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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My experience so far **update***

Been trying to find a decent RL in the $10-15k range with mileage around 100k. Also trying not to let color be a factor but my wife says it is for me. This is supposed to be a work vehicle so I shouldn't be picky but I am. The first reason would probably be I've never paid this much for any vehicle with over 100k miles. This seems to be the trend for all makes AWD/FWD, 4 door, 10-14 years old, in fair condition.
First up, I called about this one.
http://erie.craigslist.org/cto/4876398603.html
Talked for a while and made the trip up since I was close. Agreed to meet at a gas station and first thing I see is a black RL I seen in another ad with a great big ding the gate from a trailer tongue. What are the odds? Zero. This kid ran multiple ads with old and new pics. My bad for not checking contact numbers on those ads.
Engine seems to have a low knock, broken bug shield, chipped and rusty hood, many dings and scratches. I test drove it and seemed to run fine but those Rugged Trail tires made it ride like crap. I offered 10k and squeeled tire out of there.
Next up:
http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-...NDA[RIDGELINE[]][]]&listingId=389411310&Log=0
Been wrecked twice. Repair job not the greatest. Chipped and rusty hood, rear fender lip, swing latch for tailgate doesn't work, hood prop pulled out in my hand. Seemed to run and drive ok. Final markdown can't go any lower. I said "pass" and didn't offer anything. Next thing I know the manager is chasing me across the parking lot. They want rid of it but I got more looking to do.
Across town:
http://www.nissanofstreetsboro.com/Used-2007-Honda-Ridgeline-RTX-Streetsboro-OH/vd/25451347
Much better condition. Better maintenance records. Test drive seemed low on power but drove ok. Get back to dealer, huge coolant smell but don't see any dripping. Cigarette burn on driver seat, Rust coming out of gas door. Windshield noise. Broken fog light lense. Bald tires. Nimbus gray is not gray, it's blue. Pass.
Across the street:
http://www.driveclassichonda.com/Us...tml?make=Honda&model=Ridgeline&sort=MakeModel
Huge dent in passenger side front facia. Rust coming out front gas door. Lots of dings and scratches. Not a fan of gray/tan mix on interior. Drove off before a salesman spotted us.
There was a private sale in the area but I had enough.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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redraptor,

Take your time shopping and do your homework... which it sounds like you are doing. Be patient and the right vehicle will come along. You may have to travel for it.

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=376

If you can, take a look at the radiator/tranny fittings and check the condition of the Belleville washer. (this issue is NOT unique to the RL nor to Honda)
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53921

Check for good maintenance records (if available). When I sell/trade a vehicle, I include a copy of all I've done to it. (which the sales guys never seem to care about... go figure.)

Good luck in your search.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
redraptor,

Take your time shopping and do your homework... which it sounds like you are doing. Be patient and the right vehicle will come along.
Thanks. I am generally patient but in the meantime what I'm driving gets 9-10 mpg. Still expensive at 2 sumpin' a gallon.:cheerleader:
 

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redraptor,

Take your time shopping and do your homework... which it sounds like you are doing. Be patient and the right vehicle will come along. You may have to travel for it.

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=376

If you can, take a look at the radiator/tranny fittings and check the condition of the Belleville washer. (this issue is NOT unique to the RL nor to Honda)
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53921

Check for good maintenance records (if available). When I sell/trade a vehicle, I include a copy of all I've done to it. (which the sales guys never seem to care about... go figure.)

Good luck in your search.
Just a quick comment on the provision of records on a trade. The first thing a dealer sales department will do with the records on a trade is toss them. They may or may not keep the owner's manual. Then most trades go to the auction. On occasion they will keep a late model trade. They don't want to be tied to the evidence, good or bad. Plausible deniability. You say, "any problems with this vehicle?"....they say "I have no idea".

I almost bought a used truck from a dealer once that had failed to pull the records that were left in the glove compartment. I took it out on a test drive, pulled over and went through all the records. Among a number of minor things, the record showed two blown transmission changes. When I brought it back to the showroom, I told the salesman that it looked like there had been some problems with the truck. His response to me: see this is why we never let customers drive trades until they've been fully "processed".
 

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At least the dealer was honest (after being presented with the evidence of course).
 

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Check for good maintenance records (if available). When I sell/trade a vehicle, I include a copy of all I've done to it. (which the sales guys never seem to care about... go figure.)
Extended warranties, good service records, receipts, etc. translate into more money for the buyer in private sales. Not direct sales or trade-ins to dealers. At least in my experience.

Of course, the dealership will gladly share that info with a potential used car buyer to bolster their inflated asking price.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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That's a good point about known issues. But if you peruse the records and find nothing but routine and regular service, I would consider that a major plus in buying a used vehicle. To arbitrarily toss out the records is beyond short-sighted imo.

Honestly, would you be willing to pay more money for a vehicle with a continuous good history of maintenance vs one with no history at all, all else being equal? I certainly would.
 

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Honestly, would you be willing to pay more money for a vehicle with a continuous good history of maintenance vs one with no history at all, all else being equal? I certainly would.
Of course, it is insurance in a way, but it is also reality. On the flip side it is also one of the reasons I generally sell a used vehicle in a private sale as opposed to trading it in. Unless I am trading in something of very low value and just don't want the hassle of running ads, etc.

I suppose you could include used cars that are 'Factory Certified' and of course ones with low miles still under factory warranty that are sold at dealerships.
 

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When purchasing a used vehicle (regardless of Make), I purposely rule out anything which has been owned in the North East or mid-west due to winter road salt. Only the most meticulous owners do a good job of cleaning the undercarriages/nooks and crannies of their vehicles to prevent rust penetration during the winter months. This is where a carfax check is very valuable.

It would be a bit of a drive for you coming from far NE PA area, but anything which has been owned from VA south should not have been exposed to an extreme amount of road salt. The first car listed in the Richmond VA area (link below) appears to be a one-owner as well.

http://richmond.craigslist.org/search/cta?query=RTL

Good luck with your search and ask the seller to send you HD quality pictures of all areas where you may have concern.
 

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OP sounds like he is searching for the same type of Ridgeline I was last year. If the 100K or LESS mileage mandatory, budget will be stretched to maximum at $15,000, at least in my 250 mile radius. Agree with some others about buying a pre-owned vehicle from the NE. Just way too much potential for rust for me to deal with.

RE the CL post above, I thought all RTL's came with sunroof? I remember getting all excited when I was searching and would run across a Ridgeline advertised as RTL that was under budget, only to find I was looking at an RT.

Anyway, try to be patient OP and you're "new" Ridgeline will be in your driveway soon enough!
 

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I have a 2006 with 75k miles...loaded...one owner..can't wait to sell mine!(I guess when the new one comes out)...a cream puff like mine seems to get good prices. I'm in the NE...undercarriage rust is minimal. Just coated with a rust converter over the summer
 

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OP sounds like he is searching for the same type of Ridgeline I was last year. If the 100K or LESS mileage mandatory, budget will be stretched to maximum at $15,000, at least in my 250 mile radius. Agree with some others about buying a pre-owned vehicle from the NE. Just way too much potential for rust for me to deal with.

RE the CL post above, I thought all RTL's came with sunroof? I remember getting all excited when I was searching and would run across a Ridgeline advertised as RTL that was under budget, only to find I was looking at an RT.

Anyway, try to be patient OP and you're "new" Ridgeline will be in your driveway soon enough!
In 2006 the RTL had the moonroof as an option. In 2007 and later it was part of the RTL package. I looked at an '06 a couple of years ago that did not have the roof, and it was a deal breaker for me.
As for the prices quoted, these trucks seem to hold on to value pretty good right now. when I got mine in June, I paid $15400 at auction on a repo. I know many will let me know that I paid too much, but I wanted the truck. I think that right now, the prices are high on a GEN1 RL.
 

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The real problem with Honda's in general is they all have great re-sale value. They make great used cars and trucks in general and because of that people are willing to pay a premium to own one. I owned 6 Honda products and most after 10 years and over 100,000 miles on the odometer would still get 50% of the original price. Always followed Honda anal maintenance schedule. Maintain them an they run for ever.

The one real problem with Honda. You buy a Honda and keep it long enough, you will be paying 800.00 give or take most times to replace the timing belt, water pump, and belt tensioner.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
OP sounds like he is searching for the same type of Ridgeline I was last year. If the 100K or LESS mileage mandatory, budget will be stretched to maximum at $15,000, at least in my 250 mile radius.
Agreed. I missed one a few months ago as I was not ready to buy. 07' , black, 107k miles listed for 11k. Internet pics look great but you don't know till you actually see it in person.
Here's another one. There was one at a local dealer to me. 2009, 75k miles, RTL with Nav , silver with black leather. Advertised at 21k. I was shown the carfax and the repair invoice. It had a grille guard of some sort that was bent up and had to be removed. There were chips in the front and rear facia. The rear passenger window regulator motor had to be replaced and incidently there was a dent on the door frame like it was shut on something that didn't fit inside. Then there were paint splotches on the seats and floor. My friends response was "our guys can't perform miracles". The topper was when I took it for a test drive, I turned the wheel right and there was clicking like the axle on one side was bad. He heard it too.
I don't know how desperate dealers are in need of used cars but they gave way too much for that.
 

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I have a 2006 with 75k miles...loaded...one owner..can't wait to sell mine!(I guess when the new one comes out)...a cream puff like mine seems to get good prices. I'm in the NE...undercarriage rust is minimal. Just coated with a rust converter over the summer
What product did you use?
 

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The one real problem with Honda. You buy a Honda and keep it long enough, you will be paying 800.00 give or take most times to replace the timing belt, water pump, and belt tensioner.
True about the timing belt maintenance for sure, but the thing is this is just about ALL you have to worry about owning a Honda long-term. The rest of the vehicle's engineering is so solid and the routine maintenance so simple. Yes there are always exceptions and there are always some specific Honda's that prove troublesome but taken as a whole, Honda products (all of them) have earned their reliability reputation over the last 40 or so years. Why else are 10 year old Ridgelines with 150,000 miles on the clock still bringing the money they do?

Roll On!
 

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.............
The one real problem with Honda. You buy a Honda and keep it long enough, you will be paying 800.00 give or take most times to replace the timing belt, water pump, and belt tensioner.
True about the timing belt maintenance for sure, but the thing is this is just about ALL you have to worry about owning a Honda long-term. The rest of the vehicle's engineering is so solid and the routine maintenance so simple. Yes there are always exceptions and there are always some specific Honda's that prove troublesome but taken as a whole, Honda products (all of them) have earned their reliability reputation over the last 40 or so years. Why else are 10 year old Ridgelines with 150,000 miles on the clock still bringing the money they do?

Roll On!
Two things about that:
1) First service for plugs & TB etc. is at 105K miles (normal service environment). THAT'S a pretty long service interval before having to do this work.... after which you're good for another 105K miles!

2) Timing chain cars are no panacea. Take Ecotec 2.2L (& similar) GM 4cyl engine for example; which is used in LOTS of their models, both domestic & foreign (Pontiac, Chev-lots, Olds, Saturn, Cadillac, Opel/Vauxhall, Holden, Fiat, & Alpha Romeo...whew..., maybe more). This engine is INFAMOUS for engine destruction similar to what one might experience with a timing belt. It happens when one of the plastic (yes, plastic... can you believe it) timing chain guides breaks off & lodges in the chain/sprocket works; thereby resulting in stopped valve train while pistons are moving... familiar scenario to broken timing belt. The issue here is that the timing chain is not SUPPOSED to be wearing out, and if tensioner is adjusted properly, all should be fine.... but the problem isn't with the tensioner, it's with the plastic guides, which are not a typical service item.... just a poor engineering materials selection.
Long story short, a TB is more reliable when serviced appropriately, than is the "better" timing chain application, if poorly designed. And don't forget that a TB is much quieter... especially over the long run... than is a timing chain. FYI, my S2000 has a timing chain, and I don't expect a GM-like failure there anymore than you should with your RL's TB. 105K miles IS pretty good, you know, and many here would attest to the fact that it's far from "worn out", even at that elevated mileage. This is a good design.... service requirements just come along with it, if you want the specified/expected reliability. Part of the deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The one real problem with Honda. You buy a Honda and keep it long enough, you will be paying 800.00 give or take most times to replace the timing belt, water pump, and belt tensioner.
Been there done that on our Accord. Gonna do it again on the Pilot soon.

2 more RLs popped up at another local dealer. Gonna look tomorrow.:act024:
 

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Having looked at used RL's lately, I have yet to find one where the bed of the truck was even slightly protected. Most of them look like someone just scratched off all the coating on purpose.
 
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