Honda Ridgeline Problems | Model Years To Avoid

By Max Anthony •  Updated: 05/14/21 •  18 min read

The Honda Ridgeline is a crossover SUV that has been on the market for over 10 years. However, it seems they didn’t learn from their mistakes and have continued to produce an unreliable vehicle.

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This blog post will cover all of the most common Honda Ridgeline problems people are having with this car as well as our recommendations on which years to avoid if you’re considering purchasing one.

Honda Ridgeline Problems By System 

Honda Ridgeline problems
2021 Honda Ridgeline © carbuzz

Do you have a Honda Ridgeline? If so, we want to help you keep it in good condition. Here are the most common Honda Ridgeline problems you should know about.

Honda Ridgeline Engine Problems 

A lot of new car owners are wondering what are the most common Honda Ridgeline engine problems. The good news is that Honda engines have been known to be durable and they have a long lifespan.

The engine’s durability is largely due to two reasons, firstly their design features overhead camshafts which provide a smoother running engine, and secondly because they use aluminum for the cylinder head material.

However, there are some recurring issues with these engines, things like excessive oil consumption and improper alignment of the timing chain can cause major problems down the line if not addressed early enough. 

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For this reason, it’s important to get maintenance done on your vehicle every year or so at least to avoid any unnecessary downtime later on in life.

Honda Ridgeline problems
2021 Honda Ridgeline © carbuzz

As time went on, owners started to notice more engine problems than they had expected for such a new vehicle.

First off, the cooling system has been known to break down often when it is not maintained properly or if there are leaks.

 This can lead to overheating which can damage other parts of the car and will likely cost thousands of dollars in repairs. 

Secondly, the timing belt has been known to get stuck which leads to an expensive repair job because it needs replacing every 60K miles or so.

Honda Ridgeline Transmission Problems

Did you know that Honda has had problems with their transmissions? It’s true, and it can be a serious problem for owners of the Ridgeline.

The Ridgeline is not a car – it’s a truck. But because it’s smaller than most trucks (and many cars), its engine is located in the front rather than in the back, which means that there isn’t room to put a transmission in the rear.

 To power all four wheels, Honda has chosen an unusual transmission design: instead of one gearbox powering two axles as most vehicles do, Honda chose to use two gearboxes on either side of the vehicle so they could power each axle separately. This doubling up on transmissions was supposed to provide better acceleration.

Honda Ridgeline Body Paint Problems 

It is not uncommon for car owners to have some minor problems with their new vehicles. Honda Ridgeline body paint problems are no exception, but they can be frustrating and expensive to fix.

One of the most common Honda Ridgeline problems is paint that has been scratched or chipped from rocks kicked up by other vehicles on the road or through contact with parking curbs in a parking lot. 

Honda Ridgeline problems
2021 Honda Ridgeline © carbuzz

These scratches can usually be buffed out using a machine called an orbital buffer, which buffs away any imperfections in the surface of the paint until it’s smooth again.

Another problem may stem from water spots left behind after driving through rainstorms where you’re unable to stop at once because traffic conditions don’t permit stopping safely.

We would recommend Auto Body VIP Curriculum to paint your car by yourself. It is an Auto Body VIP Course we used before and we did amazing body paint for almost 5 cars in less than a week.

Honda Ridgeline electrical  Problems

The Honda Ridgeline has had a lot of problems. These problems are electrical and have been noted in the various models that have come out since it was released back in 2006. 

The first model came with an airbag malfunction, which made it so you couldn’t use your headlights or turn signals without turning off the car. 

The second generation of Ridgelines had a brake light problem where they would go on randomly while driving, even if they were not engaged. 

Honda Ridgeline problems
2012 Honda Ridgeline Mexican RTL | wikimedia commons

One of the other major Honda Ridgeline problems is that there is no way to tell how much fuel you have left before running out. This can lead to some serious car troubles when trying to get somewhere safe from an emergency and finding out you’re at 0%.

Another common problem with Honda Ridgeline electrical systems is the airbag light staying on even after it has been reset, or an ABS warning light coming on for no apparent reason.

A new TPMS sensor costs between $200-$400 and can take up to 3 hours of labor time to replace.

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Max Anthony

Max is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology and cars. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and a GMC truck and a Porsche 911. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on cars, trucks and more.