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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We have owned a 2017 Pacifica Hybrid for about 6 weeks. On about 6 of these days, when I turn the car on after fully charging overnight, it starts driving in gasoline rather than in electric mode and just uses up gasoline and doesn't use the electric charge. We drive mostly short, in-town trips and thought we could do all of our daily driving on electric. That's not happening given this problem.
I called the local dealership, and they asked me if I had pushed the button to switch it on to electric. Obviously, there's no such button, but they argued with me and said that was how their salesperson said the car worked. I had to wait to bring the car in till their hybrid mechanic was there, and then they drove the car around and said they couldn't get the problem to recur. They made it totally clear they had no idea how the car worked or how to investigate the problem.
 

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We have owned a 2017 Pacifica Hybrid for about 6 weeks. On about 6 of these days, when I turn the car on after fully charging overnight, it starts driving in gasoline rather than in electric mode and just uses up gasoline and doesn't use the electric charge. We drive mostly short, in-town trips and thought we could do all of our daily driving on electric. That's not happening given this problem.
I called the local dealership, and they asked me if I had pushed the button to switch it on to electric. Obviously, there's no such button, but they argued with me and said that was how their salesperson said the car worked. I had to wait to bring the car in till their hybrid mechanic was there, and then they drove the car around and said they couldn't get the problem to recur. They made it totally clear they had no idea how the car worked or how to investigate the problem.
Was the outside temp below 45?

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes. I can't swear to the temperature the first few times it happened, but after that I did notice it always happened on cold days. Tonight it happened, and the temperature was 37. I have experimented and turned off all heat/defrost/etc. and that does not fix the problem.
 

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Yes. I can't swear to the temperature the first few times it happened, but after that I did notice it always happened on cold days. Tonight it happened, and the temperature was 37. I have experimented and turned off all heat/defrost/etc. and that does not fix the problem.
Mine runs with out heat on when it's below 45. Another thing is it will randomly at a stop light for 30 seconds or so. Both time with out the heat on.

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We have owned a 2017 Pacifica Hybrid for about 6 weeks. On about 6 of these days, when I turn the car on after fully charging overnight, it starts driving in gasoline rather than in electric mode and just uses up gasoline and doesn't use the electric charge. We drive mostly short, in-town trips and thought we could do all of our daily driving on electric. That's not happening given this problem.
I called the local dealership, and they asked me if I had pushed the button to switch it on to electric. Obviously, there's no such button, but they argued with me and said that was how their salesperson said the car worked. I had to wait to bring the car in till their hybrid mechanic was there, and then they drove the car around and said they couldn't get the problem to recur. They made it totally clear they had no idea how the car worked or how to investigate the problem.
Hi 2017pacificahybridoregon,

I'd like to look into this further for you, please send us a PM with your VIN!

Andrea
Chrysler Social Care Specialist
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for commenting! I haven't gotten many responses, so maybe it's a lemon situation.
seamonkeys1: I'm not sure I understand your situation. Can you explain further?
josephj: yes, that's how Chrysler designed it, which is why it's appalling that the Chrysler technician asked me if I pushed the button to force it to electric!
Thanks again.
 

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I didn't experience that problem when up in NY for Thanksgiving and parked outside overnight. Temps were below 40 every night. I turn the 'auto' off on HVAC, and if it's just me driving, I turn the HVAC off, or set the temp at 65, and fan setting to lowest. I do turn on the heated seats and steering wheel, and I'll drive around until the battery is depleted before gas kicks in. If you watch the 'hybrid info' screen, you'll see how much power your climate is taking. If it draws too much, the engine will start to warm up.
 

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I didn't experience that problem when up in NY for Thanksgiving and parked outside overnight. Temps were below 40 every night. I turn the 'auto' off on HVAC, and if it's just me driving, I turn the HVAC off, or set the temp at 65, and fan setting to lowest. I do turn on the heated seats and steering wheel, and I'll drive around until the battery is depleted before gas kicks in. If you watch the 'hybrid info' screen, you'll see how much power your climate is taking. If it draws too much, the engine will start to warm up.
This is about right. When I drive with just the seat heater running I can generally get the same result. However, it'll still bring on the engine to warm up the engine and batteries if it's below about 3 degrees (37ish farenheit) no matter what climate settings I have. My only consolidation is that, even in winter conditions when the engine comes on at the start of every trip (and then shuts off for good after about 5 minutes), it's still the most efficient car in the class and a hair more efficient than my old Mazda 5. When spring rolls around, the efficiency will be crazy-good again.
 

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For engine turning on, a few things to check:
1. Look on the eHyrbrid screen to see where the power is going. When the engine is on, is it sending power to battery or to heating or both?
2. Use the info screen in the driver dash/console to see what the oil temperature is. Is it cold/low when the engine is on and battery is near full?

I suspect the engine is turning on when it's cold outside. I have both a Pacifica plug-in hybrid and a non-plug in Optima. The Optima's engine is on for 12 minutes even with the battery mostly charged at a stop light in winter.

The owner's manual (page 49, Getting To Know Your Vehicle) says the engine can turn on:
Maintain Exhaust System Catalyst Temperature (after engine start in current ignition cycle - emissions requirement)
 

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same situation with my Pacifica

You have described what we are experiencing exactly.
On cold days (-20Celcius), and some days that are not as cold -8 Celcius (~18 F) it is doing the same, staying on the engine. Monitoring this carefully we went for a week without electric. Mileage dropped to 20 mpg. Very concerning. Took it in and they said there was nothing wrong.

Certainly not what I was hoping for in buying an energy efficient car. I now drive with no heat, no steering wheel or seat heat etc as dealer said that was draining battery (but the charge would stay up to 96-100% the whole time....I don't think I was draining the battery down).

At stop lights care flips between engine and electric on 10-20 second cycles with a lurch. Startles pedestrians! It also tries to regenerate the battery (based on flow of power diagram) despite the battery being almost fully charged.

We did get some electric on a warmer day but still not getting full electrical or anywhere near it.

I appreciate the comment about needing to keep the catalytic exhaust at a certain temperature. I will ask our dealer.

Most frustrating part is just being told there is nothing wrong. Our mileage is now far worse than the Pacifica without hybrid! (we get 20mpg, they are rated at 28-32).
 

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Most frustrating part is just being told there is nothing wrong. Our mileage is now far worse than the Pacifica without hybrid! (we get 20mpg, they are rated at 28-32).
That's what they're rated at, but they don't get that in cold temperatures. No vehicle gets its rated mileage when being driven under those conditions.

Keep in mind that the Pacifica's mileage display also includes electricity. It's not directly comparable to MPG in a gasoline vehicle.

How long have you had the van? It will get better in the spring.
 

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Thanks that is encouraging Breezy,

I have had the van since April. Drove it across the country and back. Great fuel economy. Very comfortable. In the fall we had the recall upgrade and noticed a difference at that point with a rougher transition between electric and hybrid/engine. But this was also as the weather got colder.

I am afraid 20mpg is not good enough for a car I think of as Hybrid and fuel efficient. The car I traded in was an SUV and was better than that. And we sold it in hopes of having a smaller carbon footprint.

I am still wondering if it is only a few of us like this or is this across the board in cold climates?

I look forward to it getting better.

Dori_b
 

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Most frustrating part is just being told there is nothing wrong. Our mileage is now far worse than the Pacifica without hybrid! (we get 20mpg, they are rated at 28-32).
Hmmm. When I look at a 2018 gas Pacifica window sticker, it is rated at 19 city - 28 highway for a combined mpg of 22. And, as @Breezy said - those are in near-perfect laboratory conditions.
 

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As of yesterday we're averaging 32.8 mpg on this gas tank and around 27.xx for life of vehicle (only have 1800 miles on it). We've taken one small trip and averaged 25mpg gas only on that trip. If you're seriously getting 20mpg on gas only, then something is wrong. Might be the van, might be your driving style.
 

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I guess there is a lot of varied user experience. I'm in Toronto and 5 F (-15C) weather we've been having kicks in the engine a lot more. Plus I like to remote start the car.

In my opinion, gas is better for heat than electric so I don't mind the engine doing that. I still get about 26 MPG in this weather from my last tank fill. I was trying to go as much EV in the cold as I could but just gave up on that and drive like I would normally. I still get better mileage than my old Ody in the cold as well.
 

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I guess there is a lot of varied user experience. I'm in Toronto and 5 F (-15C) weather we've been having kicks in the engine a lot more. Plus I like to remote start the car.

In my opinion, gas is better for heat than electric so I don't mind the engine doing that. I still get about 26 MPG in this weather from my last tank fill. I was trying to go as much EV in the cold as I could but just gave up on that and drive like I would normally. I still get better mileage than my old Ody in the cold as well.
I don't believe the weather excuse, we've owned are van since 29th of December. Last few days were the first its been above 15f since ownership. For a week straight it was -15f at night and high of 6f during the day. We were still able to keep the engine off. If you want to run every defroster, temp of 75f and driving hard. Sure engine will stay on entire time.
 

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I don't believe the weather excuse, we've owned are van since 29th of December. Last few days were the first its been above 15f since ownership. For a week straight it was -15f at night and high of 6f during the day. We were still able to keep the engine off. If you want to run every defroster, temp of 75f and driving hard. Sure engine will stay on entire time.
No, there's definitely a temperature component. My car was in refresh mode all week even though we had to put fuel in it this week. It was below 0C all week (-5 to -15). This weekend has been above zero the whole time and lo & behold the van has been in pure EV mode all weekend. We haven't used a drop of fuel! I'm curious to see what will happen tomorrow. It's supposed to be minus five so I'm wondering if the van will behave normally by switching between hybrid to EV mode or whether it will go back into refresh mode.

I wish the refresh mode was better documented. I would love to know what variables the system is using to determine when it should enter it and what changes need to be present for it to clear it. As it is now it seem guaranteed to come on if the ambient air is -20 or colder but can trigger randomly at any time from below zero to -20. Once triggered though it doesn't seem to go away until the ambient air goes above zero again unless it was due to the extreme cold, then it goes away if the temp goes above -20.
 

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I don't believe the weather excuse, we've owned are van since 29th of December. Last few days were the first its been above 15f since ownership. For a week straight it was -15f at night and high of 6f during the day. We were still able to keep the engine off. If you want to run every defroster, temp of 75f and driving hard. Sure engine will stay on entire time.


No, there's definitely a temperature component. My car was in refresh mode all week even though we had to put fuel in it this week. It was below 0C all week (-5 to -15). This weekend has been above zero the whole time and lo & behold the van has been in pure EV mode all weekend. We haven't used a drop of fuel! I'm curious to see what will happen tomorrow. It's supposed to be minus five so I'm wondering if the van will behave normally by switching between hybrid to EV mode or whether it will go back into refresh mode.

I wish the refresh mode was better documented. I would love to know what variables the system is using to determine when it should enter it and what changes need to be present for it to clear it. As it is now it seem guaranteed to come on if the ambient air is -20 or colder but can trigger randomly at any time from below zero to -20. Once triggered though it doesn't seem to go away until the ambient air goes above zero again unless it was due to the extreme cold, then it goes away if the temp goes above -20.
0c is 32f, I'm talking -17c not even including windchill. We were down to -15f there for a few days with windchill. We remotely started the van those days and still ran mostly electric during driving only time I recall engine kicking on was large hills.
 

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0c is 32f, I'm talking -17c not even including windchill. We were down to -15f there for a few days with windchill. We remotely started the van those days and still ran mostly electric during driving only time I recall engine kicking on was large hills.
Van doesn't care about windchill. We've been down to -40 lately with windchill. The only temperature the van cares about is actual ambient temperature. And it doesn't matter whether you agree or not, I'm just stating the facts of how my van has behaved and the observations I've made. Plenty of others have made similar observations. Temperature is definitely a factor.
 
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