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Discussion Starter #1
Just got my '06 RT a few weeks ago. The previous owner replaced the original muffler with Flowmaster, suggesting that it would help improve fuel efficiency for the truck. Has anyone done this and seen improvements in MPG? Are there potential problems with using the Flowmaster?

Just curious how you could improve MPG on a Honda. I still have the original muffler so I can put it back if needed. The sound from the Flowmaster is cool but I would rather not have problems down the road.
 

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Mine is stock, so I can't offer real world advice, but my guess comes purely from logic. Honda is under great pressure from the government to maximize fuel economy in all of its vehicles (CAFE standards). Logically, the stock muffler is probably meant to do just that, while minimizing exhaust noise. If your priority is fuel economy, then stay stock. If you want a cooler sound, then change. My philosophy has always been that the Honda engineers know a helluva lot more about Honda engineering than I do, so all changes that I do are purely cosmetic. That's my two cents worth.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Best way to improve mileage is driver technique considering the driving environment. If you have short trips, there's not a whole lot you can do. But otherwise, consider how you would drive if there was a potato chip between the accelerator pedal and your foot and you were trying not to break the chip. ;)

One RL owner recently reported a 2.2 mpg gain by altering driving techniques (not specified). I seem to have found improvement (1 to 2 mpg) using 100% gas.

What kind of mpg are you getting now?
 

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I do recall reading something on the Flowmaster site where they do claim some MPG increase. However, in my real world experience it seems that whenever I install a flowmaster (or any aftermarket muffler), I seem to mash the throttle pedal all the time to listen to the exhaust note and in doing so my MPG just plummet.
 

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My philosophy has always been that the Honda engineers know a helluva lot more about Honda engineering than I do, so all changes that I do are purely cosmetic. That's my two cents worth.
That's the best I have seen it put here on the ROC.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's what I felt about installing after market mufflers too. But I guess I haven't driven it long enough to see what my actual MPG is right now. The previous owner said he got 1-2 miles more per gallon on the highways, but I don't know if it actually hurts local MPG.

Does anyone know if aftermarket mufflers will shorten the life of the catalytic converter or any other parts of the exhaust system? I don't really want to store an extra muffler indefinitely as spare parts...
 

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That's the best I have seen it put here on the ROC.
Did you see this ad on the Fourm page this morning?

"$69 Honda Ridgeline Chip 60 Horsepower 7 MPG Savings Boost Easy Installation Custom ECU Chip www.GFChips.com"

Don't particularly care about the HP increase, but sure could use the 7 MPG boost!! LOL
 

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As I understand it, the chip is automatically updated with the latest program changes (sort of like Windows Update) every time the vehicle is brought into the dealership for any reason. If this is so, then whatever custom programming you may have purchased is overwritten with Honda programming automatically, and therefore would be a waste of money. Don't know first hand if this is true, but it seems plausible enough that I have avoided getting a custom chip.
 

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As I understand it, the chip is automatically updated with the latest program changes (sort of like Windows Update) every time the vehicle is brought into the dealership for any reason. If this is so, then whatever custom programming you may have purchased is overwritten with Honda programming automatically, and therefore would be a waste of money. Don't know first hand if this is true, but it seems plausible enough that I have avoided getting a custom chip.
Please tell me you're not being serious....
 

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If you are just replacing the system after the cats you have nothing to fear, If it is a question with regards to law, as long as they are CARB approved, etc. there should be no issue.

The J pipe would seem to a major restriction, an exhaust will not do much to compensate for that, however, a modern SS quality exhaust is likely lighter than stock, so a small weight savings, beside sounding 'neater'. A little better breathing, not likely to be a significant improvement in power/mileage.

When I had my G35 the improvement with an exhaust changeout was noticeable, in weight and breathing. The stock exhaust weighed a ton. But the engine was already designed for performance, and there were several options for retuning the ECU to capitalize on the improvement, as well a CARB approved revised intake plenum. The combination of those changes was definitely something measurable as well as something you could feel in your butt.

A fun ride, but a totally useless cargo or people carrier. To have it all in one package is more time, and more money. Did I mention also more money?
 

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As I understand it, the chip is automatically updated with the latest program changes (sort of like Windows Update) every time the vehicle is brought into the dealership for any reason. If this is so, then whatever custom programming you may have purchased is overwritten with Honda programming automatically, and therefore would be a waste of money. Don't know first hand if this is true, but it seems plausible enough that I have avoided getting a custom chip.
I have also heard of this but don't know first hand. I do know on International and Cat diesel motors, when we take one to the dealer it's ECU is automatically updated with any new programming.
 

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I am perfectly serious with my comment about updating the chip, and I am likewise serious about not knowing for sure if it is true. Maybe one of the Honda service people here on ROC can address this issue. However, my premise seems very plausible, and since those chips are not cheap, I have never been tempted to buy one.
 

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I have also heard of this but don't know first hand. I do know on International and Cat diesel motors, when we take one to the dealer it's ECU is automatically updated with any new programming.
If you do all your own regular maintenance, when is the dealer ever going to get around to re-programming it?
Another way to handle it is a piggy-back programmer, that's removed when you go to the dealer.
 

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If you do all your own regular maintenance, when is the dealer ever going to get around to re-programming it?
Another way to handle it is a piggy-back programmer, that's removed when you go to the dealer.
Warranty work and recalls.
 

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Warranty work and recalls.
True enough..I still have reservations that they do any reprograms at all unless it is really necessary or a TSB/recall, etc. Seems to go against the dealership rules: "don't do more than absolutely necessary". There are normally backups for 3rd party software.
I would think it's a very different service routine with commercial and farm machinery.
 

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True enough..I still have reservations that they do any reprograms at all unless it is really necessary or a TSB/recall, etc. Seems to go against the dealership rules: "don't do more than absolutely necessary". There are normally backups for 3rd party software.
I would think it's a very different service routine with commercial and farm machinery.
You are probably right when talking about auto dealers such as Honda. I'm sure none of them will go above and beyond without getting payed. I'm not sure why it is done on our school buses, maybe contracting, laws, ect.
 

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You are probably right when talking about auto dealers such as Honda. I'm sure none of them will go above and beyond without getting payed. I'm not sure why it is done on our school buses, maybe contracting, laws, ect.
I don't know..good question though.

If you ever watch Motorweek (which BTW gave the new Honda Pilot lead SUV in it's class just over the Chevy Traverse) they give recognition weekly to various local businesses and local governments that are working hard to reduce emissions as well as transportation costs in their fleets.
 

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I am perfectly serious with my comment about updating the chip, and I am likewise serious about not knowing for sure if it is true. Maybe one of the Honda service people here on ROC can address this issue. However, my premise seems very plausible, and since those chips are not cheap, I have never been tempted to buy one.
My comment was to address the fact that there is no magical "chip" that can improve the performance of the RL. At least not one that is readily available to buy that you can just plug in and go that will add 20hp and 20ft./lbs. or whatever. If there was more power and fuel efficiency to be had with the RL with just a simple change in electronics, it would have been done from the factory. With the J35, you can do custom ECU tunes to account for upgraded intake, exhaust or forced induction parts, but it would take someone who REALLY knew what they were doing to get this right. Could you point me to which "chip" you were seeing?
As far as your question of if the dealership would return the truck to a stock tune, I guess that would depend on what you were having done and what dealership did the work. Unless it's in the work order specifically, I doubt it would be done. However, I can't say for sure either...
 

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Well, I took my Toyota in to the dealer for some recall work recently, and they also told me that it was time to have my timing belt changed. The same things happens every time I go into the BMW dealership for any kind of work: they do a complete inspection and tell me what they see that might need to be done while I am there. It seems plausible that some dealers would see if Honda had come out with an upgrade to the chip programming, and do it, probably without asking. Again I say: we need a Honda service person that is in the ROC to address this issue.
 
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