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Hi,

I have had my hybrid for about 7 months now July-Oct my ICE kicked in infrequently. Now Nov-Dec/January 2019 my Refresh mode kicks in almost daily. Is this normal and any reason why?

Advise/Comments would be appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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In my -20C to -30C weather it is pretty typical on my van, especially when short trips are occuring. From what I noticed the ICE is kicking on very early at -2C and lower temperatures, the colder it is the proportion of hybrid time vs electric time is definitely biased towards hybrid. When ever the outdoor ambient is above -1C I get a really good yield of battery time, in -27C today I had a 50km round trip and had 60% battery left. The colder it is the longer the ICE runs, it appears that the ICE is trying to hit a 75-85C warm up temperature before shutting off. This weeks -27C weather had the ICE on for the first 15km before warming up enough to drop back into full electric mode.

Back to the refresh mode part of the question, I noticed that you have to watch, there was a very long posting where some one really explained the procedure for clearing the refresh mode. Unless you hit 90C+ oil temperature and hear the engine shut off, you probably didn't clear the refresh mode. I have never experienced the fuel refresh, just the oil refresh. I generally fill before the time limit when I see cheap gasoline, and use premium in the winter. Bad gas and a fouled spark plug did a number on my van overheating my cat.

Another item is if you do multiple trips in an outing the refresh mode kicks on at the first start of the ICE (that's my experience). If you did not clear it properly, the refresh mode in the messages can go hidden. For example if your refresh mode is set active (due to not clearing it in the last run) and your outdoor temperature is above -1C or your engine is partially warm from a previous drive, the van will start and operate in electric mode. If you have this condition, at the first start of the ICE, then refresh message appears and locks in. If you don't pay attention to this closely it will seem like you are clearing refresh mode, but in actuality you are not.

What I do to clear this knowing that I need a significant drive to clear refresh mode (20+km and a long idle), you need to get the ICE to kick in immediately to start building heat. I pull the van out, at the first straight away in the neighborhood I stomp on the throttle fast and quick and lift off. This starts the ICE, triggers the refresh mode to show up again, and the throttle response of the van is too slow to be a public disaster in your neighborhood. From there you can heat the engine up. After this I found that once you get the engine towards the 85C oil temp range, you need to park somewhere and idle it, the oil temp will eventually rise to 90C. Alternatively if you don't clear the refresh mode, it appears to show up daily, and your fuel consumption is terrible until clearing the refresh mode. Now, I have checked the oil while the van is still stuck in "refresh mode ****" and I will give Chrysler respect, the oil cap is clean, no milky residue and the oil smells and looks clean, so it is actually doing a good job keeping the oil fresh. I have seen many other brands where the condensation is very apparent in the oil and PCV system.

I wish Chrysler did a better job of explaining all of this, and they certainly could have done a better job of choking off the cooling system to help spike the oil temperature into 90C faster. The cooling system appears to be well oversized and the engine takes forever to reach 90C temps. It's pretty clear that they did not do much cold weather testing on the PacHybrid before releasing it in the colder Canadian and US climates.

With respect to your comment of rarely having the ICE turn on, here is what I experienced, summer/fall weather above 0C 725km Electric/230km Hybrid. For winter it's 175km Electric to 250km Hybrid. Both of these cases did not drain the fuel tank, and include charging the van daily. So you are correct, winter mileage is very different.
 
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