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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

I've been a long time lurker on this site. Spent a lot of time researching Ridgelines and drove a few. Decided this is the truck I want. Thanks for you all your help and advice.

I found this Ridgeline nearby... Normally the high miles would drive me away, but the description made me pause and I figured I'd run it past you folks and see what you thought.

Here's a link to the vehicle with pictures, etc: http://dastrupauto.com/inventory/2006-honda-ridgeline-rtl-loaded-newer-motor/


Here is the dealer description/info for those who don't want to visit the website.

"Super Clean 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL! LOADED! Clean black leather interior! Power windows, locks, mirrors, seats, Sunroof, Toneau cover, Great tires on premium alloy wheels, This is a fresh trade in. The prior owner said the engine was replaced at about 90,000 miles. They also just had the timing belt done less then 2000 miles ago. It runs excellent and drives great! Lowest priced Ridgeline available!!!"

Mileage: 179,541
Price: $8950


Any thoughts? Should I shy away from it? Thanks!
 

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I see it has a roof rack, and a bed cover. I'd be examining that stuff to make sure it wasn't recently added.

I would steer away unless they are willing to negotiate.

Here's why:
Towing brake controller. Looks like a plus, but also indicates the truck was used to pull something fairly heavy.
Replaced engine at 90,000? There are some exceptions but the RL motor should be good for 250k-300k miles if properly maintained. Another question mark related to towing maybe, or poor maintenance?
Looks like it needs needs new headlights (fogged or UV damage) not cheap.
Newer motor does not mean "new" motor and they did the TB change according to the writeup. Why do that, then trade it 2000 miles later? Because something is wrong with it?
 

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I agree with cccbock - there seems to be a lot of question marks. If you were going to try to negotiate it down regardless, I'd definitely do a salvage title search i.e. Carfax or similar. A lot of used car dealers try to shove through salvage vehicles...Could help explain the 'engine replaced' as I've seen this before.

Never heard of a Honda V6 engine replacement at 90k miles without abuse...i.e. towing beyond capacity, run with low oil, etc. I tow 4,500 lbs a lot and my 2010 with 73k miles runs like when it was new, so not sure how you'd kill a Honda J35 engine at 90k.

Just be careful...
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Here is the story, post-test-drive. For the record, I like these dealers. It's a pair of brothers and they have always been very upfront and honest any time I have dealt with them.

The couple who had it before used it mainly for his wife to drive. They took it in because the engine sounded funny around 90,000 miles. They said they got a call from the dealership and they were told the engine was being replaced. It was still under warranty and was replaced for free. I don't know Honda's policy, but typically if an engine is replaced under warranty, it's due to a factory error and not the user being hard on it. Please let me know if I'm wrong in assuming that. Most dealers tend to be tight with engine replacements.

The timing belt and water pump were both replaced less than two thousand miles ago as stated. The truck has a small crack in the front bumper and the back bumper is slightly off when the wife backed into something and popped it out. The dealer said they could pop it back in no problem (dealer promise or truth? Anyone capable of shedding some light on that? It's the rear bottom drivers side panel that isn't lined up with the top panel.)

Truck ran very smoothly and quietly. The headlights are foggy and will need to be replaced or cleaned. Interior was in good shape. A few scratches here and there but nothing that is out of place for a truck with this many miles. Tires looked almost brand new.

Only problem (dealer mentioned this before we even walked out to the truck) was the sway rods. He said they needed to be replaced. They had the parts and were planning on replacing them. I was given the option to have them replace them or they would give me the parts, knock some money off the overall price, and let me have them replaced by a mechanic of my choice. I could feel the truck pop as I turned or went over a bump. Does that sound like an accurate assessment of the issue? Also, do bad sway rods indicate a larger problem? EDIT: I did some of my own research. Seems like this has happened and is a fairly easy fix. Possibly even a do-it-yourself. They are the front sway rods. Not sure if it's the linkage or the bar.

The final selling point was that the truck was eligible for a 5-year, 100,000 mile warranty offered through a separate company. It covers the engine, transmission, transfer case and differential, AC cooling system, fuel system (pump, injector), seals and gaskets, and electrical. From what I've learned since and what he explained, it would basically cover anything that went wrong with the truck under those categories as long as I wasn't at fault (busted some thing off-roading or neglected essential maintenance, etc)

I was very hesitant until I heard about that warranty. The warranty went a long way to sell me on it. With that warranty in mind, and from what I've explained, should I still pass or would it be an alright idea?
 

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That warranty is only good if the Company remains in business. You might want to find out more about that Company.

Hope this helps!
 

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Too many unknowns for me, I'd pass.

If you trust the dealer ask if they'll give you the previous owner's # since it was a trade. They probably won't but it's worth a try. Also as suggested at least get a Carfax or similar. For Honda to replace the engine at 90,000 miles sounds odd but I guess it's possible. Will they let you take it for a day or so, you could have it checked out by a mechanic who will be able to shed some more light on the truck's condition. Good point by cofetyme about the warranty; I'd read that contract and the coverages very carefully ( how much is the warranty?).

Good luck and
 

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Get a car fax and go from there.
 

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So it's not on that site anymore, so I would assume the OP has either purchased it or someone else has. If it had decent maintenance history, you'd have an 06 body with an engine that had only 90k miles on it and a fresh timing belt for $9000. If you could get it for $7500, I think that's a great deal. Even if something else broke on it that needed fixing, it'd still be worth it to fix it. If it were a second vehicle, I wouldn't think twice about buying it.
 

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"The prior owner said the engine was replaced at 90k". Car dealers....you have papers for these things you don't throw out.
 

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I can't help but think it was likely due to the cylinder 4/5 issue that some 06's have had. Nevertheless, if the work was done at a dealership, it will be documented. It appears this truck is at a smaller mom n' pop car lot since the truck was likely sent directly to auction after it was traded in. Do a little digging to find out more about it before purchasing, but it's a fair gamble at only $7500-8000.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey guys, I decided to hold off on this one. Couldn't talk the dealer down much lower and all the things you brought up made sense. I asked for service records from the previous owner but the dealer didn't really try to get them for me. Someone else apparently has picked it up. The search for my Ridgeline continues. Thanks for all the advice!
 
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