Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am currently looking at replacing the rear differential, transfer case, and transmission fluids. I was wondering how many gallons/liters of each fluid I should buy to make sure I have enough?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,226 Posts
1 jug of VTM-4 fluid (it comes in a gallon-or-so jug).

1 quart or liter of gear oil for the transfer case (you’ll use roughly half of it).

4 quarts or liters of ATF has generally done it for me and for most here, as I recall.
 

·
Registered
2007 RTL Steel Blue
Joined
·
547 Posts
What Bulwnkl said. One drain/fill of the transmission = 3.5qts. Make sure you loosen the fill plug on top of the transmission BEFORE you drain the old fluid (they're really tight), and you will need a long funnel for the re-fill. Also, you're going to need a hand pump of some sorts to get the fluid into the rear dif. and possibly the transfer case (I can't remember if I used one for that).
 

·
Super Moderator
2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
Joined
·
23,157 Posts
Make sure you dedicate a handpump for the VTM-4 fluid and don't use it for anything else. The VTM-4 fluid does not like to be contaminated. I store mine in a double ziplock gallon size bag for future use.

For the transfer assembly, I start with a full quart bottle and just squish it up against the frame to get the 1/2 qt needed into the transfer assembly. I get another bottle next time and do it again. The 3rd time I just combine the 2 and have another full bottle... or close enough.

While you can fill the tranny via the dipstick and an appropriate sized funnel, it's tedious and can potentially ruin the starter just below if enough fluid drips on it. So I always fill via the 17mm bolt on top of the tranny back near the firewall.

Here's the funnel I use for the trans fluid.

404807


And while you're doing those fluids, don't forget coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Make sure you dedicate a handpump for the VTM-4 fluid and don't use it for anything else. The VTM-4 fluid does not like to be contaminated. I store mine in a double ziplock gallon size bag for future use.

For the transfer assembly, I start with a full quart bottle and just squish it up against the frame to get the 1/2 qt needed into the transfer assembly. I get another bottle next time and do it again. The 3rd time I just combine the 2 and have another full bottle... or close enough.

While you can fill the tranny via the dipstick and an appropriate sized funnel, it's tedious and can potentially ruin the starter just below if enough fluid drips on it. So I always fill via the 17mm bolt on top of the tranny back near the firewall.

Here's the funnel I use for the trans fluid.

View attachment 404807

And while you're doing those fluids, don't forget coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid too.
Looking at the Maintenance Schedule for the truck https://www.openbay.com/maintenance/2009-honda-ridgeline;
  • Coolant should be fine, I'm only at 60k miles (96,000 km) and it says 120k miles
  • Break fluid, I have no issues with breaking with the car yet, I don't think its ever changed. I'll look into this as well.
  • Power steering, not even in the Honda official maintenance schedule, shouldn't this be something to look at if an issue arises?
 

·
Super Moderator
2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
Joined
·
23,157 Posts
There is no maintenance schedule for the Ridgeline apart from the Maintenance Minder. You are correct that those schedules that float around the internet call for coolant at 120k miles. I think it's a good idea to change it halfway through the change interval and again, at 120k miles when I do the timing belt and a new radiator (to avoid the SMOD issue). That's just my personal suggestion for the coolant change at 60k miles.

Brake fluid should be changed every 3 years regardless the mileage. Brake fluid is hygroscopic and absorbs moisture from the atmosphere which can cause corrosion in the brake internals. Best to avoid that if possible.

We've found here that it's prudent to change the power steering fluid on a routine basis. Several members have reported power steering whines that went away after refreshing the PS fluid. So I make that a 50k-ish mile service personally.

All these services are easily done if you know the difference between a hammer and a screwdriver... assuming you have the place/space to do them. Might be a challenge in an apt complex parking lot.

Do you know the maintenance history of your Ridgeline? Have you had it since new?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There is no maintenance schedule for the Ridgeline apart from the Maintenance Minder. You are correct that those schedules that float around the internet call for coolant at 120k miles. I think it's a good idea to change it halfway through the change interval and again, at 120k miles when I do the timing belt and a new radiator (to avoid the SMOD issue). That's just my personal suggestion for the coolant change at 60k miles.

Brake fluid should be changed every 3 years regardless the mileage. Brake fluid is hygroscopic and absorbs moisture from the atmosphere which can cause corrosion in the brake internals. Best to avoid that if possible.

We've found here that it's prudent to change the power steering fluid on a routine basis. Several members have reported power steering whines that went away after refreshing the PS fluid. So I make that a 50k-ish mile service personally.

All these services are easily done if you know the difference between a hammer and a screwdriver... assuming you have the place/space to do them. Might be a challenge in an apt complex parking lot.

Do you know the maintenance history of your Ridgeline? Have you had it since new?
Taking ownership from my father, I know that he has done the engine oil/filter replacement regularly but nothing else. We had a serpentine belt replacement and a power steering top-off way back years ago. Other than that, nothing seems wrong and the truck still drives like new.
 

·
Super Moderator
2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
Joined
·
23,157 Posts
Taking ownership from my father, I know that he has done the engine oil/filter replacement regularly but nothing else. We had a serpentine belt replacement and a power steering top-off way back years ago. Other than that, nothing seems wrong and the truck still drives like new.
No disrepect intended, but if that's all that's been done to the truck, then it's been severely undermaintained. It's important to change the VTM-4 fluid routinely (by 15k, then every 30k miles), the transmission fluid (45k miles, then every 30k miles), brake fluid (3 years), etc. The Honda automatic is unlike conventional automatics and doesn't use planetary gears, so it operates under higher temps and pressures. Also, the rear diff is unlike conventional rear diffs and use clutches that slip to provide AWD function.

At 60k miles, you should be approaching your 2nd tranny fluid drain and fill, your 3rd rear diff fluid replacement, etc.

Just to give you an idea of what should have been done along the way, assuming operating in the normal service environment. Does Honda still say that Canadian vehicles should be maintained by the severe maintenance schedule?

The maintenance minder should have prompted for those services along those mileage guidelines. If your father used a different OCI schedule and just reset the MM, he may have missed important prompts along the way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No disrepect intended, but if that's all that's been done to the truck, then it's been severely undermaintained. It's important to change the VTM-4 fluid routinely (by 15k, then every 30k miles), the transmission fluid (45k miles, then every 30k miles), brake fluid (3 years), etc. The Honda automatic is unlike conventional automatics and doesn't use planetary gears, so it operates under higher temps and pressures. Also, the rear diff is unlike conventional rear diffs and use clutches that slip to provide AWD function.

At 60k miles, you should be approaching your 2nd tranny fluid drain and fill, your 3rd rear diff fluid replacement, etc.

Just to give you an idea of what should have been done along the way, assuming operating in the normal service environment. Does Honda still say that Canadian vehicles should be maintained by the severe maintenance schedule?

The maintenance minder should have prompted for those services along those mileage guidelines. If your father used a different OCI schedule and just reset the MM, he may have missed important prompts along the way.
I agree, he has not done anything. This is the reason why I am asking about all the fluids. He's a very tech illiterate so I am assuming he missed those MM prompts and that was the main concern I had.

Honda recommends the regular Maintenance schedule for us. We just checked the tranny fluid, its still on the pinkish-yellow side which is a good sign but still, we just hit the 98,000 km mark so that's roughly 60k miles.

I know that with the way we operate the truck, AWD rarely engages, (city, highway driving) so we might not have been too bad on the rear diff but I still want to replace it as its 23,000 km over-due. I called a mechanic today and he said I can come in to test the brake fluid water content for free, I'll ask to see if I can just pay him to test the coolant and power steering as well. Maybe check the rear brakes to see if it needs replacing too.

Do you think I'm missing anything?
 

·
Super Moderator
2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
Joined
·
23,157 Posts
IMO, it's not worth paying anyone to test those fluids. Just change them.

It sounds like you're on the ball with regards to keeping up with maintenance. With only 60k miles on the truck, you have probably escaped major damage, even though well past normal service replacement intervals on multiple items.

If it were me, I'd do a complete fluid and filter change and establish a maintenance baseline, using the online schedules as a guide. At that point, you can continue using the schedules, or begin using the MM for your maintenance prompts.

Remember that if you don't let the MM go to at least 15%, you won't get a prompt for upcoming maintenance items, assuming you reset the MM at the time of the early oil change.

Understand that the AWD engages every time you drive the truck. It automatically engages from a start and slowly tapers off as speed builds past, what, 18 mph, iirc. So that rear diff gets used EVERY time you drive it.

Do you do your own work? If you have the place and space and tools to do the work, you can easily do the routine maintenance items yourself and save a ton of money. I've been doing that for years and save the big jobs (timing belt, etc.) for the shop. Use Honda fluids for coolant, VTM-4, transmission fluid (DW-1), power steering and brakes.

If you have a 2009, you have the old ATF Z1 tranny fluid. It typically takes 4 D&F operations to convert over to the new DW-1 fluid. Drive a few miles in between to fully mix the fluid, exercising all gears including reverse.

There is plenty of help available here if you go the DIY route. Let us know if we can help and if you need more info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
IMO, it's not worth paying anyone to test those fluids. Just change them.

It sounds like you're on the ball with regards to keeping up with maintenance. With only 60k miles on the truck, you have probably escaped major damage, even though well past normal service replacement intervals on multiple items.

If it were me, I'd do a complete fluid and filter change and establish a maintenance baseline, using the online schedules as a guide. At that point, you can continue using the schedules, or begin using the MM for your maintenance prompts.

Remember that if you don't let the MM go to at least 15%, you won't get a prompt for upcoming maintenance items, assuming you reset the MM at the time of the early oil change.

Understand that the AWD engages every time you drive the truck. It automatically engages from a start and slowly tapers off as speed builds past, what, 18 mph, iirc. So that rear diff gets used EVERY time you drive it.

Do you do your own work? If you have the place and space and tools to do the work, you can easily do the routine maintenance items yourself and save a ton of money. I've been doing that for years and save the big jobs (timing belt, etc.) for the shop. Use Honda fluids for coolant, VTM-4, transmission fluid (DW-1), power steering and brakes.

If you have a 2009, you have the old ATF Z1 tranny fluid. It typically takes 4 D&F operations to convert over to the new DW-1 fluid. Drive a few miles in between to fully mix the fluid, exercising all gears including reverse.

There is plenty of help available here if you go the DIY route. Let us know if we can help and if you need more info.
I bought the equipment, just awaiting the haynes manual to come in before getting dirty this weekend. I thought it was weird that the honda dealership sold me DW-1 when the manual recommended Z1 and only Z1. What's the difference?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,226 Posts
DW-1 is a newer fluid. It is the same formulating strategy, in a higher quality, lower viscosity base.
 

·
Super Moderator
2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
Joined
·
23,157 Posts
I bought the equipment, just awaiting the haynes manual to come in before getting dirty this weekend. I thought it was weird that the honda dealership sold me DW-1 when the manual recommended Z1 and only Z1. What's the difference?
Here's a chart to show you the D&F drill to reach whatever %age you want of fresh fluid.

404871


Per Honda, they suggest 4x D&F... which will give you 88% new fluid.

404872
 
  • Like
Reactions: bulwnkl
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top