Question for Honda gurus

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by David A, Sep 16, 2018.

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  1. David A

    David A Guest

    This is my first Honda. I have owned the Clarity for 2 months and 2700 miles. 2100 miles EV and 600 miles ICE.

    I am not starting a "when to change the oil" thread
    ...I truly want to understand the Honda "way" and the recommendations for the cars they produce.

    From what I can gather...there is general consensus that Honda still uses a break-in oil that has molybdenum/additives added to the oil and that it should be left in until indicated by MM/or 6000 miles. Yes? No?

    I also understand the reasoning is to ensure the integrity and long life of the ICE in Honda vehicles. Yes? No?

    So if 6000 miles is in the vicinity of the recommended 1st oil change for regular ICE does this apply to the Clarity? As we are all aware, the Clarity has demonstrated a strong bias for MM to recommend 1st oil change in the 6000 - 7000 mile range on actual odo miles. In my case that translates to 1800 miles on ICE.

    If the break-in oil is indeed a thing...being a country boy, it would make sense to me to run the Clarity in HV mode for the first several tanks of gas to at least generate some heat and significant usage on the ICE to ensure break-in oil is maximized. My experience in HV mode is EV is active less than 15% of the time which equates to 85% ICE.

    Question for the gurus: Would it make sense for a owner of a new Clarity to purposely drive the first few months or tanks of gas in HV mode to maximize ICE usage thus break-in oil?
    Yes? No? Pros? Cons?

    Inquiring minds want to know. Thanks
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  3. DaleL

    DaleL Active Member

    The engine in a conventional vehicle operates at a variety of loads from idle to high power, much of the time the engine is loafing. The Clarity engine runs more like a generator engine, which it is. When it is running, it is operating at peak efficiency to provide electricity for the drive motor and/or the battery. The Clarity engine, when running, is not loafing.

    I get about 8,000 miles between oil changes with my wife's CR-V. I'm thinking with my Clarity that about 3,000 miles of the ICE running will result in the maintenance minder wanting an oil change. The minder will also trip at one year no matter the mileage on the ICE.

    My Clarity was manufactured in March 2018. Until I drove it on a nearly 2,000 mile trip from Florida to Ohio and back in June, the "wrench" indicated maintenance was needed one year from the date of manufacture. After the trip, the "wrench" indicated service will be needed in two months. It is now three months later, operating almost exclusively in EV, and it still indicates two months.

    As to break-in oil, I think I trust Honda. The Clarity computer runs the ICE as needed to keep it healthy.
    ClarityDoc likes this.
  4. Ben Washburn

    Ben Washburn Member

    As a side note, I guess this is why 6,000 miles is the cut-off to qualify as a 'new' vehicle for the extended warranty.
  5. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    I've seen no official information (from Honda) that break-in oil is used in any vehicle anymore. Unless we get confirmation from Honda that anything other than Honda Genuine Motor Oil is used in their engines out of the factory, I think it's safe to assume that's the case. The break-in question is interesting. Given modern metallurgy and oils, break-in may not be a big deal anymore? I suspect (but don't know) Honda engineers bake that into the operation of the Clarity's system, if it's needed at all.
  6. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    My Google-fru from multiple sources leads me to believe that there is no special break in oil with extra molybdenum. However the lubricants used in the assembly of the engine parts do contain molybdenum and do mix with the regular oil Honda uses at the factory fill. So perhaps the old school idea of not changing the factory fill oil at a shorter the normal interval may still have some validity especially since engine tolerances and filtration tech have improved to the point that there are virtually no new engine “shavings” to worry about removing.

    There is much conjecture that the Honda full synthetic oil has a little more additives than the Honda synthetic blend oil. Also, there is some conjecture that the Honda synthetic blend is more like Mobil 1 and the full synthetic is a little better, perhaps like the Mobil 1 that’s supposed to last 15k/1yr. No one knows for sure. Whether or not that justifies the extra price of the Honda full synthetic is up to you. Both meet Honda’s standards for the Clarity as will any 0-20 W oil with the API starburst. Remember that the definition for synthetic oil has been dumbed down to the point that what used to be called synthetic blend can now be called full synthetic. Also, all 0-20 W oils are now synthetic or synthetic blend. You can’t find any that are pure old Dino oil.

    It appears from posts on this forum that for many people, the MM seriously under estimates the remaining oil life. For me it’s working OK, since it’s indicating an oil change at 11-12 months. But I’m a edge case in that I’m only driving 700 miles/month with only 500 miles HV on two occasions out of 4,600 total miles so far. I won’t go into the oil change interval arguement as you requested and as has been covered in other posts quite extensively. If you really want to go down that rabbit hole (and the oil and filter ones as well) and have half a lifetime to spare just go over to; just remember I warned you.

    Bottom line for me would be to obey the MM to protect my warranty even though I know the oil is still good and to make the first oil change with the Honda full synthetic to hopefully replace the molybdenum/additives lost with changing the factory fill with low hours/miles on the ICE. But I think we’re straining at gnats here and any reasonable change schedule and quality oil/filter will do just fine. IMHO any gains made by over thinking this will be extremely small and probably not meaningful or measurable.
    Kailani and Viking79 like this.
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