I guess I haven’t been driving it enough (car won’t start)

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by DapperDano, Jul 25, 2020.

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  1. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    Yes, 'too' old was probably a factor, and a couple of helping hands would have made it much easier, I think. I've replaced batteries on almost all of my previous cars, with little fuss, but this one was much more difficult for me, mostly because of the amount of wiring to the batteries in the PHEV, and the congested and deep placement of the battery - and, of course, me being 'too' old.

    I connected a Battery Tender to maintain 12V to the car electronics during swapout, using the Tender alligator clamps on the connectors, but throughout the swap, trying to keep the stiff wiring for both terminals out of the way of the battery, was very difficult, and I managed to dislodge the Tender negative lead twice. If I did it again, I would use the alternative Tender connectors bolted onto the leads.

    I found it impossible to get a hand under the battery to lift it, due to the congestion surrounding it. I had to lift it first by the top ridges, which was really precarious, but thankfully I got it up to a point where I could rest it on a ridge and reach under it. Installing the new one was a bit less difficult, but once I got it placed, I discovered that the tray under it wasn't stable, and I could rock the battery. I didn't want to pull the new one out again, and after much fussing with the positioning of the battery and tray, it finally dropped into a stable position. If I were to do it again, I'd be sure to remove the tray, after I removed the old battery, so that I could easily see the underlying support structure to establish the proper positioning for the tray. Having a battery lifting tool would also have helped tremendously.

    Connection to the battery terminals was not problem, but when I tried to start the car, I was not totally surprised to be hit with the Christmas tree of warnings and errors that others have encountered, including a TPMS problem, and TPMS Failure, System loss of Power and GPS recover,y Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) Problem, Drive Carefully, etc.., presumably owing to the 12V disconnect during the swapout. I tried to Start several times, with essentially the same results. I tried the suggested trick of removing the Negative connection for 30 seconds and then securing it again, but that didn't seem to change anything.

    After some time, it seemed that the warnings had settled down, but the warning icons for TPMS, VSA, etc. were still lighted. At one point, it did show "Drive Carefully, system initializing….."

    I tried to do a TPMS Calibration, but it repeatedly responded that it Couldn't Start the Calibration. I eventually decided to just drive, to see how it would behave. After I drove about half a mile, the warning icons all went off, and everything seemed normal again. During the drive, I was then able to do the TPMS Calibration, and it reported that TPMS Calibration had started. In retrospect, I think that "Drive Carefully, system initializing…" message was intended to be taken literally, that the system needed me to drive to let it start rebuilding its history.

    I was relieved to find that most settings were still retained in the system, including presets on XM radio and my Bluetooth and Android phone connections.

    All in all, not one of my more fun projects, but I'm grateful to still have ten functioning fingers, and I didn't have to humiliate myself at the Honda dealer to get them to fix my problems. Next time, I'll pay the guys at our Honda dealer to do the job.
    insightman and MrFixit like this.
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  3. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the details...

    I have had many experiences with car repairs where a trivial job turns into a nightmare.
    Sometimes it works the other way too, where everything just falls into place on a complicated job.
    Your description may help others to have the better experience !
  4. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    I went a little high tech with my 12v battery managment. I have a Battery Tender connected to a TP-Link wifi plug in my garage. While the car is parked in the garage for extended periods, I have the wifi plug on a schedule to turn on for 1 day each week. This provides enough charge to keep the 12v battery fully charged while not driving the vehicle.
    insightman and MrFixit like this.
  5. PHEVDave

    PHEVDave Member

    The thing about Batter Tender®️ for keeping your battery topped up is that you don’t need turn it on for just one day a week. You can just leave it always plugged in and it will not overcharge the battery.
  6. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    This has been disputed... There are reported instances of battery tenders resulting in electrolyte boiling out over time and causing corrosion to the vehicle. I tend to agree that they are safe to use for 'extended' periods, and the reported instances are likely extreme cases where maybe a vehicle was in storage for a year or more (or the tender failed in some way).

    In any event, I like the idea of constraining the battery tender with a timer because it adds some extra insurance. It does not need to operate continuously in order to maintain your battery, and limiting the on-time minimizes the chances of damage in the event there is a fault of some kind.
    Mowcowbell likes this.
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  8. Purely anecdotal. I’ve been using a Battery Tender, without incident, for the past 11 years on a pickup truck that sits for 3-6 months at a time. Output is 750mA and it has a 4-stage charging protocol. A low tech precautionary measure would be to use a mechanical timer set to run for a few hours each 24 hour cycle.

    BT/Deltran also makes a 5w solar maintainer with a build in charge controller. Output is 270mA. It has been reported that the Clarity has a variable 12V load at all times that may average ~100mA. Given that the solar maintainer will only produce output during daylight hours, it may be a perfect mate for an idle Clarity.
  9. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    Isn't this anecdotal too ???
    Just kidding !
  10. Yes. I had anticipated that starting the post with “Purely anecdotal” would convey the message that the evidence I was about to present was, purely anecdotal. Perhaps I should have used a complete sentence.
  11. PHEVDave

    PHEVDave Member

    I have a cheap Battery Tender knock-off that I keep connected (24/7) to my 15kw generator in the garage. It has a red LED indicating that it’s charging and green LED when it’s not. It’s almost always green when I inspect it and the generator always starts right up when I pull it out to test it. I think it’s been hooked up that way for at least five years.
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  13. Do you have a transfer switch and a quick way to connect it to the house? Does it have an auto start feature? What is preventing you from having it “permanently” installed?
  14. PHEVDave

    PHEVDave Member

    I have a quick way to connect it to the house. No transfer switch. It has to be done manually. It has an electric start but not auto start. I’ve only had to use it two or three times in the last 15 years. But one of the times we had electricity out for three days in the winter and all of the neighbors went and stayed at the hotel.
  15. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    I tried that type of setup with a 7.5Kw portable generator and a transfer switch. Our power typically goes out during severe thunderstorms and I grew tired of dragging out a 130lb generator on wheels, fire it up, then connect the cord to the transfer switch... all in the pouring rain with lightning. Decided to sell the generator, then bought a Generac 22Kw whole home backup. No dragging anything outside, it automatically fires up if the power is out more than 10 seconds.
  16. PHEVDave

    PHEVDave Member

    Yeah, I would have automated my process a little more by now if it had become a regular occurrence.
  17. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    Since my 12v battery failed, and I replaced it, I've been monitoring the voltage frequently, and charging with a Battery Tender Jr whenever necessary. I recently purchased a Battery Monitor from Antigravity Batteries, and I'm now able to monitor it continuously from my smartphone - without having to play with the voltmeter, or keeping the hood up. The results have been generally predictable - I have observed that the battery declines between 0.02 and 0.06v per day with no activity, and that running in EV mode applies 14.56v to the battery. During an active Traction Battery charge, it provides about 13.31v. I did get one surprise, though, that has me concerned.

    I took a 76 mile drive in HV mode, and found that it applied only about 12.61v throughout the drive. I repeated the same drive the next day, with the same result. I don't really know if that is abnormal, or not, but that seems way too low to be of much value.

    upload_2021-2-24_14-55-12.png upload_2021-2-24_14-55-12.png

    I'm considering asking the Dealer to take another look at the Clarity, especially in regard to the HV charge situation.
  18. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    In my previous post, I incorrectly called the device I bought from Antigravity Batteries as a "Battery Monitor". It's correct name is "Battery Tracker".

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