Built with the same chassis architecture as the Honda Pilot and Passport SUVs, the Ridgeline engine bay and components are virtually identical to them across the board and much of what’s said and seen here can apply to all three.
Powering the 2021 Honda Ridgeline pickup we have here is the company’s venerable 3.5-liter single overhead cam i-VTEC V6 engine. It produces 280 horsepower here and 262 pound-feet of torque. AWD is standard and it comes exclusively with a 9-speed automatic transmission.
EPA fuel economy for our test truck was 18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined. Power and efficiency are enabled with many technologies including direct fuel injection, variable cam timing and cylinder deactivation that can shut down two of its six cylinders when extra power isn’t needed.
Following the airflow, the intake charge comes in through a medium sized filter box on the driver side of the engine bay and directly into a single throat throttle body. From here it makes its way into each cylinder through a plastic composite intake manifold.
Because the engine features direct fuel injection, there is little to see in the way of the fuel system as much of it is hidden away under the valve covers and intake apparatus.
When it comes to maintenance, some of the items are easily found and reached while others take some effort get to. The easy ones include the fuse block which rests at the passenger side firewall and features a fuse removal tool inside.
Getting to the oil filler cap requires you to pluck off the engine cover where you can then find it down low behind the radiator support. Also hidden away from immediate view down there is the oil check dipstick. To the side of it is the coolant reservoir, likely the toughest one to find and get to with exception of the oil filter which is accessed from under the vehicle.
Checking the windshield washer fluid is easier however, seen easily at the passenger side of the front radiator cover with its bright blue cap.
Changing out the air filter is a job that can be done without tools. The box is easily accessible and opened by popping loose three clips, two at the outboard end and one at the back. It hinges out from two tabs on the inboard side to allow access to the air filter element itself. No tools required.
Replacing the filter with a new one is simply a reversal of the order taken to take out the old. Checking the brake fluid can be done up at the driver side of the engine firewall just behind the air filter box.
The one item that is likely the most difficult to get to and service will be the 12-volt battery. Located under the air filter intake tube, getting to it for maintenance will require a few minutes to first remove the large plastic assembly and get it out of your way.