Ridgeline leaking coolant?

Messages
2,804
Location
Michigan
Greeting, My oldest girl and I were using our marine oil pump to change the oil in the truck. We found that the coolant overflow was EMPTY! wow, I mean what the $$$$, then I open the rad cap (touched and made sure it was cold first). The rad was about 1/2 to 3/4 inch low. I topped off the rad and filled the overflow to the full line. So, do I have a leak? likely where? 07 ridgeline rtl with 3x k miles on it.
 
Messages
4,597
Location
Manchester, England
the overflow should be full at operating temp, less so when the engine and fluid have cooled and contracted..you might find that it overfllows next time itgets hot. if there is a lyeak it will befrom the rad, matrix, pump or a hose. your best to get underneath and watch for the leak, then you know where its comi.g from
 
Messages
2,584
Location
wv
if u cant see it then you will have to get a pressure tester (loan a tool from autozone) if it doesnt hold pressure then u have a leak somewhere and should be able to spot it. Hondas used to be notorious about leaking from the top of the radiator. If leak is not external, then look for internal (head gaskets).
 
Messages
24,149
Location
CA
Check the transmission fluid. There've been reports of the radiator heat exchanger leaking between the two channels on these vehicles. If the trans fluid level is high, stop driving immediately and replace the radiator and flush the transmission.
 
Messages
18,168
Location
NH
Originally Posted By: The Critic
Check the transmission fluid. There've been reports of the radiator heat exchanger leaking between the two channels on these vehicles. If the trans fluid level is high, stop driving immediately and replace the radiator and flush the transmission.
Do a search for this on the Ridgeline forums, something about the fittings from the ATF lines to the radiator corrode and will cause fluids to mix.
 
Messages
14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
I have found that the fluid level in Honda overflow tanks is pretty consistent cold or hot. If it's empty, it's empty. Critic's advice is good: check the ATF level for overfull situation. The ATF coolers seem prone to rusting at the connections, so this condition is more prevalent where salt is used on the roads in winter.
 
Messages
6,170
Location
North Coast
Originally Posted By: The Critic
Check the transmission fluid. There've been reports of the radiator heat exchanger leaking between the two channels on these vehicles. If the trans fluid level is high, stop driving immediately and replace the radiator and flush the transmission.
+2 my money is on this. I would be doing a UOA on both engine and trans oil.
 
Messages
2,187
Location
Arizona
Yes, ATF cooler fittings at the lower rad tank are a known-issue weak point. Check A/T carefully. It's fairly common ON THE ONES WHOSE CONNECTIONS FAIL that the A/T fills with coolant. Needless to say, such is undesirable and sub-optimal for tranny durability. The heads on a few of the J35s also crack on early/earlier Ridgelines (and maybe others?). They changed the casting some time in ...'07? Anyway, these cracks are normally associated with a 'dead' cylinder, so I doubt this is your issue.
 

stockrex

Thread starter
Messages
2,804
Location
Michigan
nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, curd Honda, I will check the connections to the radiator and the fluids when I get back home. This is totally stupid, Honda should least warn owners. So the corrosion of the washer dislodges the connection, if I take the connections off and put on new washers, that will solve the problem? I am guessing I have to drain and fill both trans/rad fluids afterwards
 
Messages
446
Location
USA
Quote:
if I take the connections off and put on new washers, that will solve the problem?
Not if a leak between the antifreeze and transmission fluid is the cause. Only machines at the factory can make the connection properly. Some posts with coolant to transmission fluid leak. "Good thing I caught the problem just in time ...damage to the engine and transmission was imminent. " http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?p=525648 "Apparently the metal connector that separates the two (chemically incompatible) coolants corroded, the fluids mixed causing the temp to rise and boil over, the mixture of coolants apparently destroys both the radiator and the transmission." http://www.carproblemzoo.com/honda/ridgeline/radiator-problems.php
 
Messages
1,562
Location
St. Paul, MN
I see that you live in Michigan, it might almost be worth it to just replace the radiator BEFORE the fitting blows off, especially if it's showing signs of corrosion. Once the radiator and transmission cross-contaminate, it's nearly impossible to get all of the trans fluid out of the cooling system and vice versa. As for the coolant being low, give everything under the hood a good once over and check for the typical signs of a coolant leak, namely a greenish blue dried residue anywhere. If the coolant is going into the transmission, the transmission fluid will turn into a pepto bismol looking sludge. We see this happen all the time on the Acura MDX.
 
Last edited:

stockrex

Thread starter
Messages
2,804
Location
Michigan
good news I found the leak is at the bottom radiator hose clamp has rusted out and is slowly leaking at the connection I will post a picture later tomorrow
 
Messages
18,168
Location
NH
That's good news! I'd still replace the radiator, or the lines, or whatever it is that goes on these.
 

stockrex

Thread starter
Messages
2,804
Location
Michigan
Originally Posted By: supton
That's good news! I'd still replace the radiator, or the lines, or whatever it is that goes on these.
I agree, I tried to find those connectors and but I could not locate them to take a peek at them. Looking at my hose clamp, I bet those are pretty corroded also. here is a pic
 
Messages
26,126
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Plastic connectors leak badly with worm clamps with temp change. Get constant tension clamps from Amazon or MMC. Smear coat of Hymolar on the plastic neck before putting the hose on, i doesn't harden and will prevent future leaks, great stuff. http://www.zoro.com/g/00064940/k-G186157...CFSpo7AodYWcATg This is more info on this product, check out the approvals! http://www.zoro.com/g/00064940/k-G186157...CFSpo7AodYWcATg This is just an example of the clamps i use on the plastic radiator, this is the #20 size 13/16" to 1 3/4" Clamp Range The #28 is pretty common on Asian cars. http://www.amazon.com/Gates-Rubber-Company-32720-Clamp/dp/B00498B350
 

stockrex

Thread starter
Messages
2,804
Location
Michigan
Originally Posted By: Trav
Plastic connectors leak badly with worm clamps with temp change. Get constant tension clamps from Amazon or MMC. Smear coat of Hymolar on the plastic neck before putting the hose on, i doesn't harden and will prevent future leaks, great stuff. http://www.zoro.com/g/00064940/k-G186157...CFSpo7AodYWcATg This is more info on this product, check out the approvals! http://www.zoro.com/g/00064940/k-G186157...CFSpo7AodYWcATg This is just an example of the clamps i use on the plastic radiator, this is the #20 size 13/16" to 1 3/4" Clamp Range The #28 is pretty common on Asian cars. http://www.amazon.com/Gates-Rubber-Company-32720-Clamp/dp/B00498B350
constant tension clamps, wow, did not know these things were out there. what is MMC? hymolar, wow, it has been 15 years since I last did a rad job. I will wait till it is a bit cooler and I have some down time.
 
Messages
26,126
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Sorry. McMaster-Carr http://www.mcmaster.com Yes Plastic radiator connectors are a real problem, Worm type clamps do not keep tension on the hose when the weather turns cold they leak. Constant tension clamps maintain tension throughout a wide temperature range without digging into the hose. Hylomar is a real help on all hose connections and worth keeping in stock, it last a long time in the tube even after its been opened.
 
Top