Information on Stop-start Systems

A stop-start system shuts off a vehicle’s engine at idle and restarts it when the driver presses their accelerator. Stop-start systems are evolving into a popular technology.  It’s a feature of every hybrid car on the market these days and now we’re beginning to see them on conventionally-powered vehicles. Due to their effectiveness and simplicity, stop-start systems could become common place on new vehicles in the United States in coming years.  Keep reading for more information about how they work!

What makes them work

The CPU that controls the vehicle runs a stop-start system. Stop-start systems are made so that using your brake pedal sends a “ready” signal to the engine’s controller. When the vehicle arrives at a stop, the controller shuts your engine down and pre-positions the fuel injection system, starter motor and transmission to provide a fast engine restart.  This occurs when a driver either depresses the accelerator pedal or removes their foot from the brake pedal. Many systems aim for the restart to happen in less than one second.

Stop-start systems save gas

Stop-start systems may cut combined city-highway fuel use by as much as 10%, and more when they’re working with hybrid drive systems. By stopping engine idling, stop-start systems lower smog-causing and toxic tailpipe emissions; people who are concerned about their driving’s impact on the environment may want these. They’re very effective in city driving situations where plenty of stop and go driving occurs.

Other items quit for a moment as well 

If you turn the engine off in your car, the air-conditioning stops, too. That is because most A/C systems use engine power to run the compressors.  Losing your AC is not a problem on mild days, or when the stopping period is short, but it could be in the summer. To address this, automakers have placed circuitry in that boots the engine back on if the cabin temperature gets too high. To find out more, contact the Service team at this FIAT dealer in Thomson, GA!

How Hybrids Tie In

Stop-start systems are not new for hybrid drivers. These vehicles have had stop-start for years for better fuel economy. Unlike solo stop-start systems, which require twelve-volt batteries to help cut costs, hybrids use the electric-drive systems’ robust but expensive lithium-ion and nickel-metal batteries.

Potential Problems With Stop-Start Systems

Stop-start systems aren’t hard on engines, but they require a lot of the car battery. While your usual car or truck may call for high amperage for the starter-motor several times each day, a vehicle with a stop-start system could cycle that drain on the battery dozens of times daily.  This is harder on the battery and automobile makers typically put large batteries in vehicles with stop-start systems. Well, many drivers find it disconcerting when the engine shuts off each time they come to a stop. There is “getting used to it” involved.  However, more and more automobile makers are starting to use engine stop-start systems for better fuel efficiency.

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