Discussion: Why do you turn off your car's auto stop/start feature?

This feature is supposed to improve fuel economy and hopefully put a few more bucks in your pocket. Why does everyone shut it off?

1y ago
60.8K

Fuel economy standards have increased quite a bit as of late. In order to meet those standards, several companies are resorting to smaller displacement turbocharged engines instead of larger naturally aspirated ones. While that can increase economy significantly, not every manufacturer can downsize to a boosted 4-banger.

A simple fix

Auto stop/start has been a relatively simple way for many car makers to improve their corporate fuel economy, especially high-end manufacturers like Ferrari and Mclaren. Instead of downsizing an engine even further and catching the wrath of their customers, all that the feature requires is a secondary starter and some minor engine modifications. However, as you can see above, not everyone enjoys the feature. YouTuber Jordan Maron AKA Captain Sparklez bought a 488 Pista and it comes with auto stop/start. He mentions how EVERY TIME he gets in his car, he turns it off.

But why?

I recently had Christmas dinner with a coworker's family (which I am extremely grateful for). He picked me up in the company truck, one I hadn't been in before. As we pulled up to the stoplight his girlfriend reminded him to turn off auto stop/start by pressing the button on the dash. "But why?" I thought to myself as I watched him idle at a stoplight for 2 minutes, wasting gasoline for what I could discern was no purpose whatsoever.

This isn't the only situation I've observed. Everyone I ride with presses that little button as soon as they feel the engine go quiet, careless to the fuel they're wasting and the plumes of exhaust gas they're creating. I just don't understand why....

Is it me?

Maybe it's because I understand its purpose. Maybe it's because I don't mind trying out new tech and living with the growing pains. Maybe it's because the only car I've ever driven with auto stop/start was a Ford Ecosport that my dealership gave me as a courtesy vehicle when my Mustang needed service. It was over 100 degrees every day I drove it, preventing the car from shutting off due to my climate control demands and sparing me the "evils" of that dreaded feature. Whatever the reason, I need more informed opinions.

Why do YOU turn off auto stop/start? Let me know in the comments below.

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Comments (286)

  • I feel like it puts a lot of extra stress on your starter. Where you'd only be using it once per trip, you're now using it 5, 6, 7 times or more

      1 year ago
    • Through research I've seen that they either have a secondary starter or a more robust pro

        1 year ago
    • And you have to replace the battery power used to re-start. Energy ain't free. It's a gimmick, To Be Seen To Be Doing Something.

        1 year ago
  • Beefing up components doesn’t mitigate the problem of additional wear. Of all the normal operating conditions, startup is the one that causes the most wear. It’s not just rough on the starter and battery. Oil isn’t circulating when you shut your engine off so you also have additional wear due to periods of suboptimal lubrication and additional heat cycling. You also see additional stress being put on the motor mounts, and belt driven accessories.

    It’s simply mechanically insensitive.

    A side note: The increase to fuel economy a start/stop system offers could easily be achieved by tuning for efficiency instead of emissions. Point being, there are other ways to achieve the same result without compromising longevity of components.

      1 year ago
    • Well said. I worry about the turbo spinning away due to stored inertia at the lights when the engine gets shut off by these binary idiot systems. That said, the cynic in me wonders if this hasn't been taken into consideration and weighed up...

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        1 year ago
    • This right here! You hit the nail on the head. The only major reason why its enforced is to achieve the damn 5 star rating. Along with all the other "assists" (lane departure, smart city brake, etc)

      Wish the manufacturers would give you the...

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        1 year ago
  • 1st... i find it irritating and intrusive.

    2nd... i wrote earlier... having a pool of Renaults in the branch I am managing, some have SS some dont ... with the same engine. During the years, no difference in consumption, whatsoever...its a marketing term same as getting 5 stars on NCAP when thr car has beeping warning for seatbelts... without being actuall active safety feature.

      1 year ago
    • I'm not sure how you know theres no difference in consumption if everyone turns it off

        1 year ago
    • They are on. 18 people share 4 Clio IV dCi. Two of them have SS. I sign monthly reports on mileage. No difference.

        1 year ago
  • There seems to be a whole host of things you have to turn off now to simply achieve a standard driving experience of just a few years back. But admittedly I'm old and crotchety. My guess is the engine dying at at every light is just not an upgrade.

      1 year ago
    • Totally correct, If you don't recode car there is :

      Start stop,

      ESP(because all cars terrible under-steer with it ),

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        1 year ago
    • Anti-stall is another. When I lift my clutch foot to the bite point, I'm quite capable of choosing the correct moment to apply accelerator pressure on my own, than you very much. It's most annoying on diesels as they generally have enough...

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        1 year ago
  • If you need to move away from standstill/stop quickly to prevent someone running into you you're in trouble.

    The fuel consumption figures I return with the system activated are minimal in difference to deactivated. I think it's more about emissions than fuel economy.

      1 year ago
    • I'm unfamiliar with the system, if your foot is on the brake, how long would it take for a car to move if you hammered the throttle?

        1 year ago
    • Instantly at best.

        1 year ago
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