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Cracked head in 2008 Honda Ridgeline

Has anyone had to replace the engine due to a cracked head? (oil and antifreeze mixing)

Please describe in detail exactly what happened. How many miles?

mechanic has head off and this is his opinion?
Or you were told a failed head gasket might cause enough damage to require motor replacement?

Oil/coolant mix doesn’t lubricate well, so if the vehicle was driven this way for a length of time, the engine will be severely damaged, and replacement may be the most cost-effective fix.

At 89,500 miles my perfectly maintained 08 Ridgeline started running rough all of a sudden at a light a mile from work. Engine barely warmed up. By the time I got home (8 miles later) check engine light was on. Pulled the code, 2 cylinders misfiring. Spotted oil in the radiator first, then the dip stick started looking weird. Radiator level started dropping. Some white smoke at start up. This happened over the weekend, so I avoided driving it and took it to the dealer Monday morning. The dealer said I probably needed a new engine, but wanted $1600 just to pull the heads and verify exactly what happened.

Got out of there and found a mechanic that wasn’t insane for a second opinion. He said probably cracked head, but didn’t really matter, as the engine had sustained enough damage from the compromised oil to be terminal. A Jasper re-manufactured engine and $7K later, the truck is running like new.

I know the Ridgeline reputation is good for 200K+ trouble free from all the sources I’ve found so far. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this?



Was it a cracked head or cracked head gasket?

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I’ll never know. Didn’t want to put $$$$ into an “autopsy”. There was no obvious reason for either to have happened.


Hi there Bill,

I’m going through this same thing right now, 2011 rtl, going down… if you’re still around I’d like to discuss it with you.

Ryan[quote=“Bill36, post:7, topic:125441, full:true”]
I’ll never know. Didn’t want to put $$$$ into an “autopsy”. There was no obvious reason for either to have happened.


Doubtful if Bill even sees this . You might have better luck talking to a mechanic about your options.


Still around, so is the truck. How can I help?


Well, I’m experiencing a similar problem on a rl. I just bought, sob obviously I’m upset, I’ve got the Honda service dept ready to take a look this week, and I’m judging by your post, that the quickest and cleanest approach is to do what you did, and of course from there hope the exclusionary warranty picks it up!
Same as you, and some mechanics I’ve talked to,it’s pretty shocking, and as of yet rare for this to occur. I’m curious how your trucks running now, and if you had the work done at a dealership or other? Was it warranty? How long did it take to process your repair and get the vehicle back? Stuff like that is what I’m interested in at this juncture in time?

I had a local shop put in a Jasper reconditioned engine. With 89K on the truck, I couldn’t get Honda to step up. So it set me back $7K. It’s covered by a 3 year/36000 warranty, and took them the better part of a week to get it done. The dealership wanted a bit more for the same thing, or a thousand less for a junk yard engine with no warranty. At first, the dealer only offered the autopsy (pulling off the heads) and wouldn’t even let me talk to the technician. That, combined with my lifelong distrust of dealers, didn’t give me a warm fuzzy.

The Jasper is block and heads. Everything else is transferred from the old engine. The shop included a new water pump and timing belt, a major expense at about 110K for most Hondas. Of course, plugs, wires, filters, and anything else to get it on the road was included. In hindsight, I wish I had them replace the radiator. I learned later the original factory units don’t have a good reputation.

I’ll always be a little curious about exactly what happened. I believe a head cracked suddenly out of the blue. On an engine that had always been maintained by the book. (Maintenance Minder actually) I baby that truck. Went from running perfect, to missing badly with the check engine light on in a snap.

No regrets 16,000 miles and two years later, it runs great. No issues. I’m driving a 12 year old new Ridge.

Best of luck,


Thanks Bill,

I appreciate your feedback about this. My truck acted similarly, drove nice, for a month, then, imploded. With the same scenario here, and the same distrust of dealerships, as well as a reduced work force due to pandemic, I’m in for an interesting time. I’ll keep the radiator in mind. Hoping to get some help from Honda/warranty outside, simply because they’re the most active working shop available to me. I’m in Northern California, which state are you in?

Thanks again for your response!

One reason you can’t talk to the mechanics (and the most important one IMO) is the fact that they work on the flat rate pay system. Every single second, minute, or hour they’re conversing with someone is costing them money out of pocket and disrupts things. A mechanic has enough disruptions in one day as it is without getting involved in a 3 minute chit-chat that turns into 30 minutes.

Flat rate mechanics have the clock hanging over their heads ticking away constantly.Every tick without turning wrenches subtracts from the paycheck.

That might be a flawed system. (flat rate) The mechanic that did talk to me got paid $7,000. Just sayn’

Ryan I’m in North Carolina. Good luck. Y’all be well.


Got paid 7 grand for doing exactly what? I hope you are not saying that he got paid 7 for working on your car because it does not work that way.

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