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2019 Pacifica Hybrid Limited
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Just because the tranny doesn't have conventional gears doesn't mean it can't be the source of the noise. Have you tried running the battery down and using the gas engine to see if that sound comes back? Just need to clarify if it's cleared up because it's doing electric only, or if you've run with gas similar to what FORM was doing. Would be very strange if it only happens only with FORM on, and would be a real pain to reproduce.
 

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2021 PacHy Pinnacle Maximum Steel
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@jmarston...ignore the rude replies. Like you, FORM came on for me, as expected, after months of almost all electric-only use. Like you, my tank seemed to empty at an alarming rate. FORM stayed on for several days and after I re-filled the tank it went off. A few days later and everything seems to be back to normal. I think the reason the tank seemed to empty so quickly is because frankly the van doesn't get great fuel economy when not in electric or hybrid mode. That should be obvious, but when you're used to the incredible electric economy, it can take you by surprise.
I agree with you, PacHy will not run in electric or Hybrid mode while in FORM. As engine will not shutdown while on a red light etc. This will cause a usually abnormal use of gasoline (for what we are use to) also remember PacHy has a smaller gas tank than her sister the regular gas model, so it will deplete faster. In a way makes sense if the van is trying to burn fuel to avoid it to get stale, so any measure to save gas would actually work against it's goal of emptying the tank enough to get out of FORM mode.
 

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2021 Velvet Red Pacifica Hybrid Touring L
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Please try to be civil in this forum. This vehicle is very complex. The manual is voluminous is even more complex. Owners have different levels of understanding and experience. Corrections of mistaken statements can be done kindly and without insulting.

Thanks
 

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2021 Pacifica Limited Hybrid
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My Limited went into FORM awhile back. My millage dropped from 60 to the 30s. I had the same noises from the transmission and took it in for service. They did two flash updates and it was out of FORM when returned. I agree keeping the fuel tank low enough so you can add fuel to get it out of FORM. I think with the battery at or near 100% and Form causes the motors in the transmission to switch back and forth. My current trip info is:
925.0 total miles
694.5 electric miles
230.7 Hybrid miles
59 MPG
I run in electric most of the time and half of the Hybrid was from FORM. I have not added gas since purchased.2/26/2021
 

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FORM also doesn’t explain the jolts in the vehicle that outside spectators turned to look at when driving through a parking lot.
I'm glad I found this Forum. My 2021 PACHY Limited just did this same thing. I had less than 600 miles on it; and haven't put gas in it since my full tank from purchase. Tank got down to 3/4 and FORM message came on. Next thing you know, the vehicle sounded like it was going to fall apart on me. Loud clunks..and felt like it was going to stall.

I drove home and called the dealer right away. Told them FORM message was on the screen (I didn't know what it meant at the time...yeah, I know...read the manual); however, the service advisor had no clue what FORM is and wanted me to schedule a service appt. I came to this forum and found this was a common issue with FORM (and yes...read "read the manual" on others posts). I also read that just filling the tank up would fix it, which it did. I also read if you periodically drive longer than just city, which I did as well. A nice trip to Half Moon Bay the next day cleared everything up.
Now I know what to look for and I canceled the service appt.

I still does not make me feel good about the loud clunky experience, but at least I know the root cause and a solution. Service Advisor is not very helpful.
 

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2020 Hybrid Touring L
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68 Posts
See my post on another thread below...I have only experienced FORM once in my ownership, with a fully charged battery. That being said keep in mind in FORM the engine will constantly run at a minimum RPM, even when stopped. With the Si-Evt there Is no way to disconnect the engine from the gear train and motors. When the battery pack is not fully charged my theory is there is no noticeable difference in the drivetrain other than the engine is continuously running. Excess torque from the ICE is routed to the generator motor to serve the energy to the battery.

However, if the battery pack is full, and your vehicle speed is lower than the natural gear ratio associated with the engine power being routed exclusively to the final drive gear through the planetary gears (see videos on YouTube from Prof. Kelly to learn how this transmission works) then there is excess torque being produced by the ICE which can't turn the wheels, as such this excess torque is dissipated via the single clutch pack in the transmission as heat/friction. Now this clutch is really only used in this scenario, we never otherwise feel it or the "jerk" when it is slipping, nor do I bet Chrysler was over concerned with comfort over function in this mode.

I didn't engineer the Si-Evt but knowing how it was helps me have comfort that no harm is occurring in FORM. If it is bothersome then simply perform the conditions to get it to exit the mode.

 

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FWIW - My BMW 330e and my BMW i3 Rex never did this. Both were smooth running machines. I have an 2021 Audi Q5 Hybrid on order. I'm hoping for a better ride with that as well. This PACHY is a dog mobile for our 4 huskies and it only goes around town..at least for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Pardon the delays in responses, but wanted to share an update and respond to a few of the helpful posts before this:
  • I took the vehicle into service on Monday after getting FORM turned off (put 4 gallons in the truck). Service Dept acted like they had no idea what FORM was, and it took me showing photos and videos for multiple staff members to say "oh, that doesn't look right".
  • After a day in the shop, they indicated they were not able to find any mechanical issues with the vehicle (no surprise since FORM was turned off). However, they did say my vehicle had at least 3 software updates that needed to be applied - one being the rear hatch issue I described below.
  • Since applying those updates: no repeat of hatch issues, my vehicle is finally logging driving history on the PHEV settings again (even though it didn't the day I drove to and from the shop), and MPG and battery life seem to be back to expected state (a quirk I reported in another post).

I'm curious how others have been able to "prevent" going into FORM with over 1k miles and little to no gas use, but I'm going to try and use a gallon or so every week where I can moving forward to avoid the pain that was FORM. To some of the other notes before:

As I understand it, you are saying that the fuel gauge went from full to 3/4 after 50 to 100 miles of hybrid use, right? The fuel tank holds 16.5 gallons, so if the gauge is accurate, you used a bit over 4 gallons to go 50 to 100 miles. In turn, that means your gas mileage was somewhere between 12.5 and 25 mpg during that period if you rely on the gauge. Those numbers are a long way from the displayed 50 mpg.

The knocking/jolt is the real cause for concern. The dealer won't be able to duplicate if it is not in FORM and so will not address the issue unless there are codes to pinpoint an issue.
At 1/2 a 16.5g tank of gas use for 50-100 miles, that would be 6.06 to 12.12mpg, not 12.5 to 25. The displayed 50 mpg was taken a little after FORM initially came on. Before that it and over 700 miles, the car had 55+ mpg displayed. From that point to the point of the photo showing 929 miles, the overall mpg for the vehicle dropped to below 25. You're right about the dealer's ability to reproduce the error. In fact, when I arrived they looked at me like I was speaking an unknown foreign language when I even brought up FORM. A major pain!

Just because the tranny doesn't have conventional gears doesn't mean it can't be the source of the noise. Have you tried running the battery down and using the gas engine to see if that sound comes back? Just need to clarify if it's cleared up because it's doing electric only, or if you've run with gas similar to what FORM was doing. Would be very strange if it only happens only with FORM on, and would be a real pain to reproduce.
Your'e right, the ability to reproduce was non-existent, and frankly I'm a little mad at myself for "turning FORM off" by adding 4 gallons before I visited the shop. There's unquestionably an issue with something on the vehicle to make those knocking sounds, but I guess I'll have to hope it never reverts to FORM to go "show" a dealer next time.

In a way makes sense if the van is trying to burn fuel to avoid it to get stale, so any measure to save gas would actually work against it's goal of emptying the tank enough to get out of FORM mode.
I completely agree with this - my main frustration is that a) the service dept could not confirm this was the case, and b) if vehicle will burn at such an accelerated rate while in FORM, you'd think that would be documented somewhere in the manuals (maybe I missed, but from comments here it doesn't seem that's the case).

I'm glad I found this Forum. My 2021 PACHY Limited just did this same thing. I had less than 600 miles on it; and haven't put gas in it since my full tank from purchase. Tank got down to 3/4 and FORM message came on. Next thing you know, the vehicle sounded like it was going to fall apart on me. Loud clunks..and felt like it was going to stall.

I still does not make me feel good about the loud clunky experience, but at least I know the root cause and a solution. Service Advisor is not very helpful.
Completely agree, and "glad(?)" to know somebody else has experienced it in a way. While canceling service dept was probably the right call, might advise you ask about any software updates that your vehicle may have pending, because at least 1 seems to have corrected some odd issues my new ride has been having.

Thanks again all!
 
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At 1/2 a 16.5g tank of gas use for 50-100 miles, that would be 6.06 to 12.12mpg, not 12.5 to 25.
I don't know why you guys are talking about using half a tank for 50 miles. You used 8.25 gallons in 122 miles (929-807). Your actual mpg while in FORM was about 14.8 mpg. This is just an estimate from looking at your odometer and fuel gauge. So FORM is burning up more gas than when it's running in hybrid mode. When it's running in hybrid mode, it should be around 30 mpg in mild-moderate climate. OP, you should not charge your car and run it in hybrid mode to see if you're getting close to 30 mpg now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I don't know why you guys are talking about using half a tank for 50 miles. You used 8.25 gallons in 122 miles (929-807). Your actual mpg while in FORM was about 14.8 mpg. This is just an estimate from looking at your odometer and fuel gauge. So FORM is burning up more gas than when it's running in hybrid mode. When it's running in hybrid mode, it should be around 30 mpg in mild-moderate climate. OP, you should not charge your car and run it in hybrid mode to see if you're getting close to 30 mpg now.
when not charged, I am getting around 30 in Hybrid mode yes. I agree I was over 50 miles but was only responding to the user who claimed somewhere between 12-25 mpg. My only point is: if Chrysler designs the car to chug gas while in FORM (even at 15 mpg where the majority of that was highway), that should be noted somewhere.
 

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Pardon the delays in responses, but wanted to share an update and respond to a few of the helpful posts before this:
  • I took the vehicle into service on Monday after getting FORM turned off (put 4 gallons in the truck). Service Dept acted like they had no idea what FORM was, and it took me showing photos and videos for multiple staff members to say "oh, that doesn't look right".
  • After a day in the shop, they indicated they were not able to find any mechanical issues with the vehicle (no surprise since FORM was turned off). However, they did say my vehicle had at least 3 software updates that needed to be applied - one being the rear hatch issue I described below.
  • Since applying those updates: no repeat of hatch issues, my vehicle is finally logging driving history on the PHEV settings again (even though it didn't the day I drove to and from the shop), and MPG and battery life seem to be back to expected state (a quirk I reported in another post).

I'm curious how others have been able to "prevent" going into FORM with over 1k miles and little to no gas use, but I'm going to try and use a gallon or so every week where I can moving forward to avoid the pain that was FORM. To some of the other notes before:



At 1/2 a 16.5g tank of gas use for 50-100 miles, that would be 6.06 to 12.12mpg, not 12.5 to 25. The displayed 50 mpg was taken a little after FORM initially came on. Before that it and over 700 miles, the car had 55+ mpg displayed. From that point to the point of the photo showing 929 miles, the overall mpg for the vehicle dropped to below 25. You're right about the dealer's ability to reproduce the error. In fact, when I arrived they looked at me like I was speaking an unknown foreign language when I even brought up FORM. A major pain!



Your'e right, the ability to reproduce was non-existent, and frankly I'm a little mad at myself for "turning FORM off" by adding 4 gallons before I visited the shop. There's unquestionably an issue with something on the vehicle to make those knocking sounds, but I guess I'll have to hope it never reverts to FORM to go "show" a dealer next time.



I completely agree with this - my main frustration is that a) the service dept could not confirm this was the case, and b) if vehicle will burn at such an accelerated rate while in FORM, you'd think that would be documented somewhere in the manuals (maybe I missed, but from comments here it doesn't seem that's the case).



Completely agree, and "glad(?)" to know somebody else has experienced it in a way. While canceling service dept was probably the right call, might advise you ask about any software updates that your vehicle may have pending, because at least 1 seems to have corrected some odd issues my new ride has been having.

Thanks again all!
I don't have a lot of confidence in my local service dept. Other then bringing the vehicle in to them, is there any other way to find out about sw updates?
 

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2018 Pacifica Touring L + S
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I don't have a lot of confidence in my local service dept. Other then bringing the vehicle in to them, is there any other way to find out about sw updates?
If the vehicle modules need updates, they can only be updated with the tools that Chrysler dealers use. You will have a hard time finding an independent garage that can afford the unit and the annual subscription required for one or two vehicles a year. If it is even available to them.
 
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