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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. My bride has a 2018 Pilot EX-L. A code had us change the Transfer Case oil at 15000 miles. I was told to do this every 15K and we are nearing 30K. She doesn’t tow and is pretty easy on the car. We do a good bit of highway travel too. Can I push this maintenance out further or is it wise and cheap enough to do it at 30K myself. I’ve never done this before but do most maintenance on all my cars. Wonder if there is a how to video available that applies to this year/model pilot. Thank you!!!
 

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Are you sure it is for the transfer case and NOT the differential??? Usually the transfer case is good for a lot more miles, 60000 if I recall. It is the rear differential on the AWD models that call for the first change around 15000 miles, and then about every 30000 miles after that.

A number "3" on the maintenance minder display means change the transfer case and transmission fluid. A number "6" means change the differential fluid. Again since you don't have your model listed (FWD or AWD) the differential is only found on the AWD models.

The differential in the 2016 and newer Pilots now call for the DPSF II fluid to be used, or the DPF II fluid which is what is found in the states. Do not use the previous fluid VTM-4 as even the differential case has a stamped "DPFS" notice on it by the fill plug!
 

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Yes, there are videos found on YouTube showing how to do this pretty simple fluid exchange. Notice in the video you can see the "DPSF" warning by the fill plug.

I believe you are supposed to start the car and let it run a minute or so with the fill plug left out after you replace the fluid. Then check and add more fluid if needed to obtain the correct fill level. Posts I have read by others who did run it said they had to add a bit more fluid to get it to the correct level. He didn't do that in the video that I posted below.

2016 Differential Fluid Change
 

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These tasks can easily be performed by someone with any degree of mechanical ability. The most important thing is to remove the fill plug BEFORE removing the drain plug. That way you don’t run the risk of emptying the item being drained then finding out you can’t fill it back up.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all for the replies. I guess it might be the differential based on the first 15K requirement to change it. I’ll review the work order. It sounds like I could wait until at least 40K with my AWD model.
 

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On the differential fluid change, I wouldn't second guess the system - do it when it says. Typically you get the code at the 2nd oil change interval (around 15K) and then every 4th oil change interval (around 30K) or so thereafter (i.e., around 15K initially, then 45K, then 75K, etc.), at least that is typical for the VTM4 fluid changes on the pre-2016 cars.

- Mark
 
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