“Start-stop” technology shuts down car engines at stoplights to save gas

Discussion in 'Fuel Economy' started by JohnM, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. JohnM

    JohnM Well-Known Member

    When you drive a manual-shift car after a long period of driving only automatics, stalling is part of the territory. But the last few times I’ve done so, while renting cars in Europe, it seems that virtually every time I stopped for a light, the engine shut down, only to chug back to life when I re-engaged the gears.

    After enduring a series of withering looks from my passengers, I finally spoke up in my defense. Yes, some of the stalls could be chalked up to my incompetence. But most were due to the vehicle’s “start-stop” feature—a quietly revolutionary step toward energy efficiency that is becoming standard in Europe, and may come soon to a new American car near you.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_juice/2015/08/start_stop_technology_it_shuts_down_car_engines_to_save_gas_and_it_s_coming.html?ref=yfp
     
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  2. Jan

    Jan New Member

    I am from Germany and my wife's new car provides this feature. I usually turn it off :p
     
  3. JonNC

    JonNC Driving Smarter Since 06/07/2011

    I recall Kia utilizing their Idle, Stop and Go thing a while back, with plans to bring it over to the Hyundai Side.
    I wonder what happened to that plan?
     
  4. Prozac

    Prozac Well-Known Member

    I have it in my CR-Z and honestly have no issues with it. As a matter of fact, once I taught my son what to expect he has had very few issues while still learning to drive a manual. If I wait a split second for the engine to turn on after placing it in first I tend to be able to skedaddle with the best of them. Now the only time it seems to goof me up is when the car doesn't turn itself off at the light. Then I tend to spend more time trying to figure out why.
     
  5. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    A hybrid will always turn off at a stop , if state-of-charge and coolant temp are where they should be.

    Except , of course , if it doesn't feel like it.
     
  6. Gord

    Gord Super Moderator Staff Member

    It's not just manual cars, some autos have it too :D. My Audi S tronic 7 speed auto has start-stop which I have never switched off - I don't understand why anyone would want to :rolleyes:! It's an excellent fuel saving feature and I still have the ability to turn the key off myself :p if it doesn't come on (engine cold, etc). In the auto I just press the brake pedal when nearly stopped, engine switches off. When the lights go green, I lift off the brake pedal, engine is started before I've even got my right foot on the accelerator.
     
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  7. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    "I prefer my stop/start system " , Edwin says smugly.
     
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  8. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Gord, any concerns around battery drain if driving in stop and go traffic? Does the Audi have a 48V auxiliary system?

    I'm really impressed with you and your Audi.
     
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  9. Prozac

    Prozac Well-Known Member

    I didn't realize the A3's came with Start/Stop.
     
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  10. Gord

    Gord Super Moderator Staff Member

    Why thanks you Bill, I'm really impressed with the Audi :)

    The engine will restart if the battery levels drops too far. I don't have a 48V system - I think that's in the E-Tron which is the A3 plug-in hybrid based on my car. I'd have loved one of those but it was too expensive - 18 month old used models are still ~ $4k more than my car cost!

    Found this on Autocar.co.uk: Audi has developed an ISG that works on an ordinary 12V electrical system, so it could be fitted to today’s A1 and A3 models. The company says the system allows the stop-start system to cut in below 9mph and also allows the engine to coast at high speeds, both significant fuel saving measures. The first production version is expected in 2017. Read more
     
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  11. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    John , I don't think the A3 they sell here has it. Except maybe the E-tron.
     
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  12. Prozac

    Prozac Well-Known Member

    They get all of the cool toys! ;)
     
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  13. bomber991

    bomber991 Well-Known Member

    I had a Mercedes A180 as a rental car in Germany. It had auto-shutoff at stops, but for whatever reason whenever someone sat in the back seat it didn't work. Like, the little button for it just turned red. Also the GPS in the car wouldn't work about 30% of the time when the car was turned on. It'd say the maps weren't available or some crap like that. Just like a computer, turn it off and turn it back on, and then it'd work. And then the windshield washer spray did not work either. Already broken on a car with 3,000km on it. Remember guy, "Mercedes, only the best".

    I couldn't figure out though if the car had a smooth ride or if the roads were just real high quality.
     
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  14. thunderstruck

    thunderstruck Super Moderator

    I like the idea, will have to see if I can enable it on my GTI. It would be good if the US version has that capability. VW locks a lot of worthwhile features away like the menu option to disable DRL's.
     
    BillLin likes this.
  15. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    I have auto start/stop in the S60 and it's reasonably smooth even though it's operating on a standard 12V system and a beefed-up starter. Start-up doesn't happen until I fully lift off of the brake pedal but it's much quicker to light than any previous "normal" car I've driven. The only irritation is that, since it isn't a hybrid, stop signs can be a problem since it doesn't shut down the ICE until very nearly stopped and then has to immediately re-start saving all of 0.5s worth of fuel. Once I got used to the car I got in the habit of turning off start/stop in situations to which it is poorly suited (most of the time) and turning it back on when approaching any stoppage that I might have treated as a FAS in my old Accord.

    Honestly, the best way to drive this car is with the manual shift gate. Dropping it into the gate disables start/stop (because SPORT!) but an easy flick to the right puts it back in D and stop/start re-activates with no further intervention. Plus I get the better throttle response of sport (!) mode without the insanely high revs that would otherwise come with it. It isn't a true substitute for a proper MT car but it gets me about half-way there.
     
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  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    With our 3rd gen prius, when I'm halfway through warm up and at a red light, I can turn the engine off/on by ticking the climate control temperature down/up; there's a threshold below which it'll turn the engine off.
     
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