So that's what the Angry Bees sound like!!

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Dave Ferrell, Aug 26, 2018.

To remove this ad click here.

  1. Dave Ferrell

    Dave Ferrell Member

    Now I know what Angry Bees sound like! Today while in HV Sport with about 60% of EV range available doing around 55-60 on relatively flat road the ICE went nuts. Revved to what sounded like red line while white power circle stayed in the lower half.
    It did this for about 2 minutes off and on. I switched back to full EV mode and the ICE shut off as usual. Shortly entered the highway and returned to HV Sport. Drove for an hour at 75-80 mph with no recurrence of the super high revving. Also no issues on the trip home which involved more high speed highway driving in HV Sport.
    Until now I had no idea what the angry bees people talk about sounded like. Now I know. It will get your attention quick as it sounds like the ICE is about to freewheel itself into pieces.
    First time in 4,000 miles this has occurred. Think it's a dealer visit? Or just a ghost in the system?
    Only 2 other issues with the car have been the standard HV range issue and a bad Infotainment Head unit which caused noisy Bluetooth calls. Both have been fixed by dealer. No error messages knock on wood.
    Comments and advice on next steps are welcomed please!
    jdonalds likes this.
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I don't think there's a way to switch a Clarity Plug-In Hybrid to full EV mode. The best you can do is ECON Mode (with HV Mode off), in which it is easier to stay in EV Drive mode, but the engine can still come on in ECON Mode.

    I doubt the angry bees left a Diagnostic Trouble Code for your dealer to diagnose.
  4. ClarityDoc

    ClarityDoc Active Member

    At 2000 miles (almost entirely in Econ mode) not having heard the angry bees, I await what you'll learn. This seems unusual enough that Honda might eventually find a fix to mitigate, though it seems to cause more anxiety than harm.
  5. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    I think of Econ as EV mode. It is then that EV stays on 100% of the time unless I depress the accelerator too far, the battery is depleted, or the Honda algorithm decides it's time for a couple of minute maintenance cycle. I know we can go for weeks without the ICE ever coming on as long as we have Econ on. To me that's about as close as I can get to the Econ button being labeled EV. I'm quite pleased with this operation.

    Of course the advantage of the Clarity over a pure EV car is once the battery is drained the car isn't finished, nor does it require recharging before continuing. The ICE takes over and I continue on my way. Best of both worlds.
    Randy Stegbauer likes this.
  6. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I must admit that I, too, think of ECON Mode (I use all-caps as in Honda's manuals) as EV Mode, even though there's a real EV Mode that only the Clarity's computer can select, not the car's driver. But I keep reminding people on the forum there's no driver-selectable EV mode because prospective buyers and other non-owners who peruse the forums might otherwise get the wrong idea about how the Clarity works.
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    I do just the opposite. I want prospective buyers to know they can get the car into EV mode and it will stick there. That was a very important factor for me and I believe for others.

    As we charge from our house roof solar it is quite possible for us to drive gas free for a year or more should we not take trips out of town. In that situation the Clarity, for all practical purposes, is a pure EV and I want people to know the car has that capability.

    Why do you say EV mode is something only the computer can select when I can put it in that mode pretty much permanently when I want to? I don't want prospective buyers to think the car just switches from the ICE to the battery like a hybrid.
    amy2421 likes this.
  9. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Isn't it interesting that you and I both want to inform prospective buyers but see the EV mode from different viewpoints.
  10. Odobo

    Odobo Active Member

    Because even if you can theoretically keep the car in EV and don't burn any gas for a extended period of time, in reality you can still get ICE kick in when you step on the pedal in Econ mode. So advertising that as EV mode is wrong and flat out lying, and that's why Honda say it's Econ mode, not EV mode
  11. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    There are three basic drive modes in the i-MMD system: EV drive mode, Hybrid drive mode, and Engine drive mode. The driver cannot select these modes. Instead, the Clarity's computer combines these modes to create the driver-selectable modes: ECON Mode, NORMAL Mode, and SPORT Mode, along with the HV and HV Charge modifiers.

    Your experience and my experience is that we can keep the Clarity operating in its basic EV drive mode by being careful to keep the POWER/CHARGE Gauge in the blue zone, which the accelerator "click" makes easier in ECON Mode. My wife and I have had our Clarity (OK, her Clarity) since early December and it hasn't been to the gas station yet.

    However, people who just get in and drive the Clarity will likely be in NORMAL Mode and not pay any attention to the POWER/CHARGE Gauge. These casual drivers will likely have the ICE come on and they may not even realize it's happening, because the normal operation of the ICE is so quiet.

    The new Insight has an EV button, even though it can go barely a mile on EV power. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid's engineers certainly could have included an EV button, but their focus was overall efficiency, which an EV mode button would reduce. Whereas the Chevy Volt stays in EV Mode as long as there's a charge in the battery, the Clarity requires its driver to follow rules that are initially difficult to understand to stay in EV Mode.

    I definitely understand your viewpoint, and the chances of casual drivers seeking out this wonderful forum are certainly not great, so I'll lay low on being fussy about people writing about selecting EV Mode--unless someone complains that the engine started up after they selected EV Mode.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
    Kestrel likes this.
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. Carro con enchufe

    Carro con enchufe Active Member

    Dave, it’s normal. Don’t sweat it.
    Gearhead likes this.
  14. su_A_ve

    su_A_ve Active Member

    Would it be possible that you were in HV charge mode? That's whey the bees come out as the engine tires hard to recharge the battery while also supplying all the power.

    Once you reach 58% HV charge stops and goes back to regular HV mode where it will supplement the batteries to power the car. Or at least this is the way I understand how it works..
  15. Dave Ferrell

    Dave Ferrell Member

    Sounds good but why? Does anyone understand what is going on in the brain of the car to warrant the ICE revving to redline, flat terrain, 50% EV charge, in HV mode not HV Charge?
    Nearly every reply to my original post had little to do with the issue. But rather turned into a thread about modes. I drive the car every day and think I have a good understanding of the mode options.

    The question remains why the heck does the ICE behave like that? If someone has some knowledge about the engineering plan here please share...thanks!
    Randy Stegbauer likes this.
  16. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Dave, I don’t have any engineering info from Honda, but I’d have to call that atypical behavior as mine has never done that in the almost 5,000 m I’ve driven. It only sounds “normal” if it were in HV Charge or had the battery completely discharged but those were not the case.

    I’ve only made 2 HV trips (100 and 500 m) and on the Interstate with rolling hills, I could just barely hear the ICE and on a very steep and long hill, the ICE reved up to a mid range rpm or moderate “hum” at the last part of the climb. I’ve never even heard the angry bees. BTW, my hour meter showed on the HV trips that the intermittent ICE operated for a total of ~2/3s of the trip, time wise.

    If it only does it that one time you could chaulk it up to an electronic hiccup but if it repeats, I’d say take it in to the dealer in the hopes that it threw a DTC that can be diagnosed. But I wouldn’t hold my breath on that.
  17. barnesgj

    barnesgj Active Member

    My angry bees only ever 'swarm' when the battery is depleted, and they are quite consistent. I don't notice them as much when I am at highway speeds (as others have frequently noted), but they are quite loud at neighborhood speeds. I would be very interested in what the service department might have to say about them. Have been reluctant to take mine in, as the car is operating great except for 'The Swarm' and I still don't trust the mechanics to be up to speed on this vehicle.
    I'm not sure if it's related, but the electric motor makes a bit more noise than the videos I've heard of the Clarity. It's a more high pitched sound.
  18. Dave Ferrell

    Dave Ferrell Member

    Thanks Ken. It has not happened since and I even put it in HV Charge for awhile to see if I could trigger it...nothing but the normal hum of the ICE. I'm going to ask my tech guy at Honda to send a note off to his engineering contacts to see if they have some info. If I find out anything I'll post it.
    Randy Stegbauer likes this.
  19. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

    Dave, I don't know what altitude you live at but I am around 5000 feet and have the problem with the engine racing every time I go on a long trip. I drove from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas several months ago with the car in HV mode at speeds between 75 and 80 mph. I left Salt Lake with a full battery charge and put the car into HV mode. After about 50 miles the engine started racing and then did so for about 75% of the remaining 750 mile round trip. I think because of the altitude the engine does not produce enough power to keep the car up to speed with the clutch engaged so the engine has to race to produce enough power for the electric motor to pull the car along.
    I don't travel those longer distances very often so I only occasionally have the problem. Other than that problem, I really love the car.
  20. Dave Ferrell

    Dave Ferrell Member

    Durham NC area so around 300 to 500 ft MSL. Thanks for the input but it's not altitude. That certainly makes sense though for an engine that small to struggle at altitude.
  21. Atkinson

    Atkinson Active Member

    I noticed that when in HV mode the transition between un-clutched and direct-drive mode at about 45 MPH quiets the engine noise/harshness significantly.
    It makes me wonder if Honda reduced flywheel weight and consequently clutching to the drive motor adds mass to smooth the engine feel.
    I don't think I ever got the engine past 3500 RPM in HV recharge, but at that speed it was not silky smooth, more like a roar.
    Not sure I want to hear it at 5000 RPM.
    If something were wrong, like a rotor coming apart in the generator or motor (or parts loose in the case) you'd probably hear noise all the time.
  22. weave

    weave Active Member

    How can you tell when that happens? What's the indication? Thanks.
  23. Gearhead

    Gearhead Member

    Mu guess - when the ICE is not driving the wheels directly (ie not above 30 mph) the engine is only charging the battery and can operate at peak output RPM which is 5500.
    Dave Ferrell likes this.

Share This Page