How to Pick the Right 2005 Acura MDX Rear Differential Fluid

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Katherine Duffy
Updated on Jun 16, 2022 · 5 min read
Replacing your 2005
Acura MDX
rear differential fluid is a fairly simple process. Make sure you’re using a rear differential fluid that meets the manufacturer’s requirements, such as the Acura All-Wheel Drive Fluid, and always remove the differential fill plug before draining the old fluid. 
Whether you’re noticing symptoms of bad or low differential fluid, or you’ve heard you need to change your Acura MDX’s differential fluid on a routine schedule, many car owners aren’t sure where to begin with this important yet mysterious maintenance job. 
If you’ve never replaced your 2005 Acura MDX’s differential fluid before, don’t worry—
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The best 2005 Acura MDX rear differential fluid

The best rear differential fluid you can purchase for your 2005 Acura MDX is the one created by Acura itself. It’s the  Acura All-Wheel Drive Fluid, which is also known as DPSF. You can purchase the fluid
online here.
What should you do if the Acura All-Wheel Drive Fluid is out of stock online, and the closest Acura dealership is far away? Thankfully, there are a few alternatives you can turn to. Here are our favorite alternatives: 

What is rear differential fluid—and why does your Acura need it? 

So what is rear differential fluid anyways, and why does your 2005 Acura MDX need it? 
Essentially, rear differential fluid ensures that your car’s rear axle is working optimally at all times. It’s sometimes called gear oil and can be found in the axle housing. Your engine oil is designed to operate at high temperatures, while your differential fluid is designed to operate at your pressure. 
Here are a few of its key functions: 
  • Lubricates clutch packs, gears, and bearings
  • Lubricates the ring and pinion gears that move power to the wheel axles from the driveshaft
  • Cools and lubricates the rear axle 
Without differential fluid, your rear axle could overheat and cause major problems because of the metal-on-metal contact. Your rear axle distributes power to each wheel and keeps you in control while turning, so it’s critical that your rear axle is in top shape. 

How often to change 2005 Acura MDX rear differential fluid 

You may not think about changing your rear differential oil nearly as often as you change your engine oil to keep your car running smoothly, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be staying on top of it. Stay on the lookout for these signs that it might be time to change your rear differential fluid: 
  • A burning smell from the rear gearbox 
  • Whirring, howling, or straining noises
  • Any unusual vibrations 
In addition to staying aware of these common symptoms of low or bad rear differential fluid, you should aim to routinely change your differential fluid every 50,000 miles, or about every two years, depending on how often your drive. 
If you notice symptoms appearing earlier than the 50,000-mile mark, go ahead and change the fluid before the recommended replacement date. 

How to change your Acura’s differential fluid

You can change your 2005 Acura MDX differential fluid at home if you’d like to skip the wait times and price tag at the mechanic. You’ll need these things to do this job at home: 
  • New differential fluid
  • Drain pan
  • Fluid pump
  • Tire iron
  • Ratchet extension
  • Allen head wrench 
 Follow these simple steps to change your differential fluid at home: 
Step 1 – Remove the spare tire: Remove the spare tire by opening the trunk of your MDX and taking out the plastic insert covering the spare tire nut. Use your tire iron to turn the nut counter-clockwise, which will lower the tire towards the ground. Removing the spare tire will give you the proper room to replace your differential fluid. 
Step 2 – Remove the fill plug: Before draining the rear differential, you have to remove the fill plug. The fill plug is inside the hole behind the crossmember. Use a 3/8" ratchet extension in the corresponding square hole to remove it. 
Step 3 – Drain the rear differential: Place a drain pan under the drain plug, then use your Allen head to remove it. Let the fluid drain completely into the drain pan, then close the drain plug. 
Step 4 – Pump fluid into the rear differential:
Use a fluid pump to pump three quarts into the fill hole. When you're done, tighten the fill plug, then reinstall the spare tire in its place.
And that’s all there is to it! You’ve just saved your hard-earned money and time, and you’ve learned a handy skill. 

How to find affordable Acura insurance 

Keeping up with your Acura’s differential fluid changes is an awesome way to make sure you’re driving safe each time you’re out and about. But, the best way to stay covered is by signing up for a solid insurance policy from a trusted provider. 
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