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Discussion Starter #1
I was quoted $1086.55 for:
OEM left/right Spectrum Struts, Strut-mate mounting kit, sway bar link, strut assembly removal and installation, thrust alignment and adjust.
Parts: $673.68 Labor: $372.45

This place fixed my other vehicle once and that worked out and last year they won recognition as the towns best auto repair.

What have others paid for this job? I am pretty sure this is something I cannot do myself although I have half a mind to try!! Thank you for any suggestions.

Beth
 

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If you were to buy the oem strut unit ($100ish each) (not the complete assembled unit), the upper plate assembly (strut mate $40ish each) and the OEM stabilizer links ($20ish each) that comes to $320 plus some shipping (maybe $40?). Total could thus be $360 rather than their $673. Perhaps they are including other things you didn't mention?

For their material price you could buy two complete OEM strut units (for $550) that would have new OEM top plates, new springs and all the other bits and pieces, completely assembled and ready to slap in. The labor should be significantly less if they don't have to disassemble the strut unit. Perhaps you should see if they would install OEM parts that you provide? Get them to quote for swapping in a new complete strut unit and the stab links.

If I may ask, what are the reasons (symptoms?)for replacing these parts?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
eurban, I had a clunk in the front end. I took it to a front end place last year and they told me struts also. The clunk is getting a little louder and more prevalent. How can I verify the struts are bad myself? Do repair places install customer parts? Thank you.

I was looking at the Estimate I included everything on the estimate. It has the break down of parts and labor time for each part. L/R struts $179.95 each, strut-mate mounting kit $86.02 and the sway bar link $60.87

I don't know if steering would be affected by this but the steering works fine.

Beth
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I talked to the guy at the shop again. He said he would use my parts but of course STRONGLY recommended that I don't and said he could not guarantee the parts and I would have to pay labor again if they went bad. What OEM brand struts and sway bar should I look for?

Beth
 

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When do you hear the clunk?
 

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I talked to the guy at the shop again. He said he would use my parts but of course STRONGLY recommended that I don't and said he could not guarantee the parts and I would have to pay labor again if they went bad. What OEM brand struts and sway bar should I look for?

Beth
OEM means: Original Equipment Manufacturer, in this case Honda. I don't think there is much risk that new complete Honda strut units will prematurely fail. The OEM stabilizer links are a bit more problematic (Honda uses plastic (never need greasing) cups, that show up occasionally in this forum as failed) but these are cheap parts that take a relatively small amount of labor to install. If you are considering going this route, get a revised labor quote from the shop for installing COMPLETE strut units. It should be less than the labor they previously quoted. Tell them you are using OEM parts so there should be no fitment issues. You can order the Honda parts from an online place like Bernardi Parts.

Overall there have been a number of posts on front end clunks. Most frequently changing out the stabilizer end links and the sway bar bushings solves the problem. My truck clunked over rough roads for a few years until I replaced the end links and bushings (the culprit was almost certainly the bushings in my case) BTW, the stabilizer bushings are less than $20 and would be a very quick install for the shop. . .If the shop is replacing both the struts and the end links its sounds like they don't know for sure which ones are causing the problem. I guess you could have problems with both but it is probably more likely that they think if they do both you will have your issue solved. I would question them as to exactly why they are recommending replacing the parts (are the struts leaking fluid? does the front end wallow? is there visible or audible issues at the strut mounting plate? have the endlink joints come apart?) and if they had considered the sway bar bushings as being an issue.

If you describe the conditions and severity of your clunk it might help us here.
 

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Just to clarify, Elizabeth, the term "sway bar" refers to a large curved metal rod which is mounted within the cradle that also holds the engine and steering mechanism. Im thinking you probably mean sway bar end links, and/or sway bar bushing mounts. You did say sway bar link in your original post. If you need a sway bar, I think the engine cradle has to be lowered and that is a big job.

I would also vote for ordering the Honda struts online. I doubt it will save you anything in the end analysis. I would clarify with your shop guy that he would stand behind his installation labor notwithstanding the OEM parts because I have had a personal experience with the Honda dealer installing a strut incorrectly under warranty (I ended up fixing it myself). It does happen so be sure he will stand behind his work (labor charge)..let's say for 90 days. It is reasonably difficult and requires alignment which sometimes requires more than one visit when the suspension settles from the new parts.
 

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There are clunks and there are CLUNKS.

My 2006 Pilot developed a clunk (low speed and over minor road imperfections) that was more of an annoyance. I could not find it for love nor money. Well, I take back the money part. I spent some and found the problem.

I put the Pilot up on jackstands and checked everything I could and all seemed tight by hand check. So I took it to a local shop, had them ride with me for a demo of the issue. Using a hand tool, they found a small amount of play in a front stab link. We replaced the stab links and no more clunk. This on a vehicle with 110k+ miles.

It could be that simple. It could be more. Hopefully, it is simple and (relatively) cheap to fix.
 

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You might just try the sway bar end links first.... if the noise goes away, you don't have to worry about the struts.
 

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I think the sway bar bushings are just as likely if not more likely to be the culprit. I would do the bushings and the endlinks at the same time. . .
 

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I think the sway bar bushings are just as likely if not more likely to be the culprit. I would do the bushings and the endlinks at the same time. . .
..... yes, I agree.... 'was just saying to wait on the shocks 'til you've done these other suspension items (unless you have evidence shocks or shock mounts are bad).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I posted a reply yesterday but now its gone!

I spoke to a local mechanic recommended by an elder at my church. Bart, works at a shop and does his own thing on the side at this elders garage. He thinks he can work on my truck but he is usually works on domestics. He is not on the internet but said he will look up my truck in some repair manual. He is good at the mechanical stuff not so much the engine and computer stuff. Maybe I will ask him to take a look at the truck first to diagnose it. I am not so sure about what the guy at the shop said. It could be something smaller than what he is saying, according to you guys. Plus, the owner told me a crude and inappropriate joke while I was waiting. Not sure if I should go back there.

How can I find out what Ridgeline I have? It's a 2007. RX, RTL?????

Thank you.

Beth
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Good news! I finally saw the local mechanic and he could not find anything wrong with the truck but acknowledge there is a clunk. He did suggest replacing the sway bar links. They had some play when he messed with them. What website should I order those from? Also, I need a tire stem. Can I order that from the same place? Thanks for all of your suggestions and feedback. I am SO glad I talked to this guy. What if that was all that was wrong and I had spent all that money at that shop!

Beth

I just noticed that I did not reply to some of your questions, sorry. My furnace died and did not get a replacement for almost a week! The clunk can be heard while driving over small bumps in smooth road and on pot holes and dirt roads. I don't know how to gauge how loud it is but it is noticeable. Thanks again.
 

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Did he check the engine mounts? My front one was bad with only 36K miles. "Clunk" was the main symptom.
 

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Good news! I finally saw the local mechanic and he could not find anything wrong with the truck but acknowledge there is a clunk. He did suggest replacing the sway bar links. They had some play when he messed with them. What website should I order those from? Also, I need a tire stem. Can I order that from the same place? Thanks for all of your suggestions and feedback. I am SO glad I talked to this guy. What if that was all that was wrong and I had spent all that money at that shop!

Beth

I just noticed that I did not reply to some of your questions, sorry. My furnace died and did not get a replacement for almost a week! The clunk can be heard while driving over small bumps in smooth road and on pot holes and dirt roads. I don't know how to gauge how loud it is but it is noticeable. Thanks again.
Let us know if the end links solve your problem. For OEM Honda parts, try Bernardiparts.com. But you really need to know what you're looking for to use this (or call their 800 number on the website). Did that mechanic not give you a quote to repair?? Try a local independent Honda mechanic or even a dealer to get a quote. You can probably even do that over the phone... just tell them you want to replace the rear end links. There are aftermarket versions also available (you can search "endlink" & see if you can find posts identifying some here on the forum) that are supposed to be a bit better than OEM, but unless you're going to keep the truck for a VERY long time, you'll be fine with OEM. I'm guessing you're not going to be doing this DIY, so try a good Honda mechanic.
 

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As I mentioned earlier, it makes a lot of sense to do the sway bar bushings at the same time you do the endlinks. They are probably about $7 each and will be an easy swap out when the tension is off of the bar as a result of the endlinks being removed.

Good luck!
 

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Sounds like the same clunking I have as well. Anyone have DIY experience and pictures for this job? Does not sound too difficult and seems to be a common issue.

Thanks
 
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