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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Yes, free tires for life is a great perk, the dealer hasn't offered it in a while. They remind me of that fact when they have to give me free tires. The current tires are Hankook DynaPro HT's. They refunded the extended warranty specifically because I never used it. That's how those things work (or used to), if no claims are filed against the extended warranty then you can get your money back... but you have to take your original paperwork to the dealer, talk to management, and specifically ask for the refund, it was $1,600.
The timing belt was replaced at one of the service appointments (e.g. at x miles or y years replace ...). Not sure how long it's been though, I'll have to check.
Didn't consider changing the radiator, I wasn't aware that could be a problem.
SMOD... do you mean the band??
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Search for SMOD on this forum. You will find 20 pages of comments. Strawberry Milkshake Of Death. Honda radiators have a design flaw where tranny lines flow in and out of bottom of radiator. The line to radiator connections are very fragile. If either one fail BOOM tranny fluid and antifreeze mix and worse yet, it usually migrates to your tranny right away resulting in ruined tranny. No warning. Mostly about bad metal chemistry between a washer and the nut or radiator and or salt corrosion. I too never heard about it until joining this forum. Evidently Nissan has similar problems. It’s a real thing. Do a SMOD search on the homepage. You will be shocked. Happy (sad) reading
 

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In the spring of 2018 I purchased what may be the best maintained used black 2013 Ridgeline RTL w/nav-bluetooth ever (Included good condition BakFlip bed cover and Bridgestone Dueler LTH - ok quality tires, not great, with only 17 k on them). The original owner returned to the dealer for every maintenence item they recommended. I had a five page printout of every service they did. Most were very frequent fluid changes, brakes, filters, alignments, etc. At purchase, the mileage was approximately 79000. Dealer sold to me as certified used Honda with Honda certified warranty. I paid $24476 on the road (tax, title, license incl.). The vehicle was so good, I had no reason to return to the dealer for anything during the entire year and a half during the certified warranty time after the sale. It had everything I wanted in a Ridge, all the available equipment and was favorite color to boot. My first Ridge (2008 nimbus gray rtl) was totaled in my parking lot while I was at work. I hunted for my 2013 for one full year. Wifey was getting a little testy giving me rides after the first six months, of hunting, but I was determined to get a cream puff for my daily driver.

Since then, I have invested $1139 for TB service, $878 for plugs, valve adj, pcv, $95 battery, $417 front brakes, $410 one front engine mount (leaking hydraulic fluid). Of course plugs, battery, brakes are regular wear and tear typical for any vehicle. And I have probably another $870 on additional “normal“ maintenance for any vehicle i.e., oil changes at $30 ea., fluid replacing at top notch independent Honda mechanic, 6000 mile tire rotations at $20 ea, $5 wiper rubbers, air/cabin filters at $20 ea., one alignment. I change my own oil with Mobile1 full synthetic and Mobile1 best extended mileage filter every 3000 miles. I replace all my own filters, wiper rubbers. All other maint. done by same independent Honda mechanic. They are the best in this part of my state. I only return to dealer for recall work and occasional genuine Honda parts.

To summarize, I have owned my Ridge now for about 4 1/2 years and now have 107,000 miles (drove 28000 miles since purchase). Interior and exterior of Ridge is in great shape. I restored silver Honda step bars to new condition with new black powder coat). Paint job is in great shape. The reason I decided to quantify my cost of ownership expenses to date is that I’m looking at replacing the radiator on Monday (to prevent SMOD). I’m guessing that will run me $750 total for parts (new Honda brand radiator) and labor. I throw that in the category with timing belt service and valve adjustments ($1178/TB, approx $500/valve adj only, and now $750 radiator — total for these things - $2,428.00

So, in those 4 1/2 years and 28000 miles, I have approximately $2,170.00 in normal wear n tear maintenance typical for any vehicle. About the only way I could have saved additional money was too purchase impact wrench and rotate own tires, change own tranny, transfer case and rear diff. fluid. To date that may have saved me $180 in labor (less cost of new impact wrench). Between the non standard costs - tb, valves, radiator, and the normal upkeep costs, I will have approximately $4600 total invested since purchase. And especially after the radiator replacement, I have literally addressed everything that I can turn up on this forum or elsewhere related to preventive maintenance for Gen 1 Ridgelines. I do think my truck might still sell privately to a Ridge hunter in the $24000 range considering the great condition and relatively low mileage. So I am really only out my repair and maintenance costs to date, I think.

Do forum readers, mechanics, etc. think that my maintenance costs to date seem reasonable? Any comments based on my story? I am really curious to hear what other forum members think. As you can tell, I’m not a mechanic, but enjoy changing oil, filters, keeping a close eye on things, waxing (Meguiars Hybrid Ceramic Wax!) and always looking for ways to not just maintain, but improve the condition.

Final Comment
The radiator replacement is a big Honda let down. The tranny line radiator connections are terrible. This is not characteristic of their past quality reputaton, and the same for their decision to not fix the calendar issue. These two items alone have done some serious harm to their once loyal customer base. Am looking forward to your comments and opinions on my story, Thank you.
Without getting into the particulars of your situation, I chuckle at those who say "Oh, I had some expensive repairs, and so it made more sense for me to get rid of the vehicle and buy a new one. And then when you look at the numbers, they were talking about dropping $1K or maybe even $2K on the repairs and then dumped the vehicle where they are now paying $600 - $800/month car payment after paying a $2K down payment, their insurance has gone up, their license plate renewals have gone up, etc. It doesn't take a Rhodes scholar to figure out they are putting out MUCH more cash flow for their money-saving (?) new truck. Unless you are unhappy with the driving experience of your current truck, feel like it is undependable or unsafe, or are facing a MAJOR repair like a $5K tranny or similar, keep the truck you have. On the other hand, if you REALLY just want a new truck, admit it and bitew the bullet, knowing it will end up costing you a LOT more. And be suspicious of some of the supposed comparison calculations in the comments...they are missing many of the extra costs of owning the new vehicle, especially the lost opportunity of not having to make a large down payment and/or gigantic monthly payments for infinity!
 

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Without getting into the particulars of your situation, I chuckle at those who say "Oh, I had some expensive repairs, and so it made more sense for me to get rid of the vehicle and buy a new one. And then when you look at the numbers, they were talking about dropping $1K or maybe even $2K on the repairs and then dumped the vehicle where they are now paying $600 - $800/month car payment after paying a $2K down payment, their insurance has gone up, their license plate renewals have gone up, etc. It doesn't take a Rhodes scholar to figure out they are putting out MUCH more cash flow for their money-saving (?) new truck. Unless you are unhappy with the driving experience of your current truck, feel like it is undependable or unsafe, or are facing a MAJOR repair like a $5K tranny or similar, keep the truck you have. On the other hand, if you REALLY just want a new truck, admit it and bitew the bullet, knowing it will end up costing you a LOT more. And be suspicious of some of the supposed comparison calculations in the comments...they are missing many of the extra costs of owning the new vehicle, especially the lost opportunity of not having to make a large down payment and/or gigantic monthly payments for infinity!
Sorry for the typos...it's early morning and I haven't had my coffee yet. :)
 

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Yes, free tires for life is a great perk, the dealer hasn't offered it in a while. They remind me of that fact when they have to give me free tires. The current tires are Hankook DynaPro HT's. They refunded the extended warranty specifically because I never used it. That's how those things work (or used to), if no claims are filed against the extended warranty then you can get your money back... but you have to take your original paperwork to the dealer, talk to management, and specifically ask for the refund, it was $1,600.
The timing belt was replaced at one of the service appointments (e.g. at x miles or y years replace ...). Not sure how long it's been though, I'll have to check.
Didn't consider changing the radiator, I wasn't aware that could be a problem.
SMOD... do you mean the band??
Seach SMOD on this forum and have long read. Your Pennsylvania 2007 is a SMOD failure waiting to happen.
 

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Yeah the smartest thing my Traffic Ed instructor (mediocre assistant HS football coach) ever said was "A new car is the worst investment you will ever make". But I certainly have not followed that advice or the jumbled-up lessons he gave in his US History class.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
J
Yeah the smartest thing my Traffic Ed instructor (mediocre assistant HS football coach) ever said was "A new car is the worst investment you will ever make". But I certainly have not followed that advice or the jumbled-up lessons he gave in his US History class.
rosso - my dad lived through the depression, was a ww2 vet - landed in North Africa with Patton and walked or rode a jeep from there to Berlin over the course of subsequent months. His favorite saying was “cars will break you”. He just meant that you can waste so much on new or very expensive used, but if you buy right, you also should maintain them well to make them last. He bought himself a new car uponsurviving the war, but he was single. After marrying, from then on it was always searching for great used cars at bargain prices and making them last unti just the right time to sell and look for the next one. He was very adept at the hunt and an expert haggler. All skills learned during the depression. Sadly died at 60 of heart disease, leaving me on my own as very young man. But I had observed and learned from his example.Vehicles are necessary but not investments. Not to say you can’t enjoy them. I gain lots of pleasure keeping my 2013 as close to original condition as possible, yet driving it daily. Tough to do especially with Midwest winters.
 

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For fun I priced up a 2023 Ridgeline Touring, same colour as mine, with tow pack, roof bars same as mine. After taxes, PDI, freight etc., it rocks in at CA$68,000, or close to US$51,000. That assumes there isn't a dealer-applied "market adjustment", i.e. extra dealer rip-off bonus. Used makes a lot more sense up here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
For fun I priced up a 2023 Ridgeline Touring, same colour as mine, with tow pack, roof bars same as mine. After taxes, PDI, freight etc., it rocks in at CA$68,000, or close to US$51,000. That assumes there isn't a dealer-applied "market adjustment", i.e. extra dealer rip-off bonus. Used makes a lot more sense up here.
Paul- agree, If you have a truck that is in good shape, it seems a no brainer to take good care of it, as the replacement cost of something else used, in good shape, is crazy expensive. I see seven or eight year old trucks with 100,000 miles still priced at $30k! I just replaced my radiator (really hated to trash what may have been a perfectly fine expensive part), but with all the bad info about older Ridge. radiators, I felt compelled (it was 10 years old with 108000 miles-but looks aok). I have not removed tranny line connections to look inside. That replacement set me back another $460. And I absolutely could not have done it for less. I went with another genuine Honda radiator to make sure all systems worked as designed. And I assume new radiator will last another 10 years/100k. Mine is good enough that I would not hesitate to drive coast to coast if I wanted.
 

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Mine just drove Canadian coast to coast (a lot further than the US!), towing a 4200lb trailer, all our gear, two adults, two kids, big dog etc. Didn't miss a beat and breezed through the inspection to register it when we got here.
 
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