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Discussion Starter #1
I have googled this several times, but cannot find any threads in the forum concerning the same or similar problem:

It seems like I have some periodical connection problem between the shifter and the lights indicating which gear I am using. Parking fails from time to time, and when it doesn't lit I cannot remove the key. I wiggle the shifter a little, and there is a click in the door and key removes okay.
Reverse light rarely lits, and when there is no light on the dashboard, there is no reversing light in the rear of my car. Neutral is also mostly out of duty. P, 2 & 1 works 80 % of the time and normally will be okay if a move the shifter.

I guess there is a connector assembly which the shifter moves over, and maybe is a bit worn. Is this a known problem with Honda AT? What can I do to clean any connectors? Is there parts which is better to have replaced?
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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Re: Faulty sihft indicator lights

To me it sounds as if the ignition switch is failing. I've seen some threads on that.

Good Luck
 

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Re: Faulty sihft indicator lights

There is switch assembly on the transmission that tells the computer what gear range is selected (PRND21). The computer then broadcasts the selected range over a data bus. The instrument cluster receives this information and lights the corresponding indicator (PRND21 or D3). Sounds to me like you have a faulty "range sensor" or a wiring problem preventing the computer from knowing what "gear" the transmission is in. This would also explain the lack of reverse lights and inability to remove the key.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: Faulty sihft indicator lights

So the light cluster for the gears receives its signals from the range sensor? There is no connection from the shift stick to the lights?

The gear selected is always correct. If I choose park, it locks the gearbox, if reverse is selected the car goes backward etc. There has never been a fault or mis-correspodance between the selected gear and the response from the gearbox. Only the lights not illuminating every time. I would expect a fault like not getting the chosen gear if the range sensor fails.

In my mind I have anticipated some kind of "hardware" sensor behind the shift stick which register the position of the stick as a trigger for the lights and not via a data bus from the transmission box. Like a primitive switch assy which may get worn or corroded over the years causing the connection to fail.
 

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Re: Faulty sihft indicator lights

The only electrical connection on the shift lever is between the D3 button and the PCM. There is a "range sensor" located on the transmission (actually, a series of switches inside a housing that output a binary code) that tells the PCM what mode (PRND21) you have chosen with the shift lever. The Ridgeline's transmission is not fully electronically controlled (i.e., some fluid paths are still controlled with with the shift lever). Provided the mechanical linkage between the shift lever and the transmission housing is functioning properly, the transmission will be in the mode you expect (PRND21) based on the position of the shift lever. However, if the range sensor or associated wiring fails, the PCM won't know what mode the transmission is in. Depending on the specific failure mode, you may end up with anything from odd shifting, limited acceleration/speed, a flashing "D", a check engine light, loss of cruise control, or no symptoms at all. The PRND21 lights on the instrument cluster are NOT lit up using direct electrical connections between them and the shift lever or transmission. Instead, the PCM communicates to the instrument cluster which light to turn on. You'll sometimes see evidence of this if you start the engine and quickly shift to D - you won't have any PRND21 lights on for a second or two until the computer reads the range sensor and tells the cluster which light to turn on. Another hint is the flashing "D" associated with some types of failures. If the shift lever directly controlled this light using a simple switch, the "D" couldn't flash - it would stay on any time the shift lever was in the "D" position.

This system is in contrast to a "shift by wire" system (which the Ridgeline is not). For example, on many vehicles the shift lever has limited or no mechanical connection to the transmission. It is simply a switch that tells the PCM what solenoids or actuators to operate inside the transmission to disengage the parking pawl and what hydraulic circuits to engage so that the vehicle goes forwards or backwards or coasts in neutral.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Faulty sihft indicator lights

I appreciate your thorough explanation.

I have had the blinking "D" a couple of times which I supposed was due to low transmission fluid level (to be serviced soon). I have also had no cruise control at a few occasions and CEL which I have also suspected to be trigged by the LPG valve lubrication system (sending a small drop of oil to lubricate the valves due to higher temperature when driving on LPG).

So based on your explanation and my experience with a diversity of faults linked to the transmission system, the most likely explanation might be a faulty wiring rather than a faulty range sensor? Or might there be wear or corrosion at the end of the linkage to the range sensor?

Do you now if the range sensor is easily to replace? I have access to a garage and tools, and have slightly more than basic skills in working both on engine and electronic devices.
 

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Re: Faulty sihft indicator lights

There's no fluid level sensor for the transmission, so the blinking "D" could not have been directly caused by low fluid level. However, it could have indirectly resulted if the low fluid level prevented the transmission from shifting into the proper gear. Low fluid level generally prevents a transmission from being in the commanded gear or results in slippage of the clutches and torque converter which will set codes for incorrect gear ratios. Again, some of these codes blink the "D" and/or others will illuminate the CEL. Still others won't turn on any lights, but may still store a code.

The additional symptoms you have described help confirm the fact that the mechanical linkage between your shift lever and the transmission is working fine. The problem seems to be that the PCM doesn't always know what position the shift lever is in which is causing various side effects. Examples: If the PCM has any suspicion the transmission may actually be in a "gear" other than D or 2, it won't allow the cruise control to operate. There are no sensors on the vehicle that tell the various computers if the vehicle is moving in forward or reverse - the speed sensors in the transmission and the tone wheels on each wheel used for thinks like ABS and traction control don't know direction - only speed. They generate the same output regardless of direction.

Once underway, the PCM can sometimes make a calculated guess based on its programming logic. Example: If the range sensor fails completely and the speed sensor indicates the truck is moving at 70 MPH, the PCM knows the transmission is probably NOT in P, R, N, or 1. However, it may be in D or 2 so it may limit the transmission to second gear or simply "lock" in second gear. There are oodles of combinations of failure modes and responses.

Generally, only problems like loss of a speed sensor input or actual gear position will flash the "D" light. Generally, a range sensor or wiring problem (depending on the specific failure mode) will result in no PRND21 indication at all. Generally, the CEL will only illuminate if the particular failure results in an increase in the vehicles' emissions above a preset value. For example, if the transmission is slipping or isn't in the correct gear the emissions will be higher than they should be for a specific driving condition.

Before 1996, a CEL would come on when almost any code was set. Since 1996, CELs generally only come on for problem that causes in increase in the vehicle's emissions.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Re: Faulty sihft indicator lights

Not easy to find the correct part...

I need help to verify this is the part I need for replacing my Ridgeline's "range sensor". I was recently watching a video explaining how to change the sensor on a Honda V6 J-series engine, and the sensor he changed did not look exactly like this. (It had wiring up to the rear of the engine, and not a connector to the wiring harness directly on the sensor).

https://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php?carcode=1503680&parttype=4584
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: Faulty sihft indicator lights

Thank you for helping, chiph.

I do prefer OEM parts for my car, but I could not find any vendor with this part who also offers international shipping.

The site your link is pointing to, seems to be unacessable for me. Might be because I am located outside US. Same goes for Bernardiparts and a couple of other vendors. :act006:
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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Re: Faulty sihft indicator lights

Here is a snap shot of the page and the Part Number. Is the Part Number something that could be used on other Honda v6 Engines and are any Honda/Acura's v6's in Europe? I just checked CurryAcuraparts.com and it comes up as both Honda and Acura Sensor, FWIW?

Part Number Illust No. Req'd Description List $ Our$
28900-RDP-003 010 001 SENSOR ASSY., POSITION 82.73 57.08
 

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Re: Faulty sihft indicator lights

Sorry NSXer, I didn't realize you were in Norway. Carsmak posted the part number, hopefully you can find a local source for it, as Honda used the 5-speed automatic in a number of vehicles.

Chip H.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Re: Faulty sihft indicator lights

I appreciate your efforts, carsmak.

There were/ are no V6s (or Acuras of any model) sold through the Honda dealerships (except for a couple of NSXs back in 91/92).
A small number of Ridgelines were sold through parallell import by individual vendors. Parts will be extremely expensive through the local dealer unless it is generic parts used in JDM/ EDM models. Any Acura is an exotic car in my part of the world, which sometimes can be challenging for an enthusiast like me.

So I am much better off sourcing the parts myself and also doing the wrenching on my cars. The last vendor I bought from, disn't have this sensor in stock. I'll check with MagicHonda if I can have it shipped. Last option is to use a US based shipping company, so eventually I will be able to buy any part I need. It comes down to a matter of money and time in transit.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Re: Faulty sihft indicator lights

Thanks to carsmak, I was finally able to find the correct part at hondapartsonline.net who I have bought parts from previously. I did try myself earlier, but could not come up with the correct term or category to search in.

So now there will be another issue to be fixed and crossed out in my to-do list. Hopefully this one will terminate the periodic cruise control problem, and make my reverse light to be lit every time I need it.

ROC is truly a great forum, and the bible for a foreign newbie in the Ridgeline world. :act024:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Received the switch a couple of days ago and installed it this afternoon.
Had to remove part of the inner fender on the left front wheel to get access but still not so much room for wrenching.
Placed shifter in P. Hooked of the electrical connector, and removed the shifter wire (12 mm nut). Removed the 22 mm nut and the two 10 mm bolts holding the assembly in place. Easy to get it out and put the new one in. When fastening the 22 mm center nut, the shifter changed position. I used a monkeywrench to set it to the initial position after properly fastening the 22 mm.
After installing the new one, I tested but no light in D and N, Reverse working again.
The holes for the two 10 mm bolts holding the assembly, are oval. I loosened both and adjusted the assembly max backwards. Neutral is not 100 % every time, but the rest of the indicators are working fine. The bonus is with R-indicator back, the reverse lights are working. (no R light = no backup lights in the rear).
Over the next days, I will know if the cruise control problems are history.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Two weeks with the new switch, and so far so good. My problems with the cruise control not activating seems to be history, and the reversing light lits every time now. I haven't had the flashing D either.

Fairly simple job which can be done on a jackstand also.

Thanks again to all who contributed with tips and info.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Jon, that's an odd problem I don't recall having seen reported here before. Glad you got it sorted out.

On your parts issue, I wonder if the ROC can somehow assist in helping you get parts and get them shipped to you. I have no clue what would be involved, but I bet some would be willing to help if we knew what had to be done.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I didn't find any how-to videos for this job on Youtube, but there is one for the Odessy I believe. Not really the same layout on the transmission housing, as this switch is located more to the front on the RL but the job is more or less similar. So I don't think it has been a big issue on the RLs so far.

Anyway, hopefully this will be an useful post for someone using ROC.

I have got a lot of help both on vendors to contact and members who are willing to ship. Same experience in the Integra and NSX community also. Until I am proven wrong, I will still trust people offering to help as ROC is full of dedicated owners with the best intentions.
 
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