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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings!

I am in Texas and have about 1000 miles on my RTL. I dropped my keys today and noticed rust under my RTL in certain spots. Attached some pics for your viewing pleasure. Is this normal? It is the only areas I notice with large amounts of rust. Vehicle is garaged and I have not gone through any high water, etc.

Thanks,

Ski747
 

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That is bare, unpainted metal. Just exposure to air will cause it to rust.
 

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Even the front seats rails get rust too.


Sad but I do not see stuff like that in any of my older cheaper cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Anything I might spray on it or do to keep it from getting worse? Maybe WD40 or a rust inhibitor? Guess my question is will this be replaced by the dealer only to rust again? Thanks!

Ski747
 

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2019 RTL-E (successor to 2010 Dark Cherry Pearl RTL)
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Hey, 'ski, we'd love to congratulate you on your new Ridgeline. Maybe you could post a photo of more attractive areas of your new truck? ;) (I do understand the concern about the rust and the visor clip, but hoping you're also getting a little enjoyment from being a new owner…)
 

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Some owners like to modify their trucks with new wheels. Others upgrade their sound systems. Me? (Opening up myself to ridicule here) I like to keep my RL clean on top and on the bottom. It's not pristine. I've got 110,000 miles. But I pay attention underneath.

These non-painted parts will not be a problem, just an eye sore that most people will not see. I painted some of those areas, but not all. Just areas I see while doing maintenance.


You'll likely see rust develop in other painted undercarriage areas, such as at welds on sway bars. It's disappointing, but common on the RL. It's especially disappointing on a new vehicle. The good news is that it doesn't seem to cause any functional problems among long-time owners.

At the 2008 national meet, I asked Gary Flint about the non-painted areas, particularly the axle hubs coming out of the VTM-4 unit. He looked at me like I didn't know what I was talking about. I told him that yes, there are unpainted parts on the suspension and drivetrain. Honda had the cut-away Ridgeline on display, and we went over to it and I showed him. Amazingly, the hubs were not painted on the cut-away model either. He said he had not noticed this, and said he guessed the engineers must have thought it was okay to leave them unpainted.
 

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I'm a fellow Southerner like Ski747 and also have rust in similar areas on my '08 Ridgeline RT. It's been in Alabama ever since new and never driven in snow/salt areas during the winter. I have rust at the suspension fittings Ski 747 posted and also on the rear half shaft housings just outboard of the rear differential VTM unit (but inboard of the CV joints). This vehicle is also garaged when it's at home. This is a little concerning for a vehicle that is designed to go off-road; IMHO Honda should have made these components out of stainless steel or, at the very least, painted them over!

I also have the minor tranny whine in top gear that has been posted a lot on this forum and an occasional rattle when going over bumps, no really big deal. Otherwise I love the truck, very dependable and it handles and drives great.
 

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IMHO Honda should have made these components out of stainless steel or, at the very least, painted them over!
Stainless is a tall order for steering knuckles. I won't disagree that paint or powder coat would go a long way toward making them prettier, but I guarantee that the costs for that kind of esthetic would be ill received by the average consumer if Honda passed them on.
Frankly, any stainless used in that application (i.e. 446) would be ferritic and rust too.
 

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In our part of the country, the state does not apply any coating to highway guard rails. They say they have found that they last longer with just a little surface rust rather than painting or galvanizing them.

I'll bet if I had looked under mine when it was new I would have seen the same rust. I know it looks that way now and I'm not concerned about it.

Mine is garaged when I'm working in this area. It does have a lot of nights out when I'm on the road.
 

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I did some reading up on this and it appears that a small bit of surface rust on steel can actually be beneficial (to items that are thick to begin with, such as drive shafts, housings and suspension components), and so Honda engineers probably just figured it would be OK for the expected 15 to 20 year life of the vehicle. Obviously, such would not be the case for sheet metal parts such as fenders, hood, etc. Still, not all of the suspensions components were left bare on the and they don't all have rust, just the one component near each rear wheel and the drive shaft housings. I really don't think the additional cost of priming and painting those parts is all that much, given the already realtively high (~$30,000 new retail) cost of the RL to begin. Especially given the parts there that are already primed and/or painted.

I guess I had forgotten about it earlier, but I changed the oil on our '04 Honda Odyssey the other day and there is surface rust on the front drive shafts. So I guess this is common practice for Honda vehicles.

We also have a "00 Saturn S-series car; I'll have to check the driveshafts and suspension components on it for rust the next time I change the oil, don't remember seeing much if any previously.

I wonder if Honda Pilots have the same "features"!
 

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Mine too has front and back rust at the same locations.

Any attempt to Sand/Prime/Paint/spray (with any chemical) those rusting parts may have adverse consequence on the rubber boots nearby (drying/cracking...) .
I don't think that rust has any bad effect on the RL.

P.S. The Titanic made of iron has been submerged and sitting in salt water for 100 years... and it has not dissolved yet.

.
 

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There is a similar thread regarding their "50k dollar new Cobra Mustangs" and the consensus of the group is that it's purely a cosmetic thing and unless you want it to be a show car, it's a non issue. Seems like the process is similar to seasoning a cast iron skillet. The red oxide rust on mine has long turned to the protective black oxide. After reading a little about the chemistry of it, I wonder if just a little spray with wd40 or something might speed up the conversion to black oxide. Of course keeping it away from brakes, and then special purpose sprays being the best option if you want to make it really look nice.
 
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