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I got really lucky and simply sucked every drop out before filling. I check my fluid regularly and see it still looks great. I think a lot depends on what side fails on the radiator, the side the pushes fluid to the radiator from the trans (less likely to suck coolant into the trans) was my failure. I think a failure on the passenger side is more likely to suck coolant back to the trans. I can’t recall.

Do you know which side failed for you?
 

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Many thanks. An interesting question here. Trying to figure out a way to "do the math".

So the questions are, "what are the odds that a new radiator and an adequate number of flushes will deal with the issue?" and / or,
"is there any way to tell in advance whether or not a flush is likely to do the trick?"
If you flush the transmission fluid and still have a strawberry milkshake look to the fluid or cloudy, flush it again.
A lot depends on how long you ran the vehicle with the contaminated fluid in. If you didn’t push it when you noticed it was starting to lose power your probably have a fighting chance.
There is no real way to be sure the transmission is not damaged except to change fluid and keep checking it. Make sure you use Honda fluid, that is the most important I’ve been told. If you drive it and no obvious slipping or problems and the fluid remain clean after few hundred miles your probably ok
 

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Last week my '07 Ridgeline (134K miles) rounded a corner and after a few seconds of intermittent engagement the engine disengaged from the drive. On pulling over / coasting to a stop and popping the hood, a quick survey found an overflow at the transmission cooler expansion tank. After pick up and removal to the shop, my mechanic reported that there had been a failure in the transmission cooler and that the car had been trashed / totaled since water had "entered the transmission". Says a fix will cost about $4K (transmission, radiator and all) which is probably more than the car is worth, Also said that this failure was not uncommon in Ridgeline and Pilot models.

Any experience / comments? Love the Ridge but don't want to throw good money after bad.

Thanks
I have 2008 RTS. After mine blew I did 3 "dump and fill" on the tranny. You'll need appx 12 quarts of transmission fluid all total. Drive 10 miles between dumps. I've put 5000 miles on since then, so far so good!! I also flushed the coolant system 4 times to get it cleaned up. Good luck! Keep your fingers crossed!
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Thanks. The coolant system appears to be the issue now. Some sort of grey semi-liquid (gunk). Transmission fluid / coolant mixture. What did you use to flush / breakdown the transmission fluid in the engine cooling system? Looks pretty grim. I assume you used some sort of fill and drain process. Right?
 

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I just did a drain and fill on the coolant too, 4 times. You could use a flush kit with flush chemical, but you still need to drain and fill a few time to get it all. I just dont like having the flush chemical residue in there either. Even now, 5000 mile later, I notice a bit of tranny fluid trapped and floating in the radiator reservoir. Over time, small amounts will get into the reservoir and float and get trapped. Just check it and wash it out. Easy to do since the tank pulls out. It seems to be impossible to get the cooling system 100% clean, just keep flushing, I have hear the small amount of tranny fluid wont hurt the system. Oh, be sure and drive the truck a day or two between flushes. Also FYI, my mechanic said he flushed everything, dont trust them. I did all my tranny and cooling system dump and fill myself in the driveway. Easy to do. As for the gray gunk...normally pretty clean tranny fluid and coolant will be pinkish. When high use tranny fluid and dirty coolant get together it will be gray. When mine blew, it all gushed out pinkish, but as it sat in a puddle on the road it turned more gray. Good luck! Dont get talked into any other work until you first do the flushes yourself!!
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Many thanks. How I wish I had the ability to flush it myself. Stuck in a community with little tolerance for shade tree mechanics and an immobile truck on my mechanic's yard. Trying to work out a solution with him.
 

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If you can syphon off the hunk floating on top before draining the cooling system, that might be good because the oil is going to float to the top, and then get all over the walls the whole way down on the drain out. So my opinion is that sucking it off the top is well worth the effort.


I’ve done a water and citric acid flush in other cars. Prestone bottles that you are supposed to mix with water. Summer is good for that because you don’t have to worry about freezing temps. I don’t know how you guys feel about flushing the system with garden hose water, but when I know I’m just going to be draining it out in a few minutes, I think a straight water flush with garden hose water isn’t a bad thing. Maybe just run it up to temp with regular water. Drain. Repeat. Then go to citric acid for a few hundred miles. That can be done with deionized water with the citric acid. I am no Honda expert. So this should NOT be taken as advice from someone who knows what he’s talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Many thanks. I'd certainly agree that it would make sense to use hose water for the flush. I'll look into the citric acid option.
 
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