugs, which made me dig into this even deeper and when I did I realized the fluid difference. I even borrowed the parts man's Sharpie to write on the three quarts "this is for front and rear diffs". He stood right there and watched me and never said a word. I truly hope it was his first day on the job.
About the transfer case, it's hard for me being blind in one eye and can't see out of the other w/ an outdated set of bifocals, trying to see what the hell I'm doing up in there.... so thanks for the transfer case location look-see. Thanks for taking time out of your Sunday day off to throw an old-timer a little hint about what to do! Semper Fi, Robbie
 

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No excuse for the dealer, but starting in 2016 the rear diff takes dual pump. Everyone makes mistakes, luckily you caught it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Aa ha, so there is a bit of an excuse here.
How about the front diff in 2016, is it the same as the rear?
The one thing I learned when I go to a dealership or a parts store , (and I'm going to throw this in just so you know, I was one of the first people in New Hampshire after I got out of the Marine Corps back in the late 60s to become a certified tech in the VERY early 70s) I make sure that I throw in the year of the vehicle in the conversation as many times as I can ! I really really hate it when someone screws up my time. Now I have to drive all the way back to the dealership and Harbor Freight. The only thing I'm thankful for is the fact that they're both on the same road LOL
Again, thanks for taking time out of your day off to steer me in the right direction. Semper fi, Robbie
P.S. the parts guy also threw in a sheet listing all the fluid capacities, types and times to be changed. I didn't see that sheet until today when I went to the bag that the quarts of fluid were in. Of course, on that sheet it said to use the correct fluid, in the gallon jug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Huh, that's the one I got from Harbor Freight, but I can't figure out how the body of the pump fits down into a quart jug without you having to hang on to the pump itself and the quart jug and pump the fluid all at the same time. The ones I've always used fit right down into The Jug and screw onto the threads so all you have to do is hold the quart container and just press down on the pump. I must have missed something big time. Thanks for taking the time out to help out an old fella! Semper Fi, Robbie
 

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The front diff is part of the transmission, so when you change your trans fluid the diff by default it is also changed.
 

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I have a 2012 Honda Pilot EX-L 4-wheel drive w/112,000 miles. I bought a used so I take it for granted that anyone that owned anything before me did absolutely no maintenance to it whatsoever so I always do all the fluids check the brakes Etc on every used vehicle I buy.
Check the VIN to make sure that all of the recalls - especially for the airbags - have been completed.
Recall Information for Safety & Defects | Honda Owners Site

Replacement of the timing belt is/was due after 7 years or 105K miles.
Same for coolant and spark plugs at 105K.
Has this work been done, yet?

Brake fluid should be changed every 3 years, independent of mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Now see, this is where the discrepancy in the videos comes up. I just watched a video on YouTube that said the front diff is NOT part of the transmission and has to be changed separately. I've been up and down underneath this (#!%=×!) Pilot so many times now that my knees are actually black and blue (insert jokes here). It shows him actually taking the fill and drain plugs out of the differential. When do these procedures change? For instance is there a change between 2011 and 2012 or 2007 to 2009, or 2009 to 2015... You see this is where I'm getting all messed up, some people will post it as a 2012 pilot and when, in the video, they say now this is my 2009 pilot, so you can see why a feeble old man like me is being confused. I just can't believe it's taking me so many days and so much time to change the fluids in this foolish thing. And I'll be honest, Honda doesn't make it easy trying to find these things either. You can tell this was made to be done by the dealer and didn't want to give anyone else a shot at it. As always, thanks for taking the time out of your weekend to help me out, I truly do appreciate it. Semper Fi, Robbie
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks xGS, for all the info and link about the timing belt excetera. That's the type of thing that I'll get into when I get this thing back to NH. I mistakenly thought that I'd be able to run this thing up on the ramps and change all the fluids down here in a day, because when I get back to NH I'm trying to turn a three-season place on the lake into a year-round home, so working on this Pilot in Florida will save me a bunch of time in NH. My wife leaves a couple weeks before me, and she should arrive right around the time that the car transport carrier delivers the Pilot to my son's house up there.
Furthermore a lift makes a big difference on how you can address those other problems. I've been trying to read the owner's manual, but the information in there is sketchy as well, even though the manual's about 4 ft thick! LOL
 

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Honda does not make a veh with a separate front diff, other then the 90s passport which was a rebadged Isuzu.
I wonder if the vid is calling the t case the front diff, as it is bolted to the trans.
 

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Huh, that's the one I got from Harbor Freight, but I can't figure out how the body of the pump fits down into a quart jug without you having to hang on to the pump itself and the quart jug and pump the fluid all at the same time. The ones I've always used fit right down into The Jug and screw onto the threads so all you have to do is hold the quart container and just press down on the pump. I must have missed something big time. Thanks for taking the time out to help out an old fella! Semper Fi, Robbie
When you get the right VTM-4 fluid the HF gear+fluid pump fits real nice.
Product Motor oil Water Fluid Lubricant
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was just telling my wife the same thing. Not that she understands what I was saying, it's just nice to say it out loud 😉.
The minute I pulled out the fill plug on what he said was the front differential, you could smell a hypoid oil. So when I popped the drain plug you could smell and feel it immediately. Also, if you've got a front-wheel drive vehicle, your transmission is your front differential, right? So I think he was a little confused, and by posting that video he's going to screw up other people. I want to thank you for sticking with me. It took an impact wrench to break the fill plug, and the drain plug on the rear diff, . So I don't know if it's been changed or not. The magnet looked good, the hypoid oil in the transfer case looked clean, but the transmission fluid actually looked as though it needed to be changed and it had metallic quite a few filings on the magnet. So all in all I'm moving along at a fairly good pace now, which would be even faster if it weren't Sunday. If it were during the week, I'd have it all back together now.
I want to thank you again for all your help, I truly appreciate it. Semper Fi, Robbie
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, I rushed to get everything completed for the transportation people, and got an email last night, Monday the 15th June 2020 saying that they didn't have enough drivers. So now I have to look for another Transportation Company after all of that rushing around that I did trying to prepare the Pilot for the transportation people. I just can't win!
But again I want to thank you for all your help and information and input. Especially the links to certain maintenance issues. Semper Fi, Robbie
 

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Yes, they gave you the wrong fluid, you need vtm-4. You don't have a traditional front diff, it's part of the transmission. The t case is tucked between between the trans and exhaust. A fluid pump of some type will make things easier for refilling the t case and r diff.
If the front diff is part of the tranny, does it have a partition and use a different fluid than that in the tranny?
 
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