Circumstances when the ICE comes on?

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Forum

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Jun 27, 2022

I'm a current 2012 Chevy Volt owner (I love it!), and and considering moving to a 2018-ish Outlander PHEV. I need more room, and maybe even some casual towing, so it seems like a great option.

However, I have some concerns. My wife recently got into a 2017 Pacifica Hybrid (2 weeks before the dreaded Z11 recall, lucky us. :roll: ).

I was disappointed by how the EV / ICE 'behaved' in the Pacifica vs the Volt....

With my Volt, I can "gun it" at any time, and it simply remains in EV mode if there is ANY charge left. I cannot even turn on the ICE if I want to - IIRC 2012 was the last year before they added a "hold" option. It's truly electric only unless very low temps cause the ICE to start (se Volt's ERDTT mod for more info on that). There are very infrequent 10-minute "ICE maintenance" modes, but that's it.

However, the Pacifica Hybrid turns on the ICE all the friggin' time! Unless it's super warm in the morning, the ICE just turns on for a few minutes. If you have to give it a little more "gas", the ICE comes roaring on. The climate control can't really do much, and if you ask for any heat, on comes the ICE. It's frustratingly temperamental. It even decides at times that it will not run on EV mode until you put 16 liters of gas in the tank!

So, my question is this: How does the Outlander PHEV behave regarding EV mode, and when the ICE comes on? Does it do a decent job of staying on EV like the Volt? Or does it, like my Pacifica, rely on ICE for everything... cabin heat, acceleration, starting up, etc.?

I can't really find this answer anywhere, so I'm hoping some current owners can share!

If you stamp on the accelerator and demand more power than the electric motors can deliver, the engine turns on to assist (with power generation, or at higher speeds with power generation and direct drive).

If you have a model that doesn't have electric heating, and you request heating, the engine starts to provide heating.

If you don't use the engine for six months (some users are reporting three months in newer models) the car's software forces you add more petrol to prevent the petrol from going 'off' and also starts the engine to prevent existing stale fuel from gumming up various components, and maintaining seals.


If you don't want a hybrid, don't buy one.
The ICE support for running aircon/climate air is the single biggest trigger for my 2021 GSR PHEV. If I leave the climate air off (mild climate most of the year) the ICE behaves as I want it to, letting the battery drain right down to ~3% before starting. I also find using the B5 single pedal (accelerator only) setup improves performance in the terrain I drive around my home.

Not following this method of setup increases fuel consumption of my 92km trip to the office by 25%.
AndyInOz said:

If you stamp on the accelerator and demand more power than the electric motors can deliver, the engine turns on to assist (with power generation, or at higher speeds with power generation and direct drive).

Not true. The limitation is on the power draw from the battery, not the motors. The engine turns on to supply more power to the motors from the generator to add to that from the battery.
I had a 2018 for 3 years and have now had a 2022 for about 4 months. It does want to drive as an EV first, but there are times (which I find perfectly reasonable) when the engine turns on.

- The engine will turn on if you stamp the accelerator to the floor. But you can ask quite a bit of it without that happening... maybe 80 or 85% throttle? You have a sort of "throttle gauge" and you can see where the engine will kick in if you go beyond a certain point. For me, I've found I've never been in a situation (in almost 4 years) where I needed so much throttle that I had to stamp it and turn the engine on.

- HVAC: generally it can run everything just fine on pure electric. But on cold mornings, expect it to run the engine for about 5 mins until things warm up, then it turns the engine back off and lets you run everything on electric. You'll get sort of used to when/how/why this happens and it'll become a little bit of game of figuring out where that line is. Sometimes if I cross it, I'll just pull over, turn the car off, then turn it back on again and maybe turn the heat down a little, haha.

Generally it does sound like it offers more pure EV driving than pretty much all of the other PHEV's... certainly more than the Pacifica, not as much as the Volt, as those were designed as EV's with a backup generator.

The one thing about this vehicle is that it doesn't get the greatest mileage when run as a hybrid (when you run low on juice). Also if your commute or daily driving involves a lot of highway driving, like all EV's the EV range is about 20 to 30% less. So consider your use case carefully and crunch your numbers. For me, I live in a small city and mine runs 100% as an EV when in-town and then as a hybrid for road trips. It's lackluster hybrid efficiency (relatively) is easily offset by the amount of pure EV driving I do. Currently my 2022 is sitting at a lifetime MPG of 168... but we haven't done much road tripping lately and it's only almost 4 months old. My 2018, when I traded it in had a lifetime MPG of just below 70. Although with gas prices as they are now... the numbers have leaned even more in it's favour.
I have a 2022 Outlander, and live in the far north of Canada, Yellowknife 62oN. I find the most annoying thing is that there isn't an electric heating option. If I turn the heat on the ICE comes on. You can drive it with seat warmers, but the kids in the back complain.

I have a short commute, and have an unheated garage (stays warm around -5C when its -40C), but still it drives in ICE for first 5 minutes of a 6 minute commute, and only goes eV when the heat is also turned off. I find this mildly annoying, as I was hoping for better mileage. In the summer, I haven't had to fill the tank in 6 months now, but winter its a regular ICE car.

I have friends with a Volt who have installed an aftermarket switch that bypasses the temperature control switch to override the lack of EV mode (basically says EV mode unavailable from Nov to April). Is this advisable or possible with an outlander. My commute and activities for kids are all around 3 km. I've tried to preheat cab with it plugged in, but that doesn't seem to really heat it up much.

Trying to have better mileage, and be more environmentally friendly. Any suggestions?

Also wondering if anyone has installed a block heater on an outlander?
If the engine is only running enough to provide heat, it won't affect your mileage much.

Even when driving in serial hybrid mode, the car is fairly efficient.
It is possible to bypass the HVAC call for engine. No harm in doing so either.

Some people have pulled the engine start relay, but that then means you wouldn't get the assistance if you needed sudden acceleration in an an emergency situation.

Pre-heating when plugged in in the garage should solve your issue. If that doesn't work, it could be because your coolant circuit is blocked up, although I'd expect that to also cause little heating when the engine is running. It will need to run for 20 minutes in heating mode to achieve anything in those temperatures.

Lastly, a UK GX5HS has electrically heated rear seats too :D Maybe you could import some from a breaker?
ctscottie said:
Hi littlescrote

How do you bypass the HVAC call for heat?

Look at the wiring diagram, find the appropriate switched output between HVAC and engine ECUs and interrupt it.

Sorry I can't be more specific. I did look at doing it before and had the information to hand, but haven't had time and have cleared the drawings away. They're available online somewhere though, as I know I downloaded them before.
Did you saw this topic :

I'm using solution , with gave @amiralnar there.
MarcusBrody said:
AndyInOz said:

If you don't want a hybrid, don't buy one.

And don't ask any questions either, apparently. :roll:

Are you disappointed with the responses that you received?

They look pretty comprehensive to me.

Or is it the 'too long; didn't read' comment from me that bothered you?

Did you note the information that I provided before that part?

(And yes, the engine starts if the user demands more power than the battery can provide.)
I'm very happy with the responses, actually! Thank you.

I suppose I misread into that summary as a snarky remark, implying that it was silly to even ask these questions. My bad if that was the case.

I have been playing with the idea of buying one of these for years, and pulled the trigger this week on a 2018. I'm happy so far, except that I simply cannot get the ICE to NOT turn on!

I set the climate control to LOW, turn off AC, turn off climate control altogether. Then, I start the vehicle with the 2x press, EV press, start procedure. I immediately turn on ECO mode too.

By the time I'm at the end of my block, the ICE is running. Maybe because the temp outside is around 0c here?
The engine can not provide heat for the battery. Simply there isn't any connection between them.
I also believe that is what happens at low temperatures. The battery is not sufficiently warm to provide enough power to the motors on its own, so the engine starts and provides some power from the generator to supplement a low power draw from the battery, and/or put charge into the battery to heat it.
To be honest I don't know how and why is programmed that way but the battery is more than capable to provide enough power at 0C deg.
In a matter of fact I am running it at -20C on battery only without any issue. (short commute with disabled engine)

It depends on battery health though since before I started disabling my engine it was firing it at 5C and after an reset and DBCAM started to do it at -5C.