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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for some guidance here. I have a 2007 Ridgeline RTS with 141K miles. The truck also has the tow hitch, roof rack, tube steps, and retrax bed cover. In the past year, I've installed new tires, battery, bushings, links, and brakes. Last week the radiator went and both antifreeze and transmission fluid leaking all over the ground. I also had transmission fluid in the radiator. I don't want to put any more money into it and fear something else will be found wrong.

I went car shopping and the dealer is telling me the truck is valued at only a few hundred dollars since it doesn't run. This seems crazy that they wouldn't be willing to fix and sell it. Otherwise, it is in good condition. Does anyone have thoughts on the real value of the truck and how I might recoup some cash for buying my next car?


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Replace the radiator & hope the transmission didn't take a dump. Then sell it running. You'll get a lot more money for it. The dealer is pricing it as worse case scenario.
 

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Please try to describe the events leading up to the leak(s). It'll help with a more complete recommendation from the big brains and experience available on this forum

The dealer knows they would be STEALING this rig if you let it go for a few hunert $. At a minimum, the truck needs:
- New radiator
- Flush the engine cooling circuit, new coolant
- A complete passive flush of the trans

There *should be* no engine damage unless it overheated. IF it didn't, the only real variable is whether the trans will need replacement, and you won't know that without executing the above. IF the trans is a gonner, it'll need replacement and there are options for that.

If you are handy, this is a DYI job that could be done for a few hundred bucks. A few of the folks who have suffered this issue have revived their trans and continue to enjoy driving. If you aren't a DIY guy, find a shop who has dealt with SMOD (strawberry milkshake of death) and make sure they understand the difference between a passive flush and a power flush for the trans.

If you are going to let a solid truck with no rust or other issues go for a few hunert $, let me know, I'll buy a plane ticket, rent a truck and tow the danged thing out to California for that price! (emphasis added). :)
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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Pictures would also allow us to help with the prognosis. I know someone just got a radiator on here for less than $80, a case of ATF & 2 gallons of TYPE 2 coolant and maybe 3 gallons of distilled water and you'll at least have a running & driving vehicle.

And if you want to sell it I'm certain several members would purchase it for more than that stealership is offering.
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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What is the "distilled water" for?
To flush the coolant system without wasting the actual coolant. SMOD (Strawberry Milkshake of Death) results in ATF in the Coolant system/Radiator and Coolant in the Transmission System.

In addition to this thread here are the other "Top 5" Threads related to the issue.


Pictures of Corroded/Rusted Radiator Fittings
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53921

Radiator Fail on 2006
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=115402

Best Radiator Replacement
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98025

UOA on ATF
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116761

Anatomy of OEM Denso Radiator
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116753

Poll(Never Posted) on Radiator/Trans Cooler Solution
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116570
 

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To flush the coolant system without wasting the actual coolant. SMOD (Strawberry Milkshake of Death) results in ATF in the Coolant system/Radiator and Coolant in the Transmission System.

In addition to this thread here are the other "Top 5" Threads related to the issue.


Pictures of Corroded/Rusted Radiator Fittings
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53921

Radiator Fail on 2006
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=115402

Best Radiator Replacement
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98025

UOA on ATF
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116761

Anatomy of OEM Denso Radiator
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116753

Poll(Never Posted) on Radiator/Trans Cooler Solution
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116570
Yeah I know all about the SMOD, the question was about the distilled water...
 

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Yeah I know all about the SMOD, the question was about the distilled water...
Never put *tap* water in the cooling system. Use only distilled water. You can buy the Honda anti-freeze in a 50/50 mixture (I think). But, if you are mixing anti-freeze with water, use distilled water. Tap water has too many minerals in it (along with, who knows what). It will corrode and plug up the system.
 

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Even not running, your truck is worth a few thousand dollars for its parts. You can confidently disregard the predatory dealer and pursue your own course with the service outlined in this thread.

Earlier, it was mentioned to know the difference between a passive flush and a power flush for the transmission. To be clear: it's the passive flush that you want. The power flush can damage an internal filter.

For the investment of a few hundred dollars for a radiator and two sets of fluid, you could potentially rescue the truck and have it live a long remaining life.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Never put *tap* water in the cooling system. Use only distilled water. You can buy the Honda anti-freeze in a 50/50 mixture (I think). But, if you are mixing anti-freeze with water, use distilled water. Tap water has too many minerals in it (along with, who knows what). It will corrode and plug up the system.
Amen to this. We learned the hard way why it is important to use distilled water in my wife's espresso machine.

The same thing applies to the radiator for purposes of flushing. Otherwise, a straight mix right out of the Honda jug goes into the radiator.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I ended up trading in the Ridgeline for $3500. It's killing me and I got taken, but in addition to the radiator leaking and being filled with transmission fluid, 141k miles, it was rusting around the wheel wells and tube steps, the tailgate no longer opened sideways, it had a cracked rear tail light assembly, dent in front corner, still had original spark plugs, and also needed a catalytic converter. I felt like the cost of the work to get back into shape was too high for its value, but in the same breath, $3500 was way too little for my truck. I'm not in a position to do the work myself. Dealer had me in a tough spot as it was towed there for trade. I bought a new 2015 accord and should feel happy about having a new car, but instead I feel like I let the truck go for way too little.


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That's an impressive list of faulty items ... Maybe you could have squeezed more out ... but not being in position ... I wouldn't think about it and just move on. You made your move ... just enjoy your new ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks codda. Your reply makes me feel somewhat better about the decision. I've bought many cars, but this time buying was my worst experience by far. I left my house at 10am, spent 5 hours in a tow truck, 4 hours at two dealerships and after eating dinner and picking up my kids, I didn't make it home until 10pm at night.


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Boston, when you originally posted they were offering a few hundred dollars, to me that was just unacceptable. Now $3500, and adding the other parts and pieces to the mix, I'd say you did quite well all things considered.

I will say this the purchase process has become way too complicated IMO. When we purchased the wife's 2015 Fit we were there like 4-5 hrs, no trade-in, had our own financing, (which I probably should have stuck with) the dealer did beat my CU's rate by 0.7%. That will be the last car I purchase @ a stealership directly. But what's done is done.

Enjoy that 2015 Accord, it's a great vehicle.
 

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Just a small caution ... we do not know the true value offered and I suspect it is nowhere near 3500 as there are many ways to divert attention from the true price of the newly acquired car. Many times a dealer sells a new car which contains an implied trade in, with no such trade in existence, with a back of the envelope value appearing in the paperwork for said fantasy trade in.
 

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In a normal transaction (where you don't have your vehicle already at the dealer DOA) you should negotiate your price first before you talk trade. This means when they initially ask about trade in you "lie" and say no. You should also (obviously) come armed with pricing knowledge about the new car you are buying the used car you are selling.
 

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No reason to lie....simply separate the deal. When they ask tell them yes, you have a trade and we'll get to it...but first lets work out the purchase price. They can low ball all they want on the trade but any legit dealer is going to give you fair market value ( which you will know ahead of time by doing your homework )
 

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Discussion Starter #18
We did just that, settled on the purchase price of the new vehicle before talking about the trade.


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