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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi folks, I have a question for anyone who has bought a used Ridgeline? I am not able to afford a new truck so I've been looking at older ones. I found an '06 with about 130, 000 on it. I was given a carfax report and it only has oil changes on it. I was reading that by about 90,000 they need to have thier water pumps and timing belts replaced or you can lose the whole engine. So far all the trucks I've seen all have well over 100,000 and none of the reports show the water pumps or color copies online near me timing belts done. Is it safe for me to buy one of these? $8,000 is a lot of money to me and if the truck goes bad I won't be able to replace it with another vehicle. I have also read that these items can't be inspected without tearing into the motor. Any help anyone could provide me would be GREATLY appriciated!
 

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2019 Sport Lunar Silver
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158 Posts
I have seen T-belts last that long. 105 miles is the O.E schedule. It's an expensive job, the 105 service.
I wouldn't touch it if the other fluids (trans ATF, rear diff, etc) weren't getting changed.
 

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2007 Nimbus Grey Metallic RTL
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As with any vehicle, not only do you have to have the money to be able to buy it, but also must be able to maintain it and fix it when it needs fixed. The timing belt/water pump service is the MOST important one on the recommended list from Honda. It also does happen to be the most expensive by far. This is why many people trade in before swallowing the cost of that major service. You can certainly press your luck. My belt looked nearly new after 110k miles and likely could have lasted quite a bit longer. Other on here have really pushed it to 180-200k miles before having it done. If you feel lucky and want to risk having to replace the entire engine to the tune of $5000 or more, you can do that. However, I would recommend it be changed within the first few months of buying the truck.

If you call around to several dealerships, they will all give you quotes. When I did mine, the quotes had a VERY wide range for basically the same service. Some were well over $1000. I ended up going to one dealership who did it for $710 which included the belt, the water pump, the timing belt tensioner (almost a must), and a coolant flush. If you know of an independent shop that does work on Honda/Toyota vehicles, they will likely be less expensive labor-wise. It's not a job for a novice, but not difficult for a seasoned mechanic or DIY'er.

The other things to consider for maintenance on the truck are the spark plugs, the radiator, a valve clearance check, and how often the fluids have been serviced. The spark plugs are an easy job that can be done on your own. You can get six OEM plugs for around $50. With simple hand tools, you can do it in an hour or two. The radiator is a concern because of SMOD. If you don't know what it is, just search for it here. Basically, there's a small material flaw in the OEM radiators that cause the lower fittings to corrode and pop off. You can experience a mixing of coolant and transmission fluid that, if not caught instantly, will ruin a transmission. I bought an aftermarket radiator with a different design for $150 and had it installed at a dealership for $250 in labor. I could have done it myself, but wanted it to be documented in case it ever became a recall - which it hasn't. The valve clearance check isn't exactly mandatory, but it's a REALLY good idea to do while you're doing the timing belt. If the valves are too tight or too loose, it can cause power loss, lower fuel efficiency, and, at worst, burned valves requiring servicing. I did this about a year after my timing belt service and by itself it was $350. It would probably be half of that if you lump it in with the timing belt. Lastly, the transmission fluid, rear diff VTM-4 fluid, and other fluids need regularly drained and filled. If you can't find if they've ever been done, you'll want to do that instantly upon buying the truck. These are very simple to do on your own and will only cost you the price of the fluids and your time.

It is an expensive proposition to buy this truck and do all of the things listed, but, if you follow through with all of them and you're able to keep it from corroding, this truck could last you a VERY long time. Mine has been the vest vehicle I've ever owned by far and has been as reliable as anything you could ever imagine. My advice would be, if you can wait, to hold off to find one that has already had the timing belt done and maybe has fairly solid maintenance history. Look to the private party sales as the owner could tell you the history of the truck and what has been done to it. Best of luck!
 

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2019 RTL-T Forest Mist Metallic
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If you are buying from a dealer, work a deal that includes the maintenance. It is a much smaller cost to them and they want to make the sale. even if it adds some cost it can be part of the financing so much easier to handle.
 

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2007 Nimbus Grey Metallic RTL
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Although it's still a possibility a truck of that vintage and mileage could be at a Honda dealer, it's not very likely. It was probably bought via auction and sitting at a smaller independent lot. If it does happen to be at a Honda dealership, this is great advice. Use it in your negotiation tactics. If you're buying in cash, that would make it even easier because you don't have to deal with financing. Either way, this service actually costs the dealership the price of the parts and the time it takes one of their techs to do it which is around $4-500 or so.
 
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