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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.
I think we can agree to disagree. I will say you are wrong about windchill temps, the van takes this into account as well. If you are keeping internal temps reasonable with no defrost, and engine still runs then something is wrong. Whether its driving style or the van, something simply is wrong.
 

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The van can't even measure the windchill- it would need a wind speed sensor to do it.
The relationship between the ICE start and weather are not straight forward. In my experience, the ICE will start regardless of the climate settings when the temperatures are below freezing. At about 40F the van will drive electric when the climate is off, but will go to ICE when it is turned on.
The Refresh Mode is different, it activates after the van is driven for 1/4 mile and is not affected by the climate settings.
 

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I think we can agree to disagree. I will say you are wrong about windchill temps, the van takes this into account as well. If you are keeping internal temps reasonable with no defrost, and engine still runs then something is wrong. Whether its driving style or the van, something simply is wrong.
You can disagree about the windchill thing but the nice thing about facts is that they are true whether or not you agree with them. Windchill is an apparent temperature and has more to do with the rate of cooling than being an actual, measurable temperature (windchill is a calculated temperature, not an observable temperature). If you were to measure the temperature of your van it will measure the same temperature as the air (assuming it has not been run) regardless of whether there is a windchill factor or not. It will never be colder than the ambient air temperature. If it's -25 out and the windchill is making it feel like -40 your van, without a doubt, will measure to be -25. That is a fact. If you don't believe me feel free to google windchill and how it is calculated or buy a couple of thermometers and leave one in your van and the other outside. If they're identical and calibrated they will read the same thing and neither will tell you the windchill.

Some more data points for everyone else.

Today the ambient air temp went back below zero. As I suspected my van went back into refresh mode after being in refresh mode all last week despite new fuel and spending the weekend in EV mode since the temps were above zero. Unlike last week however I spent part of my commute at highway speed today and when I got to work the refresh mode had ended and the van was back to alternating between EV mode and hybrid mode depending on whether the coolant temp was in between 70C and 80C. I noticed that outside of refresh mode the hybrid mode will engage if the coolant temp drops below 70C and will stay on until the coolant reaches about 80C at which point it will go back into EV mode until the coolant temp drops below 70C again and then the cycle repeats. I believe this to be normal behaviour and the nominal temperature range the PacHy likes to keep the coolant at.

Furthermore I have observed it engage refresh mode in ambient temperatures below -20 or so and I suspect it's because once the coolant temp reaches 80C, in those conditions, the coolant temp drops so quickly that EV mode would only last for about a minute before the coolant drops below 70C again. I suspect the engineers decided that rather than have the van constantly switching between EV and hybrid mode every minute or so they would just force it to stay in Hybrid mode via the refresh mode since at -20 and below it bleeds the heat away too quickly. It's better to just keep the engine running to stay warm. I also observed that when that version of refresh mode is engaged it only persists so long as the outside air temp is below -20, once it warms up above that threshold it reverts back to EV/Hybrid mode.

So to sum up:
- Refresh mode engages automatically if fuel is 90+ days old.
--> - Refresh mode - if engaged due to old gas - is cleared by adding new gas.

- Refresh mode engages automatically if outside air temp is -20 or colder.
--> - Refresh mode - if engaged due to extreme cold - is cleared once warmer weather arrives.

- Refresh mode engages randomly if outside air is below zero for reasons as yet unknown.
--> - Mysterious refresh mode - disengages temporarily if outside air temp goes above zero but re-engages once temps drop back below zero. Also seems to clear if the van is driven at highway speeds for several minutes continuously.

If anyone can add their observations to this it would be helpful. These are just my observations with my van, more data points are needed to come up with some theories, test them out, and hopefully reach some conclusions.

My current working theory based on my observations so far, and my admittedly limited knowledge of how piston engines work after taking three years of aviation college with aero-engine courses (piston engines are all pretty much the same), is that I suspect in colder weather - with temps below 0C - condensation builds up in the cylinders from a combination of the combustion process and having cold metal cylinders due to EV mode being engaged so frequently. That condensation and combustion byproducts then gets into the oil which is, in turn, sensed by the van which then triggers refresh mode. Several minutes of highway driving may get the engine hot enough to get rid of the moisture and contaminant in the oil and when the van no longer senses those things it disengages the refresh mode. That's my current theory as to what's happening. Any mechanical engineers out there?
 

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Mike, I think you're mixing together the refresh mode and the ICE run in the cold weather. Do you see the "Refresh Mode" message on the dashboard?
Also, once the ICE is started, it will run up to the working temperature and restart periodically to keep the catalytic hot. It will restart regardless of why it started in the first place- from the cold, refresh mode or rapid acceleration.
 

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Mike, I think you're mixing together the refresh mode and the ICE run in the cold weather. Do you see the "Refresh Mode" message on the dashboard?
Also, once the ICE is started, it will run up to the working temperature and restart periodically to keep the catalytic hot. It will restart regardless of why it started in the first place- from the cold, refresh mode or rapid acceleration.
Yes, I know the difference between the two and I'm not mixing them up. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough but as I stated in my post, alternating between hybrid and EV mode is normal operation for this van in cold weather. My observations are related to the refresh mode engaging with the message in the display showing on startup.
 

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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).
-9 celcius here in Toronto this morning and my wife has the exact same issue. Had the van since mid February and this starts to happen. Has anyone been able to get any response from the dealership or from @ChryslerCares regarding this issue. What I can say is that we took her in for a car wash last night. That's the only thing I did differently.


Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

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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
Hi I have the same issue with my 2018 Pacifica, it is incredibly frustrating because I anticipated a substantial gas savings which will not be realized. Even more frustrating is that I do not have this problem with my GF's Ford C Max which is also a PHEV. I can't help but suspect that it can be remedied with software/firmware
 

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Hi Mike;

Your observations seem to match my experience up here in Thunder Bay Ontario. WRT the condensation factor, this could indeed be a possibility, as I witnessed this exact phenomena with my GF's Ford CMax PHEV. However, it happened once last winter and that was it, for the entire winter!! We haven't even hit the winter yet and my Pacifica is already crying uncle! I hope ther is a fix for this that will allow me to drive exclusively in EV when I choose to, because when it goes into gas in the city the fuel economy is [email protected]#.

You can disagree about the windchill thing but the nice thing about facts is that they are true whether or not you agree with them. Windchill is an apparent temperature and has more to do with the rate of cooling than being an actual, measurable temperature (windchill is a calculated temperature, not an observable temperature). If you were to measure the temperature of your van it will measure the same temperature as the air (assuming it has not been run) regardless of whether there is a windchill factor or not. It will never be colder than the ambient air temperature. If it's -25 out and the windchill is making it feel like -40 your van, without a doubt, will measure to be -25. That is a fact. If you don't believe me feel free to google windchill and how it is calculated or buy a couple of thermometers and leave one in your van and the other outside. If they're identical and calibrated they will read the same thing and neither will tell you the windchill.

Some more data points for everyone else.

Today the ambient air temp went back below zero. As I suspected my van went back into refresh mode after being in refresh mode all last week despite new fuel and spending the weekend in EV mode since the temps were above zero. Unlike last week however I spent part of my commute at highway speed today and when I got to work the refresh mode had ended and the van was back to alternating between EV mode and hybrid mode depending on whether the coolant temp was in between 70C and 80C. I noticed that outside of refresh mode the hybrid mode will engage if the coolant temp drops below 70C and will stay on until the coolant reaches about 80C at which point it will go back into EV mode until the coolant temp drops below 70C again and then the cycle repeats. I believe this to be normal behaviour and the nominal temperature range the PacHy likes to keep the coolant at.

Furthermore I have observed it engage refresh mode in ambient temperatures below -20 or so and I suspect it's because once the coolant temp reaches 80C, in those conditions, the coolant temp drops so quickly that EV mode would only last for about a minute before the coolant drops below 70C again. I suspect the engineers decided that rather than have the van constantly switching between EV and hybrid mode every minute or so they would just force it to stay in Hybrid mode via the refresh mode since at -20 and below it bleeds the heat away too quickly. It's better to just keep the engine running to stay warm. I also observed that when that version of refresh mode is engaged it only persists so long as the outside air temp is below -20, once it warms up above that threshold it reverts back to EV/Hybrid mode.

So to sum up:
- Refresh mode engages automatically if fuel is 90+ days old.
--> - Refresh mode - if engaged due to old gas - is cleared by adding new gas.

- Refresh mode engages automatically if outside air temp is -20 or colder.
--> - Refresh mode - if engaged due to extreme cold - is cleared once warmer weather arrives.

- Refresh mode engages randomly if outside air is below zero for reasons as yet unknown.
--> - Mysterious refresh mode - disengages temporarily if outside air temp goes above zero but re-engages once temps drop back below zero. Also seems to clear if the van is driven at highway speeds for several minutes continuously.

If anyone can add their observations to this it would be helpful. These are just my observations with my van, more data points are needed to come up with some theories, test them out, and hopefully reach some conclusions.

My current working theory based on my observations so far, and my admittedly limited knowledge of how piston engines work after taking three years of aviation college with aero-engine courses (piston engines are all pretty much the same), is that I suspect in colder weather - with temps below 0C - condensation builds up in the cylinders from a combination of the combustion process and having cold metal cylinders due to EV mode being engaged so frequently. That condensation and combustion byproducts then gets into the oil which is, in turn, sensed by the van which then triggers refresh mode. Several minutes of highway driving may get the engine hot enough to get rid of the moisture and contaminant in the oil and when the van no longer senses those things it disengages the refresh mode. That's my current theory as to what's happening. Any mechanical engineers out there?
 

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Similar experience here in MI. Just had it in for some recalls and updates, as well as addressing the sulfur/rotten egg smell during charging issue (posted about in another thread), and haven't had much chance to make observations since, but I concur that the mileage recently, while we've been dealing with this, has been truly terrible -- like 20 or less. Also, when it happens, the ICE seems unusually loud and revving high (shame we don't have tachometers!).
 

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Similar experience here in MI. Just had it in for some recalls and updates, as well as addressing the sulfur/rotten egg smell during charging issue (posted about in another thread), and haven't had much chance to make observations since, but I concur that the mileage recently, while we've been dealing with this, has been truly terrible -- like 20 or less. Also, when it happens, the ICE seems unusually loud and revving high (shame we don't have tachometers!).
Closest thing to a tachometer would be using the "Hybrid" app. Every time the engine sounds louder than it should, I can see that its charging the battery in the 10-12 kw range.
 

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Closest thing to a tachometer would be using the "Hybrid" app. Every time the engine sounds louder than it should, I can see that its charging the battery in the 10-12 kw range.
Another possibility is to reconfigure the left side of the instrument cluster display so that it shows the "Charge / Power" meter. This meter has two arcs in different shades of blue. The shorter arc shows you whether the engine is running and how much power it is providing. It isn't calibrated in RPM or anything like that but it does give you a clue as to what is happening. The longer arc shows you whether the motive battery is providing power or being charged.
 

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I was getting close to 38 miles before the battery was at 0%. Now i'm lucky to get 20. It is cold out but I noticed this right after I had it in the shop. I used to judge my mileage based on how close I could get to making it over the WW bridge. Now I can't even make it to the beltway.
 

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After a full charge overnight, my PacHy acts very consistently during our cold winter weather. (Northern lower Michigan, 44.25 degrees N)

Outside temp is freezing or below all night.

Auto temp control selected for both front positions and set to 70 deg. F. Rear temp control set to auto and 65 deg. F. Heated wheel for 5 minutes.
Remote start in the garage and the engine always starts and runs and keeps running for 3 minutes before we leave the house, and runs perhaps for a half mile afterward, then turns off.

Local trips for perhaps 1.5 hours this morning. Engine only ran when I parked and sat in the car with it ON and the aforementioned climate control settings. It will kick in periodically for maybe 2 minutes, then shut off. Happens maybe every ten to fifteen minutes, but most times longer.
I'm thinking this is all normal and probably mostly related to cold weather and the climate control system. The most I've gotten all electric was 25 miles, and that was during a 100 mile highway run.

Everything I've read about Teslas indicates that "heat" mode on the climate control really shortens the range, and that A/C is not near as demanding. Supposedly those guys that did the CA - NY trip froze their butts off in order to make it between charging stations. I know all about that from riding to Wayne State Univ in a buddie's 1960 Bug. My job was to scrape the inside of the windshield. No thanks. I'll stick to hybrids.

I'm happy. The current "trip" (zeroed after filling up the tank and the battery pack) is showing the following:
116 miles, 45 of which is battery only, About 3/16 (approx 3 gallons) of a tank used and 35kW from charging. (Plug in monitor) That's six bucks for gas and $5.51 for juice. Works out to about 9 cents per mile at our current 2 buck a gallon gas prices.
My 2009 Chevy Traverse AWD would get maybe 15mpg average under the same conditions and type of operating mode. It only neared 20mpg average on extended trips. 13 cents plus per mile. And we all know 2 bucks a gallon is going to last. HaHa

Going to collect this data until the low fuel warning comes on, fill it up then post the results here.

PS I'm not green. I could not care less about my carbon footprint. I just grew to hate multi step, dinosaur transmissions after driving them for 45 years. Almost as much as I hate buying gasoline here in a tourist trap town where we get ripped off. The planetary mixing system invented by Toyota is marvelous. Smooth and controllable. This basic approach- controlling sun gear speed to vary the gear ratio, is now used in very large, heavy pieces of equipment such as the high speed steering in the M-1 Abrams main battle tank. Hydrostatic instead of electric motor, tho. Like driving a 70 ton Cadillac at 45mph.

PPS Had to edit this and change the PacHy per mile rate to 9 cents per mile. .08/kWh charge is before Consumers adds on all their various charges. Actual rate is 15.5 cents per kWh.
 

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My first PHEV was a 2017 Volt and I'm pretty disappointed with the winter experience in my Pacifica. Granted the Volt is a much smaller car with a much smaller engine and with a much bigger battery than the Pacifica but I feel like the Pacifica runs the engine way way more on similar short trips. The Volt tells you why the engine is running right in the console (either says "engine maintenance" or "due to temperature") but the Pacifica has zero feedback. The Volt even allows to to cancel the maintenance (but of course not indefinitely). I'm not really buying the 45 degree number that a lot of people have been posting about in this thread; I've made all electric trips in the low 30's. Hopefully future models will provide more information and also user preferences for battery usage that other PHEV's have.
 

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Temp was above freezing for most of yesterday, and I don't think the engine ran for more than 5 minutes during our various trips, and only at start up. (7.4kW needed for 100% charge afterward.) The longest engine run period was during a remote start after the temp dropped to below freezing.

Seems to be much discontent with the electric range vs Chrysler's "33 mile" claim. I think they made a huge mistake by emphasizing that. It's a hybrid. It's algorithms cause it to perform the way it needs to for all around efficiency, safety, and comfort. Viewed that way, FCA hit it out of the park.
 
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