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The Ridgeline service spec says service the coolant at 120K mi or 10 yrs. I have 93K mi but 13 yrs. Coolant is clear and new looking with no sediment or deposits below radiator cap. Looks brand new under a bright light. No other bad signs at hose connections to radiator.

Should I do a drain/refill or wait for 120K mi? No trailer, but 3-4 trips/year in the norcal mountains and a 6+ hr drive for fishing. Otherwise mostly around town to Home Depot, etc. or just sits in the garage for days on end. Only drive about 7K mi/yr. Have never had a cooling problem, or any problem for that matter. Awesome vehicle!
 

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Usually when an interval is specified at years or mileage, you are supposed to go by whichever comes first. By that measure, you're 3 years overdue.

Have you done the timing belt, or are you planning to soon? If so, I'd leave the coolant alone for now, and do the water pump and new coolant when you do the timing belt.
 

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Hi, thanks for reply. I'm aware of the "whichever comes first" thing, but the problem I have with coolant, or any fluids for that matter, is do they go bad just sitting in the garage? Seems improbable to me in modern cars. 40 yrs ago maybe with conventional motor oil due to condensation (water) build up and pre-smogged engines, but with modern engines and fluids, seems just sitting would not wear them out. Where motor oil is concerned, this was confirmed by Blackstone Labs when they analyzed my oil. They told me I could take my very low annual mileage Subaru Outback to 3 yrs with synthetic oil if it takes that long to hit 7 or 8K miles (even then, they say take the oil to 10K). I have taken it to 2 yrs and tests come back with zero water/coolant in the oil and plenty of additive remaining (Napa 5-30 syn).

Have not done timing belt yet either and that's another question. Thanks for tip to do that before the coolant since it involves a new water pump. Did not think of that.

Anyway, still interested to see what the collective wisdom has to say about the coolant, or timing belt too for that mater, since I'm well beyond the 10 yrs for that.
 

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Hi, thanks for reply. I'm aware of the "whichever comes first" thing, but the problem I have with coolant, or any fluids for that matter, is do they go bad just sitting in the garage? Seems improbable to me in modern cars. 40 yrs ago maybe with conventional motor oil due to condensation (water) build up and pre-smogged engines, but with modern engines and fluids, seems just sitting would not wear them out. Where motor oil is concerned, this was confirmed by Blackstone Labs when they analyzed my oil. They told me I could take my very low annual mileage Subaru Outback to 3 yrs with synthetic oil if it takes that long to hit 7 or 8K miles (even then, they say take the oil to 10K). I have taken it to 2 yrs and tests come back with zero water/coolant in the oil and plenty of additive remaining (Napa 5-30 syn).

Have not done timing belt yet either and that's another question. Thanks for tip to do that before the coolant since it involves a new water pump. Did not think of that.

Anyway, still interested to see what the collective wisdom has to say about the coolant, or timing belt too for that mater, since I'm well beyond the 10 yrs for that.
Short Answer is "Yes" the chemical reaction or the one which the coolant is competing against will eventually fail and electrolysis will occur within the Coolant, when it does bad chemical reactions happen.

How long will a Battery last unused, at a certain point it's shelf life or operational life will fail.

Additionally how "lucky" do you feel, what environment do you operate this Ridgeline, I personally live in a very dry desert environment and I didn't trust the "belts" much longer than 10 years and 75k.

Since you use Blackstone, contact them and see if they can test the coolant (I think they can) and get it tested, although for the same price you could just throw a new gallon of Honda Type 2 in the system.

YMMV
 

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@Carsmak beat me to suggesting Blackstone since you're already familiar with them. If Blackstone won't do it, Oil Analyzers will. https://www.oaitesting.com/services.aspx But as Carsmak also pointed out, it would be more cost-effective to just change it given the cost of testing vs the cost of coolant.

As far as the timing belt replacement goes, it is preventative, so you could let it go if you want. I personally wouldn't unless you are planning to get rid of the truck soon though because bent valves get very expensive to fix.
 

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What does a coolant actually do?
- An Engine coolant helps the transfer of heat from the combustion, lubricate gaskets and seals, and prevent corrosion.

When the coolant breaks down in its chemical composition, it cannot do much of the above as it should, which leads to component corrosion, which then get plugged elsewhere. The coolant does not have to look dirty to know it is inadequately performing. Moreover, it may take up to a year or more for those deposits that get plugged and result in a 'problem'. Inadequate coolant can be seen on the heat transfer surface (cylinder walls, outer) and the coolant passages, not just by popping the radiator cap and looking in. Usually, if you look at the reservoir, the color will be darker, than it should. Broken down coolant would have a more grey-ish tint to it.

Also, changing the coolant that is not prescribed for the vehicle/engine, would result in adverse effects as older and different color coolants have different levels and types of lubricants as well as corrosion inhibitors. We are dealing with untreated aluminum in many of the coolant passages, so be careful and change only with the OEM type coolant.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK, sold! Thanks for the thoughtful replies! I can afford it. Life is short, etc...And I do plan too keep the truck a long time. Body and interior still pretty decent but with some wear/tear on the plastic parts around doors that shoes/boots kick on ingress and egress (*see note below). With the big numbers I see for engine life expectancy, and at my slow rate of accumulating mileage, the vehicle could outlive me. BTW, if any have doubts, the all wheel drive has never let me down and have never needed to kick it into 4 wheel lockup. When not making Home Depot runs, it's my fishing vehicle, and it's been on some pretty awful dirt roads in the back woods on Norcal rivers.

Thanks for the nudge.

*off topic, but on restoring nicks and scratches on the plastic our shoes hit around the doors, I saw a great video somewhere of a guy restoring an old Camaro where the plastic on the consol was a disaster. He used a heat gun and moved it slowly to almost sorta melt the plastic but not quite. As it cools it appeared to have memory of how it used to look when new and it slowly went back to new like magic. He just slowly moved along in a straight line leaving a path of restored plastic behind. Have not tried yet as I'm afraid of overdoing it and melting something. Don't have the link but google should find it.
 

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Though the heat treating sounds good, you can certainly try. However, there are many Ridgelines in the salvage yard and parts can be easily pulled. Heck, you can even get the yards to mail the parts in a box with minimal shipping.
 

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Good point, but I have a lot of scratched up plastic. Fly fishing buddies with wading boots with studs? Tough on plastic. Applied some 1/8" sticky-back neoprene sheets to the "threshold" of three doors which helps. Get it by the foot at Granger.

On the coolant issue, just got a timing belt quote from my regular indi shop up the street, $825 for the whole kit w water pumper idler, etc, after mkt parts though. How's that sound? includes new coolant. Dang glad I did not jump the gun and do the coolant first.

Thanks all for the replies! Over and out.
 

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That is an excellent price for everything at $825, and about what I paid in June, 2011 at my local dealership. My local Indy Shop was more about $50 or so. At the time I had a great working relationship with a service writer, and let me stack some discounts and bring my own coolant, long story and previously posted somewhere on here. ;)
 

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That price is very competitive. Either Gates TCK329 or Continental TB329K1 are good brands and come with the tensioner, pulley and belt. As far as the waterpump, Aisin WPH801 is what you need as everyone swears by it.
Change out your thermostat while you are at it as well. Either a Stant 14337 or Gates 33914 would work; regardless of what brand, ensure that they are the 167F thermostats, not the 172F/180F ones.
Since you are changing out all this, ensure that the shop changes the bottom two ATF lines on the radiator with something new.

Lastly, if you really want, you can also get the ATF fluids changed; Honda branded fluids are recommended.
 

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Change out your thermostat while you are at it as well. Either a Stant 14337 or Gates 33914 would work; regardless of what brand, ensure that they are the 167F thermostats, not the 172F/180F ones.
Can we talk about this topic? I'll start another thread. I think I need to update my understanding of how thermostats are labeled these days.
 

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Yes, you are overdue for everything. Please make sure that the timing belt price quote includes a tensioner, you would want that changed.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, it includes the whole "kit" with tensioner pulleys. Will also confirm on the thermostat, thanks for suggestion, and the model# too !

A horror story from decades ago with two little girls in the back seat of a '67 Ford Galaxie 500 390ci on the way home from grandparents, Marin Co. CA to San Jose, about a 90min drive, 10-11PM at night and the thermostat freezes in fully closed position. Temp gauge pegged, steam gushing from under the hood, engine not sounding right. On I-280 in semi rural area on the SF Peninsula, zero lighting and closest gas stations 30min off a turnoff to nearest town. What to do? Found a pull-out, let the engine cool for 30min, poured some water on radiator, then limped to a gas station (no mechanic service), but borrowed a wrench to remove the thermostat which was easy on "big iron" pre-smog 60's engines. Amazingly no engine damage found later, no cracked head or blown gaskets. That's when I began replacing thermostats often, and hoses too. Though today's hoses seem to last forever.

Just had a similar deal with a granddaughter who needs to drive periodically 2+ hrs from SF where she lives/works to "home" in Sac area and her 13yr old Mazda something kept overheating and spewing steam. The first fix at a snappy/jiffy lube was to replace a cracked and leaking coolant reservoir which proved later not the problem at all, just "a problem". Weeks later a real shop found the fan temp sensor was not working so the fans were never coming on. Something else to check periodically. Are the fans running with engine hot? Just checked this myself.

If the thermostat discussion is moved, please tell us where.

thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Change out your thermostat while you are at it as well. Either a Stant 14337 or Gates 33914 would work; regardless of what brand, ensure that they are the 167F thermostats, not the 172F/180F ones.
Is the 167F temp the official OEM factory design temp for the Ridgeline? Is it the same for all models, 4x2 and 4x4 alike? Where is that spec found, BTW. Can't find in owner's manual. Googling thermostats I see them from 170F to 180F. A couple car generations ago you were supposed to run a hot thermostat in cold winter states and a cold one in desert regions with common temps 100deg+ .
 

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Is the 167F temp the official OEM factory design temp for the Ridgeline? Is it the same for all models, 4x2 and 4x4 alike? Where is that spec found, BTW. Can't find in owner's manual. Googling thermostats I see them from 170F to 180F. A couple car generations ago you were supposed to run a hot thermostat in cold winter states and a cold one in desert regions with common temps 100deg+ .
I do not see a need to change to anything outside of OEM specs. If the higher temp is warranted in certain regions, then by all means go for it.

Again, I won't worry too much about it. I'm sure there are folks who bought vehicles from colder regions, and vice versa, have been problem free. I just can't attest to Canadian models.

The G1 always came in awd. The G2 is 2wd and awd.
4x4 usually means that you manually lock the front and rear. Wikipedia does a good job of describing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I was not advocating deviating from the Honda spec and don't plan to even though my summers hover around 100 +/-. Just pointing out what people recommend "back in the day" before we had modern much more efficient engine designs. Back then (60's) when I was really an idiot, before I understood how engines worked, I ran for a while with no thermostat. Logic being if the radiator wants to cool the engine, what the heck, why not let it really cool the engine. Argh!!! That was before I understood engines need to run at an optimum high temp (typically close to boiling point of water +/- and varies by maker) for optimum fuel atomization/combustion and also thinning of oil that at room temp wants to be way too thick to properly lubricate and cool bearings (See bobistheoilguy.com). Also, I think there's something about wanting a wide spread between the temp of incoming ambient air (cold and dense is best) and air temp immediately before combustion (hot is best) as driven by high engine temp for max "bang for the buck", literally. Thus decades ago cold engines on startup stuttered and stammered till things got hot like an old diesel. I remember, I was there with my '56 Ford Fairlane 6. It was not a restored classic, but what a broke teenager bagging groceries could afford used.
 

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Usually when an interval is specified at years or mileage, you are supposed to go by whichever comes first. By that measure, you're 3 years overdue.

Have you done the timing belt, or are you planning to soon? If so, I'd leave the coolant alone for now, and do the water pump and new coolant when you do the timing belt.
I agree completely with Skruffy. I say do the timing-belt, fluids, water-pump, alternator-belt, all now! A 13 year old timing belt is too old and brittle.
 
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