First experience with “angry bees” motor

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by NocEdit, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. NocEdit

    NocEdit New Member

    I’ve driven my 2019 Clarity for 1700 miles thus far. Last week I drove about 45 miles to Zuma Beach... knowing it would be a trip I would need HV mode to make the round trip. My trek from the valley to the 101 was mostly downhill, so i didn’t put it into HV until the battery got to about 30 miles of estimated range. No problems to report. On the way back from the beach driving up the canyon roads in sport mode... starting with about 25 miles of battery range the engine really started buzzing and my overall acceleration uphill felt stalled somewhat. Not dramatically different than my old 4 cylinder ICE.... but maybe it’s because it doesn’t kick into a different gear, coupled with the buzzing motor sound, it felt odd. Once I started downhill everything went back to normal again and the buzzing motor sound stopped.

    I guess my concern is it damaging the motor in this buzzing mode and how would you know... or is it just a harmless quirk when driving in mountains. I was hoping to avoid it altogether as my EV mileage never dropped below and estimate in the teens the entire trip.

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    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  2. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    Based on your description and not knowing actual RPM's (which can only be obtained using some type of OBDII or other data device) my guess is that the louder than usual engine and higher RPM's that you experienced are normal, but still relatively uncommon since it involves getting into particular driving conditions related to continuous uphill driving.

    The term angry bees in the truest sense refers to people who in the past had what seems to have been a software bug that caused their RPM to go extremely high, probably much higher and louder than what you experienced, and it also happened to them pretty much anytime they reached 0 EV miles and in many cases had nothing to do with climbing.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  3. MrFixit

    MrFixit Active Member

    Based on my experiences, this seems like "normal" behavior. The uphill stretch caused the vehicle to work harder in order to maintain speed (and maintain the nominal charge when you invoked HV mode). As stated, without an actual RPM number, we are guessing somewhat, but we do know that 'normal RPM's can approach 4000 to 4500. This can sound like angry bees to some, but it is behaving as designed.

    Now, there have been some (not so much recently) reports of a dramatic loss of power (engine revving, but car can't maintain speed, slowing down to maybe 10 mph and all you can do is limp off the road). If that happens, then you can worry about a problem.
  4. stacey burke

    stacey burke Member

    I live in Colorado and drive over the Continental Divide several times a year. I only had the angry bees once when I forgot to put in HV after a stop to get gas. MY RULE is simple: If your trip is longer than your EV range, put it in HV as soon as you turn on the car. Leave it in HV until you are within EV range with a charger you can use at your destination. The car works great if you have enough EV with HV. And the EV will be kept close to the point that you started your HV. I just did a trip of 1,000 miles at hwy speeds (65 mountains 80 freeway) and I had no place to charge. After 1,000 miles I still had over 1/2 of my battery and never had any problem with mountains, merging, passing, none at all. No loud engine noise.
  5. css28

    css28 Active Member

    "...Not dramatically different than my old 4 cylinder ICE..."
    I liked this observation because, really, you're pulling your 2 ton Clarity along using a 4 cylinder ICE at that point. Compromises are made in setting up vehicles like this, and the relatively high gasoline mpg you get in HV mode is a result of Honda's engine selection. It does end up a little strained in some situations, but I doubt it will be allowed to harm itself.
    fotomoto likes this.
  6. ClarityBill

    ClarityBill Active Member

    I don't like the high rpm noise, so I press the HV button twice, to reset the HV target (HV off, and immediately back on). This drops the motor back to quiet rpm range. This will lose some EV range, so it does not work on long trips... but it normally makes my drives very quiet.

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