EV stopped working on freeway

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by davudvl, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. davudvl

    davudvl New Member

    Hi. New owner. Purchased 2019 Clarity brand new a month ago. Weird thing happened yesterday. Driving on the freeway at about 68mph EV mode. About 40 miles left on battery. 5 people in the car. Suddenly EV mode turns off. HV does not show up on the dash either. So I didnt even know what mode the car is driving in. Pushed HV button a couple of times, but did not go back to EV mode. About 5 minutes later the car switches to EV by itself. I dont understand what happened. Never happened before on the freeways, even at faster speeds. The only difference was that the car was carrying 5 people. Could the weight be the culprit?
  2. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    Were you driving on flat terrain? Perhaps a slight incline combined with the higher load of passengers caused the computer to kick in the ICE to assist the electric motor.
  3. jorgie393

    jorgie393 Active Member

    If the ICE kicks on for any reason, it tends to run for about 5 minutes (presumably to reach non-condensing/efficient temps) even if the need has passed.

    I suspect the ICE came on. This happens rarely, but most commonly if you are accelerating up a hill (or passing) and not in ECO mode. It is hard to make the ICE come on in ECO mode, easier (a less depressed accelerator pedal) in normal or SPORT.

    There are many other reasons, most of them obscure or rare.

    If the ICE bothers you, drive in ECO mode to minimize risk of turning on.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
    CyberDyneSystems likes this.
  4. Groves Cooke

    Groves Cooke Active Member

    If you read this forum regularly you will see that many times this car does things that no one understands. The manual clearly states that the ICE may come on from time to time. Enjoy the car - don't try to understand it.
  5. ClarityBill

    ClarityBill Active Member

    When you say it switched out of EV mode, I assume you are saying the gas engine started to run, and then gas engine stopped running.

    There are a couple things that will make the gas engine run, even though you are in Electric mode.

    Accelerating too fast (past the detente in the gas pedal, if you notice it), will kick on the gas engine for extra power.

    Decelerating too fast (especially with a fully charged battery), will activate the gas engine.

    Once the gas engine is running, it will continue to run until it has warmed up.
  6. davudvl

    davudvl New Member

    Yes. Flat terrain.
  7. davudvl

    davudvl New Member

    Appreciate all the replies. Thank you. Just wanted to make sure there was nothing wrong with the car.
  8. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Besides all the reasons stated above, the ICE will also periodically come on for what is called a System Check and then as mentioned, will stay in until the engine has reached operating temperature. It may even come on and off more than once. It’s progeammwd to do this to make sure the ICE is lubed, healthy, and ready to start instantly whenever called upon.

    Also, the only indication of what I assume is a System Check that I find is that the EV indicator goes out but the HV doesn’t come on even though the engine is running and the Info-tainment screen has the small engine icon illuminated and you can see power flowing from the engine. I also note that the Power Meter will turn all white and not always turn back to blue even when it returns to running EV on battery.

    I drive 90%+ in EV and the iCE comes on only infrequently and for short durations. I assume it’s a system check for the above reasons and because there was no triggering event listed in the manual occurring at the time. I don’t begrudge the ICE occasionally (for me no more than once a month or so) coming on because it’s keeping my engine healthy and ready to run when I need it. Remember, it’s a PHEV not a pure BEV and doesn’t have the Volt’s setting to run pure EV. That’s OK with me since I’ve been able to go 14,000 miles on 18 gal of gas and a year’s worth of System Checks did not even drop a bar on the gas gauge. I’ve also heard the Volt runs the equivalent of our system checks and is programmed to use up the gas in the tank at an interval to keep it from going stale.

    See p 13 of the US Manual for the 5 reasons why the ICE will turn on by itself, and only if it’s coming on frequently for no reason would you be having a problem.
    While the Clarity doesn’t have a “pure” EV mode, it is quite possible to drive it in what I call a “virtual EV” mode that’s practically the same thing.
    CyberDyneSystems likes this.
  9. JCA

    JCA Active Member

    I don't think there's anything wrong with the car, but if you're curious then I'm curious too so I have 2 questions:

    1) Were you in Econ, Sport or Normal (neither set) mode? As mentioned, in Econ mode it's easy to know if you accelerate enough to call for ICE assist, because you have to push past the detent. In the other modes you have to watch the power gauge to see if it's going past the blue range because that's before the detent. Personally I drive in Econ mode because it's easier to stay EV without looking, and the same power is available (flooring it fully gives max acceleration regardless of the mode).

    2) When "EV" came back on, did the power gauge have the blue curved bar again? If it turned blue again immediately, that would point toward acceleration causing the ICE to come on (or regen-while-battery-full, but that's not likely by the time you got on the highway). If it stayed white, I think that points to a "system check". I've seen it stay that way for 15-20 minutes with EV on and off every few minutes before finally going back to blue bar and staying EV. My last one occurred after a run of 3 weeks + 1 day of no ICE use at all, but I think it's opportunistic and can happen a bit sooner. I suspect there are two thresholds -- if a system check hasn't happened in X days it will when the ICE comes on for other reasons, but if that doesn't happen then after Y days the computer forces the engine on for the check anyway.

    The "HV" light only comes on when you manually select HV mode; it doesn't come on when the car naturally turns on the engine (EV range gone or acceleration).
  10. Groves Cooke

    Groves Cooke Active Member

    My experience also.
  11. davudvl

    davudvl New Member

    Thank you for such a detailed response. This makes sense.
  12. davudvl

    davudvl New Member

    Hi. I was in Econ. I did not pay attention to the power gauge. I appreciate the explanation about the HV light. I did not know that.
  13. The ICE coming on for no reason startled me a few times as well, particularly since I had run it for quite some time since purchase without the "system check" as we had a few over the summer long runs where we needed to use gas/ICE anyway, so the Clarity had gotten those system checks out of it's system without us really being aware..
    Now that I am just commuting to and from work, I never need gas,. so I have to be prepared for it to decide to turn on. You just have to wait and let it pass.. I did the same thing mashing buttons to get it to turn off, to no avail. The bottom line is, it gets back to normal shortly.

    One last note on the duration. When the ICE turns on, I would imagine that just as with a conventional car,. it's best to let it run for some time. Many years ago I used to have a commute that was so short on good days I could walk. My old SAAB 900 did not appreciate the short 5 minute run,. as in the winter (when I was more likely to drive than walk) the condensation in the system from the cold never got hot enough to evaporate it all before I got to work. This would rust the exhaust from the inside out, among other issues. After replacing the entire exhaust once, I was made aware of this issue and took steps to prevent it. I think part of the ICE's run time is Honda taking those steps for us.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  14. TomL

    TomL Active Member

    I agree with this explanation. I also think the weight load of five passengers was a significant factor for davudvl's experience.
  15. Kerbe

    Kerbe Active Member

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