Clarity System Check

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Scottacus, Apr 7, 2018.

To remove this ad click here.

  1. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    I would expect it to run for 10 minutes once every month or two and maybe make sure average fuel age is less than 1 year (essentially what the Volt does). I think what could help with the Clarity is if the car said why the engine is running. I think they wanted to make it like a normal car, so it doesn't advertise any of that, but these random starts seem odd to me.

    Bob, you have let it run at least 10 minutes continuous after the engine starts, right? My wife hasn't seen any of these random starts in 8,500 miles, but uses the engine weekly for at least 30 to 60 minutes. If your engine has gotten good and warm, it really sounds like some sort of bug or issue that needs to be worked out with Honda. Hopefully they can get an engineer involved, otherwise it probably won't go anywhere.
    bobcubsfan likes this.
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. bobcubsfan

    bobcubsfan Active Member

    Yesterday drove the car for about 30 miles. Three different trips. The ICE did not come on at all. On 5 successive days, it came on. Sometimes once, sometimes multiple times. There is a concern with hybrids about "stale" gasoline. When the ICE does come on it is only for a couple of minutes.
  4. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Okay, so it is not that the engine running is getting cut short by you stopping, it runs as long as it thinks it needs to then shuts off?

    I guess you could try running the engine longer using HV mode on the highway just to let it get good and warm, and see if intermittent starting goes away on other days. Alternately, don't charge it one day and see if it only happens when the battery is higher state of charge.
  5. bobcubsfan

    bobcubsfan Active Member

    Most of our driving is city. We rarely do highway. But I can try not charging. However, it does not always come on when fully charged. Intermittent issues are difficult.
  6. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Reading through these posts makes me wonder. I've posted that sometimes the ICE comes on, presumably in a maintenance mode, but that is very rare, perhaps once a month if that, and then only for a few minutes. It seems like the problems outlined in these posts are happening regularly, even daily. Is that right?

    Also do people have the Econ mode on? We drive with Econ on around town (which includes a few miles of 65 mph freeway) and the car stays in EV mode. Without Econ the ICE will be more likely to come on. As far as we are concerned the Clarity will stay in EV mode all the time.
    KenG likes this.
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member


    This is more out of curiosity, trying to reverse engineer how their engine starting algorithm works. One thing I wanted to rule out is if a maintenance mode has to run for a certain length of time, and that is why the engine keeps starting. Pretend the engine needs to run for 10 minutes before it has run enough for the maintenance mode, if it only runs 1 or 2 minutes a day it might take it 5 or 10 days to reach the 10 minute mark. Doing one extended run to force it to run for 10 minutes continuously might make it happy.

    If the intermittent engine starts still occur after this, maybe there is a bug with your particular car, like a sensor reading out of range making the car think it should start or just something unrelated causing it to start. An example might be a battery temperature sensor dropping to minimum value triggering an engine start.

    If the intermittent running goes away, it might be a sign that the engine needs to run for an extended period of time to avoid intermittent starting from some unadvertised maintenance mode.

    A better test might be to run the car battery completely down, those state of charge meters need to sometimes be fully charged and discharged to be calibrated correctly. This would also allow you to run the engine longer while the battery was dead. Maybe put in HV charge mode or something for 10 minutes once the battery is depleted.

    Don't feel you have to do any of these, just ideas of things you could try while you are working with Honda that won't really impact your daily drive.

    bobcubsfan likes this.
  9. bobcubsfan

    bobcubsfan Active Member

    Just now at 1203 miles full charge ICE came on immediately. When it was safe in about 2 miles I shut the car off. Restarted and ICE did not come on.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
    Johnhaydev likes this.
  10. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Bob, I agree w Viking79 that it might be you’re not allowing the engine to run its full time and warm up to operating temp so the algorithm keeps restarting it. May I suggest next time not stopping the car and letting the engine run until it turns off by itself. See if you can drive until engine turns off and time how long this takes. Should only be 10-15 min. This might reset it since it doesn’t sound like it’s starting for reasons of power generation.
    As jdonalds said, it’s happening too often and may be an error mode or a bad sensor.
    Also has the dealer found any trouble codes recorded? Let us know what you try next and what happens.
  11. bobcubsfan

    bobcubsfan Active Member

    Here is the thing. When the ICE has come on, I have taken no action. We went for a drive to pick up some friends. The distance was 17 miles. ICE came on and turned itself off 3 times for different lengths of time. The car was in ECON mode the whole time. All of this happened on city streets before we got on the freeway. I did not take the car to the dealer. Wating for Honda to respond. The rep said he contacted engineering.
    dnb likes this.
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Got it Bob. It sounds like it’s not acting like the majority of our Claritys.
    I suggest that while you wait, you take it to a dealer to have them check for any error codes being generated. This will help any Honda engineer you are fortunate enough to get a hold of to diagnose this. Even if no error codes show up that will still be an important datum to have.
  14. bobcubsfan

    bobcubsfan Active Member

    You are right, but, this is our only car. One dealer refused to offer a loaner. The dealer where we got the car said they sometimes have loaners. If it were a matter of hooking up the car and doing a diagnose I would wait for it. But that did not seem to be the case.
  15. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Tell dealer you just want a diagnostic to check for error codes and that you have to wait and want to be in and out in an hour. It’ll be worth it to find out. The service dept should be willing to do this. Mine has been good about scheduling requests like this.
    For longer waits my dealer provided shuttle service to and from work or home for me.
  16. bobcubsfan

    bobcubsfan Active Member

    One dealer near me said they cannot do that because they only have one tech and they don't know when he would get to it. But I will persevere. Thanks all for your suggestions and help.
  17. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Bob, your ICE operating for no apparently valid reason has now rubbed off on me. My ICE came on today (details below) for a short time for reasons beyond me.
    I blame you. Where can I send the bill?

    Here are as many conditions and facts as I can remember, so can any of you Clarity gurus out there, care to explain this?

    I’m thinking that since it happened on a full charge with regen almost not being allowed and within 2 weeks/245 miles of previous ICE operation that it wasn’t a System Check. Maybe it was due to car not being able to brake by regen resistance and called for ICE for braking purposes as some have speculated. Just a WAG on my part.

    Here are the gory details:
    Note: After getting on hwy (1/2m from house), 55mph, I noticed ICE had come on. Don’t know if braking triggered it. I accelerated normally to merge and that has never triggered it at that location before. Did notice after backing out of drive way with 61.3 EV range showing after O/N charge, I had barely any regen and pedal braking added NO additional regen. ICE stayed on for about 5 min with no loud sound and power meter went to all white, hashed and some solid. Did not see the gear indicating ICE was driving wheels mechanically. Econ indicator went out but no HV showed. Even pushing Econ did not get Econ leaf to illuminate and could not get blue power strip back even when ICE turned itself off. Power info center display showed for a short time several modes of distribution then settled down to blue energy from engine and battery simultaneously going to wheels and green regen when coasting. Hour meter I installed on engine went from 1.5 to 1.6 hr, or <6 min or so. HV range went from 506 to 503, which is about how far I drove on hwy after noticing ICE on. However normal driving did not restart the ICE. When at destination and restarted car, blue power meter strip was back w Econ leaf.
    So ICE came on for about 5 min/4miles with no loud sound at about 1445 miles.
    Last time it came on was 4/12/18 at 1215 miles or 14 days and 230 miles ago.

    Any thoughts?
    dnb and bobcubsfan like this.
  18. bobcubsfan

    bobcubsfan Active Member

    I am always proud and happy to be disruptive and spread the pain. :D Your symptoms sound chillingly the same as mine. Bringing to a dealer would possibly yield some "bad" data, but until Honda has a fix it seems a waste of time. In the software business, which I was in for some time, we had a mantra: "It's a feature, not a bug." BTW, I did email Honda and got a standard boilerplate reply. However, if enough of report this issue perhaps they might come up with a patch. Last night, as I reported, when I shut off the car and restarted ICE did not resume its bad behavior.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  19. K8QM

    K8QM Active Member

    It seems like one "fix" would be a small message somewhere on the dash when ICE comes on - "ICE Maintenance Mode", "ICE Regen Mode", etc. That would allow drivers (I almost typed Users) to have a clue about why the ICE was on and would help sort the bugs from the features.

    KentuckyKen and bobcubsfan like this.
  20. bobcubsfan

    bobcubsfan Active Member

    That would be welcome. But the real issue is an explanation of under what conditions it SHOULD happen. Do other brands of hybrids exhibit the same behavior?
  21. bobcubsfan

    bobcubsfan Active Member

    Here is the link to open a case:
  22. K8QM

    K8QM Active Member

    Well, rapid acceleration, regen braking with 100% charge, some sort of maintenance mode, HV operation and HV charge all seem to be legitimate.

    But, what's happening to you doesn't make sense so it would be nice if you at least knew what it thought was happening.

  23. bobcubsfan

    bobcubsfan Active Member

    It's up to Honda to fix it.

Share This Page