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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I apologize if this has been addressed before, but I couldn’t find any similar stories- a couple of days ago I was driving on the highway (2019 PP) and the dashboard lit up, saying “All Wheel Drive System Problem”. Since it was Sunday, I got off the highway and took the back roads. Went to the dealership yesterday to drop it off. (The warning was not there when I restarted the PP in the morning.) Got a call a couple of hours later, I was told the entire rear diff would have to be replaced! There is a sensor that lets you know if the diff is running hot. This sensor currently can’t be replaced, so the fix is to replace the entire differential! This is mind boggling to me. The service manager just shrugged his shoulders and said that was what Honda recommended. It’s not going to cost me a penny but it seems like an incredible waste!
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Wow, that's a real stunner. Did the dealer have any idea on what could have caused the damage? How often have you changed your rear differential fluid?
I'm surprised that your dealer claims Honda advises a complete rear differential change considering the fact that Honda parts catalogs lists all parts of the rear differential for sale. In cases I've seen before, a complete replacement of the differential is usually because of a catastrophic failure due to some sort of abuse or manufacturing error but manufacturing errors are usually discovered within days of a new purchase.

 

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A failed rear diff is for sure out of the ordinary. Wonder if any negligence is to blame. Maybe the diff fluid was low or replaced with the wrong fluid. Any towing involved. Would love to see pictures of the failed/damaged parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So, just to tie up the loose ends- I bought my Passport in April with 24K mileage (it has 31K now) I would assume the dealership would check the level of the differential fluid? (It was fine when I brought it in btw.) I didn’t break down or have to be towed (luckily), I drove home slowly and when I shut it down and restarted it the warning was gone. I was concerned about damaging the diff but that was not the case. So they told me I can drive normally until the part comes in (next week). I guess this is an uncommon problem because the service manager was just as surprised as I was that the solution is replacing the entire differential! I’ve been driving Hondas since ‘91 and this is the first time a major component has had to be replaced, and all because of a sensor that probably costs $5!
 

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So, just to tie up the loose ends- I bought my Passport in April with 24K mileage (it has 31K now) I would assume the dealership would check the level of the differential fluid? (It was fine when I brought it in btw.) I didn’t break down or have to be towed (luckily), I drove home slowly and when I shut it down and restarted it the warning was gone. I was concerned about damaging the diff but that was not the case. So they told me I can drive normally until the part comes in (next week). I guess this is an uncommon problem because the service manager was just as surprised as I was that the solution is replacing the entire differential! I’ve been driving Hondas since ‘91 and this is the first time a major component has had to be replaced, and all because of a sensor that probably costs $5!
I think things look a little clearer now. The previous owner probably didn't do differential fluid changes and after trading it in the dealer most likely did not check before reselling it. The market is red hot, as cars comes in they turn them back out into the waiting arms of buyers without doing the usual checks and fluid changes. This is why I will never buy a pre-owned car without seeing evidence of regular service of critical components. Lucky this failed while the ink on the receipt was still wet.
 

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So am I missing something here? People talking about damaged parts & a failed rear differential, negligence, & improper fluid changes. Blah, blah, blah... As far as I can see from what the OP wrote the only issue is a faulty sensor which is supposed to let you know if the rear diff is running hot. No one said the rear diff was running hot nor was any damage mentioned, just that the sensor is bad. I agree it seems odd that the sensor can't be replaced but hey, that's Honda Corporate's call. We should all be happy that Honda is stepping up, fixing the issue, and the customer is getting a new rear diff on a vehicle he purchased used and now has 31,000 miles on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Please keep us updated on how the replacement turned out @Lostdawg And going forward, @DudeCS posted easy and detailed fluid replacement directions here (transmission, transfer case and rear differential) in case you want to do the job yourself in the future.
Differential was replaced today, no charge- no numbers on my copy of the paperwork. It only states “Warranty”. I was in a hurry and forgot to ask the Service manager if they replaced it from brakes to brakes, but I’m guessing they took mine off and put them on the new differential. I’m taking a cruise later this week of several hundred miles, fingers crossed!
 

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Differential was replaced today, no charge- no numbers on my copy of the paperwork. It only states “Warranty”. I was in a hurry and forgot to ask the Service manager if they replaced it from brakes to brakes, but I’m guessing they took mine off and put them on the new differential. I’m taking a cruise later this week of several hundred miles, fingers crossed!
They probably kept the drive axles too just the diff was replaced.
 
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