What You Need to Know about Stop/Start Systems

How Stop/Start Systems Work On The Road


Image
A Despreporno Show radio show caller wanted to know if he could purchase a car these days without start/stop technology. He was concerned about the long-term effect on a carís engine, and, frankly, just didnít like it. As I explained, the technology is still so new, it is hard to say whether start/stop systems will cause problems or not, but I have had the same concerns.

How Stop/Start Systems Work

Although start/stop systems are fairly new to cars in the United States, it was Volkswagen who debuted it in Europe in 1983. About 10 years ago, Mazda announced a similar system that did not engage and disengage the starter, but it never really came to fruition and proved to be unreliable.

If you are not familiar with this system, simply put, when you come to a stop, like a red light, the engine shuts down, but essential other components continue to run, like the air conditioning system, power steering, brakes, sound system, etc. When you take your foot off the brake to press the gas pedal the engine restarts and you go on your merry way. In a vehicle with a manual transmission, the system operates from the clutch pedal instead of the brake.

Automakers and the engineering community say start/stop technology improves fuel economy by 5 to 10 percent, although I am not confident in their findings. There would have to be some amount of gas savings while your vehicle is not idling, and there would be fewer emissions coming out of your tailpipe.

To put your mind at ease about the mechanics of the start/stop system, vehicles that have the system have heavy-duty starters, and they have larger batteries, which are essential since all the accessories are running strictly on the battery when the engine stops.

Real-World Driving

So what are the real-world driving characteristics of this technology? I can tell you that for me, it drives me crazy, especially in heavy traffic. I drive over 100 new cars per year, and for the past year or so, most of the vehicles I drive and review do have the start/stop system. Some automakers, like Ford, have committed to putting it in every vehicle they produce.

One observation I have noticed is that the smaller the engine, the more seamless the feel of the engine turning on and off. With larger engines, you tend to feel the system more. Iíve been in cars that the engine noise going on and off is quite loud, and you actually strongly feel a vibration every time the engine cranks again. I always note in my car reviews when the system really bugs me.

Another downside I have experienced in some vehicles is when the outside temperature is high, the air conditioning system does not work nearly as well with the engine stops. A long traffic light can make the interior temperature uncomfortable. With some vehicles, when the outside temperature is hot, there is no difference in the air conditionerís output, so if you are in a hot weather area, this is something you would want to pay attention to when test-driving.

Disengaging Stop-Start

Here is the good news: almost every vehicle I drive that has start/stop also has a switch to turn the system off, but two GM SUVs recently (the 2018 Buick Enclave and 2018 GMC Terrain) did not have a way to disable it. If you are like me and donít like this technology, in most cases, you can turn it off. The bad news is that in almost all cases, you have to disengage the system every time you start your vehicle.

In my personal case, my Range Rover has the start/stop system and over time, I have gotten used to hitting the start button to crank the engine, then I immediately hit the button to turn off the start/stop system. If by chance I forget, I catch at the very first instance of stopping.

Right now, with low gas prices, this technology will save most people, on average, less than $50 per year, so you have to make up your mind on whether you choose to use start/stop or not. If it turns out that this technology causes starter failures at a greater rate, there will be no savings.

Final Thoughts

As I told the caller on the air, I wouldnít let start/stop be a deal breaker if the car you want has it, but be aware of it when car shopping and test-driving your next new vehicle. If the car you are considering has the system, and you donít like it, make sure it can easily be turned off.

Related Reading:
Carolyn Fisher
I own a 2016 Chevy Malibu with the stop/start engine. I have had it back to my Chevy dealer because the stop/start will NOT disengage. Each time they would "work" on it to get it working. This went on for 4 visits! Last visit on February 7, 2019 the car was out of warranty and the bill was $386.00 but they gave me a 50% discount because it was happening when car was still under warranty. What they did was reprogram this system . Now, April 4th, it"s happening again

I want someone to tell me what could be wrong and how to fix it! Also. I would like to know if the transmission and engine is being damaged by my continue to drive it. Honestly, I would prefer it didn't work because it drives me crazy!!! I'm a 78 year old single woman and not financially secure to trade this car in.
Amy P.
Carolyn, I would call the Service Manager at your dealership and get him or her involved. They should fix it again with no charges to you since you paid the last time. They are missing something, hopefully the Service Manager can assist.

There is no evidence yet that the system is harmful to engines or transmissions, it's just annoying.

Good luck!

Jerry Reynolds
.
l had some stopping problem when l stop at the red light my engine stop when my foot is on the brake when l took my foot off it starts again l checked the manual and it was explained that it is a new concept in the US it was very helpful now l know the reason for that it is to save fuel,which is great,
KEN
RESPONSE:

Ken I am getting good reports on a disable device at www.4dtech.com. If you can this for $100, I think it is money well spent.

Jerry Reynolds, President
Despreporno Radio Network

COMMENT:

ok THE IDEA THAT THIS STOP/START FEATURE SAVES ON FUEL IS UTTER NONSENSE SINCE IT COST MORE TO TURN THE CAR OFF AND RESTART IT THAN IT DOES TO LET IT IDLE FOR THE SHORT PERIOD OF TIME IT IS OFF. sorry for the cap locks. I have a 2018 Chevrolet Equinox and the problem with the auto/stop feature is 90% of the time it does not work as designed and there are other times that the car stutters when stopped cause it does not auto stop. they have reprogrammed it twice with no change the car is starving for fuel and not shutting off and that too will waste fuel. There is no way to disable the feature on the 2018 models I am told or trust me that would have already happened as the feature is the dumbest thing ever designed on a vehicle. It never shuts off when the AC is on no matter what I have read here and another thing is a bigger battery means more money to replace it when the feature ends up killing it and the same with the starter so therefore I have had it with Chevrolet/GM and I worked for them until I got tired of being laid off every other month and took a buyout. the Dodge Journey is a much nicer SUV and I believe I have owned my last Chevrolet due to the stupidity of this feature and the Dealerships inability to FIX the problem of it not working and telling me it works properly...I am not stupid I was a certified Mechanic before becoming disabled and I know for a fact they do not make money fixing cars under warranty so they just say it works fine!

casino-online-ua.info

http://poliv.ua/tovary/oborudovanie-dlya-sistem-avtomaticheskogo-poliva/aksessuary/gibkij-shlang-hunter-flex-sg-bukhta-30m-detail

www.rbt.com.ua/category/remont/