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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I rarely drive my RL anymore now that my wife stays home. I commute in our civic. So she tells me that my truck is shaking when starting from a stop....hmmmm k that's pretty vague, but I'll go drive it. I noticed a few weeks back when I was driving it from a stop and turning left you can feel a slight shudder. I thought hmmmm wonder if it's time to change the transfer case fluid. So change that......fast forward to tonight. I take the truck out for a drive and notice almost right away if I turn left and give it some gas from a stop there's a shudder of sorts. It goes away after 10mph and drives dead smooth all the way up to 80mph( that's as fast as I went, not that it started to shake at 80 mph). It also doesn't appear to do it going straight, although she swears it does. It never did for me tonight.

Now last year when I changed the oil on my truck I noticed what appeared to be grease on my oil filter and looked like it MIGHT be from the CV boot. No tear was noticeable and clamps were still in place. Change the filter and go on about my business. I just changed the oil again this time and no grease on the filter. That could mean 1-2 things to me. Either all the grease has slung out......our the boot wasn't leaking and it came from who knows what.

Now normally is a CV joint is going bad or is bad you get all kinds of vibrations, clicks, noises, etc. I get none of that. I tried turning left tightly in my cul de sac and no noises, grinding, shudder or anything. Granted this was slow <10mph.

Sooooooo motor mount, or CV? Tires were rotated, but this was there prior to that. Also I checked the torque of the lug nuts and all is well. If I had to guess and I'm terrible at diagnosing anything, is that it's the passenger CV going out. It's an 07 with 118k on it. Everything is bone stock.

Additional info, it ONLY does this from a dead stop, and turning at this point. More noticeable when turning left than right, but apparent both directions.
 

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When you say transfer case do you mean rear differential fluid (VTM4) or the transfer assembly up by the transmission?
From what I've read, this is a common issue and usually changing the rear diff fluid helped resolve this issue.
If you found grease from a leaking CV, I would definitely change it out for starters since it's a known.
 

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First rotate tires front to rear to be sure you don't have a tire problem... especially since you said you just got new ones.

Next, I would investigate shock mount bearing (at top of front shocks). These will cause issues when turning if they are bad.


EDIT: I just re-read, and it sounds like you already rotated tires (front to back, correct?), and you had the problem before AND after.... this rules out #1 above.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
First rotate tires front to rear to be sure you don't have a tire problem... especially since you said you just got new ones.

Next, I would investigate shock mount bearing (at top of front shocks). These will cause issues when turning if they are bad.


EDIT: I just re-read, and it sounds like you already rotated tires (front to back, correct?), and you had the problem before AND after.... this rules out #1 above.
Correct, just rotated the tires front to back. Was there prior, still there. What do I look for in the shock mount bearing?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
When you say transfer case do you mean rear differential fluid (VTM4) or the transfer assembly up by the transmission?
From what I've read, this is a common issue and usually changing the rear diff fluid helped resolve this issue.
If you found grease from a leaking CV, I would definitely change it out for starters since it's a known.
It feels like it's coming from the front. How often does the rear diff fluid need to be changed? It was changed 15k miles ago.....2 years, but 15k ago.

And yes the transfer assembly by the transmission. I'm not certain that was grease from the CV axle as I cleaned it off and have never seen it again.

EDIT: You might be on to something with the VTM4 fluid. I noticed when I first bought my truck, which had 100k miles on it when I bought it, that this shudder was there.....when turning left( there's a lot of left turns coming into my neighborhood from stop signs). I changed the transfer assembly and VTM4 fluid the same day/time and it went away. That's stupid cheap and easy check. Fluid is like $30 and I have an amazon gift card I need to burn....so why not?
 

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No tire issue would cause a shudder from take-off. CV joints, especially inner joints, can cause a shudder under acceleration. Look at the front inner CV boots closely to see if the grease has come out. You can usually see the grease slung around the area where the big boot clamp is. You can re-pack the inner joints, but remanufactured entire axle shafts are pretty cheap these days. You can find them at Rockauto.com usually. Even if the inner joint is repacked, if that is the problem, it may have worn to the point where repacking won't take care of the vibration. You can also take a pair of channel-lock or vice grip pliers, grab the axle shaft in the center, and try to turn each axle shaft (all four) back and forth with the wheels on the ground. If there is any play or clicking noise in the shaft, you likely have a bad CV joint. I just went through this in my wife's AWD BMW. Turned out to be the front, right, inner CV joint.

You could also have some moisture in your rear differential. I seem to remember people having this issue years ago. They changed the VTM-4 fluid and their problem was cured.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No tire issue would cause a shudder from take-off. CV joints, especially inner joints, can cause a shudder under acceleration. Look at the front inner CV boots closely to see if the grease has come out. You can usually see the grease slung around the area where the big boot clamp is. You can re-pack the inner joints, but remanufactured entire axle shafts are pretty cheap these days. You can find them at Rockauto.com usually. Even if the inner joint is repacked, if that is the problem, it may have worn to the point where repacking won't take care of the vibration. You can also take a pair of channel-lock or vice grip pliers, grab the axle shaft in the center, and try to turn each axle shaft (all four) back and forth with the wheels on the ground. If there is any play or clicking noise in the shaft, you likely have a bad CV joint. I just went through this in my wife's AWD BMW. Turned out to be the front, right, inner CV joint.

You could also have some moisture in your rear differential. I seem to remember people having this issue years ago. They changed the VTM-4 fluid and their problem was cured.
I can do that! Any play at all? Like not even some wiggle room? My truck sits sometimes for a week or so before being driven. Then when it is driven it's just around town. I think I maybe put 5k on it a year. But it has been 2 years...little over and like 15-17k miles since the last VTM4 change. I have changed the trans fluid in between that, just a quick 3 bottle change and fill since it was done the same time as I did the other fluids when I bought it.
 

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Moisture can get in, the rear diff VTM-4, if it's been through deep water. It would be easy enough to rule out with like $25-30, and 15k miles is the severe service limit, which at 5k a year it would be severe service limits, my best guess is because we are not getting the fluids up to temp & keeping them there often enough to get all the moisture out.

Link to VTM-4 Fluid from Bernardi Parts

As for the CV axle test, there should be no noticeable movement with channel locks or vice grips, and since the Ridgeline has 4 CV axles and 8 boots, if the fronts have a noticeable movement, maybe go replace that one.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Moisture can get in, the rear diff VTM-4, if it's been through deep water. It would be easy enough to rule out with like $25-30, and 15k miles is the severe service limit, which at 5k a year it would be severe service limits, my best guess is because we are not getting the fluids up to temp & keeping them there often enough to get all the moisture out.

As for the CV axel test, there should be no noticeable movement with channel locks or vice grips, and since the Ridgeline has 4 CV axels and 8 boots, if the fronts have a noticeable movement, maybe go replace that one.
Ahhh I see. Ok makes sense. I have some on order from Amazon right now. Dealerships aren't open due to the ice storm we're having right now. Everything should be here mon/tues next week( fluid and crush washers). I thought I had some, but I guess it uses all or almost all of the gallon.
 

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Ahhh I see. Ok makes sense. I have some on order from Amazon right now. Dealerships aren't open due to the ice storm we're having right now. Everything should be here mon/tues next week( fluid and crush washers). I thought I had some, but I guess it uses all or almost all of the gallon.

Here's a link to the maintenance schedule, severe service is the 2nd chart.


Amazon is a good alternative source if local dealers are overpriced or, not willing to match online pricing.
 

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No more than I would guess that weighs, I think you're fine on the normal schedule. What is the trailer and jet ski? 1000 lbs max?
 

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Correct, just rotated the tires front to back. Was there prior, still there. What do I look for in the shock mount bearing?
Here's an image. These sometimes get degraded (by whatever cause) and get "sticky" as they breakdown. It's item #13 in the shock absorber top mount in this image. These can sometimes cause some noise when turning. I'm not thinking this would cause a continuous "shudder" if that's what you're getting. Hard to decipher from words on the screen though. Good Luck.

 

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Discussion Starter #14
No more than I would guess that weighs, I think you're fine on the normal schedule. What is the trailer and jet ski? 1000 lbs max?
I think it's more the short distance driving is what he was saying. But if I take both out it's about 2k lbs with gear and stuff, maybe slightly over including the trailer.

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Discussion Starter #15
Drove the RL quite a bit over the last 2 days with ice/snow here and on the snow and ice it never shuddered once. So I'm really leaning on it being the rear diff not releasing and on the snow you don't feel it like you do on pavement. Now that I think about it, it does feel/sound like a normal 4wd system trying to drive on dry pavement. So lets just hope that's all it is. Would be an insanely cheap fix, which would be awesome since I just had to drop $7k to replace one of my hvac units, so I'm pretty tapped out right now. Fluid should be here tomorrow and washers on wed.

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Mine "shudders" when I put in drive. Not always but alot of the time. Been doing it for at least 30,000 miles, have 74,000 miles now..All fluids changes many times. Dealer found nothing..
 

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Mine "shudders" when I put in drive. Not always but alot of the time. Been doing it for at least 30,000 miles, have 74,000 miles now..All fluids changes many times. Dealer found nothing..
I'd suspect your motor mounts based on that simple description ("shudders" when you put it in drive).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So changed the vtm4 fluid today. Shudder is gone. However, it's one of the first days I've driven it with the temps above freezing. I punched it from a stop while turning left, and no shudder. So we'll see what shakes out.

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Discussion Starter #19
Still no shudder. Granted it hasn't been driven much and its been pretty warm. So hard to tell. Wife did mention she didn't feel/hear it when she drove it the other day.

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Very nice and thanks for the update.
You owe me a beer if I ever make it to NC...lol....j/k >:)
 
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