Does The Honda Ridgeline Have a Timing Belt or Chain? HERE’S THE ANSWER!

Honda Ridgeline is Honda’s answer to the growing demand for a midsize truck.  It offers Honda reliability and fuel efficiency, but does it have a timing belt or chain? 

Knowing whether your truck has a chain or timing belt is essential as it can provide you with vital maintenance information, such as when to change it or which problems it could give.

Honda makes this information difficult to find on their website, but we were able to dig up some details that you will want to know before purchasing one of these vehicles.

Does the Honda Ridgeline have a timing belt or chain? The image shows a timing belt within an engine, as it connects several components

Does the Honda Ridgeline Have a Timing Belt or Chain?

The Honda Ridgeline uses the J-series engine family, which is a series of V6 powerplants, all with four valves per cylinder and a single timing belt.

So, does the Honda Ridgeline have a timing belt or a chain? The Honda Ridgeline has used a timing belt since its release in 2006. Timing belts are usually smoother and more silent but may need more frequent maintenance than a timing chain. 

The J-series is an interference engine. This means that if the valve is opened, it extends into an area where the piston can travel, thus, it can “interfere” with the piston. The timing belt is essential in keeping the valves and pistons in perfect synchronization. 

At the same time, if the timing belt snaps, valve could operate without synchronization and come in contact with the pistons, damaging them and even leading to total engine failure. Therefore, proper timing belt maintenance is vital. 

The Honda Ridgeline has used the following J-series engines:

  • 2006 to 2008: J35A9
  • 2009 to 2014: J35Z5
  • 2015 to present: J35Y6

In 2023, Honda announced the new J35Y8 for the Pilot. This engine will eventually also be in the Ridgeline.

More details here:

What Is A Timing Belt And How Does It Compare To A Chain?

A timing belt is a rubber belt that goes around the crankshaft and camshaft(s) inside a vehicle.

The timing belt is responsible for keeping vehicles’ engine valves opening and closing at precisely the right moments to allow air and fuel into the car’s combustion chamber while allowing burned exhaust gases out through the car’s exhaust valves.

A chain, on the other hand, is metal that rides around sprockets. Given that it’s metal, it’s far more durable, yet isn’t as smooth. In this case, why does the Honda Ridgeline have a timing belt instead of a chain? The reason is due to a smoother operation, which is part of its advantages.

Timing Belt Advantages:

  • Timing belts are typically less expensive than chains.
  • Timing belts are usually quieter than timing chains.

Disadvantages of Timing Belts:

  • If the Honda Ridgeline’s timing belt breaks, it will cause the Honda Ridgeline to stop running immediately and require professional repairs for you to get your vehicle back on the road.
  • Timing belts must be replaced at certain intervals (typically every 60,000 miles).
  • Replacing the timing belt requires removing the Honda Ridgeline engine from the vehicle, which is an involved process that can be expensive, yet necessary.

Chain Advantages:

  • Chains are much more durable than timing belts and last up to five times as long under normal operating conditions.
  • Replacing a timing chain requires less time and effort than a timing belt.

Disadvantages of Chain:

  • Chains are typically more expensive than timing belts.
  • Replacing a timing chain could require specialized tools for removing and replacing the chains, whereas timing belts can be replaced by home mechanics.
  • Chains can be noisier than timing belts.
  • Chains need to be lubricated and maintained

Do Honda Ridgelines Have Transmission Problems?

The short answer is yes. 

While Honda Ridgeline do not have transmission problems common in older vehicles, they are prone to certain types of issues that you should be aware of if you are considering purchasing one for yourself or your family.

Transmission Problems With The Newest Model Of Honda Ridgelines:

The 2017-2018 models had a fault in the transmission control unit (TCU) software that caused the vehicle to shift erratically while driving at high speeds. 

This issue can cause significant damage to other components inside of the car’s engine, so it needs to be repaired by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.

When Is The Best Time To Buy A Used Honda Ridgeline?

The best time to buy a used Honda Ridgeline is during the end of summer and fall, when the dealerships switch over their new inventory for the next model year.

Dealerships need to get rid of all their old stock to make room for all the new cars that they will be receiving from manufacturers around this time, so they drastically reduce prices on older models. 

You can find great deals at these times if you are willing to put up with some minor cosmetic issues or other problems associated with buying any car from a second-hand dealership.

What Are The Most Common Problems With Used Honda Ridgelines?

The most common problems associated with used Honda Ridgelines are cosmetic issues like paint damage.

However, a few mechanical problems may also pop up, particularly if the previous owner was not very good about maintenance and failed to replace components such as belts and hoses promptly. 

If you see rust on any of these parts or they show significant signs of wear or tear, you should look for another car because this could be an indicator that serious engine trouble is just around the corner. 

While it’s possible to fix this type of issue yourself (and many people do), it won’t be easy and will often cost more than simply buying a new vehicle would anyway!

Will an engine flush harm the Honda Ridgeline?

An engine flush is not safe for all vehicles, including the Honda Ridgeline. 

Before performing an engine flush on your Honda Ridgeline, it’s essential to check with the manufacturer or dealer that they recommend this procedure.

If they do not, you should avoid it and only use the recommended engine oil for your Honda Ridgeline instead. 

The wrong kind can cause extensive damage to many components inside the car’s engine over time and decrease its resale value if you ever decide to trade or sell your vehicle later.

Is It Worth Getting A Transmission Flush For My Honda Ridgeline?

A transmission flush is one way that you can keep up with routine maintenance on your Honda Ridgeline to prevent future issues from occurring down the road potentially. 

You may want to consider getting this service done every 30,000 miles depending on how much you do each year and what type of driving you do most.

In general, the transmission fluid does not need to be changed unless it begins causing problems or a leak needs to be addressed by a qualified mechanic immediately. 

A flush can help prevent these issues from occurring in the first place. Preventive maintenance saves you money over time if performed regularly.

Is the Honda Ridgeline Bad For The Environment?

The answer depends on who you ask because some people believe they are worse for air quality than other vehicles while others think this is actually one of their biggest selling points!

Indeed, they are not considered to be the most environmentally friendly option currently on the market. 

Still, there are some benefits to driving this type of vehicle associated with fuel efficiency and reduced carbon emissions.

Is a Chain Better at Handling CHALLENGING TERRAINS than a Timing Belt?

A timing belt could be more reliable than a chain at handling challenging terrain because it does not have the same amount of “give” that can lead to issues if you drive on rough terrain or frequently hit potholes.

However, this varies from one vehicle to another, so you should always look up specific details about the vehicle you want to purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should the Honda V-TEC Oil Pump Chain Tensioner in Honda Ridgeline be replaced?

Most chain tensioners don’t need to be replaced unless they’re damaged. The same applies to the Honda V-TEC Oil Pump Chain Tensioner

How much does it cost to replace the TIMING BELT IN A HONDA RIDGELINE

These replacements are usually cheap and fast when done in a certified service station.

How long Does the timing belt last in a Honda Ridgeline?

The timing belt in a Honda Ridgeline can last for about 90,000 miles, depending on driving style and conditions. However, the manufacturer recommends that you replace them at an average of 60,000 miles.

How do I know when to replace the TIMING BElT IN A Honda RIDGELINE?

The best way to know if you need to replace the timing belt on your Honda Ridgeline is by doing the scheduled maintenance. This way, mechanics can determine whether your belt needs replacement.

Worn timing belts will usually squeak when starting the engine. This happens because they start to slip. This is a clear sign that you should replace them.

Timing chains also cause a particular rattling or ticking noise when you start your engine, and it can also cause extensive engine damage if left unattended for too long.

Final Words

The Honda Ridgeline has been on the market since 2005, and it has proved to be quite popular owing to its competitive pricing compared to other competitors. 

However, there are still several factors that you should consider before buying one so that you can comprehend what distinguishes this sort of vehicle from others comparable in nature!

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  1. This is from Hondas web sight
    Timing Belt Equipped Vehicles:

    (V6: V6 Engine Type; L4: In-Line 4-Cylinder Engine Type)

    Accord: 1996-2002 (L4), 2003-2017 (V6)
    Accord Hybrid: 2005-2007 (V6)
    Civic: 1996-2005 (L4 & V6)
    CR-V: 1997-2001 (L4)
    Crosstour: 2010-2015 (V6)
    Del Sol: 1993-1997 (L4)
    Odyssey: 1995-2020 (V6)
    Passport: 1996-2019 (V6)
    Pilot: 2003-2020 (V6)
    Prelude: 1996-2001 (L4)
    Ridgeline: 2006-2019 (V6)