Why Won’t My Honda Ridgeline Start?

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Honda got into the pickup truck business in late 2004 with the release of the Honda Ridgeline. The Ridgeline is built with a unibody frame and is only offered in a specific configuration.

While it has been 18 years since the Honda Ridgeline was introduced, there are still various problems surrounding the lineup.

Some of these problems will scratch your head and ask, “Why won’t my Honda Ridgeline start?”.

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this. Any problems, such as the battery, the fuel system, the ignition system, and the electrical components, may have issues.

The most prominent of these issues are:

  1. Starter Issues
  2. Battery Problems
  3. Clogged Fuel Filters
  4. Electrical faults
  5. Defective Spark Plugs

If you are under the impression that your Honda Ridgeline suffers from these issues, this article is just for you.

I will explain all of these issues in depth and talk about ways you can resolve these problems.

What Would Cause A Honda Ridgeline To Not Start?

Why is your Honda Ridgeline not starting? There are common reasons you can follow my guide

Cars have many moving parts working together, and if even one goes bad or defective, it can have disastrous results for the entire vehicle.

While they may be isolated in their systems, they have major consequences on the rest of the vehicle.

This is why I’ll discuss all the above problems in details.

1: Starter Issues

The starter is the main component the car relies on to rotate or cranks the engine. This initiates the engine to operate under its power, allowing the car to move.

Engaging the starter leads to it eventually getting worn out. This leads to grinding noises which can eventually damage the engine flywheel.

A starter motor also has a typical lifespan of 7 to 10 years, after which it breaks down and prevents the car from starting.

There are a lot of different components in the starter, such as the solenoid or the motor, which can also face some damage.

It may be difficult for you to locate the damage, specifically because the starter itself is so complicated. Instead, here is what you should do.

What Should You Do About It?

  • The best thing to do is to take your Honda Ridgeline to the mechanic. There you will have the professionals take a look at the starter and see what the problem is.
  • Make sure to have a fully charged and healthy battery, which can affect how the starter works.
  • With the problem now identified, you should opt to replace any damaged components in the starter. It is recommended to just replace the starter entirely.
  • This is especially advised if the starter has been in use for more than ten years as it could be nearing the end of its life.

2: Battery Problems

When it comes to issues in any car, the first major suspect is always the battery. This is because the battery is high maintenance and is known for causing many issues.

This might also be because the battery needs to have a good charge to power many different things. The battery is responsible for powering the lights and is crucial for starting the engine.

Without a charged battery of your Honda Ridgeline, the spark plugs will not get enough energy to generate a spark. This prevents the combustion process from happening.

The battery requires a lot of maintenance and needs to be kept at optimal temperatures; otherwise, it can open up a lot of different issues.

Furthermore, the battery must be perfectly secured and require a good acid level.

What Should You Do About It?

  • The first thing you need to do is to conduct a voltage test and see whether the battery is the culprit or not. The output should be less than 12 volts if the battery is weak or dead.
  • A general look at the battery should also reveal any issues like corrosion.
  • If you have recently gotten a new battery, then it is possible that it has not developed yet. New batteries take time to reach their full potential. On the other hand, if the battery is old, you may have a dead battery that should be replaced.
  • A jumpstart should be enough to get your battery back up to full charge. If you require constant jumpstarts, getting a new battery is recommended.

3: Clogged Fuel Filters

The first thing you need to check when looking at the fuel system is if the car even has fuel or not. You cannot expect the car to run with an empty tank, so ensure a good amount of fuel.

If you are facing issues where the engine cranks over but the Honda Ridgeline does not start, it is possible that the engine is getting an inadequate amount of fuel.

This could be due to clogged fuel filters. The fuel filters exist to prevent contaminants from entering the engine.

These contaminants are usually found in poor, low-quality, and cheap fuel.

Alternatively, the fuel injectors and the fuel lines could also have their issues, but more often than not, it is the fuel filters.

What Should You Do About It?

  • You should start by filling your Honda Ridgeline with quality fuel. Stop using cheap and dirty fuel. This will breathe new life into the car and will prevent issues like this in the future.
  • The next obvious step is to remove the clogged filters and replace them with new ones.
  • This will allow the proper fuel to reach the engine the next time you start the Ridgeline.
  • You cannot clean the filters. You will have to buy new ones.
  • It is a good idea to replace your fuel filters every 2 to 3 years, but if you want to, you can even take them up to 4 years.

4: Electrical Faults

There are a wide range of electrical faults that can occur in any car. When it comes to the Honda Ridgeline, one of the rarer electrical faults is a blown fuse.

A more common issue that can happen in the electrical system is battery corrosion.

I have shown how a low-charged battery can cause a lot of issues, so it is integral that you keep the battery nice and healthy.

Corrosion can actively reduce the current flow, making it much more difficult to start properly. Dirty contacts and corroded wires can also cause a variety of issues.

All of this mainly depends on how well you keep your car clean and carry out maintenance.

While these issues may seem small, they can easily lead to major issues. It is best if you carry out the following if you believe you have electrical faults.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Inspect the battery and its surrounding. Depending on what you see, you may have to replace the wires, replace the battery or simply clean the area.
  • If you notice white or green deposits, then clean the battery. If you see further cracks and damage, then you may have to replace the battery.
  • Corroded and frayed wires should be replaced as you see them.
  • Check all fuses that are essential for starting the engine. Make sure to take care when handling the fuse box.
  • A trip to the mechanic may be required if you cannot find the electrical fault.
  • As hinted at above, frequent cleaning of the battery and the wires can reduce most of these issues.

5: Defective Spark Plugs

Fuel is a car’s main source of power and needs to be burned down to provide the car with the energy it needs to move. It does not magically catch on fire.

Instead, you have these spark plugs, which generate a tiny spark. This spark is what initiates the combustion process, which generates the energy.

As you can imagine, if there is no spark, then there is no way you should be able to start your Honda Ridgeline.

Spark plugs have a very limited life and need to be replaced every 1 to 3 years. Alternatively, they can also get defective, which can have a ripple effect on the ignition system.

This can be seen when the connections on the ignition system suddenly come loose. This issue can be fixed easily but does not eliminate the root cause of the problem.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Keep track of engine misfires, loss of power, and slow acceleration. If you have been experiencing these, it is likely that you are dealing with defective spark plugs.
  • Regardless of whether they are defective or if they are just past their life, the spark plugs need to be replaced.
  • If there is a defect or damage, you can opt to get it fixed, but it is often more economical and better to get them replaced.
  • Once you have new spark plugs, your priority should be to maintain them for as long as possible. This can be done by regular cleaning and maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Honda Ridgeline Start With New Battery?

It is possible that your new battery may not have been installed properly. This can easily cause your Honda Ridgeline to not start properly.

Check if the battery is stable and perfectly secure. Also, look for any loose, disconnected, or frayed wires which might be halting the starting process of your car.

Q2. Why Won’t My Honda Ridgeline Start Even With A Jump?

If you get your battery jumpstarted, but the car still does not turn on, then you probably have another issue with the Honda Ridgeline.

Your best bet is to check the ignition system and the fuel system for any number of problems. After that, the electrical system is next up to check.

Q3. Why Won’t My Honda Ridgeline Start But Lights Work?

This is a clear sign that the battery of your Honda Ridgeline is not at full strength. It is charged enough to turn on the lights but not strong enough to start the car.

The best way to fix this issue is to get a new battery. Alternatively, you can also opt for a jumpstart.

Q4. Why Won’t My Honda Ridgeline Start But Cranks?

It is safe to say that this is not a battery or a starter problem. The most likely issue is within the fuel system.

If the issue does not lie in the fuel system, then it is just as likely that you are dealing with faulty spark plugs.

Q5. Why Won’t My Honda Ridgeline Start Just Clicks?

This is a sign of electrical issues which you should get checked by a mechanic as soon as possible. It is extremely likely that you have issues with the battery or its terminal.

On the other hand, you could have a bad starter. This can be fixed with a repair or a replacement.

Q6. Why Won’t My Honda Ridgeline Start In The Cold Weather?

The cold weather reduces the reactions taking place in the battery. This makes it much harder for the engine to start.

The cold weather also makes it difficult for the spark plugs to generate small electric sparks. Overall, the cold weather is not optimal for your Honda Ridgeline.

Q7. Why Won’t My Honda Ridgeline Start After I Get Gas?

There is a good chance that the gas you added to the tank is not even reaching the engine. This can be caused by blockages in the fuel pipes.

Make sure to clean the fuel filters for any blockages and replace them. You should also look for any leaks and plug them up.

Q8. Why Won’t My Honda Ridgeline Start But Radio Works?

This situation is similar to the one with the lights. Your battery is not charged enough to start the car but has just enough juice to power the radio.

Once again, you can have this fixed by either replacing the battery or getting it jumpstarted. This depends on how old the battery is.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The Honda Ridgeline?


Being the only pickup truck that Honda has developed, you would think they would try to make it the best version of itself possible.

Unfortunately, this just simply isn’t the case, and there are many issues surrounding the Honda Ridgeline.

Many of these issues will have you pondering the question,” Why won’t my Honda Ridgeline start?” Now that you have read this article, you should have a good idea of why this is the case.

You should be able to properly assess the issues surrounding the Honda Ridgeline and solve them accordingly, without many difficulties.

Regardless of this, it is always a good idea to visit a mechanic for a professional opinion.