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Discussion Starter #1
I have a couple of questions that don't all fit well in a specific thread, hence the general subject line. :)

I thought I understood the 'valet' key usage (only fits door and ignition) but how do you lock the door when either the valet key OR the FOB ignition key is in with the truck running and warming up? I would have assumed that manually locking the drivers door would work and the funny thing is, that process does indeed work but when you pull the drivers door handle thinking the truck is locked, it opens right up. In these days of worrying about leaving a car running to warm up a bit in the winter, being able to lock the door seems essential. Thoughts?

Secondly, I transitioned from a Suburban and they do have a couple of things over Ridgeline (or seem to). With my suburban, I could be idling or warming the vehicle up and set my parking brake would shut off the 'run lights'. Is there some way to shut off the run lights when a Ridgeline is warming up or otherwise, just at the curb idling?

Lastly - antifreeze. I wanted to top off the burp tank but thought I'd ask the question here first. Does anyone have experience using Prestone 'works for all types' antifreeze in a Ridgeline? (as in safe to use :).

TIA
 

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2021 Honda Ridgeline EX-L Canadian
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I have a couple of questions that don't all fit well in a specific thread, hence the general subject line. :)

I thought I understood the 'valet' key usage (only fits door and ignition) but how do you lock the door when either the valet key OR the FOB ignition key is in with the truck running and warming up? I would have assumed that manually locking the drivers door would work and the funny thing is, that process does indeed work but when you pull the drivers door handle thinking the truck is locked, it opens right up. In these days of worrying about leaving a car running to warm up a bit in the winter, being able to lock the door seems essential. Thoughts?

Secondly, I transitioned from a Suburban and they do have a couple of things over Ridgeline (or seem to). With my suburban, I could be idling or warming the vehicle up and set my parking brake would shut off the 'run lights'. Is there some way to shut off the run lights when a Ridgeline is warming up or otherwise, just at the curb idling?

Lastly - antifreeze. I wanted to top off the burp tank but thought I'd ask the question here first. Does anyone have experience using Prestone 'works for all types' antifreeze in a Ridgeline? (as in safe to use :).

TIA
I'm surprised to know that you can't lock your Ridgeline while it's running. Are you sure about that?

As for parking brake, it's my understanding that if you put it on before starting, the DRL should not come on. You mean to says yours do?
 

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Not sure about the locks when using a remote starter. I understand the reasoning, but the engine running with no one inside and doors locked makes me a little uncomfortable.

While Prestone may say they are approved for Honda, most of us stick with Honda fluid for coolant, ATF, and diff (VTM).

There is a potential problem of transmission line couplings to the heat exchanger (bottom of radiator) corroding and causing mixing internally of coolant and ATF. Probably best to stick with Honda coolant, although there is nothing that says the brand is critical to this specific problem at this point.

Often, a difference in metals may be more of a problem for some coolants than others.
 

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As for parking brake, it's my understanding that if you put it on before starting, the DRL should not come on. You mean to says yours do?
I can confirm that, on my 2009 RTL, the daytime running lamps stay OFF if you have the parking brake on before turning the ignition on. The key is to have the parking brake set BEFORE turning the ignition on. I don't know if there's a way to turn the daytime running lamps off after they're already on...short of turning the truck off, setting the parking brake, then turning it back on.
 

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Ref antifreeze. OP mentions "top off burp tank" which implies to me that the level is down only slightly and you want to bring it up to the minimum cold level shown on the tank. It also implies to me there is fluid already in the burp (overflow/expansion) tank.

If there is fluid in the tank, I would add pure water, or purchase the Honda coolant as was suggested by rollinhonda. Despite what the label says, I would be hesitant to mix different coolants with anything other than water.

Sometimes it is difficult to ascertain if there is actually fluid in the tank. If there is no fluid in the tank, I would be concerned about a leak requiring a bit more investigation, including the dreaded tranny coupling failure. Generally speaking, the coolant system is sealed so any significant coolant loss should be very minimal over time.
 

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.....In these days of worrying about leaving a car running to warm up a bit in the winter, being able to lock the door seems essential. Thoughts?
the 'worrying' is well founded since a running vehicle, with a key in the ignition, is like Christmas morning to a car thief, even if locked. It takes just a moment to break a window and they're gone with your RL. :(

have you considered a remote start? no key, car locked, and will shut down the vehicle if they do try to take it.
 

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Regarding the lights, be advised that the DRL are not the same in Canada as they are in US. (or at least they weren't on earlier years... not sure if that ever changed)
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks guys. I appreciate the feedback and the hot tips. :) Never would have guessed the running lights/set brake before starting connection and I'll try the water followed by Honda coolant. I would like to get something figured out on the warming up car while doors are locked however. To me, warming unattended cars is risky but at least locked doors provide SOME level of deterrent and a running, unlocked, unattended car is truly inviting.

Perhaps there is some 'trick' there similar to the park brake before starting. I can't imagine there isn't some means of locking the door while the vehicle is warming up. As I mentioned, manually locking the door only *appears* to work, as the button pushes down, remains down once the door is closed but then pops right up as the handle is pulled from the outside, opening the door. Thanks again everyone...
 

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There is pretty much no reason whatsoever to "warm up" a RL other than for personal comfort. The RL gets up to temperature quicker than any other vehicle I've ever had and the heat can be turned on within a mile of driving or so. Idling the truck at idle after a cold start can actually be detrimental and cause premature wear inside the engine. The oil needs to warm up and start flowing as quickly as it can. You only achieve that by driving. I usually let my truck sit for 20-30 seconds before putting it in gear no matter the temperature.

As for coolant, there is absolutely no reason to ever use anything other than Honda Type 2 coolant (blue stuff). That includes distilled water. The Honda stuff is already pre-mixed at 50/50 and a gallon of it is only about $20.

Lastly, I have never used the valet key for my truck. If you're worried about the truck being stolen while it's running and you're not in it, DON'T DO IT. :)
 

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On my 2007 MDX I can start it with the valet key or the fob key and manually lock the doors with the fob key (put key in door lock and turn right or left, don't remember which). I then have to manually unlock again with the key in the door lock. The remote key fob will not lock or unlock the door using the buttons if you have it started with another key. It's a safety feature so you can't accidentally lock the keys in the vehicle with it running. Say if you have a child in there who could theoretically climb into the drivers seat. Your Ridgeline should work the same way. I know my sig says 2007 Dark Cherry Pearl but I don't own it yet. In the process. Lol.
 

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If you havent figured anything out by now, as far as locking the running vehicle goes, try locking all the doors BEFORE starting the engine. When you start the engine, the doors are already locked, close the door and they should stay locked.
 

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There is pretty much no reason whatsoever to "warm up" a RL other than for personal comfort. The RL gets up to temperature quicker than any other vehicle I've ever had and the heat can be turned on within a mile of driving or so. Idling the truck at idle after a cold start can actually be detrimental and cause premature wear inside the engine. The oil needs to warm up and start flowing as quickly as it can. You only achieve that by driving. I usually let my truck sit for 20-30 seconds before putting it in gear no matter the temperature.

...

Lastly, I have never used the valet key for my truck. If you're worried about the truck being stolen while it's running and you're not in it, DON'T DO IT.
Hey Cover, to actually answer your question, I use this method all the time to warm my truck in the winter. Start it with the valet key, lock the doors while inside, manually unlock your driver door, get out, shut the door, and manually lock it from the outside with your key in the lock. Now the car is running and locked. This is a lifesaver on really cold winter mornings. Cheaper than a remote starter, and if somebody breaks the window to steal your car, they are going to freeze their but off during the getaway.

The post about idling at cold temperature is debatable; oil flows during idle. There are plenty of benefits to warming the vehicle up prior to hard driving, including safety. You wouldn't start driving even for a mile in the winter without your defroster having any heat!
 
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