What should the break-in period be for the Clarity?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Rob_v1, Feb 17, 2018.

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  1. Rob_v1

    Rob_v1 Member

    The owner's manual states that full-throttle starts should be avoided for the first 600 miles, and this seems to be the standard verbiage for all Honda vehicles. However, this appears to be misapplied to the Clarity, where the ICE may be operated infrequently. I have no idea when the ICE in our Clarity will see 600 miles of operation. It could be a year or more. I guess I won't start racing anytime soon.
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  3. Rob_v1

    Rob_v1 Member

    There must be a Volt owner who at least thought about this. I see our options as follows:

    1. Plan a 600+-mile trip in HV mode. Well, maybe more, if I really want the engine to experience 600 miles of run time.
    2. Drive 600 miles in EV/HV/Sport modes, and say it's done, disregarding any scientific aspects to the break in process.
    3. Carefully log engine run time until I reach about 600 miles with the motor running. I think I'd rather install an hour meter, and multiply hours by 30 or something.
    4. Blow it all off and put the pedal to the metal. Break ins are for sissies!

    AlanSqB and Valente like this.
  4. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    Slightly off topic but I've always been told not to let an IC engine sit unused for extended periods. Reason being that the oil will eventually drain and leave internal parts poorly lubricated. Under this condition, each time the engine is started, it will cause unusual wear. Because the Clarity's oil is super low viscosity, that might be even a bigger problem. Part of my daily drive is 10 miles on the highway, which I stay in EV. Once a week though, I'll switch to HV so the ICE can fire up to operating temp in order to keep internal parts lubricated.
  5. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    I think you guys are overthinking this. Honda wouldn't make a car where it's engine would lock up during normal use or the gas would go bad. They know how the car is designed to work. Can you imagine the lawsuits they would have if that stuff happened?
    AlanSqB and Valente like this.
  6. Smiley Hacker

    Smiley Hacker New Member

    After 60 days and 800 miles Clarity started ICE with message about needed to run for oil circulation. Stopped ICE after coupla minutes.
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  8. The Volt does the same thing (based on how many days since last the ICE was used).
    It gives you a day's advance notice so you can opt when you want this to happen.

    The Volt also will force you to use up gasoline after a year or more to ensure that the stuff in the tank is less than a year old, on average.
  9. iluvscuba

    iluvscuba Active Member

    Do you have to run the engine yourself or does it do it automatically like the Volt?
  10. Rob_v1

    Rob_v1 Member

    Very interesting. I've added an engine hour meter, and placed it beneath the plastic cover above the spark plugs. At least now I'll know how many hours the engine has run. It detects the presence of ignition voltage near the spark plug coils (I hadn't realized each plug has its own coil!) Under $10 at Amazon.
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  11. Hi.Ho.Silver

    Hi.Ho.Silver Active Member

    Great idea. Which one did you buy? I wouldn't be real surprised if the car already tracks engine hours. Just need to be able to find it.
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  13. Johngalt6146

    Johngalt6146 Active Member

    Great Idea! Let us know which you EH meter bought, or if someone found an EH readout in the car computer.
  14. Rob_v1

    Rob_v1 Member

    It's the NCElec Digital Hour Meter for Any Gas Engine, for $9.56. I haven't tested it very long, so can't promise perfect results in every installation, but it seems to be recording engine operating hours. But my engine doesn't operate much, so it only shows 0.3 hours, so far!
    KentuckyKen and Johngalt6146 like this.
  15. Johngalt6146

    Johngalt6146 Active Member

    Rob: Thanks!
  16. Rob_v1

    Rob_v1 Member

    A cheaper one is also available, and it looks identical: RacingPowerSports Digital Hour Meter, for $6.
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  17. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    You should break in the engine how you will use it. I have no control over the engine RPM as a driver of the Clarity. That must be a carry over from other car owners manuals. So even though Honda suggests a break in period of 600 miles, there is really no way to follow that as the computer controls engine RPM.

    Proof of this is they say "full throttle" starts, but the car doesn't have a user controllable Throttle. The "acceleration pedal" is not directly linked to the throttle of the engine, which is computer controlled. Again, it has some run time on the engine from the factory, drive the vehicle like you plan drive day to day. I did brief acceleration tests during my test drive as it is important for me to know how the car will drive under heavy acceleration. If it breaks something it was a flawed part and covered under warranty, as long as you aren't abusing the car.

    If anyone is interested, here is the text from the manual:
    Do not press the (N button, as you will lose
    regenerative braking (and acceleration) performance.

    During the first 600 miles (1,000 km) of operation,
    avoid sudden acceleration or full throttle operation so
    as to not damage the engine or powertrain.

    Avoid hard braking for the first 200 miles (300 km).
    You should also follow this when the brake pads are

  18. Johngalt6146

    Johngalt6146 Active Member

    Rob: Thanks very much. I just ordered it from Amazon with free shipping!
  19. Rob_v1

    Rob_v1 Member

    The product description suggests that the single wire attached to the device would be wrapped around any spark plug wire to inductively pick up ignition firings. I wrapped it around the number two coil, and taped the end down, on top of the coil assembly. That seems to work. Let us know how yours works.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  20. Johngalt6146

    Johngalt6146 Active Member

    That makes sense. There is so much EM Field around each ignition wire that it should be easy to trigger a circuit that gets the clock running. I'm an EE. and that would not be a difficult design.

    I was actually thinking today about a circuit that would (with a non contact clamp-on) measure the current in the backup light wire to trigger a battery powered chime or beeper, without needing to splice into anything. My wife complains that the car makes no noise when backing up.
  21. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    Several people posted that their experience test driving the Clarity was with the ICE revving like there's no tomorrow. This was because of the cold weather and that the dealer did not charge the battery at all. If your Clarity had gone through several test drives like this before you got it, could your ICE be damaged?
  22. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    It is designed to run like that. I don't even think it is all that dependent on how low the battery is, is just does it when it thinks it needs to. There is an Alen on Autos YouTube video that tries to explain how the Honda system works.
  23. Hi.Ho.Silver

    Hi.Ho.Silver Active Member

    Where in the ignition circuit did you wrap the pickup wire? Looks like each spark plug has 3 or 4 wires going to a coil on top of the plug.

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