2013 - 2016 CX-5 Front Transfer Case + Rear Differential Fluid Replacement Guide

A. OEM Part #'s:
  1. (2 Bottles) - Long Life Hypoid Gear Oil - SG1 (0000-77-SG1-QT): You won't be using the full two bottles but maybe ~1.5 - 1.6 bottles depending on your fluid levels.
  2. (4 Gaskets) - Engine Oil Drain Gasket (99564-1800): There are (2) bolts for the front transfer case and (2) for the rear differential.
B. Tools Required
  1. Pittsburgh Automotive Multi-Use Transfer Pump: Made pumping the fluid into the fill hole super easy. I was planning to use a syringe but realized that would take forever and this has much better ratings than the Gear and Oil Fluid Pump.
  2. 3/8 Breaker Bar
  3. 3/8 Torque Wrench
  4. 3/8 23 mm Socket (Top Bolt): Fit perfectly in the small crevices of the rear differential and allowed barely enough room to work with but doable with the correct angle approach.
  5. 3/8 24 mm Socket (Bottom Bolt)
  6. 10 mm socket: Used to remove the underbody bolts. There should be a total of 6-8 bolts that need to be removed in order for you to fully remove the underbody cover.
  7. Prying tool: Used to remove the stuck gasket on the transfer case/differential bolt as well as the front transfer case underbody cover rivets. There should be a total of 4-6 rivets that need to be removed in order to fully remove the underbody cover.
  8. 4-lb hammer: Used to help loosen the stuck bolt(s).

C. Torque Specifications
NameTorque Specifications (ft•lbf)
Front Transfer Case Bolts30 - 42
Rear Differential Bolts30 - 39

D. Tips
  • Level Vehicle: Ensure vehicle is level as the fluid will start to slowly drip out and you do not want the car to be tilted towards the front or back too much as this would affect the total fluid level.
  • Stuck Bolt: If the bolt won't come loose, use the 4 lb hammer to hammer it as brute forcing the bolt would most likely not work or you may end up stripping the bolt head altogether.
  • Rear Differential Top Bolt Issue: You will most likely have the most issues with the rear differential top bolt as it is stuck between a spot that is extremely difficult to maneuverer with the exhaust pipe and other things in the way. Just take your time and find the correct angle and be patient as you may get your socket/breaker bar stuck. Another thing you could do is raise the vehicle a bit higher than normal since it would make the angle a little easier.
  • PVC Hose: Go slow when pumping the SG1 fluid into the fill hole as the PVC hose may obfuscate the fill capacity and more fluid will end up coming out than intended. If you see any slow drips from the fill hole, I would start to pull the hose out.
  • Bolt Resistance: If you run into any issue with the bolt feeling like it's not going in correctly or any resistance, try to get it started with your finger and do a reverse/forward motion with the bolt to clean the threads as there may be some dirt/grit caked between.
  • Fluid Filling: Once you start pumping fluid into the fill hole and it starts leaking out, wait a little until it slowly starts dripping and then proceed to tighten the bolt. You could be exact and follow Mazda's measurements but I did not do that.
  • The bottom bolt of the front transfer case and the rear differential will have the most gunk stuck onto the magnet, make sure to clean that up.
  • When I removed the washer from all of the bolts, they were all becoming rusted or had lots of crud stuck on them so I wouldn't recommend using them.
  • When loosening the bolts, make sure to loosen the top one first to see if it comes off as you do not want to be stuck with an unfillable rear diff/front transfer case.
E. Observations
  • The front transfer case was not filled to the correct capacity and the last time that I had my transfer case/rear differential services was when I brought it to the dealership at 42k miles. They did not use the SG1 fluid but the old SAE 80W-90R fluid.
  • The front transfer case magnet had a ton of metal shavings on it and I felt like I should've changed the fluid at 30k miles instead.
  • I am not exactly sure if it's because of the fluid type (SG1) or because of the fluid change but the car definitely feels a lot smoother/nimble/effortless when turning.
F. Pictures
Unfortunately, I did not take too many photos but here are some for reference:

Front Transfer Case






Rear Differential


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