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Discussion Starter #1
hello everyone. bought a used 07 rtl with 75k. 2nd day check engine light flashes with vtm-4. i bring it back and they change a coil pack and spark plug from number 4 cylinder. get 3 days out of it. same thing happens again and this time they change an injector. number 4 cylinder. get 2 weeks out of it and it happens again. just dropped car back off. what is going on? I'm worried they will not figure it out and I'm going to be stuck with a big repair bill as the lemon law coverage is almost up. any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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hello everyone. bought a used 07 rtl with 75k. 2nd day check engine light flashes with vtm-4. i bring it back and they change a coil pack and spark plug from number 4 cylinder. get 3 days out of it. same thing happens again and this time they change an injector. number 4 cylinder. get 2 weeks out of it and it happens again. just dropped car back off. what is going on? I'm worried they will not figure it out and I'm going to be stuck with a big repair bill as the lemon law coverage is almost up. any help would be greatly appreciated.
Does not sound good, mostly because they are addressing cyl#4. Do a search & you will find LOTS of threads/posts regarding Cyl4 issues.... they don't end well.
BUT.... depending on your state, your lemon laws "should" apply from the day you first brought it in for the same issue???? maybe???? I'd be checking that out for sure.
In any case, you may have a cracked head / head gasket (loose spark plug symptom) problem that requires the head to be replaced (presuming no additional cylinder damage.... which yours may be in early enough stage to avoid. I'm guessing they are following codes to cyl#4 ("cyl4 misfire, etc.).

Good Luck, but don't sleep on this one...... (FYI, VTM-4 light comes on for many various reasons unrelated to VTM-4)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the reply. i really dont want to lemon the truck. i love it. my favorite vehicle ive owned so far. im just afraid they are not going to go deep enough to repair it properly and just do another superficial job like replacing a plug when head needs to be repaired. first time i bought it in i had done some research on here and requested a compression test. they told me that honda advised them to change plug and coil pack and not compression test at this time. by the way, i bought this car from a nissan dealer. they are being advised by a honda dealership as far as servicing the vehicle. its weird that the injector would go bad so it gave them another quick fix. but repairing symptoms never works. i think honda should have at least put out a tsb over this issue so mechanics know where to start. i wonder what the proper procedure is to repair this problem. in all the threads ive read there dosent seem to be a definitive answer. really thinking about buying a service contract now. anybody recommend a reputable company for a service contract?
 

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its weird that the injector would go bad so it gave them another quick fix. but repairing symptoms never works.
Well, they're probably just trying to address the misfire in cylinder #4 that the computer is apparently reporting. It does sound like they're throwing parts at it instead of doing a proper diagnosis. They may not want to do the compression test, afraid of what it may turn out to be. Keep pressing them, though. This is part of why buying used vehicles at dealerships is more expensive -- some of the risk is on them, at least to the extent that local law provides.

In my state, I don't think lemon laws apply to used vehicles, but there may be a standard 5 day or 30 day satisfaction window or something. Of course, your local laws will probably differ. Get informed about them and proceed accordingly.

Also: do NOT hang on to that particular vehicle simply because you like the Ridgeline. It's a great vehicle, but there are many out there. You don't need to (in my opinion) saddle yourself to one the dealer refuses to fix when there are many more fish in the sea...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
good advice hokie. just called them and was told they are doing compression test. waiting on results. no matter what the outcome i think i need extended warranty. used to have a p38 range rover. let it go because of reliability. how ironic. and let me tell you the p38 was a monster. some info on warranties would be awesome. thanks to all.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
just to let everyone know i bought this car from legend nissan in syosset ny. and they are doing everything they can to help me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Compression test done. Number 4 cylinder has low out of spec compression. They told me they are trying now to figure out whether it's the head or the cylinder itself. Picking up a loaner tomorrow. Seems like they are going to fix it right.
 

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More than likely it's the head. They can pull it easy enough and dye check it.
I think there are even pics on here of the common spot.

What were your VTM-4 issues?
.
 

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More than likely it's the head. They can pull it easy enough and dye check it.
I think there are even pics on here of the common spot.

What were your VTM-4 issues?
.
He probably does not have "VTM-4 issues"... that light comes on for a multitude of reasons, as Speedlever indicated above.

FYI, the common head crack area is near the spark plug, bridging to one side. Once they put a new head on it, you should be good to go. Be glad you didn't ride this thing to "real" failure. Several members have had the spark plug blown out & pieces break off inside the cylinder, necessitating an entire engine (in lieu of rebuild).
They are getting away clean if only the head has to be swapped out.

BTW, if they are not familiar with this problem, they might 'jump' to a solution that replaces your entire engine with a used one. If it were me, I'd insist on just the head, since your engine has only 75K miles on it. I'm SURE they won't offer you a "new" engine..... but if they offer a rebuilt one, that would be great of course. Unless they want you to pony up 1/2 the cost, that is. In which case, tell them you'll settle for the head ony, and they can pay the whole thing. Yes, I'm overthinking this.
 

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He probably does not have "VTM-4 issues"... that light comes on for a multitude of reasons, as Speedlever indicated above.
That's in another thread.
I'd have to look into it more, but I don't see how vtm error would be associated with #4 misfire.
Which is why I was asking for his error codes.
 

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That's in another thread.
I'd have to look into it more, but I don't see how vtm error would be associated with #4 misfire.
Which is why I was asking for his error codes.
You're right.... I crossed threads. And I see what you were asking ("what was the code"). Given his low compression, I guess it would be curious to see what the code is, but it won't be VTM-4 related.

I never really understood why they have those error codes & related systems so scrambled up. I got an errant sensor code (CEL & VTM-4 light) when my RL was near new, and it shut down my VTM-4 until the code was cleared (no 4WD). I confirmed 4WD was non-op when out off-roading a bit (I was on vacation at the time).
I don't recall what the sensor was (except that it had nothing to do with VTM-4, but dealer confirmed there was nothing amiss, and simply reset the code; it never occurred again.
 

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Yeah it had me perplexed.
I went looking at the wiring diagram of the VTM system, of course the only common connection is the PCM, which has me wondering how/why they programmed the VTM error with a engine error.
I'm still learning this truck and it's all new to me, so overlook me if I ask a stupid question....lol.
I'm an old GM guy and mechanical drivetrains I understand, but nevertheless it is interesting.
 

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I've read a lot of threads on this topic (the cylinder head cracking), but "summary" information is sometimes hard to discern. Is there a time period where we think this issue is resolved? I think most of the instances I've seen of it are on 2006-2008 trucks, with the J35A9 engine. Are the 2009+ models, with the J35Z5, not as prone to it?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
going to do a search for those pictures so i can bring them to the dealer today when i go to pick up my loaner car. will be glad when this is all behind me. thanks for all the replies. this is a very good forum.
 

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basketrunner, did they give you a printout of your error codes or mention what was the VTM-4 error?
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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I've read a lot of threads on this topic (the cylinder head cracking), but "summary" information is sometimes hard to discern. Is there a time period where we think this issue is resolved? I think most of the instances I've seen of it are on 2006-2008 trucks, with the J35A9 engine. Are the 2009+ models, with the J35Z5, not as prone to it?
While the defect appears to be relatively rare, it's 100% when it happens to the owner.

I don't recall if the J35A9 (as used in the Pilot) has the same issue or not. But there is where I believe I found the first reference to the spark plugs becoming loose over time.

Anyone ever hear of spark plugs backing out? - Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums

Here are a number of threads about the cylinder 4 issue:

Fouled spark plug - Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums
Blown Head Gasket - Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums
2006 Rigeline Blown Head Gasket - Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums
White colored exhaust is not good. - Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums
2006 Ridgeline Oil Leak - Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums
Cracked head-Honda won't stand behind it - Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums
2006 RT VTM4 Light & Malfunction Light - Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums
Honda Ridgeline Engine And Engine Cooling - 2006 HONDA RIDGELINE Problems With Engine And Engine Cooling
2006 RTL with the now "infamous" #4 cylinder - Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums
Honda Accord Oil Defect Class Action Lawsuit
 

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Discussion Starter #18
to be clear, these guys have been straight up the whole way. I've never had an experience with a car place like this before. if you are in new york area i don't think you could deal with more honest people.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
speedlever, do you or anyone else really think honda does not know about this issue? problem is the same with all auto manufacturers. they try to sweep everything under the rug. so you just have to go with who you think makes the best product. but its ironic that coming from a p38 range rover id be complaining about reliability. my old rover has more than 300000 miles on it as i still chat with the person i sold it to. still love the ridgeline, just hope after i get it back it will be a honda and not a nightmare.
 
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