Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Jim Rublee, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. Jim Rublee

    Jim Rublee New Member

    We just brought home a 2018 Clarity PlugIn Hybrid. On our first EV ride we marveled at the lack of engine noise. Once we ran out of battery the engine kicked in and you could hardly hear it. Then we slowed almost to a stop to make a corner. At that point the engine noise really increased and the performance seemed to go down. Sort of like driving a gas engine car in 1st gear. We stopped and a burned or burning smell developed. After an hour or so we took it back out and put it in HV (charge) mode and drove it around for a bit. Didn't sound as loud, the smell seems to be abating and it even added a little bit of charge to the battery.

    We're thinking the smell is just new car break-in/bake-in but the change in noise level between the initial engine turn on when there was very little load and the subsequent no EV help mode is what we are questioning. Thus the title - What-to-Expect.
  2. Mike A

    Mike A New Member

    There’s a whole thread on the loud engine noise that can happen when the car gets very low on charge: https://insideevsforum.com/community/index.php?threads/angry-bees.4163/

    I personally have not experienced this, but my understanding is that the engine primarily acts as a generator for the battery. If the charge gets too low and/or there is extra demand from the electric motors, the engine has to step up to provide enough electric “juice”.

    I would just chalk the burn smell up to new engine break in.

    You’ll find that most of your driving will be in EV. And, if you’re proactive in switching to HV mode when you’re on a highway (for a longer stretch than you would have charge to make it to the next charger) you’re unlikely to have the loud engine noise for charging. Enjoy! And welcome to the forum.
  3. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    Sounds normal so far! The burning smell was likely just manufacturing oil burning off the exhaust once the engine had started (Maybe the first time in a long time!). The engine (abbreviated ICE on this forum) will run at whatever speed the Honda engineers thought necessary to run the car, charge the battery (in HV charge mode), and maintain itself. There are LOTS of posts on this forum about the ICE and it's operation. Good to have you on the forum!
    Clarity_Newbie likes this.
  4. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    The wimpy engine gives you only 103 hp (and not much torque) when you're driving around with no charge in the battery. The electric traction motor gives you 232 lb-ft of torque and 121 hp when you're traveling under EV power. If you floor it when you have a charge in the battery the two power sources combine to drive the traction motor to its full 181 hp (along with that great 232 lb-ft of torque).
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  5. MPower

    MPower Well-Known Member

    Search on "smell" and you will find a number of posts. It does seem to be a temporary situation.
  6. ICE = Internal Combustion Engine.

    Today I will be driving about 80 miles.

    I will leave home with a full charge. Drive about 35 miles in EV mode. I will have about 10 miles of EV range left. I will plug in to 110 for a couple of hours. That should get me about 8 more miles of EV range. However, when I leave there I will engage HV mode and run as a Hybrid Vehicle, as 18 miles of EV won't get me the remaining 45 miles.

    As I'm closer to the end of of my travels for the day, I will attempt to gauge so that my EV reaches 0 close to my house. I will plug-in when home and be ready for a repeat tomorrow, except I will have more 110 charge time (6 hours?) at my first destination so I might come closer to running EV all day.

    Personally, if I know I can't make it all day on EV, I usually turn on HV when EV range shows 10 so I have battery to supplement the engine.

    On Friday, I'll just be driving locally for about 20 miles, so I'll be EV mode all day.

    Hope that helps!

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Inside EVs mobile app
    insightman likes this.
  7. Agzand

    Agzand Active Member

    The engine noise is noticeable in low speed city driving. So if you are going to exceed EV range, try to use HV mode on highway at higher speeds, and save your battery charge for low speed driving. The car is extremely efficient in HV mode, so nothing to worry about it.
    228ra likes this.
  8. ab13

    ab13 Active Member

    This circumstance seems to have similar description as others, in that people report loss of power and loud engine noise. Could it be that when people hear loud engine noise they instinctively lift their foot on the pedal? In this situation one should press down more on the pedal to increase acceleration regardless of engine sound. The engine is independent of the accelerator pedal position when it is acting as a generator.
  9. Lowell_Greenberg

    Lowell_Greenberg Active Member

    I appreciate your reply-but to point out the obvious- isn't that dangerous and bad design? With any vehicle you want consistent power, regardless of distance driven.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
    barnesgj likes this.

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