Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

So I've had my Ridgeline for 3 years now and it currently has 70k. I've started taking it on offroading trips. I had to drive it on a rugged dirtroad for about 15 miles and it handled the climbs and conditions ok. The A/T temp light came on when I put it into 4WD. I took my Ridgeline to the Honda dealer for a 70k inspection and they told me the timing belt tensioner and gear rack were leaking and needed to be replaced. I saw the leak from the gear rack but I'm starting to question the durability of the Ridgeline parts and whether or not this truck can truly handle offroad conditions. Has anyone else experienced damaged parts after taking their truck offroad?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,981 Posts
Is it a possibility you were already having the issues you mentioned before you took your truck off road and they just got worse because of the rough terrain you were driving on? I dunno. Just asking.

I think it’s just like anything mechanical…you treat it rough, you are going to have maintenance to do. I don’t care if you drive an A1 Abrams Tank, if you drive it on rough roads, off-road, you tow a lot, etc., you are going to have parts fail. That simple.

Good example. I have two friends who have the basically the same pickups, Ford F150’s, one is a 2002 and the other is a 2003. The guy who owns the 2003 is an outdoor junkie. Every spare minute of his time, he is fishing, hunting, camping, shooting, hiking, and that sorta thing. He takes his truck on some pretty rough roads and has had it buried up to the axles in mud. He also helps his dad on the farm, pulling trailers around, with heavy equipment on board. He spends a lot of time in his garage working on his truck. My other friend, who has the 2002, does a little outdoor type stuff, but it’s mostly camping with his family, and tows his small pop-up camper around. He mostly just drives his truck back and forth to work. He spends very little time in his garage working on his truck.

The Ridgeline is not built for “heavy” off-roading. If you push the drivetrain, suspension, engine to its limits, you are going to have mechanical failures. I have done some “medium” off-roading with mine, driving on 2 rut roads, and across farm fields, heading out to hunting spots, and camp with friends…and I have not experienced any suspension/steering/drivetrain failures. Granted…Most of the driving I do with my truck is back and forth to work…and I don’t think I have ever done any “rough” off-roading…I have 185,000 miles on my truck and I have not had any of the failures you are talking about.
 

· Premium Member
2009 Ridgeline RTL (with nav) in Bali Blue Pearl
Joined
·
2,590 Posts
At 70k, I needed my timing belt replaced. I've not done much off-roading but I've done a lot of towing. Regardless, I think it's the fact that you are at 70k that these repairs were needed. Keep in mind that this is Honda's first truck and part fatigue is greatest with trucks, muscle cars, and sports cars (those vehicles whose limits are pushed). So don't be surprised by routine repairs that come early in the truck's life.
 

· Administrator
Joined
·
24,881 Posts
The A/T temp light came on when I put it into 4WD.
You don't "put" a Ridgeline into "4WD" - the rear wheels assist as-needed without any input from the driver. It's a fully automatic system.

Did you mean you put the Ridgeline in VTM-4 LOCK mode by shifting to R, 1, or 2 then pressing the VTM-4 LOCK button? If you did under conditions where you shouldn't have, then that likely caused your transmission to overheat and took tens of thousands of miles off the life of the clutches in the VTM-4 unit.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,009 Posts
You don't "put" a Ridgeline into "4WD" - the rear wheels assist as-needed without any input from the driver. It's a fully automatic system.

Did you mean you put the Ridgeline in VTM-4 LOCK mode by shifting to R, 1, or 2 then pressing the VTM-4 LOCK button? If you did under conditions where you shouldn't have, then that likely caused your transmission to overheat and took tens of thousands of miles off the life of the clutches in the VTM-4 unit.
If that's the case. Time to change the VTM fluid too.
 

· Registered
2007 RTL Steel Blue
Joined
·
594 Posts
I think the trick with the RL (and any stock 4X4 for that matter) is to take things slowly when off road. I think reminding myself that the truck has to get me to work on Monday helps keep me in check.

I have driven over 600 miles on fire trails in my 07, and I have 110k miles on the truck overall. Surprisingly the ball joints and tie rod ends show no signs of wear, and my steering rack has not started leaking...yet (knock on wood). My struts aren't leaking externally, but the ride quality and thump noises I'm hearing from the rear tell me it might be time for new ones.

I change the engine oil with Mobile 1 synthetic based on the maintenance minder, and I drain/fill the transmission fluid at every other oil service (Honda fluid).

I use synthetic engine oil and I over-service the transmission because the 2-3 times per year that we travel those fire trails, the outside temp is 90+ degrees and the roads are steep, rocky, and very dusty. The truck is also loaded with three people and all of our camping gear.

Search for ROC member S.T.U.V on here and watch his videos. For a mini-van based "truck", does a decent job.
 

· Read Only
Joined
·
1,331 Posts
I cannot agree that pressing the VTM-4 Lock button has any impact on tranny temp or life. The primary function of that button is to make the owner or driver feel good about themselves for having a button to push.

Use = wear. More use = more wear. Overheating the ATF = shorter fluid life, with the related potential for shorter tranny life.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,849 Posts
I bought my ridge at about 110k and immediately started taking it out and putting it to the test. The first video is where I learned the VTM-4 is not meant to be left on for more then getting yourself unstuck from something. And if you try to hard to get unstuck...you will overheat the trans...which the ridge had to be parked for the remainder of that trail because I didnt want to do any damage after the temp light came on...which I learned you should keep it idling not shut it off.

But after beating on my ridge for 60ishk...nothing has failed abnormally in my opinion......The only thing I think is going to be a failure constantly is the strut mounts,inner cv boots and movement in my front swaybar... I need to replace the bushings often because they wear out and the sway bar moves side to side and hit my axles when im fully dropped on one side and tucked on the other...so my axles have wear marks on the shaft and the sway bar ends are grounded a little.


Neither one of your cases are off-road related besides im sure leaving the VTM-4 on and just driving around which caused the temp light. The rack leak can be just time..I had a bad leak from the top seal towards the steering wheel a couple months ago when I did my rear main seal ...l put some lucas oil power steering stop leak...not a drop since.

A year or so ago I was doing a doughnut in the middle of a wash and it was incredibly dusty...I went a little wider on the last circle and hit a rock with the wheel fully locked...loudest bang I have ever heard. I thought I shot the rack out from under the ridge...Nothing happened except my steering wheel was about 45 degrees off...

If you off road liberally...It will accelerate normal wear and tear on high mileage vehicles...no matter what you drive.


Here ya go Ill make it easy. Cant do a link direct to my page cause im not cool enough.

https://youtu.be/mY6LkUKSIL8


https://youtu.be/6Yy3zPDb8Rc


https://youtu.be/qvHh0mR0laY

https://youtu.be/-yib-ePhjQk

https://youtu.be/n_NoaTqWjTw

https://youtu.be/GJewQXujQK8
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,849 Posts
I cannot agree that pressing the VTM-4 Lock button has any impact on tranny temp or life. The primary function of that button is to make the owner or driver feel good about themselves for having a button to push.

Use = wear. More use = more wear. Overheating the ATF = shorter fluid life, with the related potential for shorter tranny life.
Are you saying the VTM is useless? Cause I sorta agree...it has actually only worked once when I had 1 front high in the air and I just kept my foot to the floor and it eventually crept over the ridge I was stuck on. It seems it cant produce enough torque to pull the weight of the ridge over something...unless it is mud or mostly flat it doesnt seem to help. So 99% of the time driver skill and a heavy foot gets me out of a predicament.
 

· Super Moderator
2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
Joined
·
24,658 Posts
VTM-4 lock has nothing to do with A/T temp lights. They are separate systems, although sorta related. I think the RL comes with a HD tranny cooler because it needs it, and not just for towing.

If the A/T overheats, the A/T light comes on. If the VTM-4 unit overheats, the VTM-4 indicator blinks.

 

· Administrator
Joined
·
24,881 Posts
VTM-4 lock has nothing to do with A/T temp lights. They are separate systems, although sorta related. I think the RL comes with a HD tranny cooler because it needs it, and not just for towing.

If the A/T overheats, the A/T light comes on. If the VTM-4 unit overheats, the VTM-4 indicator blinks.

If the OP was driving at low speeds while in "2", that could easily explain the high A/T temp.

Also, if VTM-4 lock is used on inappropriate (high friction) surfaces, more power is required to overcome the holding capacity of the clutches. This additional power requirement causes the transmission and VTM-4 unit to produce more heat and can eventually lead to an overheat condition in both components.
 

· Super Moderator
2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
Joined
·
24,658 Posts
The primary function of that button is to make the owner or driver feel good about themselves for having a button to push.
I beg to differ with your opinion. It's been my experience that when pushing that button in D1, I have driven right out of what I was stuck in. ;)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,647 Posts
VTM-4 Lock has a specific purpose, which is to provide maximum torque to the rear wheels, mainly to get you out of situations where automatic engagement led to slippage or bogging down. If it's left on for more than a minute or so, it's possible to overheat because high current will be passed through the electromagnets. If that happens, replacing the VTM-4 fluid (with Honda-branded fluid) is warranted.

As explained above in various posts, leaving VTM-4 Lock engaged, or using 2nd gear at low speed for long, or engaging in any prolonged power applied with transmission slippage, can overheat the transmission. If this happens, replacing the transmission fluid (with Honda-branded fluid) is warranted.

It's fair to say that the Ridgeline isn't as suited to hard-core off-roading as several other trucks that have had it in mind through generations of design. It's also fair to say that it's more sensitive to heat buildup in certain off-road situations than other trucks. However, these are differences of degree, and don't absolve one of operator error, nor of operator ignorance about how to use a specific vehicle.

The Ridgeline is optimised for superior on-road handling in slippery conditions. It's only fair off-road, and is best suited for areas there there is some semblance of a road, such as camp trails and fire roads. In some situations (such as anywhere with bumpy curves and poor tractions), its maximum safe speed is much higher than conventional 4WD systems, but don't expect rock crawling. Here is a realistic demonstration of its off-road capabilities from its year of introduction:

https://myspace.com/ridgeline_truth/video/ridgeline-off-road-demonstration/8115748
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top