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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just got a Lectron Level 1 charger. On the first day, it charged for 3 hours then stopped charging without warning from the charger indicators or HondaLink app. In the last 2 hours that it wasn't charging, the HondaLink Session Details shows TOnU as part of the non-charging time. Today, it didn't charge for the 5 hours it was plugged in. It was used in the only wall outlet that accessible to plug. It's a 110V wall outlet.
Any ideas why this is happening? Could it be problem with the charger? How to fix this? Anybody experienced this issue?
 

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2018 PHEV Touring Atlanta, GA
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We could use a few more details about your situation.

Does your OEM level 1 charger work, the problem is only with your new Lectron level 1 charger? Or is this the only charger that you have?

Have you tried charging using the key fob, or are you only using scheduled charging?

the HondaLink Session Details shows TOnU as part of the non-charging time
I am not aware of any session details in HondaLink. Are you sure you aren't using SmartCharge? If so, what you are describing seems to be normal behavior for SmartCharge.
 

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I had the same issue. I would plug in, the light would turn green indicating charging. When I returned the red light on the charger was either solid or blinking red. I bought another charger and it works fine. All I can think of is that something tripped in the first charger. All were used with the same 110 plug. I don't know of any way to reset the first charger like a fuse etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We could use a few more details about your situation.

Does your OEM level 1 charger work, the problem is only with your new Lectron level 1 charger? Or is this the only charger that you have?

Have you tried charging using the key fob, or are you only using scheduled charging?


I am not aware of any session details in HondaLink. Are you sure you aren't using SmartCharge? If so, what you are describing seems to be normal behavior for SmartCharge.
This is for 2018 Clarity Plug-In. If you open HondaLink, there is a section for SmartCharge activity. If you enter SmartCharge activity by going the Session Details or Charge History, it will give charging stats. I notice when it stopped charging, it puts it TOnU.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I had the same issue. I would plug in, the light would turn green indicating charging. When I returned the red light on the charger was either solid or blinking red. I bought another charger and it works fine. All I can think of is that something tripped in the first charger. All were used with the same 110 plug. I don't know of any way to reset the first charger like a fuse etc.
Interesting. Thanks for replying. We just got that charger which is 21 feet long to reach the car and the wall outlet. We will use other chargers to test. It hasn't happened with public chargers.
What is frustrating is that it doesn't provide possible causes on why it stopped charging and it gives weird terminology to describe nowhere to be found in the manual.
 

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If you open HondaLink, there is a section for SmartCharge activity.
I don't have that option in my HondaLink because I didn't install SmartCharge. The few people who have told us they did said they had problems with it not charging consistently so they uninstalled it.
 

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What is frustrating is that it doesn't provide possible causes on why it stopped charging and it gives weird terminology to describe nowhere to be found in the manual.
The way SmartCharge works is that it tries to schedule charging during times when there is the least environmental impact. It apparently goes beyond just trying to avoid peak demand periods, and instead looks at several factors such as CO2 emissions being emitted by power plants during that period, and it does some type of calculation to decide when is the best time to schedule your charging within the time period that you specified. They claim that in the end you should usually get the amount of charging that you specified in the SmartCharge setup.

Those cryptic messages are trying to tell you why it is avoiding those particular time periods. How they calculate all of this, and where the data that they are using comes from, and what those messages mean, who knows. Maybe Honda is in direct contact with each power company, or maybe there is some type of central database that they use.

Whatever it is doing, feedback from the Clarity owners who have tried SmartCharge is that it is clearly a work in progress. Most people's experience seems to be that they end up with much less charging, or even no charging. That defeats the purpose of why we bought our cars, so no surprise that most people end up uninstalling it.

It's a great idea in theory, hopefully they will get it working well enough that more people will use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't have that option in my HondaLink because I didn't install SmartCharge. The few people who have told us they did said they had problems with it not charging consistently so they uninstalled it.
I didnt install any SmartCharge application. When opening HondaLink, SmartCharge is part of the HondaLink. Could it be a version of HondaLink for Clarity 2018?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The way SmartCharge works is that it tries to schedule charging during times when there is the least environmental impact. It apparently goes beyond just trying to avoid peak demand periods, and instead looks at several factors such as CO2 emissions being emitted by power plants during that period, and it does some type of calculation to decide when is the best time to schedule your charging within the time period that you specified. They claim that in the end you should usually get the amount of charging that you specified in the SmartCharge setup.

Those cryptic messages are trying to tell you why it is avoiding those particular time periods. How they calculate all of this, and where the data that they are using comes from, and what those messages mean, who knows. Maybe Honda is in direct contact with each power company, or maybe there is some type of central database that they use.

Whatever it is doing, feedback from the Clarity owners who have tried SmartCharge is that it is clearly a work in progress. Most people's experience seems to be that they end up with much less charging, or even no charging. That defeats the purpose of why we bought our cars, so no surprise that most people end up uninstalling it.

It's a great idea in theory, hopefully they will get it working well enough that more people will use it.
Thank you so much for the explanation.
Knowing this, I don't want to use SmartCharge, don't recall ever installing it. How do I turn off this feature?
 

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Interesting. Thanks for replying. We just got that charger which is 21 feet long to reach the car and the wall outlet. We will use other chargers to test. It hasn't happened with public chargers.
What is frustrating is that it doesn't provide possible causes on why it stopped charging and it gives weird terminology to describe nowhere to be found in the manual.
You'll discover that Honda's manual leaves a lot of information out.
 

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Thank you so much for the explanation.
Knowing this, I don't want to use SmartCharge, don't recall ever installing it. How do I turn off this feature?
I found out some more about it. It's not really an installation, it came with a recent HondaLink update a couple of months ago, but it's disabled by default. When opening HondaLink for the first time after the update you get a message asking if you want to enable SmartCharge. If you say no, it's still installed but not enabled. To later enable or disable SmartCharge, on the main HondaLink screen click on your vehicle at the top of the screen, that takes you to the My Vehicle screen. On the My Vehicles screen click on the "i" information symbol. Scroll down until you see SmartCharge and select that, it should take you to a screen where you can disable it. If you decide later that you want to try it again you can go back in to the same screen and enable it.

Apparently some people say SmartCharge works okay after they got it set up correctly, but it takes some experimentation due to the lack of documentation.
 

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Does SmartCharge actually allow you to block certain times from charging?
 

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Does SmartCharge actually allow you to block certain times from charging?
Actually the reverse of that, you specify a charging period and it will only charge during that time. I'm actually giving it a tryout, now that I know how easy it is to turn it on and off. The interface for setting it up is similar to setting a regular timer schedule, i.e. you have a start and end time. The difference is that in regular timer scheduling it will begin charging at the start time, and continue charging until it reaches the end time, or 100%, whichever comes first. With SmartCharge it may or may not begin charging at the start time, but it will charge sometime during the period that you specify. Another difference is that you can specify a maximum SOC, like say 85%, and it will only charge up to that point. There is also a minimum SOC setting, like say 40%, it will always charge to that level at the beginning of the schedule, regardless of how much you are ruining the planet by charging at that time.

Weirdly you can specify start and end times in one minute increments if you want to, like say 11:04 PM to 2:37 AM. Normal timer scheduling using HondaLink is done in five minute increments. Timer scheduling in the car can only be done in ten minute increments.

The SmartCharge settings for minimum and maximum SOC are a bit less flexible. For minimum SOC your choices are 0, 25 and 40. For maximum SOC your choices are 55, 70, 85 and 100. Default is 0% and 100%.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I found out some more about it. It's not really an installation, it came with a recent HondaLink update a couple of months ago, but it's disabled by default. When opening HondaLink for the first time after the update you get a message asking if you want to enable SmartCharge. If you say no, it's still installed but not enabled. To later enable or disable SmartCharge, on the main HondaLink screen click on your vehicle at the top of the screen, that takes you to the My Vehicle screen. On the My Vehicles screen click on the "i" information symbol. Scroll down until you see SmartCharge and select that, it should take you to a screen where you can disable it. If you decide later that you want to try it again you can go back in to the same screen and enable it.

Apparently some people say SmartCharge works okay after they got it set up correctly, but it takes some experimentation due to the lack of documentation.
This is right! With the new update, SmarCharge was part of HondaLink, I enrolled without knowing clearly what it is. By following your instructions, it unenrolled to this program.
I will try to charge later and give my feedback if this solves to charge normally.
 

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I tried out SmartCharge last night, seemed to work okay. My battery was already at 80%, I set a schedule from 11:00 pm to 3:00 am to charge to a maximum of 85%. So only 5% of charging would take place which I knew would be short duration. It charged in bits and spurts between 12:06 am and 12:40 am when charging completed at exactly 85%.

Nice concept, but I am hesitant to use it full time because it relies on constant communication with the Honda server, something which is not always reliable. Regular scheduled charging is built into the car, i.e. the schedule is stored within the car. So as long as you are plugged in the previously set schedule will run at the appointed time regardless of whether or not the car is in communication with the Honda server at that moment. Even if you use HondaLink to set the schedule, you are merely remotely changing the schedule that is stored in the car. If there is a later communication problem, it won't affect the previously stored schedule and it will run on time.

SmartCharge works differently, the schedule is stored on the Honda server, which communicates constantly with the car as it sends start and stop commands to the car during the session. If communication between the car and the server breaks down during this time, clearly things will go wrong. Maybe that is rare, I don't know. I will probably keep trying it but I will have to monitor it to see if it is consistent over time.

One thing I already don't like about SmartCharge is that while it is enabled you cannot use regular timer charging. Let's say I have a long drive tomorrow and I don't want to take a chance using SmartCharge, I want to use regular timer charging. However the only way to do that is to disable SmartCharge. Okay that part is easy, but later when I want to enable SmartCharge again I have to go through the whole setup process again including entering my address, agreeing to terms and conditions, setting all of my options up again, etc. Too much hassle in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok, I turned off or unenrolled in SmartCharge. I must say it charges normally now without interruption. No problem with the charger at all.

SmartCharge doesn't work for me since I don't have an individual spot to charge and rely on actually charging it when I need it.
 

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I also enrolled in SmartCharge, thinking that it would help reduce grid loads during peak times. While it did do that, it's also made charging an unpredictable nightmare. Sometimes it works, other times it does not, and there seems to be no rhyme nor reason as to which it's going to be.

I un-enrolled, and now it's entirely predictable.
 

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I also enrolled in SmartCharge, thinking that it would help reduce grid loads during peak times. While it did do that, it's also made charging an unpredictable nightmare. Sometimes it works, other times it does not, and there seems to be no rhyme nor reason as to which it's going to be.

I un-enrolled, and now it's entirely predictable.
I had the same experience, and it seemed to prove what I said in a previous post that the problem with SmartCharge is that it relies on constant communication with the car, unlike regular scheduled charging where the car is able to run the charge schedule itself without any communication going on. Unfortunately communication problems are in my experience usually on Honda's side, not AT&T. This is what makes SmartCharge unreliable.

The first couple of nights that I used SmartCharge it worked well, and I kind of liked it. But in both of those sessions I didn't really need the additional charging, so I wasn't really worried about it. But the third attempt to use SmartCharge I really did need some charging, but after a couple of hours when I checked I noticed it was not charging. And then I discovered that I had a notification on my phone from about an hour prior that charging was unable to start. It was getting too close to the time when I knew it need to start charging in order to get what I needed, so I attempted to press the "Charge Now" button in SmartCharge. But I got a message that it could not communicate with the car. I sometimes get that in HondaLink, the evidence that it's on Honda's side is that the error message pops up less than a second after pressing the button, there is no way communication took place that quickly. Usually closing HondaLink and opening it again fixes it, further proof that the problem was on Honda's side.

In this case closing and reopening HondaLink several times did not fix it. Oddly I tried to turn on climate using the app, and it worked! And as usual when climate is running while you are plugged in it shows "Charging" on the app. I then successfully turned off climate using the app. Then I pressed Charge Now, but I got the same unable to communicate message.

So then I did the next logical and sensible thing. I disabled SmartCharge. I then had no problem setting a regular timer schedule to start in five minutes. It started on time, and I got the charging that I needed.

The only way SmartCharge would be usable is if they built in a failsafe where if communication is lost, the car will start charging on its own at whatever time necessary to reach the desired charge level. If they ever build that into SmartCharge then I would probably use it.
 
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