Poll: Angry Bees and High Revving

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by DC2, May 19, 2018.

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In regular local driving (w/ stop lights/signs) do you hear revving/bees in HV mode?

  1. Yes and the last 4 of my VIN is <1000

  2. Yes and the last 4 of my VIN is between 1000 and 2000

  3. Yes and the last 4 of my VIN is between 3000 and 4000

  4. Yes and the last 4 of my VIN is 4000+

  5. No and the last 4 of my VIN is <1000

  6. No and the last 4 of my VIN is between 1000 and 2000

  7. No and the last 4 of my VIN is between 3000 and 4000

  8. No and the last 4 of my VIN is 4000+

  9. Yes and the last 4 of my VIN is between 2000 and 3000

  10. No and the last 4 of my VIN is between 2000 and 3000

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. DC2

    DC2 Member

    Making a poll to collect some data on the revving/angry bees issue. Multiple members have mentioned that there are instances where they hear angry bees/abnormally high revs from their Clarity, while others have mentioned that even driving in HV mode, their Claritys operate silently, or close in volume to EV mode.
    Here's an example video from 0:16s onwards (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Woqc7B7aciUEaAS0XpiGlguaaQj4Jyor/view)

    When in HV mode, you see a blue bar on the power meter. If you go over the bar the car uses the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) to drive. Here's where things seem to differ between Claritys and even between my experiences as well.
    1. Many owners have stated that in HV mode on decent-lengthed local trips, their Clarity would still be quite quiet and the engine operates normally when the ICE is on.
    To replicate the revving/bees that me and some other owners are hearing, these were the standard driving circumstances:
    1. Happens at any battery level ranging from low battery and moderate/high battery (60%+). (I would expect low battery to be normal however having moderate battery levels, in HV mode, I feel the revving shouldn't be occurring)
    2. Happens in local stop and go driving with stop signs and stop lights
    3. Happens when you are trying to accelerate from 0-~30 mph in regular local driving staying within the 1st 2-3 ticks of the power bar. (So no, the drivers aren't flooring it)
    4. Happens on hilly or flat terrain (Though it happening in hilly terrain is understandable sometimes for more power draw)
    5. Happens in temperature ranges, from 30 - 80 degrees (my experiences usually occur ~60-70 F)
    The main thing that concerns/irks me is that a lot of people have reported their Clarity is often only quiet or low volume, while a few owners are clearly hearing the revs even in standard driving conditions (moderate accel, moderate battery, standard temps.)

    My intuition is that there may be settings that changed on when the intensity of the ICE when it turns on between the earlier sold and later sold Claritys. Please take the time to answer the poll so we can collect more data on this issue.

    Reference Posts:

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  3. barnesgj

    barnesgj Active Member

    We need an option for VIN numbers between 2000 and 3000, please.
    DC2 likes this.
  4. DC2

    DC2 Member

    Thanks for the catch, added
  5. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    DC2, great thread. This will help shed some much needed light on this.
    I know that jdonalds and KenG and I have posted that we’ve never even heard the angry bees, but this may end up helping a lot of those who experience this. Bump this post up if people get lazy reporting.
    Johnhaydev likes this.
  6. Vezz66

    Vezz66 Member

    Like to point out CDN vin series are independent, start from 800001. Difficult to map to US vins for production periods.
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  8. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    I get them only under one condition - and it always happens. After I've driven uphill in HV mode (about 3500ft) at freeway speeds, and I get off the freeway, once I start driving on an older highway (still at speeds around 50-60MPH) the engine will whine and bees will buzz. This happens even if I drop into EV mode or Econ. However, once I've driven about another 3-4 miles, the revving stops, and I'm back into EV mode for the remaining 1000 foot climb. Absolutely repeatable, every trip that I take on that route, it happens. It's of interest that while on the freeway, there is no over-revving, it's only after I get off and slow down to get off the freeway and then move onto a different highway that the over-revving begins in earnest. What I wish I had was a way to compare RPM with speed on that section to see what's actually happening. Also, a tach would help me to know if the over-revving was actually happening on the uphill before I get off the freeway. I have a ScanGaugeII, but there don't seem to be any codes for the Clarity yet. I tried using the ones they have for Accord hybrid, but they won't capture RPM reliably - cuts in and out.
  9. DC2

    DC2 Member

    Perhaps it's predicting uphill and remaining in a higher-powered mode but given that the car is cruising easier, the revs are transferred as wasted?
  10. Lash

    Lash New Member

    Hello everyone, my final post on this forum about my clarity, angers bees, high revving and sluggish acceleration. I preface all of this by saying, I’m not an alarmist, don’t like or make a habit of complaining about people or products and felt compelled to post, the first time in my 52 years on the planet, because I feel the issue is serious. Honda and I came to an agreement and I traded the vehicle, apples to apples, for another vehicle even though I lost money but the headache of fighting in arbitration, having no time because of work and kids, I opted and Honda did a great job trying to solve the issue and making up for my inconvenience. I also need to state I love the car and technology and understand new technology has glitches and sometimes there are problems and this is just my experience and may very well be limited to my Clarity. So, 98% of the time, the car worked great, in all modes, motor ICE rumbled at its steady rpm as it should, maybe the angrier bees people are speaking of, whenever it was charging. Honda, after installing a data recorder, was able to duplicate the high rev of ICE when batteries are depleted and stated there is no acceleration loss or difference when this happens. This Honda says is a normal operation of the car, the computer tells ICE to quickly charge the batteries when they are depleted and the draw is greater than the charge. Makes sense to me!! For two months, by not fully depleteing batteries and putting in hv charge mode before full drain of batteries, I prevented this high rev from occurring and would have kept this awesome car if that was the consistent case but, it happened on the highway, only once but enough for me, in hv charge mode, six bars or 40% charge on batteries. This is why I had to get ride of the car. This may only be an issue with my vehicle, not all vehicles and if you are only getting high rev at battery depletion, the fix is put vehicle in hv charge mode at three bars or more and on the highway try to drive in hv mode. This seemed to work for me until the later happened. The only other thing I will say is there is a difference in acceleration when the high revving occurs, different than Honda’s claim. Just please communicate with Honda about any of these occurrences, they seem sincerely interested in understanding how these are functioning in the real world, cheers and enjoy the car.
  11. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear your experience could not be made right for you. Something about that specific Clarity my have been different from the majority of ours that don’t do this. I and numerous others have never heard the angry bees. I’ve let battery deplete to the point that car begins ICE usage and all was fine, but I have never used HV Charge Mode. There’s hardly ever a reason for most of us to.

    May I ask why you selected HV Charge instead of HV at 3 or 6 bars if you were trying to mitigate high engine revs? Wouldn’t HV work better for that?
    Most of use rarely use HV Charge. Did you try your 2 month trial using HV and not HV Charge? Your experience may have been quite different.

    Would you tell us the conditions that brought on that last anfgy bees in HV Charge w depleted battery?

    Also wanted to ask why you didn’t swap for another Clarity that does not have this behavior?

    Sorry for your very frustrating experience and hope you have a good ride now.
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  13. K8QM

    K8QM Active Member

    @Lash Hopefully they will be sending your car off to some engineering site where they will have the resources to find the problem and if needed apply them to other Clarities.

    Good luck,

  14. Lash

    Lash New Member

    Thanks for all the concerns. As far as I am concerned Honda redeemed themselves in the way they resonponded, reacted to my concerns and helped in finding a solution, more than most auto dealers and manufacturers out there. So to answer the specifics, which I have in a previous post, the first three times I experienced the high rev and sluggish acceleration were all in auto hv mode, the mode the car defaults to when bats are depleted, on a slight incline and in winter months, 25-35 degrees speeds of 25-35 mph. (One note and only because others mentioned this, the three times I test drove the car before purchasing, the battery was either depleted or barely charged and I yelled at them when I picked it up after purchase the first time and the battery was not charged)The fourth time the high rev and sluggish acceleration occurred, was on the highway, 55 degrees, rainy, 68 miles per hour with 6 bars of charge in hv charge mode. Heat was on, radio was on, windshield wipers on, fan on, both usb chargers being used. The fifth time it happened was with one bar, depleted battery, hv charge mode on level and steady road at 47 mph and 67 degrees. I decided to elevate the problem by putting in hv charge mode for many reasons, and it did fix the problem until it happened with the 40% charge on batteries, was one, to quickly charge batteries to 53% so I could continuously benefit from ev mode and save gas and the planet, isn’t this the reason we purchase these vehicles, in hv mode you tend to use more gas and doesn’t charge the battery as quickly and not as much, also sales guy at dealer, the dealer has been fantastic by the way, had just returned from a seminar and asked engineer about this issue and the engineers that had the car for three weeks and installed data recorder also suggested this but were puzzled by the high rev occurance with 6 bars on battery charge. I decided to not take another clarity and declined the hybrid because I’m shell shocked and hybrid is the same two motor system. I went against my normal instincts of waiting for a new car with new technology to be out for a generation or two. I had a Honda Insight, 2001, new experimental vehicle and had it for 13 years, 280,000 miles, no issues and sold it for $2500. All good, these are my decisions, right or wrong, still like the brand and technology, just keep communicating about your findings with Honda, it’s an awesome car!!! Any more questions please ask!! Cheers and I hope they do the same, test it and find a solution!!!

  15. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member


    I just looked up my VIN to answer the poll and it was 0681 - does that mean what I think it means? Anyone here below 0681? Wonder who has 0001?
  16. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    Not sure the car's that smart, but it's a possibility. Since I drive that same route once a week, I can play around with different settings as I approach the area where the bees seem to attack. So far, though, I haven't found a setting that always works.

    The bees always remain on hand right after getting off the freeway and transitioning to a smaller highway - but I found that if I get out of HV mode completely – this requires pushing HV even if HV was never invoked – then waiting to see HV off on the display – and then go into Econ, ICE will fairly quickly shut itself off. I need more trials on this one however since I've only done this successfully twice, and unfortunately now I'm not travelling that route for the rest of the summer. However, I'm cautiously optimistic after this week that I can actually control the bees (at least in my particular situation) through the use of the mode buttons, but at this point I will need more data.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
  17. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    Mine is 0401… they may get VIN before they're even on the production line, so it may not mean anything, but I bet someone does have 0001! or 0007 (The car with a ICEnse to kill) or even 0666! 0013 might be an unlucky Clarity, too… LOL
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
    dstrauss likes this.
  18. K8QM

    K8QM Active Member

    I've worked at three different manufacturing companies and #1 has always either been held in the lab, put in a ad "museum" of products or gone home with a higher up at the company. But, I'm talking $500 to $10,000 pieces of electronic equipment - not cars!

  19. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

    Still, it's cool to be sub-1000!
  20. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Ours is 721, close to yours.
  21. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

    We're second cousins...
  22. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Aw, man! I’m in the 1,600s but my consolation prize is that I bought it just 6 days after I first even knew it existed back in Feb. First brand spanking new set of wheels in 29 years.
    dstrauss likes this.
  23. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    With over 9,000 miles on the Clarity we finally heard the angry bees. Actually that's a pretty good description. It happened on level ground, at 75 mph, with more than 50% charge on the battery. It lasted perhaps a minute.

    Add that to driving at 70 mph up hills (Highway 5 "grapevine" in California) when the engine revved high to give the motor power and maintain the battery charge level. My wife and I agree this is normal behavior, designed by Honda, and we just ignored it. The high revving was not loud enough or high enough RPMs for me to call it angry bees.

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