"best" fluid for '07 MDX rear differential

Messages
229
Location
Ballwin, MO
I have just purchased a 2007 Acura MDX with 85,000 on it and want to change out all the 4 wheel drive fluids because it's not clear when they were last done. This car originally came with Honda Z1 transmission fluid in the rear differential as well as the transmission. However, Honda/Acura doesn't make Z1 anymore and the Acura recommendation now is to use Acura "all wheel drive" fluid in the rear differential and to use their new DW1 fluid in the transmission. Confusingly, both Amsoil and Redline now recommend a transmission fluid or fluids for use in the transmission in the '07 MDX, but make no recommendation for the rear differential because apparently they don't think any of their fluids is an exact or close enough replacement for the all wheel drive fluid. It seems to me that if their fluids were suitable to replace Z1, which was originally in the differential to start with, they should still be suitable now to use in the differential. Acura wants you to replace that fluid every 15k so I really want to use a high quality synthetic in both the transmission and differential so I won't need to replace it nearly that often. Do you guys believe that the Redline D4 and/or Amsoil tranny fluid would be safe to use in the rear differential or should I stick with the OEM all wheel drive fluid? My goal is trans and differential longevity as well as optimum fuel economy. As always, all thoughts will be much appreciated.
 
Messages
25,973
Location
Upstate NY
I would use what the Amsoil website suggests which is Acura All Wheel Drive Fluid (DPSF) P/N 08200-9007A. I had a 2005 and it called for Honda VTM fluid in the rear diff. I doubt if its a plain differential and thus needs special gear oil. I would use Amsoil ATF and gear oil where recommended by Amsoil.
 
Messages
7,256
Location
USA
Just use Acura AWD fluid.... The 15k replacement is false, the OLM has only had it done once from my ownership of 82k-123k for a 2007 MDX. The first one is 15k.
 

Jasper8146

Thread starter
Messages
229
Location
Ballwin, MO
That's exactly what I was thinking. What I don't understand is why Amsoil and Redline changed their recommendation because I recall that before Acura came out with the DW1 and all wheel drive fluid that they both recommended their ATF in the rear differential in that vehicle. In fact, I have read in more than one place that the all wheel drive fluid is simply the dual pump fluid that is used in the less sophisticated Honda CRV which is a completely different differential set-up than the SH-AWD on the '07 MDX. If that is is indeed the case, it seems like the Amsoil and Redline ATF's would be superior products. I am going to call Amsoil and Redline on the phone and try and get to the bottom of this, because I simply don't understand why they changed their former recommendations. Also, Amsoil no longer recommends their power steering fluid for the '07 MDX whereas previously, they did recommend that for my 2003 MDX and the Acura fluid has not changed between those two cars.
 
Messages
717
Location
GTA, Ontario, Canada
we brought the 2009 MDX new and I have been using Redline D4 and Amsoil ATF for rear differentials since the start of fluid change. I starting using DW1 in the last transmission fluid change, prior to that I use only Redline D4 (mostly) and maybe a bit Amsoil ATF at the beginning. the car has about 70,000km, I do not feel any jerkiness or issue. I do not tow trailers, but I have loaded the car with/or roof box, bikes on hitch, camping trip, ski trip and the MDX runs fine. knowing history of Honda AT, I admit i over services our MDX a bit, I had change the fluid for rear differentials and transmission 3 times, and there were no excessive materials on the drain plug magnet. I don't know if D4 improve or impact the operations of rear differentials, but I do know the MDX AT feel better with D4 over Z1(judge by the colour of the used fluid, and shifting). the SH-AWD unit is just like a transmission unit, and I don't know why honda would not simply suggest DW1, I recall learning from forum discussion, that one of the possibility is the DW1 is not "thick" enough to protect gear in splashing environment such differentials. I hope my experiences helps. enjoy SH-AWD! it's amazing, got to push it to feel it!
 
Messages
5,009
Location
Southeast
the acura rear diff needs to use the "dual pump fluid" or whatever acura calls it. it is not a differential at all, but a dual-sided electro-magnetic clutch. It is designed to run in modulated/partial lockup all day long and will not perform correctly, or stand up to that kind of treatment if the wrong fluid is used.
 
Messages
717
Location
GTA, Ontario, Canada
one thing i shall add, there was a feeling "lugging" on MDX and I complained to Acura since took delivery of the car, the transmission would shift too early to conserve the fuel. there were some report of early TQ replacement, Honda eventually issue an update to all owners for software update on all unit with 5 speed AT, and extend the warranty to 8 years. this occurred since beginning of ownership and had been reported to others, I do not think this is related to the ATF, Z1 or redline D4 nor Amsoil ATF, rather poor programming logic (and make me feel better having Amsoil or D4 instead of Z1)
 
Messages
717
Location
GTA, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: meep
the acura rear diff needs to use the "dual pump fluid" or whatever acura calls it. it is not a differential at all, but a dual-sided electro-magnetic clutch. It is designed to run in modulated/partial lockup all day long and will not perform correctly, or stand up to that kind of treatment if the wrong fluid is used.
meep, thanks for the info, i think these clutch make it like an transmission? even I use D4 in the unit today, sometimes I do wonder if i shall go with SH-AWD fluid at one point (when my D4 run out ??.. or i am not getting full benefit) at the time of 2009, there was no SH-AWD fluid, and so D4 is what i used. did not make the switch to SH-AWD fluid after Z1 was retired, and SH-AWD become available.
 
Messages
2,393
Location
Paradise of Florida
The 07 MDX does NOT have a dual pump rear diff. The electro magnetic clutches work fine with ATF-Z1 and normal visc multivehicle universal ATFs that are compatible with Z1. SH-AWD fluid? Don't give Honda an excuse to bring back Z1 with SH-AWD labelling. Dual Pump System Fluid is confusing enough for the masses when used in a non-dual pump diff. According to Acura, if you need to top off the DPSF, ATF-Z1 can be used...in a pinch. Took them a little time to role out the new fluid while Z1 was still around. Honda DPF2 is the same as Acura DPSF. What I want to know is why they called Acura AllWheelDriveFluid DPSF. AWDF sounds better.
 
Messages
1,395
Location
Kennett Square, PA
Originally Posted By: Greasymechtech
Honda DPF2 is the same as Acura DPSF.
How do you know for sure? This was a much discussed question a while ago on a MDX forum. One person bought both and reported they appeared to be entirely different - color, smell and viscosity.
 
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Messages
2,393
Location
Paradise of Florida
Color varies with batch, and optional as color means nothing. Smell is nose dependent. I find that they smell the same. Viscosity requires analysis. Parts are the same when Acura adds the "a" to the end of the Honda PN. And yes, blended by the same company to the same specs. Snobby Acura owners don't want peasant Honda fluid/maintenance parts in their fancy Acuras. Differentiation marketing move. Brighton, Michigan, September 12, 2007 – Excelda Manufacturing was awarded the specialty chemical business for Honda Motor Company today. The re-launch of Honda Care Products will proceed in December 2007, but with some marketable differences. Instead of one product label for all of the brands, Honda will now have multiple lines of products dedicated for each area (Acura, Honda automotive, and a Powersports Group), and adding these specific looks will improve brand image and focus. Excelda will be working with Honda’s marketing teams to successfully launch chemical products... You can lipstick your pig Honda by using supercilious Acura parts if available.
 
Messages
1,395
Location
Kennett Square, PA
S
Originally Posted By: Greasymechtech
Color varies with batch, and optional as color means nothing. Smell is nose dependent. I find that they smell the same. Viscosity requires analysis. Parts are the same when Acura adds the "a" to the end of the Honda PN. And yes, blended by the same company to the same specs. Snobby Acura owners don't want peasant Honda fluid/maintenance parts in their fancy Acuras. Differentiation marketing move. Brighton, Michigan, September 12, 2007 – Excelda Manufacturing was awarded the specialty chemical business for Honda Motor Company today. The re-launch of Honda Care Products will proceed in December 2007, but with some marketable differences. Instead of one product label for all of the brands, Honda will now have multiple lines of products dedicated for each area (Acura, Honda automotive, and a Powersports Group), and adding these specific looks will improve brand image and focus. Excelda will be working with Honda’s marketing teams to successfully launch chemical products... You can lipstick your pig Honda by using supercilious Acura parts if available.
You have quite an attitude! This has nothing to do with being snobby or supercilious. Honda and Acura fluids cost pretty much the same. I use Honda or Acura fluids in my MDX except for the rear differential because there seems to be some question if H and A dual pump fluids are the same. Being able to use H dual pump fluid would add convenience not reduce cost. I don't think there are too many Acura owners who go to cocktail partis and brag how they would never put lowly inferior Honda fluids in their Acura. Sheesh.
 
Messages
4,252
Location
Central Maryland
Originally Posted By: artbuc
You have quite an attitude! This has nothing to do with being snobby or supercilious. Honda and Acura fluids cost pretty much the same.
Indeed, sometimes the Acura fluids are cheaper, it always pays to check both prices when buying Honda fluids.
 
Messages
5,009
Location
Southeast
Originally Posted By: Greasymechtech
The 07 MDX does NOT have a dual pump rear diff. The electro magnetic clutches work fine with ATF-Z1 and normal visc multivehicle universal ATFs that are compatible with Z1. SH-AWD fluid? Don't give Honda an excuse to bring back Z1 with SH-AWD labelling. Dual Pump System Fluid is confusing enough for the masses when used in a non-dual pump diff. According to Acura, if you need to top off the DPSF, ATF-Z1 can be used...in a pinch. Took them a little time to role out the new fluid while Z1 was still around. Honda DPF2 is the same as Acura DPSF. What I want to know is why they called Acura AllWheelDriveFluid DPSF. AWDF sounds better.
I'll bring this back to stay on topic -- I had to go out and double check--- AGREED, and I stand corrected. There have been multiple systems, and I got crossed up. The early MDXs ask for VTM-4, which is different from the dual pump fluid, which is different than the DPF2 and DPSF. Nice catch-- m
 
Messages
717
Location
GTA, Ontario, Canada
I research this on the internet a long while ago and I recall some dude did an VOA, let me see if i can still find it. i have no problem using the D4 in the rear differentials, but i don't know if i will use it on a newer sh-awd, unless support by Redline or Amsoil. Acura now have 2 new ATF for 9AT and 8sp dual clutch.. crzy
 
Messages
717
Location
GTA, Ontario, Canada
for the same price, I would stick with what recommended... found some msds... Acura All wheel drive fluid, part #08200-9007A MSDS [/url] Honda Dual Pump Fluid, part #0...stem_fluid.pdf] there isnt much about MSDS, except they are not call the same name, and have different flash point. so they are very very likely are different. but that does not mean Honda DPSF can not be use at SH-AWD. something interesting, is the Acura #08200-9007A has additive for CVT fluid <25% in MSDS, ??? did they actually put CVT additive in the all wheel drive fluid? confused
 
Messages
1,395
Location
Kennett Square, PA
Originally Posted By: gogozy
for the same price, I would stick with what recommended... found some msds... Acura All wheel drive fluid, part #08200-9007A MSDS [/url] Honda Dual Pump Fluid, part #0...stem_fluid.pdf] there isnt much about MSDS, except they are not call the same name, and have different flash point. so they are very very likely are different. but that does not mean Honda DPSF can not be use at SH-AWD. something interesting, is the Acura #08200-9007A has additive for CVT fluid <25% in MSDS, ??? did they actually put CVT additive in the all wheel drive fluid? confused
Interesting. An earlier poster said it was made by Excelda made both Acura and Honda diff fluids. Is Excelda owned by Nippon Oil USA?
 
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