Hello, new member, dusting off a few old threads here.
We just got a new to us sliver 2009 Vibe AWD 2.4L in Silver with just under 100k miles on it. My college age daughter will be driving it. Paid $10k for it, and was happy to find a solid car in very good cosmetic and mechanical shape for that (don't laugh until you price what *everything* is selling for now... cars that should be selling for $6k all day long are unobtanium at under $10k, and a new CH-R is almost $30k. It's crazy.)
I spent the day doing all the stuff that may have been neglected... oil change, drained and replaced about 4 quarts of Valvoline Maxlife Multi Vehicle transmission fluid (which I will repeat in a month or so), and replaced the rear differential fluid with full synthetic 75w90 GL5 gear oil.
For anyone doing the oil change the first time, that filter is sunk way up there, and just about requires one of those fixed size giant socket adapter thingys. Not the strap wrench kinds of things, or four post clamping things. There isn't enough room. So when you get your filter, just get one of the stupid little stamped steel adapters that fits it for $8 or whatever. From what I can tell, there is no oil life indicator on our 2009 (which is kind of surprising), so I'll just replace it after 7500 miles of gentle mostly highway driving (knowing it probably has another 2500 left). I will watch to see if this is an oil burner (not panicking if it burns a little, I know that 2.4 can do that, and I have had several vehicles that burn a quart every 3000 miles or so, and never had a problem so long as I kept it topped off).
For anyone doing the rear diff, there are two plugs, both 10mm allen head, and very hard to get out. Make sure you clean out the holes in the drain bolt heads really well so you get the allen head socket deep in there. I hit it with heat and penetrating oil, but it wasn't budging, until I got out the 18" breaker bar. It popped free easily with that, not sure the heat and oil mattered. I took my time because I REALLY didn't want to strip them. The fluid came out black, but it was full, so that is good.
Anyway, over many years of bad ideas I have accumulated quite the garage full of tools, and this front AWD transfer case got me stuck. First, the exhaust is right in the way, too close to get a socket in there. I could have removed the bolts and disconnect at downpipe, but they have been there for 100k miles, and I expect they will break, and I didn't want to sign up for that project when the rest of the exhaust is perfectly fine.
The other problem besides the exhaust in the way is that those drain bolts are sunk with very little clearance. So my 24mm and 24mm impact sockets were too thick to be able to sit over the very shallow head of those bolts.
So I ordered a $12 24mm box end wrench, which I will try and use to loosen the drain bolts without removing the exhaust. I may have to hit the closed end of the wrench with a grinder to get it to fit and make it a dedicated tool. It will be weaker, but hopefully strong enough to remove those drain plugs.
I'll post the results when the wrench is here and the car comes back from college for a weekend. I am also curious about if all three bolts have to come out, I am guessing they do or they wouldn't be there. I'll see what I can figure out when I crawl under there and look at it.
Thanks for all the helpful information everyone is posting! Whenever I get a new to me car, I am always thankful for a good forum to help keep it useful and to save the planet a little by keeping it out of a landfill longer.