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Does anyone recommend changing oil weight when towing in warm weather. I'll be leaving Long Island at 83 feet above sea level and getting up to 3000 towards the south western part of Virginia into NC.

Thanks in Advance
 

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2009 Ridgeline RTL (with nav) in Bali Blue Pearl
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Does anyone recommend changing oil weight when towing in warm weather. I'll be leaving Long Island at 83 feet above sea level and getting up to 3000 towards the south western part of Virginia into NC.

Thanks in Advance
No, the RL's cooling systems are some of the best I've ever had on a truck. I tow a very heavy boat in the Northern Virginia area and have taken it up and down the Appalachians in the summer with no heating problems what so ever.

The Honda owner's manual states that API certified 5W-20 detergent oil is required. However, the manual does say you can switch to synthetic oil given it meets the same requirements. In addition to lasting longer, synthetic oil has better low and high-temperature viscosity performance at temperature extremes, is resistance to oxidation, and resistant to thermal breakdown. So if you want to change your oil type before your trip, switch to a 5W-20 synthetic oil; just don't change the weight.
 

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I was running my normal 20-grade oil when I was towing a 2-axle trailer filled with 2 motorcycles and a whole bunch of 'stuff' a couple summers ago. I live in southern Arizona. We were heading through Nevada toward the PacNW, so up from 1000-ish feet to over 5,000 feet and back down, with some short but steep climbs in AZ, NV, and eastern OR. It was 115-ish the day we left, and about the same the day we got home. I have the ability to watch engine coolant and ATF temperatures, though not engine oil, and while the coolant and ATF both climb rapidly when pulling the steep hills, everything was well within 'normal' range.

I wouldn't mess with changing the oil just to change a grade. The grade change represents a smaller viscosity difference at operating temp than the difference between when the oil is at the cool end of operating temp and when it's at the hot end.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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It was 115-ish the day we left, and about the same the day we got home. I have the ability to watch engine coolant and ATF temperatures, though not engine oil, and while the coolant and ATF both climb rapidly when pulling the steep hills, everything was well within 'normal' range.
Just curious about the numbers you saw and did you see any change in the OEM temp gauge? IIRC, I've seen numbers approach 205-210*F in steep climbs but I think the OEM gauge stayed pretty much in its normal position.

Which leads me to think the gauge is normalized for a pretty wide range of temps. I hate to think how hot the coolant must be for the temp gauge to actually move into the hot side of the range.
 

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This is all good info. I always use synthetic in all my piston motors. This is my second RL. An 07 with 98,000 miles on it. I traded in my original 06 with 135,000 for another vehicle. I did the radiator swap on the 07. It rides really well does not use a drop of oil between 4000 mile changes but you can't see into an engine. I'm hoping the original owner took as good care of the engine as he did with the interior and exterior.
 

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Just curious about the numbers you saw and did you see any change in the OEM temp gauge? IIRC, I've seen numbers approach 205-210*F in steep climbs but I think the OEM gauge stayed pretty much in its normal position.

Which leads me to think the gauge is normalized for a pretty wide range of temps. I hate to think how hot the coolant must be for the temp gauge to actually move into the hot side of the range.
They definitely program the dash gauge to be stable. Honda, and I'd say most manufacturers, have done this for quite a number of years. They program them to show that the engine has come up to temp very quickly, and then to stay there until/unless it gets _very_ warm.

EDIT FOR COMPLETENESS: I'm not saying the gauge doesn't move_at all_, just that it moves very little.

I will look to see whether I wrote the figures down. They're not in my maintenance log, but they might be in another file. The truck wasn't overheating at all, but if there'd been a much longer climb (like the one on I-8 heading toward San Diego), it may have.
 
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