Dealers wrecking battery performance?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by funkho, Jun 23, 2018.

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  1. funkho

    funkho New Member


    Dealers are leaving the batteries dead while the car sits on the lot, which damages long term performance of any lithium ion battery. I never saw my car with more than 2 battery segments until I charged it myself. How can I know my battery will be OK in the long term?

    I just picked up my Clarity Touring yesterday. Every time I went to test drive it, the battery was pretty close to dead. Even when I scheduled an appointment with one dealer, they hadn’t charged the battery before I showed up.

    I’m not sure how long the car sat on the lot, but I’m pretty sure the dealers (I went to multiple dealers) are not routinely charging the batteries.

    How can we be sure the dealer didn’t screw us by leaving the batteries dead for long periods of time? Even the manual says not to leave the batteries dead. (Attached picture).

    Anyone know what kind of assurances we have from Honda that the dealer didn’t wreck the performance of the battery? IMG_0641.JPG

    Sent from my iPad using Inside EVs
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  3. AnthonyW

    AnthonyW Well-Known Member

    Go to this thread

    Honda Service Express Bulletins for 2018 Clarity PHEV

    and read the bulletin “Battery Maintenance at Dealers”. Ask to check the logs they are supposed to keep and ask them to check the battery condition with the HDS. If you don’t get appropriate cooperation with them, escalate it with American Honda. Let us know what you find out.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
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  4. Steven B

    Steven B Active Member

    While I do think the dealers are doing Honda, the consumer and the batteries a disservice by not charging them, I'll add that the bulletin referenced here is for traditional 12V batteries in all vehicles, not specifically for the high voltage batteries in plugins.
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  5. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    The lack of understanding of PHEVs doesn't stop at the consumer level… and this is a long-term problem. Sample any lot where there are PHEVs - any make - and I would almost guarantee that most of them have minimal charge. Unless the dealership has someone on staff that's really tasked to sell PHEVs and EVs, they just don't have a clue. This will have to change, though, with so many car makers claiming that they're moving to EVs and PHEVs for every model they make.
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  6. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

    If you look closely at the bulletin they first discuss the 12 volt battery and then switch to the high voltage lithium ion battery. One thing that is not very widely known about LI batteries and the reason why Honda never lets the charge get below about 10% is if a LI battery is completely discharged to 0, it can never be charged again. It is totally destroyed.
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  8. Steven B

    Steven B Active Member

    Oh yes, I have looked closely and see nothing regarding high voltage battery. Please help me find where that bulletin (89-003, 07118 Version 5) provides any guidance on the maintenance of the high voltage battery at the dealer.
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  9. ab13

    ab13 Active Member

    You should look at your VIN number, in the US the highest numbers are about 14000. So you can get an idea from the time since December 1 when the VIN numbers started.
  10. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

    Sorry, I see you were referring to the service bulletin while I thought you were referring to the picture in post #1.
  11. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    I agree that low voltage will destroy a Li-Ion (most trigger to cutoff if they get too low). However, I think Honda sets a sufficient margin that as long as the vehicle is being driven once a month you are fine leaving it "dead". Also, it should be a hard cutoff, if the voltage drops too low your battery is bad and won't operate vs if it gets low, but not too low it is fine and actually preferable for storage of Li-ion (less than 50% SoC).

    I don't believe the dealers are doing any damage to the car unless it drops to 0 bars and is stored for some period (2 bars is "dead"). The dealer usually moves cars around, washes them, etc, so they don't sit that long even if they aren't selling. The Clarity will automatically recharge to 2 bars if started, assuming they let it run long enough.
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  13. Steven B

    Steven B Active Member

    Agree that unless fully drained no chemical damage, but am certain dealers don't know to leave them running when the engine does start. Real damage is to the brand and disservice to consumers who test drive plugins with dead batteries. Never get a second chance to make a first impression and Clarities with dead batteries on test drives may be turning off current ICE drivers to the technology for a decade or more.
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  14. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    This might be the reason that the Clarity doesn't operate very well as a hybrid vehicle when the battery is "depleted". For the sake of the battery, it will prioritize using the ICE for electricity generation to power the traction motors and only draw from the Li battery rarely. With the 1.5 liter engine, it'll have to rev to high rpms to accomplish that (for example, during routine acceleration). I don't know what the red line is but I suspect it's about 7000 rpm. Even at 5000 rpm, it'll sound really harsh but the car operate safely up to near its red line. With a significant charge, I've never heard the "angry bees" in HV mode because it's drawing from the battery quite often (during acceleration and uphills) and then recharging on the flats and downhills. I found it drives very nicely in HV mode when you maintain a good charge.

    If you think about it, if you allow your battery to be depleted, the Clarity becomes a typical hybrid only vehicle that's 700 ibs heavier than the Accord hybrid and yet the Accord hybrid is designed with a larger 2.0 liter ICE. Hence, the poor performance and "angry bees" that people complain about. If you maintain a significant charge in HV mode, the Clarity can do what dedicated hybrids can't do and that's draw several KWHs from the battery for maximum efficiency and to buffer the weakness of the ICE. So everyone should avoid depleting the battery if you know you can't make it to a charger and just switch over to HV mode long before it gets to 2 bars.
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