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Last night driving very late in West Texas I hit a deer carcass. I did not see it in time to swerve on wet roads so I straddled it and hoped for enough clearance. No luck. Huge bang to bottom of my 2019 Ridgeline followed by serious vibration. Nothing like laying under your vehicle in the middle of the night on a dark road trying to figure out if you are safe to creep to the nearest town. I was able to drive the 6 miles or so to a motel but the vibration was very bad. Best I can tell, there is damage to the driveshaft. Please take a look at the attached pictures and let me know what you think. I know it is not much information but any guess is welcomed. I also attached an image of the front undercarriage where I believe a skid plate or plastic cover might have been torn off. The good news is that my son is bringing a car carrier from our home about 250 miles away so I will be able to get the truck into the shop without too much pain. Thanks for any help you can offer.
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Sorry, posted to the wrong forum (1G) so here it is again.
Last night driving very late in West Texas I hit a deer carcass. I did not see it in time to swerve on wet roads so I straddled it and hoped for enough clearance. No luck. Huge bang to bottom of my 2019 Ridgeline followed by serious vibration. Nothing like laying under your vehicle in the middle of the night on a dark road trying to figure out if you are safe to creep to the nearest town. I was able to drive the 6 miles or so to a motel but the vibration was very bad. Best I can tell, there is damage to the driveshaft. Please take a look at the attached pictures and let me know what you think. I know it is not much information but any guess is welcomed. I also attached an image of the front undercarriage where I believe a skid plate or plastic cover might have been torn off. The good news is that my son is bringing a car carrier from our home about 250 miles away so I will be able to get the truck into the shop without too much pain. Thanks for any help you can offer. View attachment 415700 View attachment 415701 View attachment 415702
I am sure someone more knowledgeable than myself will respond soon. But in the meantime, I am excellent at pulling explanations for things out of thin air :sneaky:.

I don't believe there is any sort of factory plastic cladding/"skid plate" underneath, so you should be clear on that front. But I am wondering if the deer hit the center support/carrier bearing on the driveshaft and damaged it? A damaged carrier bearing would certainly cause vibration, and I think that is what I am looking at in the above pictures that seems to have collected a nice bit of pelt from the poor creature. Any reputable shop should be able to diagnose a drive shaft vibration fairly easily.

That being said, I know there are many more people on this forum with more knowledge on this topic than I have so here's to hoping others respond with their own theories.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am sure someone more knowledgeable than myself will respond soon. But in the meantime, I am excellent at pulling explanations for things out of thin air :sneaky:.

I don't believe there is any sort of factory plastic cladding/"skid plate" underneath, so you should be clear on that front. But I am wondering if the deer hit the center support/carrier bearing on the driveshaft and damaged it? A damaged carrier bearing would certainly cause vibration, and I think that is what I am looking at in the above pictures that seems to have collected a nice bit of pelt from the poor creature. Any reputable shop should be able to diagnose a drive shaft vibration fairly easily.

That being said, I know there are many more people on this forum with more knowledge on this topic than I have so here's to hoping others respond with their own theories.
Thanks a ton! The center support/carrier bearing is my best guess as the source. It was bent quite a bit further to the rear of the truck after the strike. I hammered it back as best as I could to a position more perpendicular to the driveshaft so the picture looks better than the original damage. I figured there was a bearing there but just could not tell in the dark. Hopefully, the bent carrier has knocked driveshaft out of alignment and thus the vibration. Also, thanks for the input on the skid plate. I have change the oil on this truck twice so I have been under it a few times but I just could not remember exactly what the front undercarriage looked like prior to the deer. Thanks again!
 

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Not a mechanic, but dealt with something similar on my '99 CR-V. Looks like some damage to the carrier bearing on the propeller shaft; knocking it out of alignment would definitely cause the vibration. If that's the case, it's probably easier to replace the entire shaft than to try and have someone replace the bearing, if that's even possible. Good luck!
 

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I agree with the center carrier being the culprit. If I remember correctly you can't get just the carrier. So your looking at complete axle assy.

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I also remember while working at Honda dealership in the parts dept. I had to go to our body shop to look at a CRX SI that had been driven over a deer carcus on a foggy highway. I wrote up the parts to be ordered. Later on was called by the body shop mgr. He said the car had been totaled. The body/frame had been twisted so badly to that the car would never be straight again. Too bad because it was only a few months old.

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I agree with the center carrier being the culprit. If I remember correctly you can't get just the carrier. So your looking at complete axle assy.

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That is a bummer! Reminds me of my buddy's old F150. The u-joints were staked in so it cost about as much to have the u-joints replaced as it did to have a new driveshaft fabricated at a local shop. Talk about $800 he never saw again.

@jfcmoore It looks like the shaft might run you a pretty penny. Here it is listed for about $1000. Maybe this is worth involving insurance if you have comprehensive coverage and a low deductible?
 

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Have you filed a claim with your insurance company? Isn’t this something they should pay for?
 

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Not sure what you mean by a car carrier. Make sure you tow it home on a trailer with all 4 wheels up. No rear wheels down or anything.
 

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Where could one be purchased? And how easy are they to install?
you might consider this option. The Burtman skid plate weighs about 35 lbs.and is steel. Good protection, but there are options. Check this out:
Also, here are some discussions around the aluminum one.
Hope this helps! No lo also has a skid plate for the rear differential, if you are interested in that too! Wished I had gotten the aluminum one, a little easier to handle when doing the maintenance on the transmission ( if you have the 6 speed transmission) and transfer case.
Actually not too bad to install, a total of 6 bolts. 2 in the rear and 4 in the front. Here is an install discussion on the board.
 

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Last night driving very late in West Texas I hit a deer carcass. I did not see it in time to swerve on wet roads so I straddled it and hoped for enough clearance. No luck. Huge bang to bottom of my 2019 Ridgeline followed by serious vibration. Nothing like laying under your vehicle in the middle of the night on a dark road trying to figure out if you are safe to creep to the nearest town. I was able to drive the 6 miles or so to a motel but the vibration was very bad. Best I can tell, there is damage to the driveshaft. Please take a look at the attached pictures and let me know what you think. I know it is not much information but any guess is welcomed. I also attached an image of the front undercarriage where I believe a skid plate or plastic cover might have been torn off. The good news is that my son is bringing a car carrier from our home about 250 miles away so I will be able to get the truck into the shop without too much pain. Thanks for any help you can offer. View attachment 415697 View attachment 415698 View attachment 415699 View attachment 415697 View attachment 415698 View attachment 415699
And another reason why Honda should do like every other truck manufacturer and include skid plates at least on all AWD models. Especially considering the lowest ground clearance of any truck.
 

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And another reason why Honda should do like every other truck manufacturer and include skid plates at least on all AWD models. Especially considering the lowest ground clearance of any truck.
I agree, but they would probably put the flimsiest piece of sheet metal or maybe just a plastic shield under there and it would not do much, if anything. To a manufacturer, it’s all about squeezing every bit of fuel mileage out of a vehicle and keeping the costs down. I would prefer some steel (about 3/16” thick or aluminum, similar thickness) to help protect the underside. After looking at the pictures of the driveline from the OP, not sure a skid plate would have prevented that, but I could be wrong. I’ve had to straddle dead animals in the road before, and all I could is hope for the best. Hope he comes back with an update as to what has to be replaced to get the vibration gone!
 
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