Honda wants to swap out my battery to study it.

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Cjk, Apr 25, 2019.

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  1. Cjk

    Cjk New Member

    My 2018 Clarity PHEV has been a pleasure to drive since we bought it in March, 2018. I regularly follow this forum and have learned much about the car.

    Last week, my wife got a call from a representative Honda who wanted to know if we would allow them to swap out our Clarity’s battery for a brand new one so they can study our old one. Sounded like a good deal to me. We’re scheduled to take the car into our dealer next Tuesday, so they can do the work. It’s likely to take all day and they’re providing a loaner for the day.

    Got a text yesterday with a link to a work order that read in part:

    “Customer coming in to assist in research project with American Honda, to have battery removed and install new ima battery, please order a new battery on sb 10-061 as per email attached”

    I am interested in this forum’s opinion on this. Should I be worried?

    Up to this point the car has performed flawlessly, although I seldom get the 47 miles on a charge. Maybe it’s the hilly neighborhood I live in. Currently I’m getting 42 miles on a charge, just under 9000 total miles, probably 90% of them are EV miles.

    But a free new battery??!!

    Love the car!
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  3. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    Wow, that's pretty interesting. Members will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think we've seen any battery degradation issues. Sounds like they have a new design or chemistry it wants to test.

    Let us know if you see any performance differences between the two: more range, etc.
    Texas22Step, Daniel M W and Cjk like this.
  4. Clarity_Newbie

    Clarity_Newbie Active Member


    I wouldn't hesitate a bit. Honda will make good on it seeing as they asked you.

    Like you, the Clarity I drive has been a dream and love it...but a straight battery swap shouldn't change a thing other than being a new battery...probably with a new 8 yr clock.

    Good luck!
    Tmonile likes this.
  5. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    What? They're giving you an IMA (Integrated Motor Assist from pre-2014 Honda hybrids) battery to replace your i-MMD battery? Sounds like a bad deal to me. My gen-1 Insight's battery is less than 1kWh. Expect your EV range to be less than 2 miles after the swap if you get an IMA battery. On the positive side, your IMA Clarity will be much lighter and likely handle better (although the springs might be a little too stiff for a comfortable ride).
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  6. Richard_arch74

    Richard_arch74 Active Member

    It would be interesting to have them do the traction battery test prior to them removing it. And have them show you the results. Do they know something you don't regarding the health of your current battery? What happens if it screws something else up? Maybe get them to provide you with another Clarity if it doesn't go well?

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Inside EVs mobile app
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  8. sniwallof

    sniwallof Active Member

    I doubt very much that there is any advantage to a new battery after only one year (unless the new packs are "better"?). Probably, there will be some minor (possibly insignificant) wear and tear taking stuff apart that does not need to be disconnected and unbolted.

    On the other hand, if anything ever goes wrong, they owe you special treatment.

    I still think you should get something extra out of it, like free installed splash guards, or 15 minutes of technical questions with the Clarity engineers (we can all help you with questions), or at least an autographed photo of the Clarity chief engineer :)
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
    4sallypat likes this.
  9. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Git er done...

    The whole Clarity project is nothing but R&D for Honda. This sort of thing just further proves it. But after only 9k miles? I dunno. You’d think they’d pick a car with 30k+ or something...
  10. Dan Albrich

    Dan Albrich Well-Known Member

    After your battery is swapped I'd be curious to know what your EV range is. My car has similar mileage, and getting about 42 estimated range right now too.

    Anyway, please do keep us updated. And yes, if Honda asked me to do same, I'd say yes (not that I'm having big problems, but I don't see high EV range ever).

  11. neal adkins

    neal adkins Active Member

    Get everything in writing. As Insightman alluded to, make sure you are getting the oe honda battery replacement and not some wierd experimental pac. Unless of coarse its a better pac. Overall i think you're in good hands with Honda.
    Cjk likes this.
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  13. graure

    graure Member

    I would be cautious about doing this. Any time a car is taken apart, it's not going back together 100% right. I had that Takata airbag recall done on my other car and although no problems were introduced mechanically or electronically, the dealer service center didn't put the interior trim panels back together in a way that they can be flush with each other anymore. Every time I look at my dash, it bothers me. From the discussion on that vehicle's message board, I got relatively lucky, as other posters described much more annoying issues after having the recall done. If the battery can just be dropped straight down from under the car without doing anything else, sure, but if they have to start disassembling the interior to get to components, I'm out. Who's responsible for warranty repairs if anything goes wrong as a side effect? Dealer's not making any money fixing that, so don't expect them to be super helpful.
    Texas22Step and Lowell_Greenberg like this.
  14. thecompdude

    thecompdude Member

    I would agree with this. There is very little upside for you, unless you are having battery problems, which you are not.

    Also I doubt that Honda wants to try a new battery pack on your car. If that's the case they will want to collect logs from your car all the time and they would not be so interested in the old battery.
    insightman likes this.
  15. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    What a splendid idea! Plus 1 for @sniwallof.

    Unfortunately, I imagine your local dealer will perform the swap, not members of the Clarity brain trust. Honda required dealers to purchase expensive lifts for removing batteries, so their personnel have been trained and they have the equipment to make it happen.

    See if your dealer will let you attach a note to the old battery: "Help! I need to ask a question about my car! Please contact me at .... Thank you!" Perhaps by begging for the brain trust to answer just one question you'll get a response.

    Now, what one question should you ask? I'd ask for an explanation of how the Clarity disposes of regen power when the battery is fully charged by starting its ICE.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  16. The Gadgeteer

    The Gadgeteer Active Member

    I am guessing Honda doesn’t know about your hilly conditions and wants to know why you are getting less range during moderate temperatures.
  17. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    How did Honda find out what kind of EV range @Cjk was experiencing? @Cjk didn't say the company was responding to less range during moderate temperatures.
  18. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    That's really interesting. We're told that Honda is constantly gathering data from each of our Claritys in order to improve their development of EVs and hybrids (hence, the cellular networks each of our cars are connected to at no cost to us). To actually swap out batteries (I'm assuming that there are others out there) to study even when there's no apparent problem with them, speaks well of Honda's commitment to the program and to our Claritys' future. I wonder if there was something about your driving that prompted Honda to choose yours. It could also be just random to study normal wear and tear of Clarity batteries. Please keep us updated!
    4sallypat likes this.
  19. Walt R

    Walt R Active Member

    I'm making the unsupported assumption that @Cjk also lives close to Honda's North American development center. Given the choice, I doubt they are shipping battery packs across the country.
  20. 4sallypat

    4sallypat Active Member

    Very cool that Honda is doing some research on the batteries before they find an issue?

    I remember when I was a youngster out of college, I purchased a new Toyota 4WD pickup truck and it was a first year model.
    About a year later, I got a letter in the mail from Toyota in Torrance, CA asking if I would be willing to have my truck inspected for a week and I would get a loaner plus free oil change and inside/out detail job.

    After I got the car back, it had only 40 more miles on the odo but the car looked brand new with new floor mats and super cleaned inside.

    Never had an issue with that truck until the day I traded her in....
  21. thecompdude

    thecompdude Member

    I would probably guess, from a place with different weather and terrain compared to their hq in Torrance, CA. They probably have a good set of information from that location already.
  22. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    If they want to examine one that's been through the polar vortex, I'll offer 'em mine.
    MPower likes this.
  23. su_A_ve

    su_A_ve Active Member

    Love to see UPS dropping off the battery box...

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