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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I took my car out to the country this morning, and drove on some hilly roads. It was a lot of fun until I reached a fairly long (tho not all that steep.. I'm in Missouri) climb. My battery got down to 3 bars, and the IMA stopped. No more juice. I had to down shift and ended up in 2nd, and still barely had any power!! Then I was on a straight flat section and punched it, and got no boost. After charging for a min, I got some IMA again.


Is the battery actually dead at 3 bars? On the way home from the country I was staying in the fast lane going about 80.. On hills, staying in 6th gear the IMA would pop on and help me up. again, there was a stretch of highway going up for a while and at 3 bars, IMA stopped, I started loosing power, and had to start down shifting.



Any ideas/suggestions?
 

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Don't have an definitive answer about why the IMA cuts out at 3 bars, but ... it does.

I live in a very hilly part of PA. Almost everywhere I go has some steep uphill, downhill, or both. But, I've never gotten the IMA battery level below halfway. As it approaches halfway, I'll concentrate on using a combination of downshifting, braking or even just coasting downhill to get it back up to 3/4 or more.

So, my recommendation would be to ease off a little going uphill so you don't use the IMA so much, especially as you're nearing the halfway battery level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I REALLY hope this is some sort of automated break-in for the batteries or something, as it took no time on a winding hilly road in sports mode, to run out of juice.. And I was even going the speed limit!! It's 60 on those roads which is insane.. They have 90 degree curves!

But yeah.. 30 minutes of fun driving, or one steep hill and it's exhausted.
 

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I have also questioned myself about the 3 bars minimum. I remember when i first bought the car it went to two bars some times, but now it just does not go lower than three.. I thought "ok, mabe this is to save some power for a needed boost", but if i do a boost with three bars from low rpms the ima does not help.

Any more thoughts on this? I think this is an important issue.

Also i have noticed some lack of power with hilly roads. I don't feel the car pulling as i would like but i think we have to remember that we are being pulled with a fit engine :\


Best,
JM
 

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Yeah you do loose some power without IMA going up hills but your gas counterpart have enough spunk to go upward of 45-55mph going up steep winding incline in sport mode in third or fourth gear. No worry of crawling. From personal experience. That is if you could handle the curve at that speed. Therefore fourth gear in sport mode would easily take you up at a safe speed of around 35-40mph.

IMA battery should charge up quickly when descending.
 

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Are you charging well going down the other side the hill? I usually find a gear that will keep the revs mid-range, and constant speed.. and mostly coast down the hill as whatever speed I was traveling at. This puts it in charge mode.. and usually keeps it fairly full for me. And living in Colorado, we have a hill or two...:hyper:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I was hoping some Colorado people would share their experience.

I guess now that I know, I'll adjust, but when you're expecting 0 to be 0 and really 0 is 1/3 the way up, it can cause some trouble!!!!!!

So, is this the case for everyone? 3 bars means no more IMA? (and if you don't know, try to figure it out the next few times you're on the road, please :) )

I really really hope it's some sort of battery conditioning, as those last 3 bars would have made all the difference. I would have never run out of power.
Otherwise, I'm surprised the computer hasn't performed a 'correction' on the displayed levels.

One more note, I've also never shown fully charged. It's always one bar from the top.

Oh, also, I read forums for the other honda hybrids and these are sort of the same symptoms they have when the battery is dieing (I'm talking about ~10 year old vehicles) but in those cases when they leave the car parked overnight the battery level is usually lower the next morning. My battery was at 4 bars when I pulled in my garage after my drive this morning. I was in the car a min ago and it had gone UP a bar or two.. That's pretty normal behavior for healthy but hard worked batteries.

So, why empty on 3 bars?

Well, those are all my observations.
 

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no CR-Z for me but that doesn't matter here b/c i live in South FL where there aren't any hills :p

i'm not sure about the 3-bar rule or anything like that b/c i haven't had enough time to drive the car... but i'd say it has to be the way you're driving to be able to drain the batteries that low... i beat the crap out of one on a test drive and i still didn't manage to get below half... as soon as i would get it to half, i had to drive normal-ish and the batteries charged up b4 i had a chance to get on it again...

my suggestion would be to leave the car in gear when going downhill... remember the gas isn't being poured into the engine when coasting in gear so you're not wasting any gas doing this... doing this will also allow for the batteries to recharge for when you need to press the gas again...
 

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<snip>

So, is this the case for everyone? 3 bars means no more IMA? (and if you don't know, try to figure it out the next few times you're on the road, please :)

<snip>

One more note, I've also never shown fully charged. It's always one bar from the top.
I don't think I have ever gotten below four bars yet... but I purposely try to charge it with every stop, downhill, or even slowing down.....

I have had ALL bars filled once... was doing a long downhill with a lot of slowpokes ahead of me.... had it like in 2nd with no gas pedal, all the way down a long (several miles) slope. It charged it all the way up! That would have been a fun CURVY downhill if there hadn't been so many Grandma Drivers in the way! :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Now that I know it's no prob, but like I said, when your display says you have 1/3 tank of gas left, you really wouldn't expect to run out of gas! (or, electricity in this case)

And I was driving it really hard. Lots of fast acceleration, and quick breaking, then punch it again out of the corner, etc.

But, driving home on the highway and running out of power again was disturbing. That was just normal driving. All relatively flat, though, so maybe it didn't have a chance to charge back up before I got to the highway hill.
I've never had any trouble w/ it before. And I guess I still don't as long as everyone else's IMA quits at 3 bars.
 

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As bizzybear indicated...when coasting leave in gear to charge IMA batteries.

My batteries charged up pretty quickly when coasting down those hills to full charge.
 

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I think that may be for long term battery life. On some laptop, there is an option to set battery being charged to 80%. By that, battery won't die out that soon. Pretty much you just use those battery cells less to let them stay healthy for a longer period of time.

In my winding road uphill experience, I never run out of juice because I'm constantly speeding up and slowing down.
 

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A couple things...

First downshifting is something most cars need to do with long steep grades because the gear and RPM you cruise at does not have enough torque. But with IMA you do! Of course, when it runs out...

If your using a lot of IMA and are afraid it will run out. Downshift to save it and use extra the RPM and gearing instead. There should always be more torque available in the lower gear at the same speed. Yeah, you may hurt your mileage but so will running out of IMA.

Second... If you are in the mountians remember your car is naturally aspirated. You wont have as much power from the gas engine at the higher altitudes. The electric motor does not have the same problem however, so when you run out of juice at high altitude, its like a double whammy. No juice and your car is wheezing for air.
 

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The biggest thing is that the IMA is hooked up to the engine in some way is it not? With a fully depleted battery not giving any extra power, it would just be similar to an extra component having to be spun. Thus it would feel a lot slower than say a fit with no IMA.
 

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On ocassion I commute over hwy 17 in the Santa Cruz, Ca area and for those who are not familiar with this route it has a 7 mile hilly section that is straight curves and a constant incline. I have got the battery meter to read one bar on one occassion. I was not paying attention to the power meter and suddenly felt a huge power loss and the car would not accelerate. After I realized that the battery was on one bar I limped it the last mile up the hill and decended over the other side where the battery quickly recharged. I havent noticed the three bar symptoms that you have.

I dont know about it being a concern, but maybe more like a learning experience on how the car has to be driven and what the vehicles limitations/weaknesses are. If you know that your route ahead is going to filled with long hills ahead then I just cant drive 80 mph for extended periods up to the hill. Now when I drive Hwy 17 I conservatively accelerate up the hill and dont try to keep up with the Jones's in the fast lane.

On another note, going down the equally long down hill grade on the backside on Hwy 17 I have noticed that when your battery meter becomes full the battery stops charging quickly after. Where as the charging meter stops showing any charging activity.
 

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On ocassion I commute over hwy 17 in the Santa Cruz, Ca area and for those who are not familiar with this route it has a 7 mile hilly section that is straight curves and a constant incline. I have got the battery meter to read one bar on one occassion. I was not paying attention to the power meter and suddenly felt a huge power loss and the car would not accelerate. After I realized that the battery was on one bar I limped it the last mile up the hill and decended over the other side where the battery quickly recharged. I havent noticed the three bar symptoms that you have.

I dont know about it being a concern, but maybe more like a learning experience on how the car has to be driven and what the vehicles limitations/weaknesses are. If you know that your route ahead is going to filled with long hills ahead then I just cant drive 80 mph for extended periods up to the hill. Now when I drive Hwy 17 I conservatively accelerate up the hill and dont try to keep up with the Jones's in the fast lane.
This loss of battery assist and then "limping" along has me a bit concerned. I have a 2009 Honda fit and my car, with its 117 hp, while no speed demon, always has more than enough power to climb any grade without having to "limp" along.

It would seem that a CRZ with a depleted battery should be able to move along reasonably well even without the 9 extra hp provided from the IMA, but from the sound of it the loss of IMA assist seems like a net effect of far more than 9 HP.

Comments?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My only hope about the power w/out IMA.. and it's a good possibility because I was driving rough, adrenalin going, and not 100% familiar w/ the car yet, is that I was in 4th and not 2nd. Because I literally had NO power by the time I got to the top of the hill. And it's just a hill. I'm in MO.. We don't have mountains and altitude over about 500 feet!

This 3 bar thing has me extremely concerned, though.
I may start a new thread to collect info on that. I'd like to know the miles on the vehicle, the "level" you're at on your little eco game (cause MAYBE that adjusts other stuff in the car?? a learning time for the car or something?) and then, how many bars are left when IMA cuts out.

I mean seriously.. it's a safety hazard to have your fuel(energy) gauge displaying incorrectly!!

Here's something from the Insight forums about IMA auto-adjusting the display levels, and I'd think something similar should be happening w/ out cars.
Read the "my battery charge suddenly went to zero" section
InsightCentral.net - Knowledge Base - Honda Insight Non-Problems
 

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This loss of battery assist and then "limping" along has me a bit concerned. I have a 2009 Honda fit and my car, with its 117 hp, while no speed demon, always has more than enough power to climb any grade without having to "limp" along.

It would seem that a CRZ with a depleted battery should be able to move along reasonably well even without the 9 extra hp provided from the IMA, but from the sound of it the loss of IMA assist seems like a net effect of far more than 9 HP.

Comments?
Coming my another Honda hybrid I've run into situations where the battery didn't want to assist. My feeling on that issue if we get so used to having the instant response from IMA that when we lose it the car feels so much slower.

I can't remember ever losing battery assist on a hill (we don't have that many big climbs here) but I've lost it around town when I lived in FL. The hot temperatures had the battery force depleting itself many times around town. Without IMA moving from a stop was torture. But this car isn't a lead weight with an undersized 1.3L motor. Other than the sensation of losing the instant IMA response I don't see how the car should be lacking. It would be no different then trying to drive the 07-08 Fit up a hill with 2 passengers, since that would bring the weight roughly on par with our CR-Z.
 

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It would seem that a CRZ with a depleted battery should be able to move along reasonably well even without the 9 extra hp provided from the IMA, but from the sound of it the loss of IMA assist seems like a net effect of far more than 9 HP.

Comments?
it's not the 9 hp, it's the 58 lbs of torque! Don't be confused by the low hp number, it adds a lot of power, but at lower rpm. HP is a measure or work being done so rpm plays into it.

Because this car has so much torque available it can drive around at 35 mph in sixth gear at only like 1500 rpm... And it can accelerate and climb moderate hills in higher gear without downshifting. I know if I tried to do that with my old subaru I could not do it. Bellow 2500 rpm or so there was no power, and that car had a decent amount of torque. A high revving fit would have the same problem or more I would think. The point is I think once you get used to driving a crz like a crz, it's hard to switch modes and drive it like you would a fit.

As for extra drag from the ima system, it's a brushless motor and I don't think there is a lot of extra drag there except when there will be when it's charging,and if ima is dead it will be trying to charge....
 
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