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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our 2018 Clarity Plugin Hybrid was at airport parking for 4 days, when we picked it up yesterday to drive home we had a warning light "Transmission Problem Apply Parking Brake When Parked", and transmission indicator D was flashing. It's Sunday afternoon, and I figured if the warning was just to apply parking brake when parked, it was ok to drive.

We drove it 50 miles home, with no problem. I can't find anything other than "take it in for service". My local dealer said Honda recommends having it towed in if the transmission light is flashing, but I can drive it if I want to????

Any ideas what's going on here? Is it safe to drive?
 

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Welcome to the forum!

I'd check the 12V aux battery is it is about 5 years old by now - AAA has a battery service truck that can check battery capacity.

Also, try resetting the ECU by disconnecting the 12V aux battery when your mechanic or AAA checks the battery.

The "transmission" is just a 1 speed motor so there are any complicated transfer gears like a conventional transmission has.

I'd drive it around town and see that may fix it.
 

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Our 2018 Clarity Plugin Hybrid was at airport parking for 4 days, when we picked it up yesterday to drive home we had a warning light "Transmission Problem Apply Parking Brake When Parked", and transmission indicator D was flashing. It's Sunday afternoon, and I figured if the warning was just to apply parking brake when parked, it was ok to drive.

We drove it 50 miles home, with no problem. I can't find anything other than "take it in for service". My local dealer said Honda recommends having it towed in if the transmission light is flashing, but I can drive it if I want to????

Any ideas what's going on here? Is it safe to drive?
Hey Mik1putt,

Have the same exact error message, similar ambiguous dealershyt suggestions ("drive it in, or you can tow it in if you're not sure"--If I'm not sure???).

I did drive it 25miles this morning, all EV mode, with no indication of any issues. My thought--please correct if faulty--is the "transmission" used in electric mode is some sort of electric modulator from battery to wheels..And that the "true" transmission--ie the one with a serious risk of being damaged if driven while compromised (as per the error message)-- kicks in only when the ICE/gas-burning engine kicks in.

I have no proof for my 2nd hypothesis (again, please correct if illogical), but I suspect the electrical glitches may be activating this error code.

That is because I've had intermittent times plugging in at home 120V, when the green light on the OEM charger block blinks red under the green while charging until I unplug and re-plug. This continues until I unplug and replug multiple times, charging a little at a time until the red light flashes.

The strange thing about it is, there can be MONTHS when I see no sign of this error, then it can return for days, only to re-appear again.
Very annoying, but livable, this. The aforementioned transmission warning--much more concerning.

Anyone know some way to reset the electrical system and perhaps make the (hopefully false) transmission warning (AND my charging glitches) go away? Anyone try the 12V battery disconnect method with any success? Thanks for any insights and ideas to clarify (heh) these problems!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies.

I ended up"fixing" it the way I fix a lot of things-- I messed around with it (flicked in and out of Reverse several times, set and unset parking brake a couple of times, backed up, put it in neutral, pulled forward, etc) the warning light went out, and the transmission indicator stopped flashing. I drove it in both EV and HV modes and all seems well.

I called the local dealer and they said don't bring it in, they can't perform a diagnostic if there's no warning light.

Good luck Clarify, I hope you get your's figured out.
 

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My thought--please correct if faulty--is the "transmission" used in electric mode is some sort of electric modulator from battery to wheels..And that the "true" transmission--ie the one with a serious risk of being damaged if driven while compromised (as per the error message)-- kicks in only when the ICE/gas-burning engine kicks in.
There is no transmission in the traditional sense in the Clarity. The electric motor is pretty much connected directly to the axles, it's not going through any type of gears. When the gas engine comes on it mostly just generates electricity, which is then sent to the electric motor, again without going through any type of transmission. The one exception is that when cruising at steady speed the engine is connected directly to the wheels through a clutch and drives the wheels though a single overdrive gear ratio. This is known as direct drive mode, it pops in and out of this mode pretty often while driving, but you can't feel it or hear it happening, the only way you know it's even happening is there is a little "gear" icon that appears in the energy display (the screen that shows where the power is coming from and going to) whenever direct drive is engaged.

How any of this relates to the transmission error message is anyone's guess.
 

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There is no transmission in the traditional sense in the Clarity. The electric motor is pretty much connected directly to the axles, it's not going through any type of gears. When the gas engine comes on it mostly just generates electricity, which is then sent to the electric motor, again without going through any type of transmission. The one exception is that when cruising at steady speed the engine is connected directly to the wheels through a clutch and drives the wheels though a single overdrive gear ratio. This is known as direct drive mode, it pops in and out of this mode pretty often while driving, but you can't feel it or hear it happening, the only way you know it's even happening is there is a little "gear" icon that appears in the energy display (the screen that shows where the power is coming from and going to) whenever direct drive is engaged.

How any of this relates to the transmission error message is anyone's guess.
This is very much appreciated-- thank you!

Similarly to the OP, I have this anxiety-arousing message with no noticeable change in drive quality, sounds, or anything else (no signs of leaked transmission oil, etc).

Unfortunately, neither the 12V disconnect (+ 30 minute wait), nor the jiggle-the-car-and-press- every-button methods have succeeded in making it stop. Yet.

So I think I'll keep waiting this out a bit longer, hoping it stops like the battery charging issue I had. Sure is annoying AF. Would appreciate any other insights. Thanks!
 

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Our 2018 Clarity Plugin Hybrid was at airport parking for 4 days, when we picked it up yesterday to drive home we had a warning light "Transmission Problem Apply Parking Brake When Parked", and transmission indicator D was flashing. It's Sunday afternoon, and I figured if the warning was just to apply parking brake when parked, it was ok to drive.

We drove it 50 miles home, with no problem. I can't find anything other than "take it in for service". My local dealer said Honda recommends having it towed in if the transmission light is flashing, but I can drive it if I want to????

Any ideas what's going on here? Is it safe to drive?
The only reason I could think of for a very specific message such as “Transmission Problem Apply Parking Brake When Parked” would be related to a parking pawl that is engaged in the “transmission” when you put the car in Park. The pawl effectively locks the wheels so the car doesn’t roll away while sitting idle. Perhaps the pawl was sticking and wouldn’t engage and the car detected that. I don’t know. But in any case, it wouldn’t seem to be a very serious problem as long as you followed the direction it gave you and apply the parking brake when you park. If the message stops displaying I would think that the car thinks the problem is no longer present. This does not sound like the type of error message requiring you to have the car towed.

Also, I don’t know where you live but I took my Clarity to the dealer in response to a letter they sent me saying they’d give me a $50 gift card if I brought it in for them to look at to make me an offer to buy it. When I brought the car in they admitted they had never seen a Clarity before and they couldn’t even remember the model name until I told them. Judging by how little they know about my car, I would be hesitant to believe anything they tell me “off the cuff” without showing me what it says in a manual somewhere.
 

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I didn't finish watching this (almost half way) but it is a detailed rebuild and explanation of the Clarity transmission, aka e-CVT. Looks more like a Prius transmission vs a traditional CVT. I'm considering having the fluid changed but debating what to use. Haven't been checking the level as it says to when doing maintenance item "0"...

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Also, I don’t know where you live but I took my Clarity to the dealer in response to a letter they sent me saying they’d give me a $50 gift card if I brought it in for them to look at to make me an offer to buy it. When I brought the car in they admitted they had never seen a Clarity before and they couldn’t even remember the model name until I told them. Judging by how little they know about my car, I would be hesitant to believe anything they tell me “off the cuff” without showing me what it says in a manual somewhere.
I bought it in NC, the service was very knowledgeable/good there. We moved to NH a couple of years ago and I took it in for annual inspection to renew the registration. The local dealer told me it failed because the windshield washer isn't working, they believed the fluid supply line was crimped or cut. I told them it was working, they just didn't see it because it shoots directly out of the wiper. They insisted something was wrong and I had to take it back to show them. I understand they don't see a lot of Claritys but I lost confidence in them that day.
 

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Our 2018 Clarity Plugin Hybrid was at airport parking for 4 days, when we picked it up yesterday to drive home we had a warning light "Transmission Problem Apply Parking Brake When Parked", and transmission indicator D was flashing. It's Sunday afternoon, and I figured if the warning was just to apply parking brake when parked, it was ok to drive.

We drove it 50 miles home, with no problem. I can't find anything other than "take it in for service". My local dealer said Honda recommends having it towed in if the transmission light is flashing, but I can drive it if I want to????

Any ideas what's going on here? Is it safe to drive?
Oh I know this one too well. It is the control board in the center console. The error message is misleading. First somebody here already gave you a clue. He shifted forward reverse park neutral etc and the error disappeared. That is because some times the reverse switch gets stuff stuck in the hole. So clean and inspect all of your transmission switches. Exercise all of them. That might do it. The reason I know the error call out is that I was reprograming the center consol to always start in sport mode so that I could have regen on by default. Long story short, if mutiple switches are detected as down you get this error and yes it is safe to drive that way.
 

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I can confirm Mitter_Mitch's reply. We had this message a few weeks ago. I was dreading an expensive transmission repair - even tho the car drove fine. Turns out the reverse switch was a little sticky. Sorta like a pepsi syndrome.
 

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Oh I know this one too well. It is the control board in the center console. The error message is misleading. First somebody here already gave you a clue. He shifted forward reverse park neutral etc and the error disappeared. That is because some times the reverse switch gets stuff stuck in the hole. So clean and inspect all of your transmission switches. Exercise all of them. That might do it. The reason I know the error call out is that I was reprograming the center consol to always start in sport mode so that I could have regen on by default. Long story short, if mutiple switches are detected as down you get this error and yes it is safe to drive that way.
how do you do this? is there a thread on this? Thanks
 

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Just wanted to let everyone know my error message from hell on the transmission also disappeared of its own accord (or its own aclarity..[I see what you did there]). It seems like the "sticky/garbage in the reverse switch area" held true for me too, as it cleared up shortly after I removed a tiny piece of black plastic under the R switch

Good luck, & hope this saves you some stress with this crazily over-engineered POS (which I mostly like, but wish it had about double the range & less esoteric control bs, and especially a working CD player, would be perfect for ME).

Thanks for hearing me vent, too!
 

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Our 2018 Clarity Plugin Hybrid was at airport parking for 4 days, when we picked it up yesterday to drive home we had a warning light "Transmission Problem Apply Parking Brake When Parked", and transmission indicator D was flashing. It's Sunday afternoon, and I figured if the warning was just to apply parking brake when parked, it was ok to drive.

We drove it 50 miles home, with no problem. I can't find anything other than "take it in for service". My local dealer said Honda recommends having it towed in if the transmission light is flashing, but I can drive it if I want to????

Any ideas what's going on here? Is it safe to drive?
This is a fairly common warning. Usually the problem seems to be a sticky reverse button not completely releasing. Think of few drops of Coke or coffee dripped onto the transmission console.
 
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