9.4

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,970
Average Mileage:
104,550 miles
Total Complaints:
25 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replace engine (11 reports)
  2. not sure (7 reports)
  3. engine tear down and complete rebuild (4 reports)
  4. cracked head (3 reports)
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« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #5

Oct 262013

Ridgeline RTS 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

The vehicle was always up to date on the service schedule, then one day I noticed blue smoke coming from the tailpipe, and upon checking the oil level saw that I was down over a quart. After adding more oil and doing more driving the I saw that the problem was getting worse. My local mechanic says it's a bad cylinder and I need a new engine. So far, the Honda dealer wants me to continue driving the vehicle(for 1000 miles) and then come in for an evaluation! At this point the dealer has replaced an oil-fouled spark plug on #4 cylinder, and has overlooked the blue smoke. So I'm driving around trailing smoke, ruining the catalytic converter, and will probably get to 200 miles before more oil is added. It's ridiculous to be asked to go 1000 miles!

Update from Dec 30, 2013: Because of the large amount of oil loss the dealer took the vehicle in for an engine teardown, and at the direction of the Honda tech hotline the dealer replaced the #4 piston, rings, gaskets, and many other things. Cost, about $2600. A test drive then showed continued smoking and the problem was at #4 cylinder. Honda Tech then suggested checking for a cracked head, which was found by the dealer and replaced. Cost to me, approximately $930.

So they had the vehicle for a couple of weeks and I am now driving it, without any problems other than a lighter wallet.

- John B., Paxton, MA, USA

problem #4

Aug 012013

Ridgeline RTL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

click to see larger images

#4 cylinder has gone bad #4 cylinder has gone bad #4 cylinder has gone bad

Noticed my 06 Ridgeline running rough - white smoke coming from exhaust. At first the diagnosis was a misfire at the 4th cylinder. The mechanic put on a new core pack/cold pack?? Still had the same issue - it ran okay for a few days - drove it to my brother's house in Cleveland, TN --- engine light came on and same issues reappeared.

Thankfully there is a really good Honda dealership/service in Cleveland (not so where I live in NC). They initially didn't see any issues and simply changed the oil for me and the spark plugs because they said one of the spark plugs had been fouled (?)... my oil was last changed about 1000 miles ago but they said it was almost dry. I got back to my brother's house (about an 8 mile drive) - and the engine light was back on. I called them and they had me bring it in the next morning. After extensive work - they found the 4th cylinder was bad and leaking oil. They sent it to a machine shop to see extent of damage - after a day or two - they called back with the bad news --- there was a crack in the head of the gasket.

This is a Honda - with 88,000 miles on it. I live in NC - no extreme temps and I have NEVER had a lack of any type fluid in this vehicle. I maintained low miles (it had 16k on it when I bought it from a Honda dealer in Hickory NC) - I have owned it for close to 6 years - just paid it off in November 2012. An engine issue this severe typically occurs when you are trying to decide if the fix is beyond the worth of the vehicle - not so with this truck. I had no choice but to fix it. They went ahead and did the 100k mileage maintenance as well as replace the head with a 2007 used one - saved me some $ --- but I had to return to NC for work. The Honda dealership was awesome - gave me a car to drive, but kept my truck for about 2 weeks. I have nothing but high remarks concerning the service department.

I did contact Honda and they said they could do nothing since my truck was 7 years old. I have researched this issue online and have found approximately 20 other 06 Ridgeline owners with the same issue. Typically less than 90k miles - started with white smoke - fouled #4 cylinder - which resulted from a cracked head. Since the same cylinder is fouled in each and every instance - this leads one to believe the crack is occurring in the same place on each engine. I don't believe in coincidence. I have asked several mechanics and they said they would bet all of these engines came off the same line at the same time and resulted from bad casting of the head. There is no other reason all these engines would have the same issues - especially since we all have maintained the vehicles to the highest standards. This severe issue should not occur in a Honda under 100K miles.

Honda needs to make good on these issues and refund each of us. I love this truck and it has driven perfectly since being fixed. But I had to put the $3300 on a credit card and I am still paying that off - it's unethical for Honda to not make this right. I am sorely disappointed in upper management - but thankful for dealerships like the one in Cleveland TN. I appreciate their attention to detail - their help to try to save me money and their empathy for my situation. Upper management needs to take lessons from the people at this dealership. Even with this issue the Ridgeline has been my favorite vehicle I have ever owned - great in snow on the few occasions we have had snow - drives like a car - has awesome storage - very comfortable ride. I'm just disappointed with Honda's refusal to admit an error with this model.

This was an error with only a line of Ridgelines - and the numbers probably do not make it feasible for Honda to issue a recall and make this right... but that is just telling us that we do not matter in small numbers. I think each customer should be important and even if this is an issue for a hundred or so customers - we deserve better customer service. I am contemplating legal advice and arbitration - come on Honda - do the right thing! It's a great vehicle - but an error occurred somewhere - just own up to it and make this right with your customers. Thank you!! - Kim Argo .... for those with this issue - my Honda was made in Canada and the date is 11/05 ... please check and see if your truck has the same manufacturing date and info.

- kargonc, Waynesville, NC, USA

problem #3

Jul 132013

Ridgeline V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,206 miles

2006 Honda Ridgeline ALWAYS serviced on time, always had the servicing recommended by Honda / dealership (vehicle bought new at Honda dealership).

Started when I had recommended servicing done at White Rock Honda- oil change and all engine oils changed. Done as going away for most of the summer and wanted vehicle in tip top shape. Left dealership with all Honda recommended servicing done and up to date ($500.00 spent)

Traveled approx. 100 kilometers and engine running rough, feels like it is missing/misfiring. Notice that when you start it up white smoke "pours" out of tailpipe and then dwindles down. Called Honda dealership in Chilliwack and told to come in.

Arrived at dealership and they immediately hooked up the computer and said the truck was misfiring on 3 cylinders. Advised that all spark plugs be changed and an emissions servicing be done. Had the recommended service done ($600+ dollars). Upon picking up the truck told to fill up the gas tank to allow the additives (re the emissions service) to work properly. Drove immediately to a gas station and filled the tank.

Good to go.................$1,000.00 spent.............again, all recommended servicing done............what could to wrong now? WELL......................

Truck driven that week (less then 100 kilo) then driven home (about 100 kilo)..........sits in the driveway for a week while we are out of town.

Return home, start up truck - WHITE SMOKE POURS OUT TAILPIPE.............truck is running (differently) and we have an message saying "gas cap open". Take off and put back on the gas cap...........message still showing........do it again..............message still showing...............do it again.............message still showing (you get the picture). Return to the dealership in the vehicle and advise what is going on STILL. and the gas cap and that the truck is running differently then it did before they serviced it. Told that the gas cap message would eventually reset itself and that "they had nobody there (Sat. afternoon 2pm) to look at the truck and to bring it back next week"

Well, truck sits at lake when we start it up WHITE SMOKE STILL ............ call dealership and told that it may be the additives from emissions service still burning thru. Three days later lights pop on all over my dash, including the engine light. Call dealership again, told to bring truck in..............head straight over (there in less than an hour).

Take a seat in the service area, half an hour later told that I NEED A NEW ENGINE. One of the spark plugs is soaked in oil .............. oil getting places it shouldn't be and I NEED A NEW ENGINE. Ask if truck safe to drive and advised probably not going to get too far in it.

Go into shock................$40,000.00 Honda with 150,000 kilometers needs a new engine?

Advised to call Honda Customer Relations on Monday morning...........40 minutes later I hang up. Try again later in the afternoon and finally get thru after close to an hour (can't wait for that cell phone bill).

Customer Service Agent takes all my info. Will get back to me. Takes info for the 2 dealerships that I have been dealing with re my Ridgeline. Calls them both for my service records (complete except for 1 servicing done in the US while I was there for an extended period of time and serviced vehicle before heading back to Canada)........speaks to both service managers. Never hear back from him, nor do I hear from one of the service managers. Stuck away from home with 3 kids (aged 5 thru 14) and a truck that may or may not run. No calls from Honda Canada or White Rock Honda. Chilliwack Honda has called me twice and offered assistance in any way they can. They also advise me that Honda Canada has called them but want the truck returned to White Rock where it was purchased and mostly serviced.

Wait till Thursday afternoon to hear from Honda Canada/White Rock - no calls so I call them. Yes, they have spoken to each other..........yes, they want the truck taken to White Rock to have the problem diagnosed. Then the questions - did I overheat the truck (never)............did I run it dry (never)...............where did I have it serviced when it wasn't there (explained once at Honda Airdrie and once in the states during an extended stay there). Told that white smoke is usually steam / water being burned in the engine and a possible head gasket problem. Explain about the oil soaked spark plug and told that a cylinder may be burnt.

Drive the truck home very carefully watching heat gauge etc all the way. Get it to White Rock Honda on Sunday afternoon.

Monday they contact me and advise that #4 piston is reading "low". I have been on the internet and have discovered that a lot of people have complained about the #4 piston and have been told they too need new engines. I tell the service manager about these complaints with #4 that I have read about and ask him to check it out too. They ask me to authorize the "tear down" of my engine so they can correctly diagnose the problem - advise that they will pay for the "tear down". Talk it over with my husband and uncle (retired mechanic) and we all agree that there really is no choice. Give the go ahead on Monday evening.

Tuesday (after 5pm) get a call - guess what......NEED A NEW ENGINE...............EXACTLY WHAT I WAS TOLD OVER A WEEK BEFORE.

Still no call from Honda Canada about whether they will participate in the repair of this very ridiculous problem- that many other Ridgeline owners have had with very similar kilometers/miles that I have on my $40,000 Ridgeline.

As a side note - when I bought the Ridgeline I bought the extended leather warranty and had the optional coating on the bottom of the vehicle. When the extended warranty part of the sale contract was reached my salesman said "don't bother, it's a Honda.....you'll never need it" quote.

So where am I as of today (Wednesday am). The dealership has advised that they will contact the Honda tech department and discuss my vehicle problems with them. The dealership has advised that they will contact Honda Canada directly on my behalf to tell them the diagnoses. The dealership has advised that I should forward the bill for the one and only oil change I didn't have done at a Honda Canada dealership (again, in the States for that one). They have also advised that they may have a service car for me this afternoon.

Will keep you posted........................................

- stjackson, Delta, BC, canada

problem #2

Apr 012013

Ridgeline RTL 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

head gasket went and cylinder 4 is scored. so now the head gasket went. This truck never overheated I never towed anything it's never been off road I've always maintained it I thought I was going to 300000 miles out of this truck boy was I wrong now I need a new engine and all I get from the dealership is high prices.

- Thomas E., Yorktown Heights, NY, USA

problem #1

Dec 062011

Ridgeline RTL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,520 miles

We Love our Honda's (3 other), I was so excited about my purchase of a Ridgeline from a LA dealership in Dec 2006. My nephew purchased it from Honda Finance directly and shipped it to Utah for me and I have meticulously cared for and LOVED my Ridgeline! So much so that I cannot imagine me driving anything else, @Gas stations and parking lots I have SOLD Ridgelines to inquirers. I Love My Ridgeline! In December at 93,460 miles my truck lost its perfect harmony ... it began putting out white/blue smoke. I had an incident where the accelerator took off and I had to shift down and brake real hard to gain control of the speed. Very Scary! I have been told that this is when the cylinder lost compression or blew. Soon after the "check engine" light came on and when I idled it flashed. I took it in and was told that my #4 spark plug was "gummed" up and needed replacement, it was suggested that because of the increased mileage I should do a full VALVE replacement. $785 later, the smoke exhaust was the same and 3 weeks later the light came back on. I took it back and they "scoped" the cylinders and found #4 had "pouck" marks and had lost compression. I needed a new engine. I called 5 auto shops in my general area and found that 2 of them had seen the same issue with a 2006 Ridgelne and a 2007 Pilot. Both mechanics told me that the owners had taken them to Honda Dealerships & Honda had replaced their engines, they "were under 100,000 miles". I did so, $97 later I was told that "No. Honda had deemed my situation not worthy of a warranty." What?! I can't even trade it in to a Honda dealership to purchase a new one without the $5K reduction in value! I have a history of timely and meticulous care with my local Honda Dealership and a mechanic shop, this is NOT what I expected from Honda! Maybe a Chevy or Ford, but never a Honda. I will tell all that will listen if Honda is NOT willing to stand behind their product.You must have an issue if in my little suburb 2 others have had #4 cylinders go bad just before 100,000 miles. Please reconsider my case.

- Annette J., Bountiful, UT, USA