Longer Term Reliability?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by TheTanMan, Mar 13, 2022.

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  1. TheTanMan

    TheTanMan New Member

    Hey all, been lurking on the forum for a few days, soaking up information since I'm thinking about buying a used Clarity when I get enough cash scrounged up. Found a lot of good stuff like how to keep the 12v battery from dying, not to let the traction battery drain completely before switching to HV mode, how to test the health of the traction battery, stuff like that. My main question that I couldn't quite find an answer for is were all the issues that people with 2018 models were experiencing towards the beginning just growing pains of a new platform, or were they precursors to bigger problems? I'm thinking that it's along the lines of the Chevy Volt: extremely reliable except for a few very well-known issues. My main concern is that, like the Volt, something serious goes out and, because these didn't sell particularly well, my car ends up in a shop for a few months waiting for an expensive repair because the part can't be found. I'd like to own this car for at least 5 years, so just knowing whether or not those initial issues were growing pains or signs of a bigger problem would ease my mind greatly. Thanks folks.
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  3. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    I have a 2018 touring. Currently at 32k miles. So far, no issues with my car at all - only been to the shop to remove a stow-away kitten in the engine bay when I bought it and for routine maintenance. The only problem area I immediately think of for the Clarity is the A/C condenser, but I think that Honda increased the warranty for this. A few have had hub bearings that have had to be replaced.
  4. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    We've had two Clarity PHEVs. We had to have a firmware download for the first car after it was about 3 months old. Other than that zero problems. Its a Honda after all.
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  5. neal adkins

    neal adkins Active Member

    I think you're in the right track checking the ev battery degradation on any ev you buy. But like others have said, these are very solid cars. I have about 44k miles and only common issues like 12v battery and tires.
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  6. JFon101231

    JFon101231 Active Member

    53k miles here. No issues other than AC condenser. As above, my previous experience with Honda's was a big driver in the buy.
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  8. With a 3-4 year old car, we’re all just guessing about long term reliability. Mechanically, there will probably be very few issues. The technology should give cause for concern. Particularly anything that fails outside of the warranty period.

    Once the 3 year, 36,000 mile warranty is over, you could be on the hook for some very costly repairs. A car that has, or is eligible for an extended warranty should be a top consideration. One owner had a failed daytime running light. The solution was to replace the entire wiring harness. Under warranty this was done at no cost to the owner. Outside of warranty, it would have cost ~$5000.

    Supply chain disruptions could have you waiting on parts for any vehicle. It’s possible that parts for the Clarity are more readily available than a vehicle that is/was produced in larger numbers.
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  9. JFon101231

    JFon101231 Active Member

    We need a specialized dismantler/junkyard for these cars....
  10. David in TN

    David in TN Well-Known Member

    I guess I might as well chime in here. I'll flip over 120,000 miles later today on my base 2018 Clarity PHEV.

    NO issues with the car yet. I do the required maintenance. Fill with electrons every chance I get, and fill up the tank about 5 times a week. I'm currently driving about 8,000 miles a month.

    As they say, your mileage may vary.
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  11. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

    I don't drive much so I have about 20,000 on my 2018 I purchased in December 2017. I think this is probably the best car I have ever owned. It has a few flaws like the windshield spray to clean the windshield, but other than that, there is really nothing about this car that really bugs me. The other big advantage is I seldom use any gas. My wife's hybrid gets about 37mpg in town, but it still costs her about 14 cents per mile to drive it. My Clarity costs me about 2 cents per mile in the warmer months and nearly 3 cents per mile in the cold.
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  13. TheTanMan

    TheTanMan New Member

    Man, all you guys chipping in is making me feel very good about choosing the Clarity here in a few months. I'm really glad you've all had such a good experience with the car, and for more reasons than just validating my choices lol. When the time comes, I think I'll see if I can't snag a HondaCare extended warranty as long as I can haggle them down to a reasonable rate. My family's always had good luck with Honda, from a mid-90's Civic hitting 270k to an early 10's Civic hitting 140k and still going strong. You just hear things about how Honda's had issues with past hybrids, as well as Toyota's rock solid reliability (even if the Prius will kill you inside to drive) or Kia/Hyundai's insane warranty, and you can't help but wonder and want to weigh your options. At any rate, thanks everyone, I appreciate all the responses!
  14. 2018 here. Around 9800 miles. No problems. Well none I didn't cause myself, lol. I'll say this; Both my wife and I absolutely love this car.
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  15. Amen brother.
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  16. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    The Honda Clarity drive train is composed of the Honda Insight 1.5 litre engine connected to the Honda Accord/CRV Hybrid 2 electric motor system and adds a traction battery that's 10X larger than those hybrids. In other words, the Clarity shares all its major drive components with other Honda vehicles. Those hybrid vehicles have been proven to be reliable so the Clarity should be as well. The big question mark is the traction battery, which is unique to the Clarity. Only time will tell if the traction battery will have good longevity.
  17. TheTanMan

    TheTanMan New Member

    I had no idea that it was the same powertrain as those two! I did a ton of research into the Insight and Accord Hybrid both prior to my work offering free EV charging, so I'm way more comfortable knowing that the only meaningful difference under the hood with the Clarity is a bigger battery. No wonder then that everyone's having a good time with their Claritys
  18. TheTanMan

    TheTanMan New Member

    Also, I have to ask, what's the deal with the kitten? Was it trying to find somewhere warm to spend the night?
  19. neal adkins

    neal adkins Active Member

    Only 9800 miles...very low.
  20. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    The kitten was tiny. We heard it meowing when we got the car home. This was pre-pandemic time with overcrowded lots. The car was at a "remote" lot, so we didn't get to see where it was parked. Our conclusion was that either the car was home to a litter of kittens or that the litter was closeby and the kitten just climbed into it. It was in the summer, so no need for it to be looking for somewhere warm. The kitten rode the 30 miles home from the dealership. We spent multiple hours during the evening trying to lure it out of the engine bay of the car, then decided best option was to drive back to the dealership the next day. Since we charged the car both ways, it never ran on gasoline so no hot or turning parts. All in all, one lucky kitten. Here is a picture showing how small she was when we got her home:

    She was adopted by a coworker and here is a recent pic:

    Again, one lucky cat! The salesman said that they looked around near where it had been parked and didn't find any more kittens or cats. Possibly the mother moved them or possibly they didn't look too hard. No way to know.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2022
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  21. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    When the current generation Accord Hybrid was released Honda said that its motor was a newer type that doesn't use rare-earth elements like the Clarity's motor.

    Honda specs say the Clarity PHEV--which preceded the 3rd-gen Insight--has a 1,498-cc engine that generates 103 hp. Honda's performance engineers hopped up that 1,498-cc engine for the Insight--it twists out a whopping 107 hp!

    It's interesting that Honda specifies that the Clarity PHEV, Accord Hybrid, and CRV Hybrid all make 212 "Total System Horsepower" even though they say the engines in the Accord and CRV hybrids develop 143 hp--40 more than the Clarity PHEV. I won't bore people by again complaining that I don't understand how Honda comes up with that number. Oh wait, I just did. Sorry.

    When the 3rd generation Insight was announced I hoped Honda would make an Insight SI by substituting the Clarity's 181-hp motor for the 129-hp motor developed just for the Insight. I guessed they didn't because the Clarity's 181-hp motor would suck the Insight's tiny 1.2 kWh battery dry pretty quickly, but perhaps Honda could set it up like Formula 1 cars with their push-to-pass buttons. However, after using the button, it would be irritating to hear the Insight's engine racing while it charges the button-depleted battery.

    Crowbarring this post back to the thread, all of my Hondas from my 1965 CB-160 motorcycle, to my 1986 CRX Si, to my Clarity PHEV, and many Hondas in between, have reliable. My Austin-Healey 100-6, Porsche 914, Renault Le Car, and a few Fiats, not so much.
  22. Did they name the cat Claire?
  23. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    EV or Evie was decided for her name, but I think she is mostly called Kitty
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