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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering if the fancy aerodynamic hubcaps on the 2018 Clarity are supposed to be the same on the driver's and passenger's side of the car.
Not being an engineer, but just looking at the way they are shaped, it seems like the ones on the driver's side are right and the other side would be more aerodynamic if the car were going in reverse.
What am I missing?
 

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It's not so much the shape or direction of the design but the surface area and the turbulence caused/not caused during rotation that makes the wheel aerodynamic. As the Clarity has "blended braking" there isn't so much need to air-cool the rotors as a great deal of the braking is handled by regeneration and not friction.
 

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There is a lot going on with airflow around the Clarity wheels. Probably most owners know this but for those who don't the scoop on the rear doors is not the typical fake scoops that cars often have, these scoops actually take in air and direct it over the rear wheels, creating an air curtain which reduces turbulence. If you look in the forward part of the rear wheel well you can see the exit where the air comes out, the opening is actually in the back part of the rear door. When I am showing this to people I stick my hand into the scoop and then into the exit in the wheel well to show that this is a real air scoop. You can also shine a flashlight through to demonstrate this. Also if you open the rear door and put your eye up to the opening you can see right through it.

Not everyone knows this but the front also has a scoop, it's just not as visible as the rear scoop. It's in the very lowest left and right corners of the front bumper, you kind of have to bend down to see them. The exit is in the forward part of the wheel well similar to the rear wheels. Again a flashlight shining through the openings helps to see this, obviously better at night or in your garage.

Then of course there are the infamous rear fender skirts, which some people think was just a misguided design idea, but in fact they help control the airflow over the rear wheels. Skirts for the front wheels would probably also be effective but of course it's not practical since the front wheels have to turn.

Last but not least are the aerodynamic wheel covers, which according to Honda do help somewhat with reducing drag. As for the covers being directional, in theory they work better on one side of the car than the other but presumably the difference, if any, is small enough that it doesn't make it worth stocking two different parts.
 

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A lot of the "ugliness" of the Clarity is due to the aero-tweaks 2002 mentioned. One of the biggest source of drag at highway speeds is actually the turbulence generated by spinning wheels. By directing air directly at the lower front of each tire Honda's engineers reduced this by over 50% per wheel.
 
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Last but not least are the aerodynamic wheel covers, which according to Honda do help somewhat with reducing drag. As for the covers being directional, in theory they work better on one side of the car than the other but presumably the difference, if any, is small enough that it doesn't make it worth stocking two different parts.
Just so long as the "wrong side" does not negate the gain from the "right side"!

Smells like an opportunity for after-market to make the correct (reversed) wheel cover for the less efficient side!
You know how willing some people are to pay $200 to save money, even if it's only $100 over the lifetime of the car!
 

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I just rotated my wheels for the first time. It seems that the alloy is a fairly light and It was no problem picking them up to place them on the studs. Is this the case? if so, they reduced unsprung weight. Changing the wheels would increase the weight and reduce mileage.
 

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I am a Clarity newbie as well. Just my style to jump into owning a high tech, efficient, and pretty cool vehicle just as Honda (or Chevrolet with the Volt) moves away from PHEVs. Thing is, we live in a progressive smallish community of about 125,000 an hour or so from a major metro area. The charging network is growing so very slowly in our town and around our town. We often travel to the major metro area and back, and there are still no high speed, or even low speed, chargers enroute. With the longer EV ranges provided by Tesla, Bolt, etc., maybe not necessary, but with our Leaf we really couldn't leave town. I once took it to a town about 25 miles away for a 4th of July party/parade and was getting warning notifications on my way home to find a charger. My wife and I have concluded that in spite of our excitement for an EV future, Hybrids or PHEVs are what we need where we live at this time. Enjoying my Clarity and enjoying learning about its tech on the forum. Thanks!
 

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Hmmm. I'm slow. If the covers work aerodynamically on one side they are working opposite spinning on the other side!

Every time I see my new driver son off I hear those dang covers make noise at slow speed out the driveway.

I just completed orders for a complete set of the Clarity accessory wheels 08W18-TRT-100. They appear to be on backorder now so I'm waiting on the last two. I ordered one at first not knowing if it had the Helmholtz insert and it does, then ordered one more. Lastly ordered the last two, otherwise my wife might freak at the overall cost. They are cheaper than the original wheels though...

Both wheel styles are HEAVY, but I find the sound inserts work so stuck with them. They are even made with Enkei's light MAT technology. (I believe I saw the "MAT" on the one wheel I opened to check for the noise device and test my center caps). The OE center caps were on backorder and I was asked to cancel, so I ordered some blanks and they fit nicely, are close enough in color for me.

I was mistaken we just rolled past 57k mi, not 58k like I originally thought. Won't need new tires for a while I'm afraid.
 

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Those accessory wheels are neat! Having two of my stock wheels at the refinisher now I'm staying with stock for now. Maybe someday. You are right, the price is not unreasonable. Hoping to get my wheels back tomorrow and get the Clarity back on the road. As much as I love driving my Cadillac, I just put another $72 of premium in the tank yesterday, and gas prices in MN are relatively low compared to many parts of the country.
 

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Hmmm. I'm slow. If the covers work aerodynamically on one side they are working opposite spinning on the other side!
I don't think the direction matters. As far as I know the purpose of the aerodynamic covers is just to smooth the airflow over the wheels to reduce turbulence. Same purpose as the air curtain effect which is created by the air scoop in front of the rear wheel which blows air over the wheel. The rear fender skirts are part of this also, all designed to cause the air to flow smoothly over the wheels with minimal turbulence. I think I read that someone at Honda said all of that together adds about 2 mpg of efficiency.

It's interesting to take a closer look at the air scoops on the rear doors. If you look in the rear wheel well you can see the exit for the scoops. When I show this to people I stick my hand into the exit to demonstrate that the scoop isn't just cosmetic it is functional. Also if you open the rear door you can see how the air passes through the lower part of the rear door, you can even look through the opening from back to front.

What a lot of people don't realize is that there is an air scoop on the front wheels also, it's just not as visible. The entrance is in the front bumper in the lower left and right corners. And if you look in the front wheel wells you can see the exit and also put your hand into it just like in the rear wheel wells.

Every time I see my new driver son off I hear those dang covers make noise at slow speed out the driveway.
Are you sure you aren't hearing the low speed noisemaker? It's produced by a speaker which plays sort of a humming sound at very low speed, designed to alert pedestrians who may not otherwise hear the car coming. All EV's are required to have this.
 

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Also on the low speed noisemaker thing; it is apparently a requirement by the federal government that the vehicle is manufactured with the noisemaker but the feds don’t really have jurisdiction over how a vehicle is used in the individual states. So whether the noisemaker needs to be functional or not is left up to the states. Same is true with things like speed limits, running lights, and whether the headlights need to be on while it’s raining (or windshield wipers are running). The noisemaker thing, like catalytic converters, is merely a way for the feds to try to impose their desires upon the states.
 

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Thank you for the suggestion that the sound I'm hearing may be from the pedestrian alerting system. I had to think pretty hard on how to explain the difference in sound.

The noise maker is akin to faint sirens calling. The other noise I am hearing is definitely a plastic creaking type noise.

Last tire rotation which was maybe a couple weeks ago I did not verify/adjust all the clips to make sure they were seated properly I must admit. Seemed like some of the metal ones had turned somewhat sideways/diagonal.

I got some great news yesterday that the two wheels that complete my accessory wheel set are available for pickup. So now I have a complete set and am not worried they get discontinued while I was buying them, separately because my wife might get upset seeing a big fat Honda parts purchase all at once, for wheels by that matter. (I must confess she did notice the charges though. She was worried they might have been fraudulent, Rock Honda is definitely an interesting name for a Honda dealership). Interestingly enough I also bought them from Hondapartsguys in Fontana as someone else did on this forum, because they allow local pickup for $2, vs high shipping cost that would eat up any savings buying from a (far away) online store.
 

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Thank you for the suggestion that the sound I'm hearing may be from the pedestrian alerting system. I had to think pretty hard on how to explain the difference in sound.

The noise maker is akin to faint sirens calling. The other noise I am hearing is definitely a plastic creaking type noise.

Last tire rotation which was maybe a couple weeks ago I did not verify/adjust all the clips to make sure they were seated properly I must admit. Seemed like some of the metal ones had turned somewhat sideways/diagonal.

I got some great news yesterday that the two wheels that complete my accessory wheel set are available for pickup. So now I have a complete set and am not worried they get discontinued while I was buying them, separately because my wife might get upset seeing a big fat Honda parts purchase all at once, for wheels by that matter. (I must confess she did notice the charges though. She was worried they might have been fraudulent, Rock Honda is definitely an interesting name for a Honda dealership). Interestingly enough I also bought them from Hondapartsguys in Fontana as someone else did on this forum, because they allow local pickup for $2, vs high shipping cost that would eat up any savings buying from a (far away) online store.
I've been away for three weeks. Did the wheel rings show up?
 

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Yes they did thanks for asking. (They came via USPS. Not sure why I am saying so but I had a chat with the postman about the Clarity and why I got them). Tires still have tread so I didn't buy replacement tires yet.
Thanks! I may have to bite the bullet, and order a set. I can't find the thread describing them. Can I bother you to re-post your source, and size ordered? TIA.
 

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Thanks! I may have to bite the bullet, and order a set. I can't find the thread describing them. Can I bother you to re-post your source, and size ordered? TIA.
Sure. I bought them here, parent company is Rolla, but when you click buy on the Rolla USA site it sends you right here:


which is exactly where I bought mine. I realize they probably didn't send me a receipt right away because they were out of stock on yellow 18" (the size and color I ordered), because when they eventually sent them I did get an email receipt. (Select the size first then color so you can easily figure out which one is technically not available. You won't be able to add it to cart if they are out of stock. For some reason it allowed me to buy yellow so not sure what happened when I ordered. They appear to be out of yellow now.

It DOES come with a free set (pair) of installation tools, so don't worry about whether or not you should order them.
 

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Sure. I bought them here, parent company is Rolla, but when you click buy on the Rolla USA site it sends you right here:


which is exactly where I bought mine. I realize they probably didn't send me a receipt right away because they were out of stock on yellow 18" (the size and color I ordered), because when they eventually sent them I did get an email receipt. (Select the size first then color so you can easily figure out which one is technically not available. You won't be able to add it to cart if they are out of stock. For some reason it allowed me to buy yellow so not sure what happened when I ordered. They appear to be out of yellow now.

It DOES come with a free set (pair) of installation tools, so don't worry about whether or not you should order them.
Thanks VERY much! Unfortunately, they're out of stock on any color I'm interested in...
 
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