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Discussion Starter #1
I test drove a new Pacifica hybrid the other day. It's a 2018 - been sitting on the lot.

When I got in the car, it had 56 miles on it. Most of that (about 40 miles) was from the same day, as someone had driven it from another dealership for me to test drive. This was shown on the driving history.

The battery indicator on the console showed the battery as full.

The driving history showed 56 miles of driving on gas and 0 miles as driving on battery.

The average MPG shown on the console was about 17 mpg.

The 40 miles or so that it was driven that day would have been a mix of highway and stop-and-go.

I test drove it for a few miles (mostly stop and go with some short highway stretches). As I drove, the mileage driven on gas increased, but the mileage given on battery remained at 0. And the battery remained at 100%

Why does the car not seem to be using the battery?

I pointed it out to the sales person, but he had no idea.

And why is the average mpg only 17? I thought it was supposed to be much higher than that even if only using gas.

Is this car a lemon?

Thank you for any help.
 

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I'd stay pretty far away from that one.

The PacHy always runs off the battery first. If you're accelerating hard, the gas engine will kick in. There's no normal operating condition where the battery will display 100% charged and 0 range.

A 2018 has been on the dealer lot for at least 10-11 months, and possibly almost two years. With 40 of the 56 miles put on today, you know it wasn't driven more than once or twice in that time. That probably means both batteries (the 12V and the high-voltage) have been sitting unmaintained that entire time. That's really bad for them, and might easily explain what you experienced. With the HV battery being such a critical component, I'd not want to buy that van.

When I was shopping back in March, that's a good part of why I stopped looking at 2018s. Dealers just don't properly care for them--they're not accustomed to doing it and probably don't give it a second thought.

It's not good for any car to sit that long. Bad for the tires, fluids, oil, gas... Nothing good happens when a vehicle sits idle for a long time.
 

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stay away from this car
 

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Why does the car not seem to be using the battery?
[snip]
And why is the average mpg only 17? I thought it was supposed to be much higher than that even if only using gas.
@adam3914 may well be right in that it is in fuel and oil refresh mode. This may because too much time has elapsed since new fuel was put in (this is certainly true), or because it hasn't been run in a while and it is trying to get rid of the moisture in the oil. If the former, it will exit this mode once the fuel level gets below 1/4 and you then put in fresh gas. If the latter then it won't exit the mode until the oil temperature has gotten up to somewhere around 190F (can't remember the exact number) for 15 minutes or so.

As for the average MPG, I have been tracking mine for almost two years and I get anywhere from 19 to 25 mpg when I divide the gas miles driven, as shown by the trip odometer, by the gallons of gas put in. If you include the electric miles obtained from hybrid regeneration or from external charging, I get between 190 and 300 miles per gallon of gas. This is because most of my driving is short trips, all on electric power, and I recharge at home using a level 2 charger. On longer trips where I don't have the opportunity to charge externally I get 30 to 34 miles per gallon, depending on the terrain and speed.

If you do buy this car be prepared for the 12 volt battery to die shortly after you get it. This has happened to quite a few people who bought cars that have sat on the lot for a while. The symptoms from a bad 12v battery vary widely, from just needing a jump start, to having to be towed because you can't get the shifter out of Park.
 

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Does it display zero for the battery range when it’s in FORM?
No it doesn't, but that is not the way I interpret what the OP said. I think he was saying that the electric miles driven remained at zero, not the estimated electric range.
 

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What does the display screen say for power on the ledge side of the cluster , are you in the gas or electric phase? You can tell when the van is in electric or ice mode or combination of the two . The feel of the transition is almost seamless but after owing one I can tell what’s doing what . If the van is freshly charged it should be as silent as can be. The refresh mode if driving in electric mode will display that cycle on the instrument cluster . i Wouldn’t say don’t touch it if dealer wants to unload it, I’d say that be prepared for maybe a few hurdles in beginning of ownership ( cost vs reward ) . Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for the replies. It's very helpful. also, raises some questions which I'll put below.

It is a low price. about 32-33k.

Today I found another new 2018 hybrid at a dealership 2.5 hrs away from me. about same price. I called them and asked if they could take pics of the screen so I could see if this one had the same problem. they did.

I'll call this one hybrid#2. It has 44.8 miles (32.2 electric, 12.6 gas) So, that sounds more promising.

At the time they took the picture, the battery was at 32%. It showed a range of 94 miles (10 elec, 84 gas).

Does this mean the car can drive 10 miles on the remaining 32% battery? Would that compute to an electric range of about 31 miles on a full battery?

And the range of 84 gas? What does that mean? Is that how far it can drive with the gas currently in the tank? or on a full tank?

The MPG on the display was only 13 MPG though. I asked the sales person why he thought it was so low, and he said because they use it to drive across the street to another part of their dealership and back. Does that make sense?

As for hybrid#1, I will call that dealership (it is about 1.5 hrs away) and see if they can take pics of the screen too. This will give me more info.

Additional questions this thread brings up:

1. How is the MPG on the display calculated? gas only or combined? average over the history of the vehicle or something else?

2. Someone mentioned I should be prepared for the 12v battery to die. Is this jump started just like a regular car? Would one of those battery-pack-with-jumper-cable things work?

3. What does FORM mean?

4. what is ice mode?
 

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Thank you for the replies. It's very helpful. also, raises some questions which I'll put below.

It is a low price. about 32-33k.
That seems incredibly low. Is that advertised price or quote in writing? What trim level, plus, L, or Limited? Are they including federal and/or state incentives? Other incentives?

Today I found another new 2018 hybrid at a dealership 2.5 hrs away from me. about same price. I called them and asked if they could take pics of the screen so I could see if this one had the same problem. they did.

I'll call this one hybrid#2. It has 44.8 miles (32.2 electric, 12.6 gas) So, that sounds more promising.

At the time they took the picture, the battery was at 32%. It showed a range of 94 miles (10 elec, 84 gas).

Does this mean the car can drive 10 miles on the remaining 32% battery? Would that compute to an electric range of about 31 miles on a full battery?
Yeah sort of. It's just an approximation.

And the range of 84 gas? What does that mean? Is that how far it can drive with the gas currently in the tank? or on a full tank?
It's the remaining gas in the gas tank. It's probably about 1/4 full. You can probably tell from the pics they sent.

The MPG on the display was only 13 MPG though. I asked the sales person why he thought it was so low, and he said because they use it to drive across the street to another part of their dealership and back. Does that make sense?
Yeah, seems plausible.

As for hybrid#1, I will call that dealership (it is about 1.5 hrs away) and see if they can take pics of the screen too. This will give me more info.

Additional questions this thread brings up:

1. How is the MPG on the display calculated? gas only or combined? average over the history of the vehicle or something else?
Yes and no, read the manual. https://pictures.dealer.com/tomahlchryslerdodgecllc/429af8240a0e0ca21b13dc012566e7b3.pdf

2. Someone mentioned I should be prepared for the 12v battery to die. Is this jump started just like a regular car? Would one of those battery-pack-with-jumper-cable things work?
Yes. I would politely demand a new 12v battery before you sign anything. Even go so far as quietly mark the old battery with a sharpie. If they lie about replacing it then use that against them, or just walk away from the deceptive dealer.
3. What does FORM mean?
Fuel oil refresh mode. It's temporary. Uses the gas engine and skips the electric battery for a certain amount of time to keep engine working properly, especially if sitting with old gas for a long time. Happened to me only once. Lasted until i refilled.
4. what is ice mode?
Gas engine. Internal Combustion Engine.

I'd also check the manufacture dates, it's on the sticker on the drivers side door jamb. One might be almost a year older than the other. Have them send you pics of the door stickers.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I wonder if you all could give me some general advice about my decision as well.

My choices are:

1. buy one of these low priced new 2018 hybrids for about 32-33k (they are both Touring Plus). My tax liability is more than 7.5k, so after the 7.5k rebate, the price would be about 24.5k.

the rebate is still available, right?

2. buy a new 2019 gas-powered Pacifica L. I have found a few priced between 21.5-23k.

So, price difference for me is only about 3k more for the hybrid. But that's for a hybrid that's been on the lot for a year, and may have more problems. A new 2019 hybrid is out of my budget.

My only reason for considering the hybrid over the gas-powered is potential fuel savings. But I am worried the hybrid will have higher maintenance expenses that will cancel that out.

I'm also concerned that if the hybrid requires more repairs, that means more time and energy lost - even if something is covered by warranty it takes time and energy to get it fixed, and will probably happen at an inconvenient time. My time is very valuable to me so that's an important factor for me.

I rarely drive over 30 miles / day. I do take several long trips a year. I've done the calculations and I think my fuel savings will be about $1800 / year if I go with the hybrid.

But is it worth it if the battery dies right after the warranty expires?

And should I expect to spend a lot more time at the dealership getting the hybrid fixed than I would with a gas-powered?

Also, I've read about people who have problems hybrid-related problems that would be covered under warranty but the dealership can't repeat it, so they can't fix it. How common is that?

Also, do you think the hybrid transmission is more or less reliable than the transmission on the gas-powered Pacifica? I know mini-van transmissions typically die around 10 years, so this is an important concern for me.

I really want a reliable car that will last at least ten years and have a low cost of ownership. Which do you think is my better bet?
 

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I'm not so sure about demanding the dealer to replace the battery. As I was explained Chrysler wouldn't approve a warranty replacement, if the battery passes the test.
PacHy is easy to jump start. It doesn't have a starter, so its current demands are low. I was able to start it with a computer UPS battery.
About the FORM. A message "fuel and oil refresh in progress" would flash for a few seconds after the start. Than the engine will run for a while, the duration may be different. While in this mode that message can be found on the page 8 (correct me if I'm wrong) of the instrument panel screen.

My biggest concern with the old vans is that they probably sat for a long time with the HV battery at 100% or 0%, both aren't good for the longevity.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That seems incredibly low. Is that advertised price or quote in writing? What trim level, plus, L, or Limited? Are they including federal and/or state incentives? Other incentives?
Yes, it does seem like a very low price. I've actually found two at about this price. One 1.5 hr from me and one 2.5 hr from me.

both Touring Plus

this is the web price in both cases. they both said over the phone they would honor it.

Neither includes the federal rebate. there are no state or local incentives where I live.

As far as other incentives, there is a $1000 incentive if I use dealer financing, which I'm not sure if I will do - that's partly why I gave a range - they are both a little over 33k without that incentive, and a little over 32k with that incentive.

I am also eligible for a $500 USAA discount which is not included in either of these.


It's the remaining gas in the gas tank. It's probably about 1/4 full. You can probably tell from the pics they sent.
Ah, yes. From the pic it is 3/8 full.


Yes. I would politely demand a new 12v battery before you sign anything. Even go so far as quietly mark the old battery with a sharpie. If they lie about replacing it then use that against them, or just walk away from the deceptive dealer.


Fuel oil refresh mode. It's temporary. Uses the gas engine and skips the electric battery for a certain amount of time to keep engine working properly, especially if sitting with old gas for a long time. Happened to me only once. Lasted until i refilled.

Gas engine. Internal Combustion Engine.

I'd also check the manufacture dates, it's on the sticker on the drivers side door jamb. One might be almost a year older than the other. Have them send you pics of the door stickers.

Great advice! thanks!
 

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Yes, it does seem like a very low price. I've actually found two at about this price. One 1.5 hr from me and one 2.5 hr from me.

both Touring Plus

this is the web price in both cases. they both said over the phone they would honor it.
Cool, whatever you do get it in writing, ask for their total out the door price. If you show up and they try to tack on anything else then walk.
 

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Thank you for the replies. It's very helpful. also, raises some questions which I'll put below.

It is a low price. about 32-33k.

Today I found another new 2018 hybrid at a dealership 2.5 hrs away from me. about same price. I called them and asked if they could take pics of the screen so I could see if this one had the same problem. they did.

I'll call this one hybrid#2. It has 44.8 miles (32.2 electric, 12.6 gas) So, that sounds more promising.

At the time they took the picture, the battery was at 32%. It showed a range of 94 miles (10 elec, 84 gas).

Does this mean the car can drive 10 miles on the remaining 32% battery? Would that compute to an electric range of about 31 miles on a full battery?

And the range of 84 gas? What does that mean? Is that how far it can drive with the gas currently in the tank? or on a full tank?

The MPG on the display was only 13 MPG though. I asked the sales person why he thought it was so low, and he said because they use it to drive across the street to another part of their dealership and back. Does that make sense?

As for hybrid#1, I will call that dealership (it is about 1.5 hrs away) and see if they can take pics of the screen too. This will give me more info.

Additional questions this thread brings up:

1. How is the MPG on the display calculated? gas only or combined? average over the history of the vehicle or something else?

2. Someone mentioned I should be prepared for the 12v battery to die. Is this jump started just like a regular car? Would one of those battery-pack-with-jumper-cable things work?

3. What does FORM mean?

4. what is ice mode?
The range shown, either electric or gas, is based on recent driving history and represents how far you can go with the current battery charge level and fuel tank level. Since this car you are looking at doesn't have much history the range is pretty meaningless. You can't rely on it until you have driven a few hundred miles on both electricity and gas. An electric range of around 30 miles or more is about right in summer weather. It will be less in cold weather. In really cold weather it might even run on gas only and will ignore available power in the battery.

The miles per gallon is also computed based on recent history and is not a lifetime average. I don't know just how many miles it bases the average on. Again, in a brand new car with very little history to go on it will not be accurate. Also, it includes a component that is attributed to the energy equivalent of the electricity used. If you drive lots of short trips entirely on electricity for a thousand miles or more, recharging at every opportunity it will still show an MPG of around 80. To get an MPG figure based solely on gas usage and ignoring power obtained from charging you will have to resort to an old fashioned manually maintained gas and mileage log.

Yes the car can be jump started in the traditional way using posts that are under the hood. The 12v battery is actually in the rear of the passenger compartment. Yes, a portable jump pack will work. But be aware that sometimes, not always, the battery will die in such a way that you can't jump start it and you will have to be towed because you can't get the shifter out of Park.

FORM means "fuel and oil refresh mode". There is a message that appears to that effect on the screen when it goes into that mode. I do wonder though whether they got rid of the message (but not the mode) in one of the software updates last year. I see fewer questions about it these days.

ICE stands for internal combustion engine. ICE mode means the gas engine is running.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm going to test drive hybrid#2 on Monday. (hybrid#1 is the one that didn't seem to be using the battery - hybrid#2 doesn't seem to have this problem from the pics they sent of the odometer).

So far, I feel better about hybrid#2 due to this one issue.

I did have them check manufacture dates.

Hybrid#2 is Jan 2018
Hybrid#1 is March 2018

I've already negotiated price and financing over the phone, so if the test drive goes well, I'll buy hybrid#2 on Monday. I will bring a battery recharger with me in case battery dies on the way back (I have someone driving me down there as well). Not planning on asking for new battery due to the one comment that said they couldn't do that with the warranty.

Anything else I should look for on the test drive?
 

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I'm going to test drive hybrid#2 on Monday. (hybrid#1 is the one that didn't seem to be using the battery - hybrid#2 doesn't seem to have this problem from the pics they sent of the odometer).

So far, I feel better about hybrid#2 due to this one issue.

I did have them check manufacture dates.

Hybrid#2 is Jan 2018
Hybrid#1 is March 2018

I've already negotiated price and financing over the phone, so if the test drive goes well, I'll buy hybrid#2 on Monday. I will bring a battery recharger with me in case battery dies on the way back (I have someone driving me down there as well). Not planning on asking for new battery due to the one comment that said they couldn't do that with the warranty.

Anything else I should look for on the test drive?
Jan vs March is practically no difference. What color, and any options? Make sure you get all the items depending on options, like charger, headphones, remotes, key fobs etc. Hopefully all will be well, so congrats in advance!

You've probably already seen this checklist thread: https://www.pacificaforums.com/forum/433-2017-chrysler-pacifica-phev-hybrid-general-discussion/21905-2018-pachy-delivery-checklist.html

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Great! That's very helpful - I'll printout the checklist and bring with me.

It's a Touring Plus.

The additional options listed are:

Power Lift gate

Key Sense


What items should it come with?


As far as comparing the two hybrids:

both are black (not ideal since I live in a hot climate, but at least I like the look of it)

They are both Touring Plus.

hybrid#1 might have more options. Here's what it lists:

Overhead DVD Video by Mopar®
Customer Preferred Package 2EA
3.6L V6 eHybrid Engine
eFlite Si-EVT Transmission
Cloth Low-Back Bucket Seats

I think the last three are standard, right.

So the difference would be:

Overhead DVD Video by Mopar®
Customer Preferred Package 2EA

Is that worth reconsidering hybrid#1? What is Customer Preferred Package 2EA?

Hybrid #1 is also $500 cheaper and 1 hr closer. But it had the potential issue of the OD showing about 56 miles on gas, but none on electric, and continued to only use gas while I was driving it, even though battery was full - but could have just been in FORM mode and would be under warranty anyway - but car was probably not driven for over a year until they drove 40 miles the other day to bring it to me - hybrid#2 has about 44 miles mostly on battery, they use it to drive people across the street to another part of their lot and back - that made me feel better)
 
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