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Discussion Starter #1
I just went in for an oil change and the mechanic just said he had bad news. He said the transmission was on its way out and the code pulled confirms this along with the colour of the tranny fluid. He has no reason to lie as it is a colleague of mine. He said the plates were most likely worn down and that changing the the fluid itself would be useless as I could drive a block and it would be black again. He also said that for this type of vehicle, it is going to be super expensive because how everything is connected.

Is it worthwhile to repair/rebuild the tranny? He said no but I have never experienced anything like this so any insight would be great.

He is also saying that I shouldn't even drive it because I might end up stranded on the side of the road. Anyone have any issues like this before? The truck has 370,000 Kms on it and like I said, the tranny fluid is pretty dark!
 

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What code(s) are allegedly present?

Which warning lights, if any, are on?

When is the last time the transmission fluid was changed?

Has it been changed at the required intervals?
 

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Why not get an estimate for replacement before making your decision? Maybe two estimates. The basic truck is solid, unless you have rust issues or other significant deferred service needs.

I traded my 2006 with 196k miles (315,000km) and i wish I had kept it. Granted it did not have a bad tranny, and it was a Florida truck but I would want to know how much a tranny cost first. Likely to be way cheaper than a new truck.
 

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What code(s) are allegedly present?

Which warning lights, if any, are on?

When is the last time the transmission fluid was changed?

Has it been changed at the required intervals?
Was the transmission acting up on you?

Kind of odd you go in for an oil change & end up with a "Bad Transmission"
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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We need more information, are you the original owner, Have all the scheduled services completed by at minimum the MM system. Has the vehicle been used for towing, if so has the extreme service schedule been followed? Since by your signature, your RL is in Canada, technically without towing the extreme service schedule should be followed.

Not counting the change from Z-1 to DW-1, the Transmission fluid should have been changed at least 7 times. Maintenance Schedules (Standard & Extreme)

As a colleague, what amount of Honda Service Knowledge does he have?
 

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You should be looking at used transmission for your 'older' truck. They are NOT a common failure item, and you should be able to get a good one for under $1000 (or so). If you can get it installed (by your buddy or local garage?) for $500, then you just need to ask yourself if you'd pay $1500 to keep your truck.

A lot depends on the condition of your truck separate from the tranny issue.

If it's mint, it's a no brainer to replace the tranny, unless you were already thinking of changing vehicles.

Good Luck with your decisions.
 

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It would be difficult to find a transmission re-builder these day. Unless, it is a much older obsolete model.
You purchase a re-manufactured unit either from Honda or hopefully a less expensive but reputable shop.
'New' transmissions don't sit on shelves. They have all been utilized for new car production.
A 'good' used one is possible, especially from a low mileage truck that was totalled.
 

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I am having my transmission rebuild to the turn of $3700. I have a 2008 RTX with under 40000 miles on it. Second owner.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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I am having my transmission rebuild to the turn of $3700. I have a 2008 RTX with under 40000 miles on it. Second owner.
Please elaborate on why you need a rebuild with under 40k miles on it. That is really beyond the pale.

Inquiring minds want to know...

I will say this, having a warranty replacement tranny in my RL due to top gear whine since new (replaced under warranty). The SM told me the replacement tranny comes with a used case but all new guts. FWIW.

My whine was gone after the replacement, but I believe my mpgs dropped by 1 to 1.5 mpg or so. I've had the new tranny for over 40k miles now.
 

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Please elaborate on why you need a rebuild with under 40k miles on it. That is really beyond the pale.

Inquiring minds want to know...

I will say this, having a warranty replacement tranny in my RL due to top gear whine since new (replaced under warranty). The SM told me the replacement tranny comes with a used case but all new guts. FWIW.

My whine was gone after the replacement, but I believe my mpgs dropped by 1 to 1.5 mpg or so. I've had the new tranny for over 40k miles now.
On Oct 30 I was driving down the expressway about 75 MPH (cruise on) no problems. Slowed down (by braking) to let traffic merge in could not just move over traffic on left. Went to excelerate again no pull, motor just reved up. Pulled over have RL towed to dealer. Transmission shot. I purchase the RL in January 2015 with 28000 mile on it. Now it has about 39000 mile on it. I have never towed or hauled anything with it.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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That sounds awfully much like the SMOD issue where the radiator/tranny fittings rust out allowing the coolant and tranny fluid to mix.

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53921

There's no reason in the world for your tranny to be shot unless the PO abused the heck out of it. We have owners here that tow to the max and then some. The only tranny that grenaded (that I can recall) was simply due to abuse by the owner... rocking it back and forth, shifting between R and D.

I don't know all the details, but the poster said the owner in question was at fault in that case. (I think that was over on the massive Russian thread, as the truck was a Russian import that had the problem).

The loss of drive is symptomatic of the SMOD issue linked above.
 

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I couldn't stomach gambling with a used transmission unless it came with a long guarantee that covered parts and labor.

If I ever have the need to repair a transmission, I'm taking it to Houston, Texas. This guy is a transmission god.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xol2Adww_Kw
Here is a list of transmissions (used) that come with a warranty.

https://www.partmyride.com/pg/283662?sort=totalprice


If you check around almost all rebuilts under $2500 with up to 3 years warranty. Most are around or just under $2000.

I've heard Honda charges 4 to 5K. I don't know if that's still true. It is hard to get a price unless you give them a code number from the old one.
Of course, an indie shop is going to have to charge a lot for labor compared to a remanufacturing plant that knocks them out everyday.
 

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That dude is a magician. And a professional. Wow.
He knows exactly what to look for which saves the owner lots of of money for labor. He exemplifies the best mechanics and contradicts the notion that more money gets.you a better job.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Wow. I knew auto trannies were complex. They are worse than I imagined. And this guy is an artist. I can't believe I just sat here for 40 minutes and watched that video. And I didn't even think about popcorn. Incredible!

I'd love to see him tear down and rebuild a RL tranny.
 

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And don't forget , never get a trans replaced or worked on out of the vehicle without replacing the radiator (and coolant) before putting it back in.
(unless the radiator was recently replaced, of course).
 

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Wow. I knew auto trannies were complex. They are worse than I imagined. And this guy is an artist. I can't believe I just sat here for 40 minutes and watched that video. And I didn't even think about popcorn. Incredible!

I'd love to see him tear down and rebuild a RL tranny.
This transmission is relatively simple compared to other conventional automatics with planetary gears, bands, or more speeds.

I've watched several of his videos. They are fascinating to gear heads and excruciatingly boring to everyone else. :)

The transmission in the video is a 5AT from an '04 Odyssey, so it is similar to the transmission in our Ridgelines except for some different gear ratios and a few beefier components.

Clutches and gears and solenoids and accumulators and pumps and such are pretty easy to understand. What blows my mind is the complexity of the hydraulic circuit (the part that looks like a maze). I can't even begin to fathom how it is developed. No wonder it takes tens of millions of dollars to develop a 200 lb. device that consists of a few hundred parts!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I work at a school and it is the mechanics teacher who told me about my tranny and he's a mate so no worries about him screwing me over. That being said, I've never had the granny fluid changed because I was warned that on such a high mileage vehicle, I might actually being doing more harm than good if the plates were really worn down and I flushed out the old fluid.

As to troubles with the tranny itself, there is no hitch so no towing happens but the truck has seen a lot of mountain driving. On one road trip, I did encounter issues where there was a lot of overtaking and the tranny was having issues figuring out which gear to be in. Eventually, the D light started blinking and I pulled over. Started up again and no issues. I just take it easy now on the throttle and try not to drive in a jarring manner and it drives fine.

I called a transmission place and they quoted 4500-5000 and with so many kms on the truck, I don't think it's worth it so I think I'll be selling it. It just sucks because I've put in all the extras and have it looking the way I want it to but in the end, the truck owes me nothing so it'll be sad to see it go but hey, that's life! I have a feeling that if I did fix the tranny, something else would come up and then another and then another. Seems to happen with high mileage vehicles!
 

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Well it sounds as if your mind is already made up. Best of Luck, shopping for something new.

Ok, so your mate has no interest in "screwing you over", but that still doesn't answer how much "HONDA/ACURA" knowledge he has.
I work at a school and it is the mechanics teacher who told me about my tranny and he's a mate so no worries about him screwing me over. That being said, I've never had the granny fluid changed because I was warned that on such a high mileage vehicle, I might actually being doing more harm than good if the plates were really worn down and I flushed out the old fluid.
That said, your diagnosis and not changing the Tranny fluid could be the actual problem. It's well documented that Honda Transmissions really like new fluids the "blinking D" mentioned below is often apart of overheating the transmission mentioned here in this thread, and/or issues with some pressure solenoids mentioned in this thread. Changing the Transmission Fluid is easier than the Oil Change you brought it in for, just drain and fill. YOU could buy a case of HONDA/ACURA DW-1 here in the states for approximately $7 a bottle, that would get you 3 drain and fills, at that point you'd have some where in the neighborhood of 80-90% new fluid.

As to troubles with the tranny itself, there is no hitch so no towing happens but the truck has seen a lot of mountain driving. On one road trip, I did encounter issues where there was a lot of overtaking and the tranny was having issues figuring out which gear to be in. Eventually, the D light started blinking and I pulled over. Started up again and no issues. I just take it easy now on the throttle and try not to drive in a jarring manner and it drives fine.
The Ridgeline/Pilot and other Honda Transmissions are quite different than typical, and the 5 Speed which was used in the Ridgeline from MY 2006-14, is often complained about for "hunting around". Another part of that problem specifically related to mountain driving is the fact that the 3.5l is apart of the problem and it reaches approximately 240lb-ft of torque around 2500rpm and the maximum is 247lb-ft of torque around 4700rpm, so you either put your foot into it and as some have said "drive quite spiritedly" or it lugs around looking for the correct drive ratio. In the mountains, the cruise control seems to actually make it worse.

I called a transmission place and they quoted 4500-5000 and with so many kms on the truck, I don't think it's worth it so I think I'll be selling it. It just sucks because I've put in all the extras and have it looking the way I want it to but in the end, the truck owes me nothing so it'll be sad to see it go but hey, that's life! I have a feeling that if I did fix the tranny, something else would come up and then another and then another. Seems to happen with high mileage vehicles!
If this vehicle is "setup for you" with all the extras and is in otherwise good condition that price is something that most of us would have to consider. The unfortunate part of the RL and other Honda/Acura V6 SUV's is the transmission and engine are unique to North America, it is not apart of the global Honda sales line

My only last thought is get a second opinion and if the "sale or trade" value is really low, maybe donate it to your school, it would be great to see a bunch of kids get exposed to non domestic vehicles and continue honing the craft of being a mechanic.

Again Best of Luck with your decision
 
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