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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry for the long post, but this has been a strange one. BLUF: the gauges died/went on the fritz, and after a week and a half of "troubleshooting", they want to replace the "Combination Gauge Meter" to the tune of $1457. Worried I'm being ripped off.

Preemptive: *it's not the battery*. It's had no problems starting and has been tested by the techs repeatedly.

2006 Ridgeline RTL (sunroof, no NAV), w/ about 130K miles.

Twice, while on a 9-day road trip, my wife had been sitting in the car, ignition completely off, and heard a 'chattering' sound coming from the gauges for 3-5 seconds. Later, I caught it myself and noticed that the tach needle vibrated while it was chattering.

On the last day of the trip, while cruising down the highway, suddenly got the VTM-4, VSA, ABS, and BRAKE lights. Everything else seemed normal. Pulled over, stopped, restarted no problem, but the lights stayed on. Within an hour, I noticed that the cruise control would only stay engaged for 10-15 minutes, then would suddenly disengage for no apparent reason.

First trip to the dealership, the lights of course disappeared. There was only one generic code in the computer, so they gave it back to me. The next day the 4 lights came back, followed by the entire gauge cluster flatlining... odometer and all info displays were just dashes, and every needle was completely gone. ("Actually, no, officer, I really don't know how fast I was going".)

It was the weekend, so I had to drive it a bit before taking it to service Monday, and the even more distracting part was that individual needles would occasionally 'dance' and come back to life for a moment, then drop dead. Sometimes it almost seemed like there was a pattern, some kind of choreographed interplay... speed alive, temp alive, speed dead, temp dead. Speed alive, speed dead, fuel alive, fuel dead. Speed and fuel alive, speed and fuel dead. Strangest thing I've seen.

Now been at the dealership for a week and a half, and after much pestering, they tell me that the "combination gauge meter" has to be replaced, it's 3-5 days out, and that the total, including diagnostic, will be $1457!!! Given how long it's been there, and the fact that they offered that solution/price only after I called them today pressing for an update, I'm nervous.

Thoughts? TIA!
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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I'm sure there techs cost a bundle, I think the last time I looked at the Stealership price (required to be posted in CA) I'm thinking it was $120 or $130 an hr. Other parts of the country may be less, but I doubt 1/2 the Golden State price. If they have had it a week and let's estimate 1 or 2 techs maybe 8 hrs total @ $90 hr, there goes $720 down the drain. Then I didn't find that part name exactly but our friends at Majestic Honda have a list price of the part I think it is, see attached.

Part No. Description List Price Our Price
78100-SJC-A14 METER ASSY., COMBINATION 721.93 498.13
 

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Mine went out along time ago its been my only beef about this truck. When it did go I had several days of weird lines in the OD box part. It was flashing lines that looked like the Predators controll thing on his arm :act024:. Had it replaced for around 850.00. If they cant retrieve all the info from it, it might have to be takin somewhere for that to be done or it shows 0 miles and no info from MM since new. Mine was all retrieved.
If they cant get the info and it comes to resale you have to show this was done, so its not listed as a salvage or something else.
Someone within the last year did a post about fixing this if its the same problem. It was a solder job and he had pics. Might be worth a try.
 

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IIRC, the cluster isn't that hard to remove. Disconnect the battery (another vote for replacing it, and cleaning the cables, etc, btw.), remove the dash cover, and the screws for the cluster are right there (refer to the diagram above, I think there's only four of them). Reach around and disconnect the cables.

If there's a shop that repairs gauges in your town, take it by them and ask them to look for cold solder joints. Otherwise find a friend who is talented (the important part!) with a soldering iron and ask them to touch up the solder joints on the back.

Chip H.
 

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The cluster is easy to replace - less than an hour including a few coffee breaks.

The odometer info is stored in both the cluster and the PCM. Mileage can be retrieved from the PCM and loaded into the new cluster.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all.

Carsmack; just talked to the dealer on the phone and will be heading in shortly to talk with the tech. They quoted me $800+ for the assembly, and yes, that is the exact same one you listed, part number and all. I'm going to be talking to them in an hour, and plan to point out that multiple dealerships offer them online for less than $500. I guess if they won't adjust their price, I'll just order it direct from one of those other dealerships. This whole thing seems like more and more of a stretch here.
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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Henni, I would have changed the Battery First before ever heading to the dealer. When I lost a cell in my Battery about 2 1/2 years ago I has some similar items occur. Dash flashed, all lights came on and stalled the vehicle, I saw/smelled smoke and pulled over. I checked what I could, and being about 100 miles from home and headed that way, I decided I'd chance it and see how far I'd make it. It got me all the way home, no AC, Radio, Headlights (road i was on required them). Once I was within 100 miles it was more of a challenge since I had AAA and 100 mile towing.

Chip, I thought of that other thread also, but at this point the RL has been at the dealer for a week and a 1/2, I'm guessing he's in for diagnosis money at this point and that repair was pretty intensive (requiring more than the average skill set). When i find it I'll post a link here... Speedo Repair

Ragnar, I'd ask for an invoice to this point and find out the part for the "Combination Gauge Meter", I've found the right price you may want to see if you can haggle on the price of the part, show them prices online, FWIW. Unfortunately they have you over a barrel at this point IMO and I may try to confirm if the tested the unit with a new battery, if not I'd insist on it before ordering/buying a $700 part. I'm guessing they'd charge $100 for the battery.

Also you may want to "ask for the part" and offer it up here in case someone needs one, might get a few $.
 
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