hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
97,075 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2006 Honda Ridgeline drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2006 Honda Ridgeline Owner Comments

problem #10

Oct 052016


  • 98,000 miles


Bought a used 2006 Honda Ridgeline with only 90K miles in Dec 2015 from a local dealer. Had it less than one year when a single steel washer corroded where the transmission coolant line attaches to the radiator, causing both transmission fluid and radiator fluid to mix. This resulted in a new radiator, lines and now transmission failure - about $4500 of repairs from a steel washer rusting! I've read a lot of blogs and this really is something that Honda should issue a recall for. Honda simply states this issue to be caused by "environment" and denies responsibility. All Honda would need to do is have put in a washer that wouldn't have rusted! seriously a small steel washer worth.15 cents is going to cost me about $4500 in repairs! with the number of complaints I've read about on blogs I'm surprised more haven't logged this with the NHTSA. Honda should be responsible for this and I'm considering small claims court against Honda of America. This is also an issue with other Honda's, not just the Ridgeline. At the time of the failure I was at a stop light turning left on a city street. After putting my foot on the gas to start my turn, I heard the transmission make a funny whine noise. I drove about a mile and pulled over to see fluid pouring out of the radiator filler reservoir. My initial repair cost me about $1000 - new radiator, all new lines and several flushes of transmission and radiator. My mechanic said he hoped the transmission didn't get any radiator fluid in it. I drove it about a week and the transmission started to fail. I took the Ridgeline to a transmission shop and the owner there was all too familiar with this Honda issue. He said my transmission is beginning toast and a rebuild is around $3500 - so I have that scheduled to be done soon.

- Rosemount, MN, USA

problem #9

Aug 272016


  • 150,450 miles
Where the transmission cooling line attaches to the radiator, corrosion occurs in the fitting and this causes the radiator fluid to mix with the transmission fluid. The resulting problem is the transmission starts slipping and the transmission can fail completely. There is a well know problem with the connector that corrodes prematurely. Honda has not recalled this vehicle or issued a service bulletin but Honda repair dealers are well aware that this is a class defect with all Honda Ridgelines and Honda Pilot vehicles. The unsafe condition occurs when the transmission starts to slip without any warning. There is no warning light that indicates there is a problem. In my case I pulled out onto a busy highway from a side street and the vehicle was uncontrollable because the transmission was slipping all of a sudden. The repair to my vehicle included a new radiator, new fluids and a complete flushing of the radiator and transmission 5 times. This repair cost me over $1200.

- Windham, NH, USA

problem #8

Mar 292016


  • 191,000 miles
Transmission cooler fitting failed catastrophically and transmission fluid mixed with coolant in radiator and engine ran but transmission stopped working at all similar to other failures reported on this site

- Harwichport, MA, USA

problem #7

Jun 072015


  • 100,102 miles


I had just entered the interstate at approximately 10 pm in moderate to heavy traffic, accelerated to 65 mph and set the cruise control, I traveled approximately a 1/4 mile when the vehicle shuddered and immediately lost momentum while the engine R.P.M increased rapidly, I turned on the four way flashers and was nearly rear ended as I attempted to get to the right side of the roadway. I had the vehicle towed home where I found transmission fluid in the radiator, I contacted the dealer, they implied they hadn't heard of this problem but quoted an approximate repair of somewhere North of $5,000 for labor, an after market radiator and a rebuilt or junkyard salvage transmission. A quick internet search revealed numerous postings of this issue with several models with the same drive train.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #6

Mar 182015

Ridgeline 6-cyl

  • 169,000 miles
While driving, I suddenly started getting transmission "slippage". engine would rev up, but no power to the wheels. I was able to pull off the road. There was a strawberry milkshake colored fluid coming out of my radiator overflow container. Turns out the that transmission cooler inside the radiator broke loose and allowed engine coolant to mix with the transmission fluid. Apparently it's not an unknown problem. I'm lucky that I was in a rural residential area and not on the interstate.

- Monroe, OH, USA

problem #5

Nov 182013


  • miles
Stopped at a stoplight went to take off and vehicle shifted oddly, went about 500 yards stopped shut truck off and out poured the milky transmission fluid. Added transmission fluid to get it home and you could follow the trail the entire way (approximately 1 mile) and empty again (we filled it). Opened the overflow antifreeze/coolant and the same strawberry milky fluid was in there completely full! also opened the radiator to find it completely full of the same stuff. I have read many accounts of the same thing happening while driving at high speeds, thank god I wasn't, I had my entire family in the truck! it would be nice for Honda to do something about this!!! going to a mechanic today, will more than likely be making a phone call to Honda once the verdict is in!

- Clarksburg, WV, USA

problem #4

Feb 252013


  • 80,702 miles


Found out radiator/transmission on Honda Ridgeline has been having catastrophic failures due to transmission line failure. This issue will cause engine failure that could result in wrecks due to the violent nature of this failure. This would cause immediate panic to my pregnant wife and soon to be newborn baby girl. Honda is aware of the faulty connection on radiator that causes this issue and still hasn't issued recall. I believe they are acting negligently towards fixing this issue. Come to find out Nissan had a similar issue with their pathfinder and has since performed a voluntary radiator assembly program (www.nissanassist.com/web/radiator/faqs.php?menu=22). Honda also directed us to contact NHTSA and I am hopeful that the fine staff at NHTSA will take a close look at this issue with Honda and come to a decision to help consumers take preventative measures. Thank you for taking time to read this and I hope you and your family do not have to experience this type of issue.

- Pleasant Plains, IL, USA

problem #3

Jun 062012


  • 90,000 miles
The cooling line for the transmission where it enters the bottom of the radiator failed due to galvanic corrosion. This cause a large immediate loss of transmission fluid.

- Anchorage, AK, USA

problem #2

Jan 012013

Ridgeline 6-cyl

  • miles
There is a design flaw in the washer used at the transmission fluid junctions in the radiator. The fittings and washer are made of dissimilar metals. As a result, the steel washer used as a spacer rusts and corrodes, then swells and forcibly pulls the threads from their fittings. A catastrophic loss of fluids including an exchange of transmission fluid and engine coolant take place, rendering the vehicle not only inoperable but also perhaps significantly damaged. These fittings fail at random with no obvious pattern or environmental cause. The normal "underbody rust" does not seem to correlate with this failure. I have done substantial research on the internet regarding this issue, and many others report this type of failure and have come to the same conclusion. I feel this is a significant safety issue with this vehicle, as such a dramatic and immediate loss of fluid could result in engine failure, overheating, and transmission failure. If the engine were to fail and the vehicle were traveling at speed, a loss of power steering and power assisted braking would occur. Additionally, finding a location to pull off of the road presents a safety hazard in itself. This issue could be easily resolved by ceasing to use dissimilar metals in the radiator fittings. As far as I know, this same design is being applied to all Honda Ridgeline model years including those currently in production. Although I cannot verify this, I have heard that this particular part in the 2009 model year remained unmodified. This is an issue that must be addressed, as there are more and more failures of this type occurring. It is simply a matter of time before a serious injury occurs that could have been completely preventable.

- Sioux Falls, SD, USA

problem #1

Sep 182012

Ridgeline 6-cyl

  • 91,500 miles
Transmission fluid oil cooler line ejects from radiator as a result of dissimilar metal corrosion...a steel washer is used that becomes the catalyst for the failure. Transmission fluid loss occurs that leads to loss of acceleration of vehicle, putting vehicle occupants in danger.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

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