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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Another newbie looking for advice. I look forward to your comments. My first post, but have lurked for a couple of months. Would love your opinions and guidance - considering price/options/mileage. I have narrowed my choices to the following 3 options. I wanted to stay around $15K, but these three are in range of affordability.

Uses will be a fun second vehicle to handle Home Depot runs, airport parking lot, bike carrier and room for 2 dogs. I want something that can handle a door ding or two, light duty suburban errands and is reliable. Will probably put 5K miles a year on it. Which ever I choose, it will be subject to an independent mechanic's assessment.

2007, RTL, Silver, 96K Miles, $16K. Dealer. One owner, clean CarFax with regular service history (oil changes, brake flush, transmission flush) up until 77K miles. After that only 2 records of service, one at 82K and the other at 96K) - Test drive was great, except steering wheel is slightly off-center, but did not pull to one side when driven. Nice overall condition. Black Step bar. One rear seat bracket does not retract, missing rear headrests, paint peeling from drivers side mirror, large crack in windshield to be repaired.

2008, RTL, Black, 61K miles, $18.5K, Private Sale. Second owner. Good CarFax history and VinCheck. Not as complete as others for oil changes, but major services notated. New tires, new battery, new rear brakes. Drove nicely. Cargo net for bed, under seat cargo tray. Typical driver seat cushion edge wear I have seen discussed on the forums. Headliner is coming loose over the back seat (also discussed on the forums) Seller willing to give a break for the headliner.

2009, RT, Silver, 99K miles, $16K. Dealer. One owner, good CarFax with regular service history (oil changes, brake flush, transmission flush, rear differential fluid flush). Will see and drive today.

My initial thoughts are: none are my favorite color (white/burgundy/red are preferred), but I realize in the used market, you can't be too choosy. Black is least favorite (especially in Texas heat), but seems like a good deal. Cheaper models are appealing because it makes later mods/updates (step bar, roof rack, bed cover) less taxing on the wallet. Anything else i should consider? Ready to pull the trigger at anytime.
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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My vote, would be wait or expand your search area and find the color you want. Because changing a color is an expensive proposition.

Otherwise I'd go for the 2008, last year of Canadian Production, the 2009 will be the first year of production in Alabama, and there have been many noted issues there. It has the least miles, both the 2009 & 2007 will need a timing belt and even if you skip mileage, the 2007 is past the years (7 supposedly) for changing the timing belt.

The other things the 2008 has are tires, a $500-1000 expense depending on brand. I'd change all fluids to give you a good baseline and then order the seat bracket part and find a shop to replace the headliner and your off and running.

I'd think @ $18.5k he's a little high unless he'd like to repair everything you've identified. Using Houston as the market, as 'CLEAN', Edmunds says $13.7k Trade-in, $15.3k Private & $17.1 Dealer. But get it down to the right price and maybe you can find someone to do one to the "Wraps" that OhSix, was discussing in one of the other postings...

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1622378&postcount=3

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=104985

Just my $0.02
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the input Carsmak. Good thoughts regarding the maintenance costs. My neighbor has a A/C Repair business and his van is 'wrapped' with A/C images. Of course, his was paid by the A/C suppliers!
 

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Otherwise I'd go for the 2008, last year of Canadian Production, the 2009 will be the first year of production in Alabama, and there have been many noted issues there.
Not quite! I have a 2009 Canadian-built Ridgeline. It has all of the feature improvements, but none of the niggles of the change of production location.

The location change was mid-year. You can tell where it was made by the stickers on the floor of the driver's door jamb. If it says that it's a product of Canada, the truck is from the original Alliston, Ontario plant.
 

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2007 Nimbus Grey Metallic RTL
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2007, RTL, Silver, 96K Miles, $16K. Dealer. One owner, clean CarFax with regular service history (oil changes, brake flush, transmission flush) up until 77K miles. After that only 2 records of service, one at 82K and the other at 96K) - Test drive was great, except steering wheel is slightly off-center, but did not pull to one side when driven. Nice overall condition. Black Step bar. One rear seat bracket does not retract, missing rear headrests, paint peeling from drivers side mirror, large crack in windshield to be repaired.

I have a 2007 RTL and it's been perfect for me. I'm more inclined to go with the maintenance history rather than lower mileage. The rear seat bracket problem is easily fixed with metal pullies available from the Honda dealer. The windshield should be repaired with OEM Honda glass. Many fitment and wind noise issues have been reported with aftermarket glass. I would lean towards this one because silver is much easier to keep clean and will wear much better over time. Since you're looking for a second vehicle that can take some door dings, this would be the best option. If you are to buy this one, I would say to have the dealership replace the windshield, align all four wheels to straighten the steering wheel and do the rear seat pullies.

2008, RTL, Black, 61K miles, $18.5K, Private Sale. Second owner. Good CarFax history and VinCheck. Not as complete as others for oil changes, but major services notated. New tires, new battery, new rear brakes. Drove nicely. Cargo net for bed, under seat cargo tray. Typical driver seat cushion edge wear I have seen discussed on the forums. Headliner is coming loose over the back seat (also discussed on the forums) Seller willing to give a break for the headliner.

I bought my truck from a private seller. I was able to get him from $18,900 to $16,000. He's definitely high for what that truck is. The mileage is low, but the age is up there. Plus, being that it's black, it's VERY hard to keep clean. It will show every dent and scratch and will start looking worn-out pretty quickly in the Texas sun. I don't think I would feel comfortable buying this one if the seller can't provide succinct service history.

2009, RT, Silver, 99K miles, $16K. Dealer. One owner, good CarFax with regular service history (oil changes, brake flush, transmission flush, rear differential fluid flush). Will see and drive today.

The RT leaves a lot to be desired from the RTL. It's the base model with not many options. However, being that it's a 2009, it will have the engine/transmission upgrades that were introduced for 2009. Look on the sticker on the driver's door jamb and see if it was made in Canada. If it was, I would consider it. If in Alabama, I'd take it off the list. The fit and finish issues associated with the move to Alabama are widely noted. If you're using this truck as a 2nd vehicle, it really comes down to what features you want in it. If it's a true work vehicle, this may be the best option for you. If you plan on driving it a little more, then the creature comforts of the RTL will be much more appreciated. No matter what you do, the timing belt service will be coming up for the '07 RTL and this RT (105k miles). The service runs about $800-1200 depending on where you get it done. I'd be patient and do a little more searching. I'm sure you could get a good deal on these, but keep your options open.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for your inputs. I find myself still looking. The 2007 - salesman was non-responsive when i asked about headrests, etc. Promised to return calls, but didn't. That worried me. Car must have sold, no longer listed. 2008 - still available, but I have taken the advice of board regarding the dark color. Also when I viewed this one, it had recently rained and with the road spray, it was difficult to assess the paint condition. Finally, the 2009 was already sold when I went to test drive it the next day. However, your comments are appreciated and will be taken into consideration as I continue to shop.This board is invaluable. I will provide updates as I find new options.
 

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2007 Nimbus Grey Metallic RTL
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Thank you for your inputs. I find myself still looking. The 2007 - salesman was non-responsive when i asked about headrests, etc. Promised to return calls, but didn't. That worried me. Car must have sold, no longer listed. 2008 - still available, but I have taken the advice of board regarding the dark color. Also when I viewed this one, it had recently rained and with the road spray, it was difficult to assess the paint condition. Finally, the 2009 was already sold when I went to test drive it the next day. However, your comments are appreciated and will be taken into consideration as I continue to shop.This board is invaluable. I will provide updates as I find new options.
Very smart. The best thing is that your urgency to purchase is very low. You have the luxury of waiting for a deal and truck that fit what you want and need.
 
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