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I recently purchased a new Ridgeline as of December 2019, it has rougly 3,000 on the clock. In early December I noticed that when accerating from a stop in first gear it made a rather unusual noise, but I just attributed it to my imagination. Honestly it was probably nothing. As of a few days ago I'm now hearing a much worse sound with the same rhythm happening in the same circumstances as the first sound. (Only in first gear or a speed under 10mph) I probably noticed it more now that it's warmer outside and I have the windows down. It's pretty loud when I drive up my driveway and the sound reverberates off of my house. Not very loud otherwise but you can still hear it. Recorded a video and took it to my dealer, the service writer agreed that something was "definitely wrong" from watching the video. Short story long, they couldn't find anything, they even kept it overnight and tried again the next day (They also tried driving it close to a building so the sound reverberation would be higher like I described.) Nothing. Edit: I should probably clarify that they didn't even hear the noise. So either it's an intermittent problem or their ears weren't trained to hear that sound over the normal sounds a truck makes. So now I'm sitting here wondering if I should just let it go or if I should be more persistent. If someone could watch this video and tell me what they think that would be great. This is the first new vehicle I have ever purchased so I don't really know if chasing after small hiccups is something worthwhile. I would expect a new vehicle to be well, new, and free of issues, but I realize this isn't a perfect world. On a side note, whoever drove my truck scuffed up the black trim on the driver side door. Guess I have to live with it now. I'm a detailer for a living, so I notice everything. A small piece of debris was obviously painted over on the roof of my truck. I can live with things I can't control, but I feel like I can control this. On the bright side, I have a full service sheet saved in case this problem rears it's head post warranty. Thanks, I apologize for sounding whiny.:rolleyes:
 

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The audio quality is terrible on the video it almost sounds like a rusty rotor. Look at post #32 and the 1st video. Is this what you are hearing?
 

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The audio quality is terrible on the video it almost sounds like a rusty rotor. Look at post #32 and the 1st video. Is this what you are hearing?
That's exactly the noise.
 

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Ok, I've had it and complained about it since I got my 2017. Basically, it happens in gear under light loads at around 1100 rpm with light throttle. It's intermittent and there are days when it doesn't happen at all. So after almost 4 years it hasn't gotten worse. Last summer I took it in to the dealer before the 3/36 expired and they were clueless as usual. This noise and the mushy brake pedal have frustrated me with the RL. It's most noticeable when pulling off on an a warm engine that has just been restarted for some reason. I've researched and looked at tons of videos and they are all inconclusive. I've even reached out to youtubers and they also fell on deaf ears at the dealer. Most of these videos aren't available anymore. Sorry I don't have better news for you. IMO, it has nothing to do with VCM as the noise doesn't occur under VCM conditions. I think it may be a fuel pump noise or a bearing noise or it could simply be the resonance of the engine as the ECU manages those sparks. I'm so obsessed with this damn noise that if I'm at a red light next to a direct injected 3.5 i'll roll my window down to see if I can hear the noise when they pull off. Hopefully, it won't bother you going forward. If you learn anything please let the forum know.
 

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Ok, I've had it and complained about it since I got my 2017. Basically, it happens in gear under light loads at around 1100 rpm with light throttle. It's intermittent and there are days when it doesn't happen at all. So after almost 4 years it hasn't gotten worse. Last summer I took it in to the dealer before the 3/36 expired and they were clueless as usual. This noise and the mushy brake pedal have frustrated me with the RL. It's most noticeable when pulling off on an a warm engine that has just been restarted for some reason. I've researched and looked at tons of videos and they are all inconclusive. I've even reached out to youtubers and they also fell on deaf ears at the dealer. Most of these videos aren't available anymore. Sorry I don't have better news for you. IMO, it has nothing to do with VCM as the noise doesn't occur under VCM conditions. I think it may be a fuel pump noise or a bearing noise or it could simply be the resonance of the engine as the ECU manages those sparks. I'm so obsessed with this damn noise that if I'm at a red light next to a direct injected 3.5 i'll roll my window down to see if I can hear the noise when they pull off. Hopefully, it won't bother you going forward. If you learn anything please let the forum know.
Thanks for the response. This noise is driving me nuts unfortunately so I'll just have to learn to tune it out. I'm kicking myself right now for not riding with the tech because at least then I could've pointed it out. I've got a mechanic friend with a busy schedule but hopefully when he's available he can take a listen and I'll update this.
 

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Hard to tell from that short clip but sounds like a bad timing belt tensioner. Does it change rhythm with engine RPMs?
 

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Sounds like a rock in a hubcap! No hubcaps, so maybe a rock or pine cone caught in the brake rotor shield? Should make noise in all gears though, unless centripetal force is keeping it pinned.

I had a rattle on my 2019... that plastic tray under the truck under the driver's seat... one of the bolts was loose. Luckily I found it pretty quick, since the nearest dealer is over an hour away.

Tightened it up and truck is quiet as a church mouse now...
 

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Sounds like a rock in a hubcap! No hubcaps, so maybe a rock or pine cone caught in the brake rotor shield? Should make noise in all gears though, unless centripetal force is keeping it pinned.

I had a rattle on my 2019... that plastic tray under the truck under the driver's seat... one of the bolts was loose. Luckily I found it pretty quick, since the nearest dealer is over an hour away.

Tightened it up and truck is quiet as a church mouse now...
Under the trunk or under the driver's seat or is this a span?
 

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Under the trunk or under the driver's seat or is this a span?
Underneath the truck about where the driver sits. It's just a big plastic shield on the underside of the truck. If anything is loose there, it resonates loudly. Sounded like a rattle in the dash in front of the steering wheel when I first heard it - made me nervous since I just had a heated wheel installed.
 

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Hard to tell from that short clip but sounds like a bad timing belt tensioner. Does it change rhythm with engine RPMs?
I just did some testing, it does change rhythm with the rpms. At first I thought it was something to do with the motion of the truck but then I tried giving it some gas with my foot on the brake in drive and it made the noise without moving the truck. So obviously the engine being under load is one of the factors here.
 

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I just did some testing, it does change rhythm with the rpms. At first I thought it was something to do with the motion of the truck but then I tried giving it some gas with my foot on the brake in drive and it made the noise without moving the truck. So obviously the engine being under load is one of the factors here.
I had a '92 Dakota with the 5.2L V8. It rattled a lot like that, particularly under light load. The cause of that was pre-detonation, or engine knock. I can't imagine that would be the case with a modern Honda engine, though.
 

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In your short video the noise sounded like a card in bicycle spokes which is a symptom of a failed tensioner. The tensioner is located on the back of the engine on the passenger side of the truck. The tensioner contains a hydraulic cylinder. The cylinder acts as a shock absorber by pushing on an idler pulley to keep correct tension on the timing belt. When the tensioner fails, typically after many years and > 100K miles, the cylinder leaks and no longer provides force against the idler pulley which slaps against its stop making the noise. Now it would be very unusual for a timing belt tensioner to fail in a new engine. Also don’t think it would be intermittent so the shop should have heard it. IF the tensioner has failed there may be evidence of leaking oil from the tensioner on the bottom of the timing cover. If you see evidence of leaking oil, take a picture and send it to the dealer. Again this would be a very unusual failure on a new engine but it has happened before on the J35. In 2003 Odysseys and Pilots were recalled for bad tensioners.
 

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I know this wont help, because it happened on my F150 before I bought my RL.
Just sharing the experience of tracking a strange/annoying noise down... On my 99 F150 I developed a strange rattle...almost like what you are hearing. I talk to many mechanics, i crawled underneath checking every bolt i could find. I would hear it while moving..when hitting a bump...it sounded like i was dragging a piece of chain under the truck and really started to worry me. After talking with many mechanics and other motor heads i know, everyone said its either the Ball Joints, or Shocks.
My neighbor works for and autopart store and hooked me up with a set of upper and lower control arms (ball joints pressed in), and a set of shocks. One way or another i was going to find this noise...

One weekend i took it slow..i changed the rear shocks and took for a test drive. No change.
I replaced the front shocks and took for a test drive. No change.
Now that the easy stuff was done, I was getting ready to tackle the control arms and I SAW IT!!!

The sway bar bushing were GONE! So basically i had this metal rod/washer bouncing up and down every time i hit a bump. $17 and 10 minutes later....sound is gone. Most aggravating noise Ive ever had to deal with...such a simple fix!

So dont give up...One day the problem will be staring you in the face! Everyone i talked to missed it! :)
 

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The noise is present without the vehicle moving, it just has to be in gear with a light throttle and a light load on the engine. For a while I thought it could be a tensioner with the belt slapping around in there but the noise has a more of a metal noise and I don't see any evidence of the tensioner oil leak. I was in the rod knock or piston slap camp but since the noise is not always present and hasn't worsened. I think it's the ECU programming almost like a misfire because sometimes I feel a rotating vibration. The noise never happens on a cold engine and is most prevalent on a warm engine that has been restarted and pulled off in gear after sitting for around 10 minutes or so. Will almost always happen when backing up on a slight incline. Tried different oil brands and the Penzoil was the quietest but that may be in my mind. There have also been TSB's for camshaft end play. I also thought maybe motor mounts but I had my daughter keep the revs at 1k-1.5k with the brake on and in gear and didn't see any unusual movement. I also heard about A/C pulley bolts. Sometimes I think it may be the fuel pump but this is all above my pay grade. Under the hood it wasn't as loud as it sounds in the car IMO for some reason. Sometimes it sounds more metallic than others. So disappointed with dealers, they just test drive talk on the phone during the drive and report back that noise not present. How about taking off the serpentine belt and start listening. Frustrating because when it happens you feel like you have a junk engine.
 

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I keep going back to pre-detonation, which could be from timing being off a little or the camshaft being off a little.

In my Dakota, it sounded like anything from BBs rolling around in a tin can,, to popcorn popping inside a tin can.

In an older car, I had something similar happen, and it turned out to be crossfire from crossed plug wires. You open the hood at night when it's pitch dark and you see this eerie blue glow around the engine when it's idling.
 

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Sounded like a bad universal joint to me (driveshaft).
 

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I had a LOUD chattering/buzzing sound in my 2017 Ridgeline at 1.8Krpm under no-load only. It turned out to be the front engine cover (radiator cover) vibrating. I’d try removing it completely and see if it your noise goes away. I put soft rubber pads next to my attachment pins and now all is well.
 

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This morning at the dump, I left the engine running and the wheel turned to the right when unloading the garbage cans. I could hear the noise faintly from the right front wheel well. I feel a little better, it's gotta be a pulley or something with the tensioner and the belt, doesn't sound internal to the engine. It would have been nice if the dealer would have pulled the drive belt and checked the pulleys individually but of course not.
 

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First, thank you for posting this issue, hartshorn2005. Just purchased a 2017 with ~54k miles. During test drive, no issues. Dealer's service department had their hands on it before I took possession. About 3 miles away I heard the rattle. Since then it is a constant companion. Occurs at ~1300-1500 RPM after coasting for a short time and then re-applying throttle. Seems to not occur as frequently with AC off, but perhaps that's just me projecting wishful thinking. Will have to take truck into third-party shop (not dealership) with this thread. Don't think this is suspension, suspect this is drivetrain-related. If the shop (started by two former Honda technicians who wanted to do their work without corporate restrictions) figures it out, I'll post what they found.
 
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