When to change rear differential fluid?

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Mazda CX-5 Touring
I have a 2013 Mazda CX-5 with AWD. The manual says to change the rear differential fluid at 28,100 miles if:
a) Towing a trailer or using a car-top carrier
b) Driving in dusty, sandy or wet condition
c) Extended periods of idling or low speed operation
d) Repeated short trips of less than 16 km (10 miles)

But it doesn't say when to change it if you are NOT driving it in the above conditions. Openbay says to change it at 48,000 miles. What do you guys think/when did you change it on your car?

Thanks!
 

Kedis82ZE8

Contributor
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'15 CX-5 GT AWD
IMO..as cheap as rear diff fluid is I would change it early. This is one of those fluids that is normally easier to change than oil & filter if you have an actual fill & drain plug. IIRC.. the CX-5 has both.
 

Chris_Top_Her

Banned
Moderator
Contributor
:
San Antonio, Texas
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'15 CX-5 Miata AWD
I had my changed at 30k on my old cx-5. I didn't want to do it because it has a sideways drain hole and you need a hand pump.
 

SayNoToPistons

Wheels, not rims...
:
CX-5 GT AWD w/ Tech, RX-8 GT 6spd w/ 'goodies'
IMO..as cheap as rear diff fluid is I would change it early. This is one of those fluids that is normally easier to change than oil & filter if you have an actual fill & drain plug. IIRC.. the CX-5 has both.
This. Reached 30k and will be doing it on my CX-5. The only hassle is the fact that it smells absolutely horrid if you get it on any part of your body or clothing. I have an old t-shirt that still smells like death after 2 years of washing.
 

Kedis82ZE8

Contributor
:
'15 CX-5 GT AWD
Fortunately I have a lot of those fluid hand pumps for my misc powersport equipment.

Looks pretty easy... I agree it smells bad so keep lots of rags around you will throw away after changing it.

 

Chris_Top_Her

Banned
Moderator
Contributor
:
San Antonio, Texas
:
'15 CX-5 Miata AWD
Fortunately I have a lot of those fluid hand pumps for my misc powersport equipment.

Looks pretty easy... I agree it smells bad so keep lots of rags around you will throw away after changing it.

Yea, I have a pump now. I will do it myself next time around.
 
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2013 CX-5 AWD Sport
Any info on the front diff? And I assume the AWD has a transfer case also what about that?

Now do any of the fluids need the limited slip additive or just strait GL5?

Were at 38,000 miles and like to do it soon.
 

Kedis82ZE8

Contributor
:
'15 CX-5 GT AWD
•*No LSD so no friction modifier needed.

•*No diff in front. IIRC CV joints go directly into transmission.

•*Here is info on Transfer Case




 
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2016 Mazda, CX-5 GT
I would first loosen the fill plug rather than the drain plug just in case the drain plug is stuck or you accidently strip it.
 
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2013 CX-5 AWD Sport
Thanks for the info, I had a brain fart about the no front diff in a transverse motor lol. I was doing all the drive fluids in my Silverado at the time I asked.

Time to do the Transfer case and rear diff here asap. Is the amsoil site accurate? .8 pints (<.5 qt) for each? So I only need 1 full Qt for both?

Followed by trans as soon as I can order the Mazda stuff. Wouldent happen to have the diagram on the trans?
 
:
CX5 GT-R
I have a 2013 Mazda CX-5 with AWD. The manual says to change the rear differential fluid at 28,100 miles if:
a) Towing a trailer or using a car-top carrier
b) Driving in dusty, sandy or wet condition
c) Extended periods of idling or low speed operation
d) Repeated short trips of less than 16 km (10 miles)

But it doesn't say when to change it if you are NOT driving it in the above conditions. Openbay says to change it at 48,000 miles. What do you guys think/when did you change it on your car?

Thanks!
I had mine done at 28K. The dealer issued a $25 off coupon, and I took advantage of it. It cost me less than $70 out the door, IIRC. Why not?
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg. Plano, TX
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
*No diff in front. IIRC CV joints go directly into transmission.
Thanks for the info, I had a brain fart about the no front diff in a transverse motor lol. I was doing all the drive fluids in my Silverado at the time I asked.
Thanks for very helpful info form Kedis82ZE8. But I believe it got to have front differential sitting at somewhere right? It may be build-in with transmission or transfer case then connects to the front drive shafts?
 
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2013 CX-5 AWD Sport
Their IS a front diff, same fluid capacity, same fill plugs ect as rear. Just did mine its in between trans pan and oil pan on pass side. At 44k miles the trans fluid and front diff were dark brown nasty and thin, The rear diff was thick looked and smelled new. Did the mazda trans fluid and M1 75w90 syn for the diffs.

When you look at amsoils site it calls it a Transfercase and I guess that is more appropriate.
 

Kedis82ZE8

Contributor
:
'15 CX-5 GT AWD
It may be a diff...but nothing in Mazda FSM states it as such. They state it as a transfer case fully throughout documentation.



Their IS a front diff, same fluid capacity, same fill plugs ect as rear. Just did mine its in between trans pan and oil pan on pass side. At 44k miles the trans fluid and front diff were dark brown nasty and thin, The rear diff was thick looked and smelled new. Did the mazda trans fluid and M1 75w90 syn for the diffs.

When you look at amsoils site it calls it a Transfercase and I guess that is more appropriate.
 
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2016 Mazda CX-5 GS LUX AWD
Thanks guys the step by step images let me do my rear diff today. One bolt is 24mm and the other is 23mm. Tough to get a socket wrench in there but it's doable with a skinny one, once you break the force the bolt just unscrews with a hand. Used 80w-90 gl5 as the manual asked for. Did the rear at 40k kilometres and it was dark and stunk, replacement was clear and without quite the same harsh smell.

Going to do the front transfer case this coming weekend, hopefully same size plugs as I had to buy the pieces for the socket to get rear done and would like to get some more use out of them.

Cheers.
 

Kedis82ZE8

Contributor
:
'15 CX-5 GT AWD
Good to hear a report of someone doing this... I'm still about a year out before I swap mine. I'll have to look at mine... I wonder if socket extensions, wobblers and/or universal joints will make job easier. Even if you have to buys some tools along the way it still generally ends up being cheaper. You are left with tools to do it next time and usually a better feeling that what you paid to have done was performed correctly.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg. Plano, TX
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Used 80w-90 gl5 as the manual asked for. Cheers.
What is the oil capacity of the diff?
Factory spec says 0.48 US quarts of gear lubricant for rear differential capacity. But like engine oil capacity, it's under specified:

Mine is same as 2013. Correct. I needed more than one quart to change both. Front was seemingly spot on... rear needed more than half quart. Unfortunately I didn't measure. I don't think 3/4 quart but it seemed around or shy of 2/3 quart was what it took.
EDIT: Vehicle was cold and level.
Also for 2016 MY or newer, very expensive Mazda Long Life Hypoid Gear Oil SG1 is recommended for front transfer case and rear differential. See this very useful thread by CX5-SO:

Rear Diff and Transfer Case Fluid Change: tools parts and links
 

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