Charging Battery Makes Me Drive Like a Jerk - Honda CRZ Forum: Honda CR-Z Hybrid Car Forums
 26Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 12
Charging Battery Makes Me Drive Like a Jerk

Totally stoked to have one of the last CR-Z's made....6 speed, and I love it, slick little shifter and I love the car.

My biggest gripe, and it's massive.....I've driven manuals for two decades and I am very good at downshifting. I thought that would help in a hybrid.....but.....I noticed that the battery doesn't charge back up all that much unless I lightly hold the brake......which is driving like a jerk.

It has to be some power control setting. It makes sense in normal and sport, so you have power immediately upon hitting the gas......but I am 75% in econ, and it's a dog down there anyway, so it doesn't much matter if I don't get instant throttle response. If I want that, I press sport (which is fun).

I have a call into the dealer, and I'm wondering if this bugs anyone else....and more importantly, if there is a workaround. The brake lights being less sensitive would probably be the easiest fix.
JudoJohn is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 05:26 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 279
If you're in Normal, letting off the throttle completely should get you regen. I think Sport mode lets you have full regen when you let off the throttle completely.

The dealer is probably going to tell you that it is operating as designed.

As for workarounds, the regen circuit is activated to full demand by the brake light circuit. A couple guys (I'm going to at some point) have used the steering wheel shift paddles from a CVT car to add a regen switch, but that is a pretty involved process, and it still results in your brake lights coming on. I think most of us just feather the brake pedal a little bit to get the regen.

As for driving like a jerk, it's not really driving like a jerk to have your brake lights on when you are braking, as the regen does slow the car down significantly. With downshifting, I've been able to almost stop the car on regen/engine braking alone.

I wired in a brake light flasher that had a g-force monitor built in, so that if I was regen-ing and had to slam on the brakes to slow down a lot more, it would re-cycle the 3rd brake light. If you're concerned about safety like I was, this may be the way to go.

Your call how you want to live with the car, but it sounds like you need to adjust to driving a hybrid. I know I did when I first got mine. I've found that leaving it in 6th gear longer helps the regen, or at least it seems to. My highway exit routine is usually: 70mph (cancel cruise ctrl)leave in 6th; 40mph downshift to 3rd; 25 mph neutral and apply brakes; 17 mph stay on brakes for engine shutoff. This usually keeps me at 6-7 bars.
96firephoenix is offline  
post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 12
Thanks!

I don't know....I mean, the slowing from regen isn't enough to qualify for brake lights. When I say touch the brake pedal, I mean barely, just barely....it's enough to flip the sensor and again, doubles the recharge rate, even though it has no effect whatsoever on the rate of deceleration, making me ride the brakes like a jerk. It's effective, though! I got the battery way, way higher driving this way....but this isn't coming to a stop, this is getting up to 40 or so and then at certain strategic moments, holding the brake for a bit with no intention of slowing much or stopping.

I also noticed coming off of the highway, leaving it in 6th as you say to about 40 is effective....but then going right to 3rd is a marvelous idea.

I'll admit.....I thought the effect would be greater in econ mode. I haven't experimented with the other modes. If sport mode gets full regen when taking the foot off the accelerator, I'll never be out of sport mode again!

Thanks again! I'll experiment with the other modes.
JudoJohn is offline  
 
post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 09:26 PM
Senior Member
 
rayray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: California
Posts: 404
Garage
being that the brake pedal sensor is tied in with the regeneration (there is only one switch that i know of on the brake pedal that tells the ECU when the brake pedal is depressed), this is the only thing telling the car that you are applying the brakes and when to go full regeneration.

i would give suggestions on what to do, but given that messing with brake lights can potentially cause harm to you or others, i'd rather not give any advise at all.

ideally it would be best if we could alter JUST the regeneration to max at throttle off via programming, without modifying any components physically, but i'm not sure if any aftermarket options support this feature as i'm sure this isn't controlled by the engine ECU. but automotive engineers aren't dumb, and i like to err on the side of caution and assume there is a reason why the car functions the way it does.

there are likely other reasons why the car wasn't designed to go full regeneration all the time... such as overheating or exceeding the max charging capability of the IMA system... to help prolong battery and motor life... etc. etc. afterall, this car wasn't designed to compete with the likes of a Porsche 918 or McLaren P1 which have much more robust hybrid systems that are designed to extract much more kinetic energy and expel them at a higher rate (and more frequency) than our little "fun to drive hybrid"

i'm happy this car even comes in a manual to begin with, and i think many here, myself included, have found you can tap the throttle ever so lightly to induce full regeneration, and repeat it as necessary without potentially pissing off drivers.

but "where there's a will, there's a way" as they say
Abandoned Track and JudoJohn like this.

'13 CRZ - PWP EX 6MT

mksengineering.com
rayray is offline  
post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 12
Incredibly thoughtful and much obliged.

Turns out going sport whenever accelerating and going econ at all other times kept me flowing well with rush hour traffic, when brakes are necessary anyway, in Denver at 33 MPG. I'll take it. I had plenty of battery until I saw an empty on ramp right near my apartment....worth it. This thing scoots through town and onto the highway with that low end burst. Very happy. Never had a four banger like this.......more powerful, sure, but not with the low end torque this thing has. Of course I really wanted a Rubicon haha.

I will remain forever annoyed that I don't get to tweak the parameters on what generator vs motor you get out of the unit but that would be a pretty developed item. Just a minor annoyance, a crashing between imagination and reality, since I've been wanting a manual hybrid since I drove a crappy Civic a decade ago.......when I learned this thing was discontinued, I test drove it and bought it on the spot, for good reason. Plus, the car lot was glad to be rid of it, which was sad, but a source of mirth between myself and the salesmen. They got I was part of the admittedly narrow appeal....a 44 year old bachelor like me is sending a clear signal buy buying a two seater.

This thing's is pretty fun. And I do get to have some fun tweaking the settings toggling between sport and econ (still don't see the point of normal).

Tapping the brake then getting off entirely seemed to split the difference between before and after brake charging. If a tap to the gas would accomplish the same, well, that'd be cool. I'll find an excuse tomorrow to sort that one out.
96firephoenix likes this.
JudoJohn is offline  
post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 10:37 PM
@ the speed of white
 
litz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Somerset, OH
Posts: 3,215
Garage
I do extra regen with a blip of the throttle all the time in my 1st Gen Insight, but the CR-Z's IMA system seems to keep full charge almost all of the time. It might be due to my old habit of blipping the throttle without realizing it, but it's probably due to the advancements in the technology and Honda's improvements since 2002. You'll also find that ECON is not necessarily the best way to get the most MPG's--try going to NORMAL while not in SPORT mode instead of ECON and let the regen do its thing going down grades instead of using the brakes to check your speed, and just plain keeping momentum going instead of killing it with the brakes--great excuse to take it around corners in a spirited manner.
JudoJohn likes this.

2013 Honda CRZ EX PWP w/navi CVT | Litz's 2013 PWP Build Thread
Sprintex | Mugen | Takeda | Heko | DIY: CVT with 6-Speed shift boot
the speed of sound...the speed of light...the speed of love...the speed of white!
litz is online now  
post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 08:30 AM
Super Duper Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 2,480
As with all new CR-Z owners you are over thinking the charging of the IMA battery. The best advice I can give you is just ignore it most of the time and you will find it takes care of itself. It will recharge as you are coasting and driving at a reasonable speed without braking. The rate of charge is variable based on what mode you are in and how you are driving. Riding the brakes, even a little will wear them quicker and heat them up and possibly cause damage.

Think about defensive driving and learning as much about how the car handles and drives rather than the fact it happens to have Hybrid technology. I found once I started just driving, the charge stayed higher than when I was worrying about it. I find on long parkway runs I get a little more charge ( and less MPGs) if I use sport. The first year I owned the car I left it in Econ because I was all about the MPGs. Now I use different modes based on what kind of driving I am doing or the situation. My experience will be different than yours as I have a CVT.

Or to summarize just drive it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JudoJohn View Post
Totally stoked to have one of the last CR-Z's made....6 speed, and I love it, slick little shifter and I love the car.

My biggest gripe, and it's massive.....I've driven manuals for two decades and I am very good at downshifting. I thought that would help in a hybrid.....but.....I noticed that the battery doesn't charge back up all that much unless I lightly hold the brake......which is driving like a jerk.

It has to be some power control setting. It makes sense in normal and sport, so you have power immediately upon hitting the gas......but I am 75% in econ, and it's a dog down there anyway, so it doesn't much matter if I don't get instant throttle response. If I want that, I press sport (which is fun).

I have a call into the dealer, and I'm wondering if this bugs anyone else....and more importantly, if there is a workaround. The brake lights being less sensitive would probably be the easiest fix.
Defiant and Fediej like this.
Spdbump is offline  
post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 12:41 PM
Super Duper Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spdbump View Post
As with all new CR-Z owners you are over thinking the charging of the IMA battery. The best advice I can give you is just ignore it most of the time and you will find it takes care of itself. It will recharge as you are coasting and driving at a reasonable speed without braking.

Or to summarize just drive it!
Yes, this. Listen to the Spdbump and just drive it like a normal car. Don't concentrate or obsess on the battery gauge or instant MPG gauge. If one looks at all the threads about the battery gauge you'll see most of the time CR-Zs have nearly full (read: not 100% full) battery gauge for the majority of driving draining only for multiple-gear-wide-open-throttle periods (accelerating onto freeway or closed course racetrack driving etc) or long uphills.

Honda wouldn't have built this car if it required constant additional attention while driving, beyond normal driving attention just to maintain the battery. Take a look at the IMA section of the factory service manual if you think you can re-engineer or optimize the system any better than Honda. Their implementation of the hybrid system on the CR-Z with a manual transmission is genuinely masterful.
Defiant, Spdbump and JudoJohn like this.
Koala Yummies is offline  
post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spdbump View Post
As with all new CR-Z owners you are over thinking the charging of the IMA battery. The best advice I can give you is just ignore it most of the time and you will find it takes care of itself. It will recharge as you are coasting and driving at a reasonable speed without braking. The rate of charge is variable based on what mode you are in and how you are driving. Riding the brakes, even a little will wear them quicker and heat them up and possibly cause damage.

Think about defensive driving and learning as much about how the car handles and drives rather than the fact it happens to have Hybrid technology. I found once I started just driving, the charge stayed higher than when I was worrying about it. I find on long parkway runs I get a little more charge ( and less MPGs) if I use sport. The first year I owned the car I left it in Econ because I was all about the MPGs. Now I use different modes based on what kind of driving I am doing or the situation. My experience will be different than yours as I have a CVT.

Or to summarize just drive it!
I hear you! If I wasn't ever so slightly obsessive, I would have chosen a different car...

The real revelation for me last night was there is a balance between MPG and keeping the battery up. I found I was able to keep more charge by accelerating robustly in sport which opened more opportunities to regen. I'm not a commuter, as I work from home, and gas is cheap, so I'm not all about the MPGs.....I honestly bought a fun two seater hatchback stickshift, not a hybrid. Keeping the battery up is important because it's a bit of a dog when it's depleted but a hoot to drive otherwise.

When I say riding the brakes, I hear you on wear and heat, but I mean ever so slightly touching the brake.....max regen still means driving like a jerk, because it means riding the brake ever so slightly, but the faster you're going, the more regen you get......so, long distances touching the brake then coming to relatively abrupt stops at the end to maximize the time you're in regen at higher speeds. It shouldn't be necessary most of the time though. Still, no doubt that's max regen, it's the only time the regen bar is maxed, and it's totally driving like a jerk.

I would prefer full regen when downshifting in econ mode, but I won't get it. Braking then getting off seems to split the difference, so cool, and when it's really low go for the power regen described above. It is tempting to just leave it in sport and let the regen meter and MPG be my guide. The recommended shift points are not only boring, but they definitely do not promote regen. I know this because I was driving to max regen, but the car was angry with me, showing blue on the speedometer and illuminating the upshift light. I shifted, and the regen went down. Driving reasonably in sport, by not going into the burning part of the meter all that often, would probably result in acceptable MPGs.....33 is good enough for me.....and the red dashboard and lack of shift point nannying is just fine.

I'm delighted with the car. I mean, I was driving a '94 Saturn with 197,000 miles on it that rattled everywhere, so any new car would be great haha but this thing is fun!
JudoJohn is offline  
post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koala Yummies View Post
Their implementation of the hybrid system on the CR-Z with a manual transmission is genuinely masterful.
Agreed.

It was a bit of a snap judgment buying it, as I learned it was the last manual hybrid sold in America the day before I bought it. When I buy my next car, in at least 10 years, I might have to buy an enthusiast vehicle as no other car will have a stick shift by then. I'll be in my mid 50's by then so I should be able to afford it!

I think you touched on something really important......of course Honda couldn't put much more cognitive load on drivers. I would have preferred that they did, because I know I could extract more energy. I learned to drive in an '86 GMC 3/4 pickup with 3 gears and a granny gear....and have been driving stickshifts, and enthusiastically downshifting, since. But Honda didn't design the car for me, they designed it to sell to as many people as possible (and per the automotive press missed the mark, but I love the thing)
JudoJohn is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Honda CRZ Forum: Honda CR-Z Hybrid Car Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome