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I'm really surprised they pushed the release this far. Never woulda guessed.
I'm gonna take a wild guess that very few dealers or customers are clamoring for the 2020 RL. I suspect many dealers have struggled to clear out their 2019 RLs, even at discounted prices and reduced profit. So maybe there's been very little pressure on Honda to roll out the 2020. We live in a bubble here on the ROCF.
 

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The internet makes it difficult for past failures to shake their labels. The following come to mind:

Audi sudden acceleration
Honda Odyssey transmissions from the early 2000's.
Oldsmobile Diesel
Chevy Vega
Honda Accord rear brake pad issues of the early 2000's
VCM
9 Speed

I often read about TLX owners that will never touch another 9 speed.

Then there's VCM. Some think it's 2010 and the VCM in their 2017+ Ridgeline is going to detonate despite the VCM redesign.

One thing for sure, the 9 speed will cost big bucks to maintain compared to the 6 speed. Are it's benefits worth it for this extra cost in a vehicle like a Ridgelnie? Doesn't matter anymore because if you want a 2020 you have no option.
Can you please explain why the 9 Speed will cost big buck to maintain?
I though AT fluid only needs to be changed after 100,000 mile or even longer?
 

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Can you please explain why the 9 Speed will cost big buck to maintain?
I though AT fluid only needs to be changed after 100,000 mile or even longer?
Fluid changes require a lift and a HDS scan tool and the fluid is expensive.

The fluid should be changed when prompted by Maintenance Minder code 3 - there's no set schedule and we don't yet know when code 3 typically appears.
 

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Can you please explain why the 9 Speed will cost big buck to maintain?
I though AT fluid only needs to be changed after 100,000 mile or even longer?
I have never understood how anyone could possibly think that a fluid that is constantly heated, cooled, transferred, and, to be honest, abused such as transmission fluid could last for 100,000 miles. Manufacturers will say that a transmission is "sealed" and requires no fluid maintenance only to have the unit fail after 100-120k miles requiring complete overhaul or swap. I would MUCH rather be able to drain and fill at least a portion of the system fluid after 20-30k miles and keep fresh fluid in there at all times such as in the G1. The fluid maintenance on the ZF9 almost requires the vehicle to be on a lift and the HDS is needed for certain calibrations. That means a required dealer shop visit, which I despise anyways, and about a $400-500 bill. With all of the fluid I've purchased in the 10 years I've owned my truck, I've not even approached half of that number even over-maintaining my trans. 175k miles and still shifts like a dream. I'm not saying the ZF9 can't last as long and perform as well or better. I just hate the thought of the maintenance being so complex and expensive.
 

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I have never understood how anyone could possibly think that a fluid that is constantly heated, cooled, transferred, and, to be honest, abused such as transmission fluid could last for 100,000 miles. Manufacturers will say that a transmission is "sealed" and requires no fluid maintenance only to have the unit fail after 100-120k miles requiring complete overhaul or swap. I would MUCH rather be able to drain and fill at least a portion of the system fluid after 20-30k miles and keep fresh fluid in there at all times such as in the G1. The fluid maintenance on the ZF9 almost requires the vehicle to be on a lift and the HDS is needed for certain calibrations. That means a required dealer shop visit, which I despise anyways, and about a $400-500 bill. With all of the fluid I've purchased in the 10 years I've owned my truck, I've not even approached half of that number even over-maintaining my trans. 175k miles and still shifts like a dream. I'm not saying the ZF9 can't last as long and perform as well or better. I just hate the thought of the maintenance being so complex and expensive.
Thanks
I am awaiting the news on the 2020 Ridgeline. I have owned all 3 versions of Highlander (2003 - had 160,000 miles), 2008 (191,000 miles) and 2015 (90,000 miles). The 2008 and 2015 used Toyota WS fluid - which Toyota claimed to not need changing - sealed for life. I am apprehensive about switching to a Honda Ridgeline after 441,000 trouble free miles in Highlanders. Only major maintenance I performed was new timing belt on 2003 (2008 and 2015 have timing chains now) and transfer case oil at 90,000 and spark plugs at 120,000 for all three.
I realize that the ridgeline will require timing belt replacement at 60,000.
 

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I got to the point where i was ready to buy, but the nearest RTL-E is 184 miles away, and not even a color i want. Looks like i will be waiting for a 2020 and a deal...
 

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I realize that the ridgeline will require timing belt replacement at 60,000.


Are you sure that they recommend replacing the belt at 6k? I guess I better go re-read my owners manual. It that's the case that ...s....cks.
 

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I am awaiting the news on the 2020 Ridgeline. I have owned all 3 versions of Highlander (2003 - had 160,000 miles), 2008 (191,000 miles) and 2015 (90,000 miles). The 2008 and 2015 used Toyota WS fluid - which Toyota claimed to not need changing - sealed for life. I am apprehensive about switching to a Honda Ridgeline after 441,000 trouble free miles in Highlanders. Only major maintenance I performed was new timing belt on 2003 (2008 and 2015 have timing chains now) and transfer case oil at 90,000 and spark plugs at 120,000 for all three.
I realize that the ridgeline will require timing belt replacement at 60,000.
Over on the Passport forum there is a guy that claims it is easy to DIY the 9 speed. There is probably a way to put in what came out but even at that it will cost like 160 bucks for the fluid alone. So many of the fixes on the Honda transmissions involve either a fluid change, a pressure switch, reprogramming or a new trans. IMO changing the fluid earlier is the way to go to avoid potential issues. especially if you tow or get the fluid hot but at 160 vs 40 for the 6 speed it becomes prohibitive.

RL spec for TB is greater than 60k I believe that's for severe service. I think it used to be 7 years or 84k and now it's just when it comes on the MM.

Thanks for the confirmations on the Toyota. My thinking is you can go 100k and spend very little on anything other than oil changes.I don't know if there is a way to DIY the 8 speed ATF. What I like about the Toyota is that it seems like you can keep it away from the dealer and all the BS. I also like the combined direct and regular injection. I don't know of any injector issues on the Toyota V6's. That's what I am looking for, the latest and greatest is not always the best over the lpng haul, it's good for magazine articles and epa ratings.

Just know upfront that if you get a 2020, the cost of ownership over 120k will require a timing belt, water pump, tensioner, spark plugs, coolant and probably 2 trans fluid changes (I'm assuming 60k interval max, That's somewhere in the 2-3k range for all that at the dealer.. Zip for a Toyota.
 

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Ridgeline timing belt is going to be right around 105kmiles on the Maintenance Minder. If you are on the severe schedule then Honda specs that it needs to be changed at 60k miles.

Highlander's AWD system may be easier to maintain but it's performance isn't in the same league with the Pilot / Passport / Ridgeline.
 

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Fluid changes require a lift and a HDS scan tool and the fluid is expensive.

The fluid should be changed when prompted by Maintenance Minder code 3 - there's no set schedule and we don't yet know when code 3 typically appears.
I’ve changed our Pilot‘s fluid with 4 floor jacks and a scanguage II.
 

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I have never understood how anyone could possibly think that a fluid that is constantly heated, cooled, transferred, and, to be honest, abused such as transmission fluid could last for 100,000 miles. Manufacturers will say that a transmission is "sealed" and requires no fluid maintenance only to have the unit fail after 100-120k miles requiring complete overhaul or swap. I would MUCH rather be able to drain and fill at least a portion of the system fluid after 20-30k miles and keep fresh fluid in there at all times such as in the G1. The fluid maintenance on the ZF9 almost requires the vehicle to be on a lift and the HDS is needed for certain calibrations. That means a required dealer shop visit, which I despise anyways, and about a $400-500 bill. With all of the fluid I've purchased in the 10 years I've owned my truck, I've not even approached half of that number even over-maintaining my trans. 175k miles and still shifts like a dream. I'm not saying the ZF9 can't last as long and perform as well or better. I just hate the thought of the maintenance being so complex and expensive.
Many of us are in full agreement with you. But some people just believe whatever the OEM says, and that’s it. Whatever the OEM says, whether correct or incorrect, is the gospel.

The OEM is quoting what they do, as a feel good, to get you to buy, and not worry about it. And they are hedging their bets that you probably won’t keep it long enough or have a warranty long enough to deal with it when it does fail.

Any fluid, is cheap comparatively, and worth it, to me, to change it early/often.
 

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I have never understood how anyone could possibly think that a fluid that is constantly heated, cooled, transferred, and, to be honest, abused such as transmission fluid could last for 100,000 miles.
Because the transmission fluid isn't exposed to combustion byproducts the same way motor oil is and may have 3x to 5x the fluid volume to absorb contaminates.

It is possible that modern transmission filters are made to filter down to a smaller micron rating than generic oil filter too.
 

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Volkswagen used to have two different timing belts, one required replacement at 60k miles, the other either 90 or 100k I forget. Reason was, some states regulated maintenance costs by mile so to meet the minimums, they had to extend certain things. Everything is numbers/profit when it comes to auto manufacturers and they all employ "obsolescence engineers" who decide when things fail. A family friend was such an engineer for General Motors. He used to tell us that the engines themselves were solid, but that accessories such as water pumps, fuel pumps, alternators and even differentials were designed with a general life expectancy. Extended service contracts are priced accordingly and it's why dealership service departments are questioned by the manufacturer when they have unusually high warranty costs on a specific vehicle.

How or why Honda sets their maintenance schedules is probably something none of will ever know. But in my opinion, if you're like me and are going to keep a vehicle WAY past a powertrain warranty, and keeping in mind with the average life expectancy of a vehicle currently at 8 years-150k miles. Your best bet with something like a transmission is to service it more often than recommended. Use a good name brand engine oil/filter, drain/fill the rear diff at the 15k recommended intervals. But the transmission, I'd split the recommended interval in half, minimum.
 

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Volkswagen used to have two different timing belts, one required replacement at 60k miles, the other either 90 or 100k I forget. Reason was, some states regulated maintenance costs by mile so to meet the minimums, they had to extend certain things. Everything is numbers/profit when it comes to auto manufacturers and they all employ "obsolescence engineers" who decide when things fail. A family friend was such an engineer for General Motors. He used to tell us that the engines themselves were solid, but that accessories such as water pumps, fuel pumps, alternators and even differentials were designed with a general life expectancy. Extended service contracts are priced accordingly and it's why dealership service departments are questioned by the manufacturer when they have unusually high warranty costs on a specific vehicle.

How or why Honda sets their maintenance schedules is probably something none of will ever know. But in my opinion, if you're like me and are going to keep a vehicle WAY past a powertrain warranty, and keeping in mind with the average life expectancy of a vehicle currently at 8 years-150k miles. Your best bet with something like a transmission is to service it more often than recommended. Use a good name brand engine oil/filter, drain/fill the rear diff at the 15k recommended intervals. But the transmission, I'd split the recommended interval in half, minimum.

Totally agree. I’ve found that people or owners that are keeping the vehicle long term like to be on the cautious side, changing fluids early, doing service early, etc. The people that trade/sell/buy every couple of years are just the opposite. They aren’t going to keep it long enough to matter so why do anything extra or early? It’ll just get traded or sold with low miles. I do my best to only buy what I am going to keep so as to not be wasteful. So I’m going to take care of it, change cheap fluids, and have diff, transmission, and engine oil analyzed for wear. In the long run, over a 10 year or 15 year ownership period, peanuts.
 

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I am awaiting the news on the 2020 Ridgeline. I have owned all 3 versions of Highlander (2003 - had 160,000 miles), 2008 (191,000 miles) and 2015 (90,000 miles). The 2008 and 2015 used Toyota WS fluid - which Toyota claimed to not need changing - sealed for life. I am apprehensive about switching to a Honda Ridgeline after 441,000 trouble free miles in Highlanders. Only major maintenance I performed was new timing belt on 2003 (2008 and 2015 have timing chains now) and transfer case oil at 90,000 and spark plugs at 120,000 for all three.
I realize that the ridgeline will require timing belt replacement at 60,000.
We have a 2013 Highlander that just turned over 70k miles. I did a drain and fill on the WS tranny fluid at about 60k miles because it was obvious it had never been done before. There is a drain plug that is fully accessible after taking off some of the plastic cladding underneath. You add the fluid through the dipstick tube, which has a very widely flared end on it for easy pouring into a funnel. I ended up using a little over 4 quarts to get it back up to the appropriate level. I wanted to do the gear oil in the rear diff, but being that it's gear oil in a traditional diff rather than VTM-4 fluid in the RL's non-planetary gear diff, I just let it go for now. I did note that the Highlander had a chain rather than a belt, so I'm ok with that. I'm not planning to touch the spark plugs until after 100k miles which could be 4-5 years from now. We may be thinking about a larger vehicle at that time anyways.
And like others have already said, the RL's timing belt service is slated at 105k miles or when the MM calls for it. Severe service (lots of towing or really hot/cold consistent weather) mandates 60k miles. Many on here have gone 120-150k+ miles before changing. Some have even gone over 200k although I do NOT recommend that at all. I did mine at 111k and the belt still looked more than fine.

Because the transmission fluid isn't exposed to combustion byproducts the same way motor oil is and may have 3x to 5x the fluid volume to absorb contaminates.

It is possible that modern transmission filters are made to filter down to a smaller micron rating than generic oil filter too.
Yes, the transmission is a sealed system, but the constant heating and cooling cycles as well as the abuse of the fluid within the system itself causes the friction modifiers and other additives to break down over time. It could very easily lead to excessive wear and premature failure. I'm not sure about the G2 RL, but the G1's engine oil capacity is 4.5 quarts whereas the tranny has 8.5 quarts - just under twice the amount of fluid as the engine oil. Obviously, engine oil is the MOST abused fluid in any internal combustion-powered vehicle, but that doesn't mean the trans fluid doesn't need attention. If you're 100% planning to trade in your vehicle after 5-7 years and 100k or less, then one would be less inclined to be worried about a "lifetime" fluid. For long term ownership and more peace of mind - do a drain and fill once in awhile.
 

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Totally agree. I’ve found that people or owners that are keeping the vehicle long term like to be on the cautious side, changing fluids early, doing service early, etc. The people that trade/sell/buy every couple of years are just the opposite. They aren’t going to keep it long enough to matter so why do anything extra or early? It’ll just get traded or sold with low miles. I do my best to only buy what I am going to keep so as to not be wasteful. So I’m going to take care of it, change cheap fluids, and have diff, transmission, and engine oil analyzed for wear. In the long run, over a 10 year or 15 year ownership period, peanuts.
...and then there's me - the weirdo that turns a vehicle every year, yet maintains it by the book using exclusively OE parts. One could argue that I'm wasting my time and money even on oil changes, but I like to know that the next owner is getting a vehicle that is as close to new as possible. Unfortunately, few others share this mindset which is one of the reasons why I don't buy used vehicles. :)
 

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...and then there's me - the weirdo that turns a vehicle every year, yet maintains it by the book using exclusively OE parts. One could argue that I'm wasting my time and money even on oil changes, but I like to know that the next owner is getting a vehicle that is as close to new as possible. Unfortunately, few others share this mindset which is one of the reasons why I don't buy used vehicles. :)
Can I please go with you the next time you purchase a vehicle..and allow me to pick out the options? That way in a year, I can buy it from you! :p I always use OEM parts as well.
 
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