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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I bought my new 2018 Clarity Plugin at end of December.
I am retired and live fairly close to all of Tucson. I have about 1200 miles, all on local driving.
All of the driving has been EV. WE have solar panels that used to produce more than we used.

We have an RV Motor home for our distance travel.

My gas tank was full when I drove out of dealer and still shows full.

I expect to drive locally for abot 6000 miles a year. That means almost no gas usage, all EV driving.

What should I do? How much gas to keep in tank? Does gas need to run so often to keep car in good shape and use up gas before it gets stale.
I would appreciate any advice. Thanks Fred Dunfey
 

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Considering the fuel tank is pressurized, I would say that if the car "needs" to run the ICE, it will do so automatically as it has happened to me.
I understand it will automatically switch on the ICE and run for a bit, using less than 0.07 gallons of fuel.

The car was designed by engineers, made in Japan, and therefore "smart enough" to switch on the ICE to keep the parts lubricated.

In your case, even with all EV miles and the engine not turning on much, once you reach the 1 year mark, expect an oil change as the super light 0-20W oil will need to be replaced due to natural contamination and breakdown....
Don't get upset over an oil change on the Clarity even with zero ICE miles....
 

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If available in your area, I would recommend putting only 100% gasoline in your Clarity. Ethanol tends to play havoc to small engines when it sits unused for months at a time, and it is unknown what it will do long term sitting in the Clarity's fuel tank. I'm sure the pressurized tank does help to an extent, but I plan on using 100% gas in my Clarity when I purchase it.

I also make a 120+ mile trip every 2 weeks to visit family, so I will be using HV mode on those trips to give the gas engine a good workout.
 

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I would try to use gas occasionally and cycle in some fresh gas every so often.

I am always surprised at all the people who buy a PHEV with 55 mile or less electric range that never want to use gas. Using some gas from time to time is probably a good thing to keep things in proper working order.

Personally I regularly exceed the electric range especially in winter weather when the range is in the 30’s.
 

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I would try to use gas occasionally and cycle in some fresh gas every so often.

I am always surprised at all the people who buy a PHEV with 55 mile or less electric range that never want to use gas. Using some gas from time to time is probably a good thing to keep things in proper working order.

Personally I regularly exceed the electric range especially in winter weather when the range is in the 30’s.

Why does it surprise you that a person owning a car would want options? Options like driving further than as low as 88 miles per full charge in an all electric vehicle.




I purchased a clarity Hybrid to replace my Fiat 500e. I don't drive more than 45 miles round trip on a regular basis, but when the wife calls and says "go pick up the kids" that takes me way out of my normal driving range - basically I had to have advanced notice with time to charge my car at work prior to going to do a simple task that a regular gas car driver wouldn't have to think twice about.


That's not a problem now with my Clarity Hybrid. I charge at home, and the last time I put gas in my car was two weeks ago, as of this morning I'm still at full bars for gas.
 

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As a former mechanic in a dealership I have seen new cars sit on a lot for almost a year and used cars sit for more than a year and there have been no problems that I saw with them. Gas is truly different now but valves, pistons, cam bearing, rod bearings, and crank bearings are probably pretty close to the same (guessing here). I would also agree that I would not put ethanol in the tank if it wasn't going to be used. I would likely keep the fuel in the tank low and use it enough so that you cycle it through. I do have friends who work on small engines and they cuss gas today and blame it for much of the running problems of lawn mowers, weed eaters, etc.
 

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To the OP, once your Clarity runs this tank out, just put three gallons back in. You're not using the gas and hopefully the car will eventually burn through the gas to prevent stale gas related issues, so why put more in than you'll use in that time period.
 

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To the OP, once your Clarity runs this tank out, just put three gallons back in. You're not using the gas and hopefully the car will eventually burn through the gas to prevent stale gas related issues, so why put more in than you'll use in that time period.
This is not really the best advice...


We all know that the Clarity's tank uses a sealed system, BUT when you only put in a small amount of fuel you're leaving a tremendous air gap. If anyone researches this, it's commonly recommended to completely fill your gas tank so there's as little air as possible because the nationwide standard E10 (10% Ethanol) tries its best to absorb water.


Rob43
 

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I used to run Lucas Safeguard ethanol fuel treatment (same as Sta-Bil 360) but recently simply switched over to E0 pure gasoline, now I don't mind if my fuel sits for a longer period of time. Not to mention the 0% chance of ethanol causing some issue later on down the road...


Rob43
 

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This is not really the best advice...


We all know that the Clarity's tank uses a sealed system, BUT when you only put in a small amount of fuel you're leaving a tremendous air gap. If anyone researches this, it's commonly recommended to completely fill your gas tank so there's as little air as possible because the nationwide standard E10 (10% Ethanol) tries its best to absorb water.


Rob43
The Volt has a sealed and pressurized fuel system as well. Volt owners have been running with their gas tanks nearly empty for almost a decade now without issues. The OP of this thread isn't burning the gasoline that's in his tank - eventually it will go bad on him if it's not burned in the ICE engine. I'm hoping the Clarity will burn the gasoline before it goes bad as I expect my wife's clarity will be driven in a similar fashion most of the time. OP has two different solutions - either run in HV mode or not put as much fuel in the car. Both options have benefits and drawbacks, but nearly a decade of Volt owner experience shows the better solution is to simply not put as much fuel in the car to start with.
 

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The Volt has a sealed and pressurized fuel system as well. Volt owners have been running with their gas tanks nearly empty for almost a decade now without issues. The OP of this thread isn't burning the gasoline that's in his tank - eventually it will go bad on him if it's not burned in the ICE engine. I'm hoping the Clarity will burn the gasoline before it goes bad as I expect my wife's clarity will be driven in a similar fashion most of the time. OP has two different solutions - either run in HV mode or not put as much fuel in the car. Both options have benefits and drawbacks, but nearly a decade of Volt owner experience shows the better solution is to simply not put as much fuel in the car to start with.

Running just a few gallons of E10 fuel in your tank is bad advice.


Rob43
 

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Running just a few gallons of E10 fuel in your tank is bad advice.


Rob43
Running E10 fuel is bad advice - it doesn't matter if the tank is full or not. Ethanol is probably the single worst liquid fuel we've ever had foisted on us by environmentalists. It takes more energy to create a gallon of ethanol than it generates and that energy generally comes from oil.

What we do have is nearly a decade of another electric first PHEV whose owners have been running nearly empty tanks with E10 in them. Volt owners aren't reporting problems as a result of this practice. I understand your concerns about water in the tank, but historical evidence with the Volt says it's not an issue. Without this evidence I would completely agree with your position.
 

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Running E10 fuel is bad advice - it doesn't matter if the tank is full or not. Ethanol is probably the single worst liquid fuel we've ever had foisted on us by environmentalists. It takes more energy to create a gallon of ethanol than it generates and that energy generally comes from oil.

What we do have is nearly a decade of another electric first PHEV whose owners have been running nearly empty tanks with E10 in them. Volt owners aren't reporting problems as a result of this practice. I understand your concerns about water in the tank, but historical evidence with the Volt says it's not an issue. Without this evidence I would completely agree with your position.
We at least can agree on this: Ethanol blended fuel sucks.

********************************

As to the rest of your "owners have been running nearly empty tanks with E10 in them" statements:

Please stop using Anecdotal Evidence on an open forum.


Rob43
 

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So, based on what you're saying, if I fill my tank and then drive so that it's only a quarter full (~2 gallons) and then don't anticipate needing more gas for several months, I should go refill the tank. This flies in the face of 10 years and a few million miles of experience with the only other PHEV that won't touch the gas if you don't need it. Remember, the tank is pressurized and the only way to get and keep a positive pressure in the tank is to pump air in as the gas is consumed.

My contention is that it doesn't matter if you start with a full tank and drive it nearly empty and let it sit there or if you simply don't fill the tank more than a couple of gallons when you know you're not going to be using gas. The air in the tank comes in from outside the tank in either case.

Also, since the Volt owners manual tells owners a lot more about the hybrid power train, here's the GM statement on how much gas to keep in the tank (took me a while to find the reference):

2013 Chevrolet Volt Owners Manual; Page 1-25 said:
2013 Chevrolet Volt Owners Manual; Page 1-25 and 2016 Chevrolet Volt Owners Manual; Page 27 said:
"If fuel is not regularly used, consider keeping the fuel tank only one-third full. Excess fuel weight impacts efficiency and range."
This works out to 3 gallons in the Volt. One-third of a tank for the Clarity is 2 and a third gallons. The references are to both Volt generations.

Bottom line, if you're not routinely burning gas, don't refuel to a full tank unless you have other reasons to do so. For instance I filled my Volt's tank a month and a half before a road trip because I knew I wouldn't use the gas and I had an expiring 80 cents off a gallon. I also keep more gas in the tank in the winter because I know it will drop below 15F and the car will run the ICE to help heat the traction battery coolant loop and the passenger cabin. In the other months I'll only fill enough to turn off the low fuel light, but I've been known to drive for weeks with the low fuel light on. I even ran the tank empty to see how the car would respond. It was adequate to get to a gas station, going into a Propulsion Power Reduced mode where it enforced the hypermiling acceleration rule to not use more than half your power.

Personally I don't worry about the "weight" of the gasoline as this is a very minor issue for overall efficiency. What I do get concerned about is the gas going stale. There are two tactics to avoid the stale gas issue. First, don't run gasoline blended with Ethanol if you can avoid it. This won't eliminate the issue but it will reduce problems relating to Ethanol's hydrophilic properties. The second is simply don't keep as much gasoline around so when the car does decide to get rid of it by burning through it you don't have as much to get rid of.

I really wish Honda had given us more technical information on this car in the owners manual - we wouldn't be having this discussion.
 

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So, based on what you're saying, if I fill my tank and then drive so that it's only a quarter full (~2 gallons) and then don't anticipate needing more gas for several months, I should go refill the tank. This flies in the face of 10 years and a few million miles of experience with the only other PHEV that won't touch the gas if you don't need it. Remember, the tank is pressurized and the only way to get and keep a positive pressure in the tank is to pump air in as the gas is consumed.

My contention is that it doesn't matter if you start with a full tank and drive it nearly empty and let it sit there or if you simply don't fill the tank more than a couple of gallons when you know you're not going to be using gas. The air in the tank comes in from outside the tank in either case.

Also, since the Volt owners manual tells owners a lot more about the hybrid power train, here's the GM statement on how much gas to keep in the tank (took me a while to find the reference):

2013 Chevrolet Volt Owners Manual; Page 1-25 said:
This works out to 3 gallons in the Volt. One-third of a tank for the Clarity is 2 and a third gallons. The references are to both Volt generations.

Bottom line, if you're not routinely burning gas, don't refuel to a full tank unless you have other reasons to do so. For instance I filled my Volt's tank a month and a half before a road trip because I knew I wouldn't use the gas and I had an expiring 80 cents off a gallon. I also keep more gas in the tank in the winter because I know it will drop below 15F and the car will run the ICE to help heat the traction battery coolant loop and the passenger cabin. In the other months I'll only fill enough to turn off the low fuel light, but I've been known to drive for weeks with the low fuel light on. I even ran the tank empty to see how the car would respond. It was adequate to get to a gas station, going into a Propulsion Power Reduced mode where it enforced the hypermiling acceleration rule to not use more than half your power.

Personally I don't worry about the "weight" of the gasoline as this is a very minor issue for overall efficiency. What I do get concerned about is the gas going stale. There are two tactics to avoid the stale gas issue. First, don't run gasoline blended with Ethanol if you can avoid it. This won't eliminate the issue but it will reduce problems relating to Ethanol's hydrophilic properties. The second is simply don't keep as much gasoline around so when the car does decide to get rid of it by burning through it you don't have as much to get rid of.

I really wish Honda had given us more technical information on this car in the owners manual - we wouldn't be having this discussion.

LOL,

There are Countless articles on the Dangers of running just a few gallons of gas in your tank as a normal practice.


https://www.google.com/search?q=run...XHilQKHYCMAiAQ_AUICSgA&biw=1366&bih=665&dpr=1



Rob43
 

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So, based on what you're saying, if I fill my tank and then drive so that it's only a quarter full (~2 gallons) and then don't anticipate needing more gas for several months, I should go refill the tank. This flies in the face of 10 years and a few million miles of experience with the only other PHEV that won't touch the gas if you don't need it. Remember, the tank is pressurized and the only way to get and keep a positive pressure in the tank is to pump air in as the gas is consumed.

My contention is that it doesn't matter if you start with a full tank and drive it nearly empty and let it sit there or if you simply don't fill the tank more than a couple of gallons when you know you're not going to be using gas. The air in the tank comes in from outside the tank in either case.

Also, since the Volt owners manual tells owners a lot more about the hybrid power train, here's the GM statement on how much gas to keep in the tank (took me a while to find the reference):




LOL,

There are Countless articles on the Dangers of running just a few gallons of gas in your tank as a normal practice.


https://www.google.com/search?q=run...XHilQKHYCMAiAQ_AUICSgA&biw=1366&bih=665&dpr=1



Rob43
A few posts back you told me to stop using anecdotal evidence, so I found and posted the citations from the owners manuals from both generations of the Volt. Now you're using third party sources for your evidence - you can't have it both ways.

In addition, if you fill the tank completely and then run it down to just a couple of gallons, the pressure has to come from pumping air into the tank. Fuel vapors simply aren't sufficient to provide the pressurization. So do you immediately go and refuel even if you're not going to be using gasoline for the next few months? The reality is the combination of small tanks, significantly lower engine susceptibility to water in the fuel, and positive tank pressurization makes PHEVs with small tanks very resilient when it comes to water vapor in the fuel tank combining with the Ethanol in the fuel. If modern gas engines had this as an issue then they would have water filters similar to those found in diesel fuel systems between the tank and the injectors.

As for OP's situation - he (assumption) posted that he's in the desert southwest. Humidity levels are so low there that water vapor in the tank is a non-issue, even if he were to screw up an put E85 into the tank. (He'd have a lot of other problems, but none related to water.)

I've downloaded the 2018 Clarity Owners Guide and Manual and read through both. Honda provides no clarity on this question, which is unfortunate. What Honda does say is to use Top Tier gas and not to use fuel additives. The Top Tier program has specific requirements for the gasoline mixture itself as well as requirement on all stations for that brand regarding their pumping equipment and underground tanks. These requirements virtually eliminate water and sediments from entering your car's tank via the gas pump.
 
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