How to Choose the Oil and Fluids for a Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V is unique among vehicles, as the first compact SUV crossover. It has a few unique fluid specifications too: Like many newer vehicles with low tolerances in the engine, 5W20 engine oil viscosity is recommended unless you have a high mileage vehicle. Also, the recommended antifreeze is already mixed with water and so shouldn't be further diluted.

Change your Honda CR-V engine oil regularly. Use 5W20 in newer vehicles with little wear; the close engine tolerances require relatively light oil viscosity for full lubrication. If you have high mileage or extreme engine wear, 5W30 or even 10W30 may be appropriate.

Use only Honda Long Life Antifreeze/Coolant type 2 in your Honda CR-V. This coolant is pre-mixed to the proper ratio of water with antifreeze, so make sure not to further dilute it. If Honda brand coolant isn't available, any major silicate-free coolant brand may be used as a temporary substitute. Most of these are not pre-diluted, so make sure to read the label carefully and dilute with distilled water as necessary.

Fill your windshield washer fluid reservoir with a good quality windshield washer fluid that has sufficient antifreeze protection for expected temperatures in your area.

Maintain your transmission's long life and warranty by using only Honda ATF-Z1 automatic transmission fluid.

Top off your brake fluid reservoir with Honda Heavy Duty Brake Fluid DOT 3. If this isn't available, you may use only DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluid as a temporary substitute. Using a non-recommended brake fluid like DOT 5 in your Honda CR V may lead to extensive brake damage.

Refill your rear differential fluid with Honda Dual Pump Fluid II only.

Keep using Honda Power Steering Fluid exclusively in your power steering fluid reservoirs. You can use other power steering fluids, but only as temporary substitutes.


Making regular oil changes is one of the easiest and most effective ways of extending your engine's life.


Don't mix in or substitute engine antifreeze with or for your washer fluid. Don't use a vinegar/water solution in your windshield washer fluid reservoir; it will damage your washer fluid pump.

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