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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, I have an issue hat I can't resolve on my own. I did an A136 on my RTS back in Aug./ Sept. Everything went really well except I couldn't reach the trans. fill bolt. Short stubby arms. In Oct. I had new tires and new struts installed all the way around. Since then my mileage has dropped pretty significantly. I was proud to brag that I was averaging 18 mpg in the city and 22-23 on highway. Now my city average is 16 and highway is 15.1( these numbers are not reversed). I keep very careful records of fuel consumption. I had my repair shop look at everything and they say it's fine. Took it into Honda and everything is within specs. Honda suggested to change plugs which I have done and has resulted in no changes,( spark plug gapped at 1.0mm-1.1mm, verified by Honda Tech.). I am very aware of the winter fuel as I live in the Chicago area, but have never experienced this so badly. I do not use cheap fuels, as I am aware from working on cars, not professionally, cheaper is not always better for the engine. I faithfully run heet in the tank and injector cleaner in the system at every oil change. I have all amsoil products in the car with the exception of the rear diff. VTM-4. Xfer case is running amsoil 80-90 and trans is running amsoil atf. I informed this to Honda tech. and he said that amsoil lubes were perfectly well within reason to use in Hondas. I did all this in Aug./Sept. and it made no difference. Got great mileage after changing these fluids. I thought maybe after the struts were replaced that the brakes were adjusted too tight, but they say the brakes are fine. I will say that I do from time to time feel like the engine is bound up so to say. I can hear the difference. Truck has jut over 73000 on it. Any thoughts?
 

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First thing is if the battery was disconnected at all, do an idle learn procedure. You should be able to find it with a simple search. If not, let me know and I can talk you through it. Basically what happens is that your PCM gets reset and the truck struggles to find its best efficiency without this process.

Secondly, it could be your tires. If you went from Los rolling resistance ones to all terrains or something like that which may be a little heavier and have higher rolling resistance, you would notice a hit on your efficiency.

Lastly, I know many swear by Amsoil but I'm not sold on it. The tranny was designed specifically to run with Honda's fluid package. You may never see any noticeable difference using the other stuff, but I just think DW-1 is the best fluid for the RL. That being said, I don't believe that to be your problem. If your tires are good, then I would try the ILP before you do anything else. It won't be an instant improvement. It may take a few hundred miles for the truck to learn its most efficient points.


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A dragging brake will adversely affect your mpg too. If you have a hot wheel, that may be an indicator of a dragging brake.

It certainly won't hurt to do the ILP and CKP procedures. I'm not convinced they make a difference, but some here have reported significant mpg increases afterwards. A search here as Ian suggested should turn up multiple threads on the subject.

Also, I don't know about those additives you use. I'm not convinced that you're really doing anything for your vehicle with either of them, especially the FI cleaner. If I were to use a FI cleaner, I'd probably use Techron and put it in about 2 tanks of gas before an oil change and then be done with it. But I wouldn't use it unless I thought I had a problem it might help cure, certainly not as a preventative maintenance measure as I believe you are using it.

How many miles on your RL? Are you using the MM for maintenance? Or do you have your own schedule for oil changes and the other stuff?

Disregard the mileage question. I just noticed it has 73k on it.
 

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I would think it would be extremely noticeable in tire wear and drivability...but a car can get poor mileage if the front end is horribly out of alignment. This could be a possibility after a strut change.

On a side note:
Just out of curiosity, why did you need struts so soon? And this is just an opinion, but I've heard a lot of good about amsoil in trannys. I'm considering switching over at my next change. I talked to a local napa and his customers claim the ridgeline shutter/vibration/torque converter problem is much better on amsoil compared to Honda.
 

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As suggested, a stuck caliper and alignment issue could be the culprits as well. Did you have any work done on the brakes and was the truck aligned directly after the suspension work? On one of my wife's old vehicles, there was a recall on the springs. Dealership replaced all four and I just assumed they would align it. They didn't. After only 100 miles, both front tires were shot. After a battle with the dealership and the threat of a lawsuit, they aligned it and replaced the tires.


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for your replies! To answer questions, yes I did have the alignment performed after the struts were replaced, and yes I did have new tires put on. The tires I put are the Yokohama Geolander HTS. They don't seem to be that much difference other than mileage warranty from the Mich's that came stock. I changed the struts as I could feel and hear the difference in the front end especially the bouncy right front. So, I decided all four corners would be good for me. As far as the ILP is concerned, that was not done. I will try that now. Also, what's intriguing to me, IanRTL, is that you mentioned the caliper dragging and I thought the same too. In fact I thought that maybe my parking brake cables may need adjustment as I had the brakes inspected and I myself have not found a hot wheel. I went to the auto store today looking for a Haynes shop manual, but they didn't have one and stated that Haynes nor Chilton made one for the RL. They did have the Alldata program. I am familiar with Alldata, but wanted an opinion as well. Problem with Alldata is you need a pc in the garage or print lots of pages
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
so, after taking advice from you guys I have seen no change in my mileage. I did have one fill up where I got 17.82 miles to the gallon, but now my average is between 14.6-15.8. Spark plugs have been changed gaped at 1.0-1.1 mm according to Honda tech. and ilcm reset has performed. Battery cable removal and such. I am starting to think my RL is really broken. :(
 

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so, after taking advice from you guys I have seen no change in my mileage. I did have one fill up where I got 17.82 miles to the gallon, but now my average is between 14.6-15.8. Spark plugs have been changed gaped at 1.0-1.1 mm according to Honda tech. and ilcm reset has performed. Battery cable removal and such. I am starting to think my RL is really broken. :(
If you can hold off, I'd wait for warmer weather. This winter, I have achieved the worse mileage ever out of all of my vehicles. The ridge struggles to get 17 on the highway which is off a few MPG. And my wife's Yukon is even worse, it typically gets 19 ish on the highway, but this winter it's been getting 15-16. I have seen similar MPG drops in my heavy truck and mustang. All of these are considerable worse this winter than in winters past. I have absolutely no idea what goes into gas or winter blends....but I wonder if IL or EPA has made some changes to formulation rules this year. I could be way off base here, but it seems as if you have checked everything possible....so maybe the wait for summer fuel is worth a shot.?.?.?
 

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Your spark plugs are pre-gapped and should not be touched with any sort of gapping tool. They are iridium plugs and can be damaged by the tool. I would check with your mechanic to ensure they installed the right plugs. If they gapped them, they could have used a lesser plug that wasn't spec'd for your truck. If the gap and temp on the plugs are off, that would explain your bad mileage.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry about that Ian. I should have mentioned that I checked the gaps on them and they were gapped correctly by NGK. I had read somewhere else that they should be gapped at .040-.044, but I checked with the dealer about that. I actually did the plugs myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Bethard. I really appreciate your thoughts. I am going to take your advice and I hope it does get better. This great prosperous state of ours is always looking for ways to get into our pockets, and I would bet this is their way of getting that extra 3% per fill up... We could even start a Conspiracy Thread!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
ok. I know I'm beating a dead horse with this, but mileage is slightly getting better, but take a look a the video I hve posted on youtube. seems like it isn't shifting until around 3000 rpms.

It doesn;t alawys happen, but when I notice this is when my mileage goes down.



 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I know I am beating a dead horse here so, I took some video. what is happening is that the car isn't shifting either at the right times. IDK. I can get it up to 60 mph sometimes before it shifts into 5th. This is what the honda tech is saying is within perfect normal operating for the shifting....




I don't race this thing but usually take it very easy on her.
 

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I would guess:

1: The Iridium spark plugs should never be gapped or tested with a feeler gauge - they are set at the factory and just touching the end can damage them.

2. I think you ATF fluid is causing your shift points to change. Fluid dynamics are set in the transmission design. Honda fluid may force the shift points quicker than the AMSOL fluids.

3. Are the new tires set with a higher max air pressure - if so the suggested Honda air pressure may be too low - the factory 17" are 36 max if your new tires say 44 max you probably need 38 to be the same as the OEM at 32.
 

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Based on the prior posts, I would immediately change back to the Honda tranny fluid. Relatively speaking it is cheap. You'll need a full case of it to do it yourself properly but they (the dealer) may give you a discount for a case.

Hopefully the mileage returns to normal.

The only other thing that comes to mind is is bad gas, or maybe you are getting some reformulated mix or excess ethanol blend. I dont remember if you said you tried different gas.

let us know.
 

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If you can hold off, I'd wait for warmer weather. This winter, I have achieved the worse mileage ever out of all of my vehicles. The ridge struggles to get 17 on the highway which is off a few MPG. And my wife's Yukon is even worse,
I would agree with this, but like others mentioned, I would stick with the Honda recommended oil only!
 

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No way for me to know, but I suspect transmission problems.

Honda automatic transmissions don't use planetary gearsets (I don't know of any other automatic that doesn't) and have to run at much higher pressures and have different thermal and friction modifiers due to the smaller clutch surface area. The demands on the fluid are much greater than in other traditional automatic transmissions.

Despite what a certain snake oil company claims, there is NO SUCH THING as a universal transmission fluid and is a compromise at best.

Your poor mileage and high shift points are probably the result of slippage. Change the fluid NOW and hope you haven't suffered permanent damage. Good luck trying to take advantage of snake oil guarantees.
 

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For what it is worth, my 06 has never got anywhere close to the 18cty / 22-23hwy mpg that you originally say you got. I'm lucky to get 18-19 on the highway and about 15 in the city. Gas mileage during the winter seems to be extra crappy. Mileage didn't change much when I switched to the Mich Latitude Tours that are extremely low rolling resistance tires. They are certainly a world quieter than the stock LTXs! . . .
Lots of suggestions have been made already. . .Did you check to see that they installed the correct size tire? Or alternatively do the Geos have a different rolling diameter (even though they are the correct size) than the stock tires? A major change in circumference will effect your ODO / speedo readings and could thus effect your mileage calcs. . .
In the end, after the switch back to Honda fluid (good idea anyway) in the tranny, idle learn procedures etc etc, you may still find that your mileage is crappy. This has been my experience since day 1.
 
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