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Discussion Starter #1
I hope some else has diagnosed this problem before. A search came up negative.

Driving on the highway at 65MPH and the first time it felt like we hit a pothole on a smooth road. It happened 6 or 7 times more before we got home. It reminded me of the trans searching for a down shift but I was on a fairly level road. It felt like it was coming form the rear and at that speed it should be in front wheel drive.

Could the VTS-4 be faulty and trying to engage the 4 wheel drive?

Thanks Daryl
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Daryl,

How about some history on your RL? How long have you had it? Mileage? What maintenance has been done to it? When was the last fluid change on the VTM-4 unit (rear diff)? Use all Honda fluids?

This is an odd incident report and doesn't match anything that I can recall.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Daryl,

How about some history on your RL? How long have you had it? Mileage? What maintenance has been done to it? When was the last fluid change on the VTM-4 unit (rear diff)? Use all Honda fluids?

This is an odd incident report and doesn't match anything that I can recall.
We bought the Ridgeline about 5 years ago from a Honda dealer who replaced the motor with a Honda rebuilt. The dealer told us that the old motor spun a bearing. It has 75000 miles on it and was at the closest dealership (65 miles away) for an oil change/ service yesterday. We noticed a "slight bump" on the way there, but it got real noticeable on the way home.

We have not changed the VTM-4 fluid. I didn't know it was to be serviced. Did I miss that in the manual?
 

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Oops, the wife just found a Honda service order from Mar. 2015 where the trans and diff. fluids were changed at the cost of $113. The total service was over $300. OUCH.
 

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Approximately how many miles in the year and a half since the service.

If the Trans and VTM were changed for $113, that is cheap, If parts and labor was $300, that sounds about average.

The VTM would be $149 & Trans would be $179 @ my local dealer last time I checked...
 

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Ah, the joys of DIY. I think I paid about $25 for my last VTM-4 service (or whatever the gallon jug of VTM-4 fluid cost me) at my last rear diff service. And a tranny fluid change was about the same price (whatever I paid for 4 qts of DW-1... probably about $7/qt).

>:)

Yeah, the rear diff should be serviced every 30k miles (or when the Maintenance Minder calls for it) in normal service conditions. About half that for severe service conditions.

It's all spelled out in your OM.

But if you do service intervals other than what the MM calls for, then you'll have to keep up with stuff manually.

And besides, the rear diff may not even be the problem you're dealing with.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
And besides, the rear diff may not even be the problem you're dealing with.
The rear feels like it hit a pot hole when there was none. When it was happening, my wife was driving and she said that a light or feather foot driving reduced the frequency. When it first started happening, I thought the trans. was searching for a shift then we realized it was the rear end that was being weird. It reminded me of "popping" the clutch on my hotrod to jump start it.
 

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Tell you what would help Grouch, and I'm not picking on you, but more info....

How many miles, How many miles when purchased, conditions of roads typically driven, do you know anything about the previous owners use, and any thing else you can think of.

I'm thinking "Struts" but I have no reference for how the Ridgeline is driven or where or how many miles on it.

Anything from 50k-100k Struts can go, if you can have someone drive it and drive next to it minimum (2 lane divided highway) and get to the approximate speed when it occurs, you may see the rear struts causing the rear tires to "jump". You could also inspect them, and if leaking a lot of oil that is always bad.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Weird stuff sometimes happens. I seem to recall a poster with a weird rear end problem. Turns out someone forgot to put fluid back in or left the drain plug out or something. But in many if not most cases, the cause can be traced back to some event... maintenance, accident, repair, etc.

But first we gotta figure out what could be causing that symptom. And honestly, I sorta doubt we can do that over the 'net. It may be worth the expense to take it to a dealer and let them hook it up to their HDS system for diagnostic purposes.
 

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Quick update, the dealer had our Ridgeline for several hours. A scan showed a dozen messages that the computers were not talking to each other. After much testing, the mechanic found that the battery cable had slid up the taper on the post and would momentarily lose contact on bumps causing most of the systems to shut down and back up very quickly. This made the truck buck. The motor continued to run off the alternator. All's well and the wife is happy.

Daryl
 

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Thanks for the follow-up. Glad it was something simple.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Finally diagnosed and repaired...............After too many trips to several dealers and "we fixed it" repairs that didn't. The truck no longer bucks and acts like it was trying to shift at 60-70 MPH.

Turned out that the alternator was not putting out enough volts/amps to keep the battery above 12 volts. It would test OK parked in the garage, but couldn't keep up under load causing the "voltage sensitive" computers to shut down for an instant then come back on. The trans. gets a new signal saying the truck just started and tries to engage the 4 wheel system at highway speeds.

That's the first time I've repaired a trans problem by replacing the alt.

Hope that made sense to ya.
 

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Thanks again for the feedback. That's the first time I've heard of that issue and solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yep, I was really skeptical about spending $600, but now the dealership got Honda tech. involved and they checked every angle before recommending the Alt.

I hope this helps someone else down the road.


I have a 1957 Chevy and a 1976 Excalibur. Neither one have these kind of problems.................NO computer :)
 
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