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My 07 Ridgeline developed a hesitancy from stop to acceleration around 100k miles. Honda service did "snapshots" and all electrical components tested ideal. I went ahead and replaced spark plugs and changed transmission fluid through Honda. From dead stop with normal acceleration there is a pronounced hesitation so that I have to push through the "dead zone" to continue accelerating. Afterward, the surge occurs at all speeds but is most noticeable at lower speeds. When the RPMs are up, it is less noticeable. From here it shifts down hard from D on most declines and continues to be hesitant to pick back up on the throttle. The surge feels like it is holding back. Otherwise, the engine runs like a quiet, smooth sowing machine, especially in idle. I oiled the original accelerator cable to no avail and then replaced it with a new factory cable, also to no avail. Any ideas?
 

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Total wild guess would be throttle position sensor??

I'd say it needs some professional diagnosis, but only if they can duplicate the issue.
 

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Marshall, I can't tell from your post whether this is tied to straight ahead acceleration or turning acceleration. My 2007 RTL has a "surge" or as you call it dead spot on accelerating right turns after a stop. It's not so bad I will spend money on it...yet.

I thought I was crazy, and I don't know what any diagnosis will be, but this is absolutely a "thing" and you're not unique here by any stretch of the imagination.

I also find odd A/C behavior with my fan slowing down or speeding up on left and right turns, like from a stop sign or light. Like they say, there are ghosts in the machine.
 

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... maybe you've got a bad ground wire somewhere that's being effected by side forces during the turns? Is it only on turns with some speed, or does it do it in very slow turns as well?
 

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Could be the torque converter or something as simple as a clogged catalytic converter or O2 sensor. If it were a sensor, I would think you'd throw a CEL. I'd start with checking the cats. The TC is quite expensive to replace, so I hope, for your sake, it isn't that.
 

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I have the same issue. I will go over a hard bump and all pedal input is gone. I could mash the throttle and it will do nothing for 5 seconds or so. It has progressively gotten un responsive off the line as well. I want to replace the accelerator sensor(#2) in the link one of these days and see if it makes a difference. 2006 175k.

http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com...F)&catcgry4=KA5AT&catcgry5=ACCELERATOR+SENSOR
 

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My '09 Ridgeline has a small hesitation during light acceleration. You can feel it just after an upshift -- and you can even see it in the tachometer (the engine speed will fall some, then eventually pick back up). If I accelerate with what I would consider "moderate" acceleration, where the engine revs over 3,000 rpm before it shifts, it's super smooth.

After lots and lots (and then some more) parameter observing in Torque Pro, I've determined that it's not in the engine or its management, but in the transmission. And I don't think it's a defect, but just the way it is. I think the computer is pulsing the torque converter in to decrease slip and increase economy. It's "grabbing" more of the engine and dragging it down just a little bit under those circumstances. At heavier throttle openings, it doesn't, and allows the engine to rev.

I "confirmed" this by turning O/D off and performing the same types of acceleration. As you probably know, there's a different torque converter strategy with O/D off. With O/D off, acceleration at all throttle openings is 100% smooth, with zero surges, sags, or hesitations.

I don't know if that's what you're feeling or not, OP, but for what it's worth...
 

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FWIW, I didn't think the RL, had O/D (if your referring to OverDrive). Please Clarify?
 

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FWIW, I didn't think the RL, had O/D (if your referring to OverDrive). Please Clarify?
Yeah, I'm not certain what is meant by O/D, either. If he's talking about the D3 button, that is certainly not turning O/D off by any means. You're simply keeping the truck from shifting into 4th and 5th. It should only be used sparingly. There's an article floating around about its use, but I typically use it when I'm coasting down a large hill at 40~mph where keeping the truck in 3rd will allow it to "engine brake" down the hill. I don't have to use my brakes then. Also, if you're towing at lower speeds, the D3 button allows you to keep the revs up to maintain power.
 

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S.T.U.V is correct on this one. This is also know as the APP Sensor( This is your Drive by Wire). A lot of times you can tell this is going bad by turning the vehicle off after you get the surge. The problem will go away for a while and return. A easy part to replace. Good Luck
 

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Yeah, I'm not certain what is meant by O/D, either. If he's talking about the D3 button, that is certainly not turning O/D off by any means. You're simply keeping the truck from shifting into 4th and 5th. It should only be used sparingly. There's an article floating around about its use, but I typically use it when I'm coasting down a large hill at 40~mph where keeping the truck in 3rd will allow it to "engine brake" down the hill. I don't have to use my brakes then. Also, if you're towing at lower speeds, the D3 button allows you to keep the revs up to maintain power.
Yes, I meant the D3 button.

That D3 button, though, DOES lock out the overdrive gears. 4th and 5th are both overdriven in this transmission (with ratios of less than 1:1), and using the D3 button is the same as using an "O/D OFF" button -- it locks out the overdriven transmission gears.

The D3 button, in additional to locking out 4th and 5th gears, puts the transmission into a different shift and torque converter lock strategy, which is why I felt it was relevant to this thread, if the hesitation is simply the torque converter partially engaging during light acceleration.
 

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My 06 has been doing this for some time too.

Now I'm having trouble with the #4 cylinder (oil leaking.) Not sure if related or not...but I've noticed that when I encounter these hesitations now, they are always accompanied by a puff of oil smoke when it 'recovers'.
 

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Yes, I meant the D3 button.

That D3 button, though, DOES lock out the overdrive gears. 4th and 5th are both overdriven in this transmission (with ratios of less than 1:1), and using the D3 button is the same as using an "O/D OFF" button -- it locks out the overdriven transmission gears.

The D3 button, in additional to locking out 4th and 5th gears, puts the transmission into a different shift and torque converter lock strategy, which is why I felt it was relevant to this thread, if the hesitation is simply the torque converter partially engaging during light acceleration.
Not to be too picky, but if we use that strict definition for what we call over-drive (accurate as it may be), it will become meaningless (or at least confusing) with today's modern trannies.... many of which I'm guessing have multiple gears that qualify. And that trend is increasing. That common terminology (OD) has been overcome by technology I think, so far as casual use goes. It used to conveniently define ONE gear in your tranny.... so was easy to use as a reference term.
 

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As you probably know, there's a different torque converter strategy with O/D off.
I have never heard of this (for the Ridgeline). Do you have a citation for this? I haven't use the D3 button much, as it's only documented to my knowledge for engine braking. So, I have never used it while accelerating.
 

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I have never heard of this (for the Ridgeline). Do you have a citation for this? I haven't use the D3 button much, as it's only documented to my knowledge for engine braking. So, I have never used it while accelerating.
No official documentation, just careful observations in what I can feel and with instrumentation (Torque Pro on my phone). Engine braking is reduced significantly while in D3 at slow speeds (such as under 30mph). Without D3 on, and at 28 mph (for instance), the truck will be in 4th gear and if you let off the gas, it will cut fuel and retard the timing to a fixed -10 degrees BTDC (basically, 10 degrees ATDC). It'll maintain that state until you've slowed down enough to where it has to provide gas again to keep the engine lit. At that instant, the timing advance returns to an adaptive state (about 0-10 degrees BTDC, depending on other variables). But with D3 on and you start coasting (from 28 mph for instance), the truck will coast more freely, fuel will not be cut, and the timing is maintained in its normal adaptive state.

You can see for yourself. Accelerate in drive (no D3) up to a steady 20 mph, preferably up a slight incline to keep the engine loaded. You'll be in 3rd gear at this time, and the engine will be held at about 1300 rpm or so. The torque converter is being duty cycled to keep the engine speed low to reduce slippage in the transmission.

Maintain 20 mph. Now, with a steady throttle, turn on D3. The transmission won't shift, but the torque converter will release, and engine speed will rise to about 1500-1700 rpm. It's not a dramatic difference, but the more the engine is loaded with an incline, the greater the difference will be.

If you can measure it consistently, you can see a difference during acceleration up to speed as well. Without D3 and with light throttle input (about 15% for example), the torque converter will be partially engaged to keep engine speeds low to increase efficiency. If you accelerate exactly the same without D3, your engine will seem freer to rev, and acceleration will be slightly smoother (because the torque converter is not trying to partially engage).

(Or, accelerate with more throttle, and it doesn't use that economy strategy either.)

This has been the situation with all three Hondas that I've owned...our 2009 Ridgeline, a 2008 CR-V, and our 2005 Acura MDX (Honda Pilot).
 
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