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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at used, low-hour 2012-2014 G1 Ridgelines. Targeting RTL and SE trims, but also considering RTS and Sport.

Are there any known trouble spots I should pay especially close attention to or have inspected?

Has the VCM been a problem on these? Did Honda re-program the VCM or make any adjustments to correct issues, such as happened on the Pilot (I believe?)

Thanks for any tips.
 

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None of the GenI's have VCM.

With the latest model GenI Ridges, Honda's assembly quality seemed to slip just a bit. I would look very carefully at things like panel gaps, paint quality and door fitment. There have been a few reports here of issues in those areas.

Overall, the late trucks should be every bit as reliable as the rest of the GenIs.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
None of the GenI's have VCM.

With the latest model GenI Ridges, Honda's assembly quality seemed to slip just a bit. I would look very carefully at things like panel gaps, paint quality and door fitment. There have been a few reports here of issues in those areas.

Overall, the late trucks should be every bit as reliable as the rest of the GenIs.

Good luck!
Many thanks! Especially on that bit about the VCM. Somehow I was under the impression that the VCM had been used across the board (Pilot, Odyssey, Ridgeline) -- I am very happy to hear that it was not!

Anybody else?
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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Just realize that the NAVIGATION is from early 2000's so it's slow, low res, somewhat clumsy and map updates only really add POI's, and projected roads. If you want something faster, up to date, just plan on replacing. And connecting the OEM camera to a better screen will reveal camera quality issues
 

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2009 Ridgeline RTL (with nav) in Bali Blue Pearl
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If the RL was driven hard, operated in severe climate areas, or used to tow, then look at the following:
  • Look at the cleanliness of the transmission fluid. --The RL's transmission was designed to make good use of its transmission fluid when pushed and it needs to be kept clean to work well.-- If it's very dirty, then it was probably not changed as often as required. This could lead to transmission problems down the road.
  • Look at the rubber engine mounts for cracking. --Hard torque twisting created by hard accelerations from a stop or from towing can put extra stress on the engine mounts.-- If they fail, it can create a lot of damage to the rest of the drivetrain.
  • Make note of when/if the timing belt was replaced. --If the RL was used hard, the belt needs to be replaced earlier than normal (around 60,000 miles).-- If it malfunctions, the engine will self-destruct and you will have to replace the whole thing.
  • Make note of when the water pump was last inspected or make note of when it was replaced. If not, have it inspected.
  • Make note of when the engine valve clearances were ever looked at/adjusted. If not, it's something you should do if the engine has been pushed.
  • Make note if the driver-side airbag inflator was replaced under the Takata recall or not. I don't know if you can get it done for free if you're not the original owner of the RL; hopefully you can if it has not been replaced.
  • The tread of the OEM tires Honda used on the Gen1 (Michelin LTX M/S) last a long time, but the rubber dry-rots very easily. If you see lots of cracks throughout the tire(s) you will need to replace them. If you don't replace them, the type of blowout you can get will likely damage the side panels of the RL.
  • Honda uses some cheap clips that are integrated into the bumper cover to hold it to the vehicle. If the bumper cover has been removed more than once, it will not reattach very well. So look for front bumper cover alignment; if it's off and a simple push with your hand will not hold it in proper place, you will have to replace the entire front bumper cover if you want it to attach/align properly.


There are probably other things that need to be looked at, but these are the things that I've had personal experience with on my RL, which I take good care of and have a great maintenance shop that knows the "ins and outs" of the RL very well.

Related to Carsmak comment about the nav; if you don't like the look and functionality of the original GPS navigation, just replace the Alpine navigation system under the driver's seat. --The Alpine nav. system on my 2009 RTL completely failed after two years and had to be replaced (it was covered under warranty, so...).-- The resolution of the eight-inch Panasonic touchscreen is good for its time (circa 2005), but the Alpine nav. system Honda opt for mass production makes it look like something from the early 90s. Don't get me wrong, the Panasonic touchscreen is not perfect either; it has brightness and contrast issues when it's cold but it corrects itself as it worms up.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you gents. All good to know.

I am trying to find a low-miles example, hopefully under 30K miles. Part of my reasoning there is to not have any major maintenance coming due for a while. It sounds like the maintenance schedule is similar to my '07 Pilot, so I am pretty familiar with the big ones (timing belt, water pump, etc) and importance of frequent tranny fluid changes.

I'm also looking for vehicles that have not been used for towing, or for much heavy towing. That can be a little tricky to verify, but I tow regularly with my Pilot and I know how the hitch takes a fair bit of abuse. I've looked at two low-miles RLs now where I could not discern ANY wear and tear on the hitch.

If I find one equipped with Navi, I would probably live with it for a few years and then maybe research the replacement options. I mostly just want a decent back-up camera -- the smart phone seems to have eclipsed pretty much any car-based nav systems.

Thanks for the great feedback.
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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One more though ISO, If it was me, since I have no idea where you reside, I may look for examples in Texas, Arizona & California or anywhere that road salt wasn't used. I've seen some significant rust on older RL's and IMHO once car cancer starts, it's really hard to stop.

It could require a road trip or shipping it to your location, but starting rust free, where you know how it's kept after taking ownership, could be a huge advantage.

There are a lot of 1G owners and several I know would be willing to help if asked.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for that tip.

I'm east coast, mid-Atlantic region. They do use some road salt here during the winter. But it's an occasional thing, not all-winter-long like farther north or up in New England. So generally speaking, salt-induced rusting isn't a serious issue around here.

I'm hoping to keep this G1 RL (if I get one!) for about 5 years or so. Then maybe sell/give it to one of our kids and see what improvements have been made to the G2 by then. Or maybe my requirements will change and I'll want something different like a 1/2 ton. Either way, I don't expect this to be a "lifer" for me -- more of a stop gap.

In any event, I'm pretty confident that local RLs should be relatively rust-free and have plenty of life left in them. But I will be sure to crawl under and check things out. Thanks again!
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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Great, Mid Atlantic, is loads better than NE, Great Lakes, and Salt Lake City, UT. All places I've lived, some get pretty bad.

Crawl under, also check gas filler door and door seams are the places that stick out in my mind.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I ended up test driving a 2012 RTL/Navi today w/about 25K miles -- wow was I impressed! This is a significantly meatier vehicle than my '07 Pilot, with a lot of handy features.

Very clean and no rust. I do see what you mean about the old-tech nav system, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
In an effort to get a little more exposure to my "price-check" question, I am copying over a couple posts I made in another thread. I would greatly appreciate feedback on the 2012 RTL/Navi price, on which the dealer is holding steady right around $26.5K.

Opinions urgently needed, as I am trying to close a deal today:

PRICE CHECK?

Would any of you guys be willing to give me your opinion on two used RLs I'm looking closely at?

1) 2012 RTL/Navi, approx 25K miles, no roof rails, good service history and carfax, one owner, excellent condition, dealer trade, asking approx $26.5K

2) 2013 RTL/Navi, aprox 25K miles, oem roof rails and crossbars, garaged, one owner, SUPER nice condition, sold through dealer w/ clean history, approx $29.5K asking


I have an idea in my mind which is the better deal but both seem pricey to me given I've been offered a 2017 RTL otd price <$34K.

However, I am new to the G1 market and don't have a lot of experience on pricing. I also have a personal preference for the G1 model and a desire to limit the overall expenditure (I realize lower cost options are out there in earlier model years with higher miles, however I am limiting my search to a 2012 or newer with low miles.)



Ian,

Thanks for your reply. I agree, my feeling is that the 2012 is the better deal. I test-drove it yesterday and it is immaculate -- garaged, never used for towing. The bed has minimal scuffing and the trunk appears to never have been used -- not a scratch or speck of dirt in it. Under the hood is clean like a brand new vehicle.

There was one tiny ding on the tailgate (not through the paint, just a tiny round divot) and a very small paint scratch/chip on the perimeter of the tailgate opening that had been touched up (probably by the previous owner.) These were the only cosmetic flaws I notice inside or out. The tires looked so good it is very hard to tell whether they might have been replaced (standard Michelins).

Here is the maintenance history. To my eye it looks like a very good candidate, but they do not seem very flexible on pricing. I would really appreciate impressions on the pricing, etc given this new info from inspection. (Btw, the previous owner traded for a G2.)

Also, all maintenance was performed at the selling dealership, so I assume when they say "maintenance performed" that this included whatever was called for including oil changes? They seemed to be on a +/-5K miles interval.

12/04/2012 5,462

Maintenance inspection completed
5,000 mile service performed
Tires rotated


10/27/2013 9,698

Maintenance inspection completed



03/11/2014 11,428

Maintenance inspection completed
5,000 mile service performed
Rear differential fluid flushed/changed
Rear differential serviced
Tires rotated


11/19/2014 15,904

Maintenance inspection completed
Oil and filter changed
Safety inspection performed
Tires rotated


11/30/2015 20,415

Maintenance inspection completed
A/C system serviced
Cabin air filter replaced/cleaned
Fluids checked
Oil and filter changed
Safety inspection performed
Tire condition and pressure checked
Tires rotated
Wiper(s) replaced



11/09/2016 +/-25,000 miles

Pre-delivery inspection completed
Maintenance inspection completed
Air filter replaced
Fluids checked
Four wheel alignment performed
Left airbag assembly replaced
Oil and filter changed
Safety inspection performed
Tire condition and pressure checked
Washed/detailed
Wiper(s) replaced
Emissions inspection performed
 

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Personally I'm not a fan of the Roof Rails, (Removal might be a PITA and may require some trim pieces replaced) along with starting at a $3k discount, they are too similar to not just buy the 2012. I also like the "even number", but to many it wouldn't matter. If you can I'd still try to offer $24k or $25k and see who blinks.

That maintenance history is basically spot on other than the OEM Brake fluid should have been replaced by now.

Good Luck, can't wait to see it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Speedlever also commented in the other thread, so I am quoting him here to keep the conversation in one location:

That service history looks good to me for those miles. Finding good one-owner vehicles is a plus in my book. And you have two good, but pricey candidates. I honestly don't know what a good price is in your area. I suspect region may affect pricing to some degree. But from a service history perspective, I would be very comfy with that vehicle.

That being said, I would go ahead and change the tranny fluid at this time. I'm a big believer in frequent tranny fluid changes. I may or may not change out the transfer assembly hypoid gear oil at this point, depending on your own personal thoughts about the frequency of tranny fluid changes (I do them every other OCI which I admit is excessive... and I do 30k mile service intervals on the TA and rear diff).

The only stand out thing that's missing to me is the brake fluid flush which is a 3 year item. Everything else (fluid and filters) looks good to me, unless I missed something.

The problem you have is that both vehicles are at the same dealership (I assume?). So your negotiations are compromised. But if they are at different dealers, then you should be able to do some serious negotiating, playing one against the other, all else being equal (color preference, condition, etc.)

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you gentlemen. If I end up with this vehicle I will take your maintence advice and investigate the brake fluid and tranny fluids. Because of the towing I do with my Pilot, I too have these on a more frequent interval.

The price on the '12 is the sticking point now and the dealer is being very inflexible on that. (It's actually two dealerships -- but the '13 is only casually for sale (not advertised) as it belongs to a manager who is only loosely thinking of selling -- so not motivated.)

They feel they have it priced right (the '12), but it has been on their lot for two months.
 

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Living where I do, I've let the Brake Fluid go 4+ yrs, but I've done it with any brake maintenance (Pad replacement rear, Pad Replacement front). I too change the ATF at every other OCI, and when it pops on the MM I'll do 3 full changes, I'm also doing UOA on the Fluid. But with Job changes, and Fuel prices my mileage has significantly changed. We used to take the "new" vehicle whenever we went anywhere, now we take the "new and fuel effecient" vehicle, and I'm assigned a company truck when I'm on call, so I drive it those weeks (between 10 & as much as 18 a year). First 55k miles were in less than 6yrs, next 33k miles have taken 6.5 yrs.

Damn shame, it's not the end of the month, dealers are always more motivated to close the monthly books with as much sales as possible $$
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the additional feedback.

A follow-up question re the oem roof rails. What is the issue with the oems, and do you have an aftermarket rack/rails that you prefer?

The reason I ask is that roof rack/rails are part of my plan for this vehicle if I purchase it. On some trips we will need the Thule roof box for additional gear and luggage, while on others we will be transporting bikes, dinghies, etc on the racks.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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I'm personally not a roof rack fan, but understand some just like the look and some like the utility. Be advised the weight limit of the roof rack AND contents is 110 lbs.

 

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Thanks for the additional feedback.

A follow-up question re the oem roof rails. What is the issue with the oems, and do you have an aftermarket rack/rails that you prefer?

The reason I ask is that roof rack/rails are part of my plan for this vehicle if I purchase it. On some trips we will need the Thule roof box for additional gear and luggage, while on others we will be transporting bikes, dinghies, etc on the racks.
I'm personally not a roof rack fan, but understand some just like the look and some like the utility. Be advised the weight limit of the roof rack AND contents is 110 lbs.

+1

I'm personally not a roof rack fan, more than likely would never use. Having had them (temp ones) on an Accord, I just can't stand the wind noise
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the info on the bed trunk and roof rail weight limits. Noted.

I guess roof racks are a subjective thing. We use our Thule roof box regularly, and frequently transport other gear/toys/material atop the Pilot and CRV using our roof racks. They are very handy and I wouldn't be without them.

That said, the RL has a large cargo bed so perhaps our loading approach will change if we get one. If we end up in an RL without roof rails, we'll probably try it for a while in that configuration before investing in a rack system.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

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2009 Ridgeline RTL (with nav) in Bali Blue Pearl
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I have the OEM roof-rack and despite its bulky design, compared to aftermarket versions, Honda offers a lot of good attachment systems for their racks that are designed to handle all kinds of gear. Also, Honda seems to have worked hard on their rack's design for it's as "quiet as a mouse" on the road (no wind noise), even when my moonroof is open.

As for the price; it seams high to me, but I've not tried to sell or purchase a used RL, so...

Good luck.
 
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