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2007 Ridgeline RTL
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Discussion Starter #1
I now have 94K KM on my 2007 RL.
I bought it in 2011 with 11K on it.
I have not had done a transmission fluid change yet, and it's been now 5 years.
I don't know whether the previous owner has done the first change at 36 months (according to the maintenance schedule).
So it's possible that this RL still has the original Z1 fluid.
I've scheduled a fluid change at a local Honda dealer.
They told me that I can do either a drain&fill for $97 or a total flush for around $250.
What should I do?
If the RL still has the Z1 fluid, is it a problem if there is a mix of the Z1 and the DW-1 until next fluid change?
Is there a way to tell which fluid is in there?

I will not do it myself, I don't have time and don't have a good place to do it.
I am scheduled also for an oil change.
Money is a bit tight right now so if there is a way to avoid the flush at $250, I'd like that option.
But I don't want to risk damage to the transmission and will gladly spend the money if it's really necessary.
Thanks for any advice.
 

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I now have 94K KM on my 2007 RL.
I bought it in 2011 with 11K on it.
I have not had done a transmission fluid change yet, and it's been now 5 years.
I don't know whether the previous owner has done the first change at 36 months (according to the maintenance schedule).
So it's possible that this RL still has the original Z1 fluid.
I've scheduled a fluid change at a local Honda dealer.
They told me that I can do either a drain&fill for $97 or a total flush for around $250.
What should I do?
If the RL still has the Z1 fluid, is it a problem if there is a mix of the Z1 and the DW-1 until next fluid change?
Is there a way to tell which fluid is in there?

I will not do it myself, I don't have time and don't have a good place to do it.
I am scheduled also for an oil change.
Money is a bit tight right now so if there is a way to avoid the flush at $250, I'd like that option.
But I don't want to risk damage to the transmission and will gladly spend the money if it's really necessary.
Thanks for any advice.
Inquiring minds want to know. I get it. I'm inclined to say if you're unsure about whether the previous owner had done a scheduled TF change to go with the flush. I will defer to my mechanic and get back to you later today. $250 do take a bite out of the budget.
 

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I have an 07 and after first change by dealer, 30-3500 miles old stuff I did the next change myself with new honda fluid at 62,000 miles, did not flush and was told it mixes well with old. Just did another change at 77,000....probably still have some old but not much....no problems along the way....I would just have it changed and do again after 10-15000 miles....my .02
 

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I would at least do the first drain and fill and then do a couple more as funds become available. The two fluids are fully compatible with one another.
 

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2007 Ridgeline RTL
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Discussion Starter #5
Ok, thanks guys.
Makes sense that the two fluids would be quite compatible.
I'll have the dealer do the cheaper d&f and then when it gets warmer here and I feel like crawling under the car I'll do another d&f myself.
 

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Ok, thanks guys.
Makes sense that the two fluids would be quite compatible.
I'll have the dealer do the cheaper d&f and then when it gets warmer here and I feel like crawling under the car I'll do another d&f myself.
Yep. Everyone is on the same page. Said I'd get back to you once my mechanic (Honda/Acura Certified btw) chimed in. Here is his direct quote relative to whether you ought to flush: "No, just drain and fill. And then another drain and fill few months later should be fine if it's real dirty."
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to all.
Everything went well.
So far no problems. I will do another D&F in a few months before the Summer heat comes.
Love my RL, can't believe it's been already 5 years, and no problems at all.
 

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If you don't have an extension to reach down to the transmission fill plug, and a long-neck funnel, doing the transmission fluid yourself is the perfect excuse to add those to your tool box. Since there is no filter involved, changing trans fluid is actually easier than changing the oil on Ridgelines.
 

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2007 Nimbus Grey Metallic RTL
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Because of the age and mileage on the truck, the tranny fluid is likely pretty spent. That is just half the worry, though. The magnetic drain plug catches all the metal sludge and tiny shavings of clutch material so they aren't cycled through the transmission. If that gets too full, it will stop effectively doing its job. It must be removed, wiped clean and re-installed. I have no doubt that the mechanic likely did that when you had the D&F done. Within the next month or two, the plug will likely be filled up again after it catches the remaining crud left in the fluid. It is a very good idea to do another D&F then, drive it for another week or so and do yet another one to get as much clean, fresh fluid in it as possible.

What you want to make sure of is that the dealership does NOT do a power flush with a machine. Honda does not recommend ever having the tranny power flushed as it can cause eventual damage. A flush with a bladder-type non-pressurized machine is perfectly fine, but few shops actually have those. Otherwise, multiple D&F's with driving several miles in between each change (exercising every gear) is all that is needed for proper tranny maintenance. I do one at every other oil change interval since I drive so little. It works out to be one change every 18-24 months.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I don't know what the fluid looked like as I didn't do it myself.
The dealership did the job.
According to the maintenance schedule, the first tranny fluid change is at 72K KM and next one at 120K KM.
I don't know if the previous owner changed it at 3 years but considering the truck only had 11K KM on it when I bought it in 2011, I doubt it, although if the MM popped out a maintenance reminder then maybe it was done.
But anyway, at 94K I don't think it's really that much late, and I don't do any towing or holing heavy loads and a lot of my driving is very easy going cruising so my RL is not getting worked hard at all.
I'll check what the fluid looks like and I'll do another d&f with my next oil change in June.
 

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I think your RL has likely had a pretty easy life so far. The mileage amount doesn't worry me as much as the type of driving that was done and the age of the truck. Being that it had SO few miles/km on it when you bought it, it likely spent some time sitting and/or doing very short trips. 11,000km in 4-5 years is only about 1500-2000 miles per year. That's extremely hard on fluids as they don't get much opportunity to warm up to operating temp often. You have driven an average amount since you've owned it, but I would still be wary of the fluid. The cost of DW-1 is negligible compared to having some sort of transmission problem. Certainly won't hurt to do a few D&F's when it gets warmer even if you spread them out over the summer.

While you're under there, I would highly recommend you drain and fill the front transfer case gear oil. It's also extremely easy with the only added piece of equipment being a hand pump to get the fluid into the fill hole. Spec is for GL80-90, but I use a synthetic 75-90 from Mobil 1. Each drain and fill only take a half a quart of the stuff and it's very inexpensive. Do you know when or if the rear diff VTM-4 fluid was changed? I'd put that on the list, too, if not.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
I think your RL has likely had a pretty easy life so far. The mileage amount doesn't worry me as much as the type of driving that was done and the age of the truck. Being that it had SO few miles/km on it when you bought it, it likely spent some time sitting and/or doing very short trips. 11,000km in 4-5 years is only about 1500-2000 miles per year. That's extremely hard on fluids as they don't get much opportunity to warm up to operating temp often. You have driven an average amount since you've owned it, but I would still be wary of the fluid. The cost of DW-1 is negligible compared to having some sort of transmission problem. Certainly won't hurt to do a few D&F's when it gets warmer even if you spread them out over the summer.

While you're under there, I would highly recommend you drain and fill the front transfer case gear oil. It's also extremely easy with the only added piece of equipment being a hand pump to get the fluid into the fill hole. Spec is for GL80-90, but I use a synthetic 75-90 from Mobil 1. Each drain and fill only take a half a quart of the stuff and it's very inexpensive. Do you know when or if the rear diff VTM-4 fluid was changed? I'd put that on the list, too, if not.
Yes, you're right, the cost of the fluid is not something I'd ever tried to save money on.
I am going to do couple d&f's this spring when it's warm enough.
Both transfer case and VTM fluids were changed last year so I'm going to do another change this year.
 

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Yes, you're right, the cost of the fluid is not something I'd ever tried to save money on.
I am going to do couple d&f's this spring when it's warm enough.
Both transfer case and VTM fluids were changed last year so I'm going to do another change this year.
Sounds like you're definitely on top of it. Great seeing so many on here who are sticklers for maintenance and keep their trucks in tip-top condition. I'm absolutely convinced that regular changes of all fluids using quality materials (OEM or otherwise) is the key to a long-life for a vehicle. Yes, build quality and good engineering certainly help, but even the best vehicle will eventually start to eat itself from the inside out with cruddy old fluids running through it.
 
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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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Glad to hear, with such low mileage it actually should have been maintained under the severe maintenance schedule.

Also, with such low mileage in the first few years, I doubt the Brake Fluid has been changed at that is a 3yr, regardless of miles/kilometers.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Glad to hear, with such low mileage it actually should have been maintained under the severe maintenance schedule.

Also, with such low mileage in the first few years, I doubt the Brake Fluid has been changed at that is a 3yr, regardless of miles/kilometers.
Good point.
When I got this RL, I did brake fluid and engine coolant change (when I had the dealer do it) right away.
And when I did my rear brakes in 2014 I had the brake fluid changed again.
She is getting fresh engine coolant next year, new tires, and I'm starting researching for a new head unit to replace the factory cd changer.
I take care of my baby :)

 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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Good Looking, not sure where the pic was taken, but the G1 looks right at home...
 

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Good point.
When I got this RL, I did brake fluid and engine coolant change (when I had the dealer do it) right away.
And when I did my rear brakes in 2014 I had the brake fluid changed again.
She is getting fresh engine coolant next year, new tires, and I'm starting researching for a new head unit to replace the factory cd changer.
I take care of my baby :)

Great stuff. I just do a brake fluid flush every time I swap out pads. I'm actually still on the original rotors at 11 years and 156k miles. They still have meat left on them, but I'll likely end up replacing them this summer. Just goes to show how great the 1st gen trucks are.

When you go to change out the head unit, that's right up my alley. I can give you some insight or answer any questions you may have. There are people on this forum with a WEALTH of knowledge on mobile A/V - namely laserguy and OhSix among others. The technology and "cool factor" of new head units these days are off the charts. The sad part of vehicle design is that the audio/video control units are basically built into the car and replacement or upgrading is next to impossible. Nonetheless, the G1 RL is super simple to work on in this aspect.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Great stuff. I just do a brake fluid flush every time I swap out pads. I'm actually still on the original rotors at 11 years and 156k miles. They still have meat left on them, but I'll likely end up replacing them this summer. Just goes to show how great the 1st gen trucks are.

When you go to change out the head unit, that's right up my alley. I can give you some insight or answer any questions you may have. There are people on this forum with a WEALTH of knowledge on mobile A/V - namely laserguy and OhSix among others. The technology and "cool factor" of new head units these days are off the charts. The sad part of vehicle design is that the audio/video control units are basically built into the car and replacement or upgrading is next to impossible. Nonetheless, the G1 RL is super simple to work on in this aspect.
Thanks, I'll start a new post in the other section about the HU.
I've read the whole thread from laserguy on tweeters and I've done mine this past Christmas.
Very happy with my new Infinity tweeters..
 

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Thanks, I'll starting a new post in the other section about the HU.
I've read the whole thread from laserguy on tweeters and I've done mine this past Christmas.
Very happy with my new Infinity tweeters..
Just wait til you get a head unit with double (or more) the power, multiple times more ways to tune the sound quality and way better functionality. Those tweeters will wake up even more and you'll get so much more satisfaction out of it. I'll be looking for your new thread to chime in. Feel free to PM me with any specific questions.
 
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