Hondalink Down (Again)

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Steven B, Oct 7, 2021.

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  1. Steven B

    Steven B Active Member

    Have not had any success updating status in the HL app since around noon today.

    Even when 'connected' directly to the car, the app does not update status. It has never been clear to me what data is allowed to pass from HL app to car and car to HL app via the Bluetooth connection.

    If I give up on HL app and go the OBD route to read my own data:

    1. Is there a single parameter for remaining battery charge (the value the HL app bases its percentage on)?

    2. I know through these OBD devices, some reprogramming of cars is possible. Therefore, I am curious how use of one affects car warranties?

    Thanks in advance,
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  3. ClarityDoc

    ClarityDoc Active Member

    I suspect that the data that goes to the HondaLink app goes via Cellular connection and HondaLink servers, i.e. nothing significant via Bluetooth between car and HL app.
  4. northof49ev

    northof49ev Member

    I think it communicates via cellular because the majority of the time I am well out of BT range and the app updates. The app itself is poopoo. This may be the only good thing that Honda may get from the GM partnership because my GM app works every time.
  5. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    I hadn't tried it earlier today, but at this moment (11:10 PM EDT), it's working on my Android phone.
  6. yeah723

    yeah723 New Member

    Yours is down too? So it is not just me. I am glad.
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  8. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Mine worked just now.
  9. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Well-Known Member

    Mine is working this morning... for now. Good thing Honda has never decided to charge from this crappy service.
  10. megreyhair

    megreyhair Active Member

    I had an issue last week. It couldn't update car info. It started working again after I switch cars in the honda-app. If you only have 1 car in the app, then maybe an uninstall/install
  11. Frankwell

    Frankwell Active Member

    I think the Honda server has been having some occasional issues communicating with our cars the past couple of weeks. I use HondaLink almost every day to schedule charging, or to check on my charge status. Normally it will go for several months without any kind of problem, or at least nothing that can't be solved by closing the HondaLink app and reopening it again. It seems like it has been working fine for nearly a year however three times in the past couple of weeks it would not update for several hours, in one case it didn't connect for almost an entire day. After several hours it starts working again without me doing anything. This points to it being a problem with the Honda server. As well as the fact that other people seem to have experienced the same problem recently. Others who didn't experience the problem probably don't use HondaLink very often, or were not using it during the time that the Honda server was having problems communicating with our cars.

    In your case I think it may have been coincidental that it started working again when you switched cars. Connection to the car is through the cellular network between the car and the Honda server. Communication is either car initiated or user initiated. Car initiated communication happens whenever the car is turned off, or when charging is started or stopped. Whenever any of these happen the car updates its status to the Honda server. User initiated communication via the HondaLink app only occurs when starting or stopping charging, turning on climate, or scheduling a timer charge session. When these user initiated communications occur the car also updates its status to the Honda server. I.e. even if all you are doing is turning on climate or scheduling a charge session, it will also update the current charge status and other information. Note that pressing Refresh in the app does not initiate communication with the car, it only refreshes the page on your phone, no different than swiping down on the page to cause a refresh. Also Find My Car does not initiate communication as it goes by the location that your car reported the last time it was turned off. Apparently switching cars in the app also initiates communication, so my guess is that is why for you it seemed to start working when you switched cars. I.e. the Honda server was already up and running again by then but you wouldn't know that in the app until one of the communication actions occurred, which in your case was switching cars. That's my guess anyway.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2021
    gedwin likes this.
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  13. Dan Albrich

    Dan Albrich Well-Known Member

    One more thing. We figured out awhile back that the cellular modem in the car is based on ATT's network. Anyway, I happen to live outside of a town on a hill where all the major cellular carriers suck (I live in the saddle of a hill so there's earth between me and their towers). I happen to have line of sight to an ATT tower that's also up on my hill. Anyway, pardon the long explanation, but my meaning is I have 100% / perfect ATT cellular signal where I live all the time, even inside my house or garage.

    And... this is the point of my post, I literally have never witnessed any problem with HondaLink. I'm not playing with it every moment of every day so of course I could be missing some outages through good luck, but I also believe folks have an experience with HondaLink that is dependent on the ATT signal where they happen to be (in addition to reliability of Honda's servers etc). So FWIW, I know from experience HondaLink can work really well and be super-reliable. It just depends on location.

    One last detail, and not sure if helps much, but if you happen to have good wifi where your car lives, you might try associate it with the car. You can do this in the car's menus. Sorry don't remember the menu path off top of head, but it's in there, and it's an option.

    PS: I don't report my success with HondaLink to brag. I mention because I think this issue is more complicated than Honda not providing the service properly.
  14. Frankwell

    Frankwell Active Member

    About how often do you typically use HondaLink, daily, more than once day, a few times per week? I normally use HondaLink at least twice a day, setting a timer schedule at night, checking charge status in the morning, and some days using remote climate. Like you HondaLink is pretty much rock solid for me, in the two and a half years that I have been using it the only times that I have had a problem were periods of one to two days where it would not connect, and in each case people started coming onto forums like this indicating they also were having a problem. And then typically it started working again for everyone at the same time.

    This time it's a little different because the problem seems to be occurring for several hours at a time, every few days, at least that is my experience, which is why I think maybe people are seeing posts like this and by the time they try it it is working again. However I have not heard anyone yet say that the problem comes and goes for them, so I don't rule out that my situation is unique. For me it stopped working again today, sometime between 6:58 am EDT when it last updated, and 10:30 am which is when I made my first stop today, which the car should have reported charge status at that time, but it didn't. It is still not working for me as of 7:00 pm EDT. Was anyone able to successfully use HondaLink today between 10:30 am and 7:00 pm EDT?

    That may be true as a general overview of HondaLink but at the moment I do not think it applies to this situation. For me the problem occurs whether I am at home or relatively far from home. I live in a highly populated metropolitan area of a large city, so as I drive around I will be within range of several several different AT&T towers at least according to the cell tower maps that I have seen online (AT&T website only shows coverage area, not cell tower locations). Once the problem starts I don't get connection in any location, for up to a day at a time.

    Today as an example, my HondaLink app was successfully refreshed at 6:58 am this morning at home when it reached 100% and charging stopped. However - nearly twelve hours later the app is still stuck at Last Updated 06:58 AM even though I have done 61 miles of driving today. My farthest location today was 22 miles away, with three more stops in between, for a total of five stops. The car would have normally reported each of those stops to the Honda server, but it didn't. Nothing has been reported since 6:58 AM this morning. Again I am pretty sure that in my area I was in range of more than one AT&T tower.
  15. Frankwell

    Frankwell Active Member

    I just ran a test with some interesting results. I remembered that during one of the previous widespread outages, the problem seemed to be just one way, either just with sending data or just with receiving data, I don't remember which. I think that was at least a year ago.

    First some background, for me the symptoms of the recent problem, when it is occurring, is that when I open the HondaLink app it shows the data from the last time it was working, in my case at the moment it shows 100% charge (when in reality I am at 0 miles right now). For the first 30 seconds after launching the app it says "Retrieving Status", after 30 seconds it changes to "Data is Unavailable", although this message appears for less than a second, then it changes back to "Last Updated at 06:58 AM". If I try to set a charge schedule, after about 30 seconds it says "An error has occurred. Please try again later". If I try and use remote climate it says "Connection Error. Unable to receive a response from the vehicle at this time. Please try again later".

    A second background item, I don't know about anyone else but I can hear when my car is communicating with the server, as it makes a click and then a few seconds of a whirring sound. It's not as easy to hear when the car is outside but I can clearly hear it when the car is in my garage. Now if mine is the only car that makes this sound when communicating via the cellular network maybe I have a problem, although as I mentioned in my previous post HondaLink normally works very well for me even though it has been making this sound for two and a half years.

    Okay so what I did just now is stand by my car when I tried to set a charge schedule. To my surprise after about 30 seconds I heard a click and a whir, but then immediately on the app I got the "An error has occurred. Please try again later" message. On a hunch based on the previous situation that I mentioned, I got in the car and checked the timer status on the instrument panel display, and sure enough it had updated to the new schedule, even though in the app it still shows my previous schedule.

    Next thing I did is try remote climate. After about 30 seconds I heard the click and whir, followed by the message "Connection Error. Unable to receive a response from the vehicle at this time. Please try again later". But a few seconds after that I heard climate start.

    So it seems that the Honda server can send commands to my car via the cellular network, but is unable to retrieve data. Not sure if this indicates a defective part in my car that is causing intermittent issues with transmitting vs. receive, hopefully someone else can do this test and see if they experience something similar.

    However even though I am certainly no electrical engineer, I am assuming that to make a cellular connection the car has to report at least some minimal data back to the network so that a handshake can occur. I can't imagine that data can just be sent blindly to a cellular device if the device can only receive data not send. If so then I think this points back to it being a problem on the Honda end of things.
  16. Frankwell

    Frankwell Active Member

    As an update (no pun intended) HondaLink has finally started updating for me again as of 8:30 pm EDT. Or I should say it started working again sometime between 8:00 pm when I posted my previous message and 8:30 pm when I tried it again and it worked. I just tried it again at 10:30 pm and it is still working. So at least from my experience the latest cycle of the problem started sometime between 6:58 am and 10:30 am EDT this morning, and it starting working again this evening sometime between 8:00 pm and 8:30 pm. So if anyone tries it now it will probably work. But I am interested to know if anyone tried to use HondaLink today during the hours that it wasn't working for me and if so what was your experience. By using HondaLink I mean not just open the app but do something like start charging, remote climate, etc. Or even just drive somewhere and have the app update to the latest charge status.
  17. I was about to report that HondaLink was unable to update the stats on our 2018 since 10/5/21. But I just checked and violá! All is well. Since the car and phone are both in excellent cellular coverage areas, my only guess is that the system did have a hiccup in some areas for a certain length of time.
  18. Frankwell

    Frankwell Active Member

    That is interesting if you are sure that your HondaLink was unable to update between October 5th and 10th, because in that time period I think mine was down only on Thursday and Sunday, it worked the rest of the week. If it doesn't affect everyone at the same time I still think it's likely a problem on the Honda server, perhaps affecting different accounts at different times. It's hard to imagine that it's based on location within the cellular network. I'm not sure but I am guessing that our cars are just another cellular device with a phone number, and that when the Honda server sends a command to our cars it essentially "calls" the phone number and AT&T handles it from there as far as routing the call. I say that because MiFi hotspot devices have a phone number assigned to them even though they aren't used for voice calls or texting, they only provide Internet access. I used to have a MiFi and I would sometimes get spam text messages to my MiFi's phone number, or at least I assumed that is what was happening because sometimes on my monthly bill I would see one or two charges for text messages. Only ten cents each so it wasn't worth calling Verizon about it, I just thought it was funny getting charged for text messages on a device that couldn't even display them. Now whether there are ways to communicate with cellular devices without using a phone number I don't know.
  19. rodeknyt

    rodeknyt Active Member

    All the communicating to cellular devices is via IP address, not phone number. Just like with Internet access where a DNS translates between your input (e.g. to that site's IP address, the cellular system does the same thing translating between the phone number and IP address of the device. So, if the only thing involved was an IP address, the communication could take place whether a phone number was involved or not.
  20. su_A_ve

    su_A_ve Active Member

    Been very iffy here - yesterday I issued a remote climate control and would not work. But got to the car and it had turned on.

    My last update was last night when I got home. It did not update this morning, nor when I put it on the charger, nor when it finished.
  21. So weird. Now mine is saying “Last Updated at 10/8/2021 at 4:11 PM” and 66% charged in spite of being fully charged. Earlier today it showed updated today and 100%. Something’s up.
  22. Frankwell

    Frankwell Active Member

    Can you confirm what you mean by "would not work", do you mean that you got an error message in HondaLink instead of confirmation that remote climate had started?
  23. Mine is still stuck on 10/8/2021 at 4:11 PM.

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