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

by Kyle McBride

For the 2012-through-2015 CR-V, Honda recommends API-certified SAE 0W-20 engine oil. You can use synthetic oil as along as it is API certified and the recommended viscosity. For 2012 through 2014, Honda recommends their synthetic DW-1 automatic transmission fluid, but premium-grade oils like Valvoline MaxLife Dex/Merc, Castrol Transmax Import Multi-Vehicle ATF and Redline D4 meet Honda's specifications. For 2015, Honda wants you to use their HCF-2 transmission fluid in the CR-V's continuously variable transmission. Premium-grade national brands, such as Valvoline CVT fluid and Amsoil synthetic CVT fluid, are viable alternatives.

Other Fluids

Honda recommends DOT-3 brake fluid. You can use DOT-4 fluid if you can't find DOT-3, but don't substitute DOT-5 fluid. In your cooling system, use Honda Long Life Antifreeze/Coolant Type 2, though you can use a high-quality, major brand, non-silicate coolant formulated for aluminum engines. For your windshield washer fluid, Honda doesn't have a recommendation for what you should use, but specifies what you shouldn't use. Don't use engine antifreeze, as that will damage your CR-V's paint, and don't use a vinegar and water solution. The vinegar will damage your washer pump.

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