Start-Stop Systems

  • Jun 27, 2014
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A start-stop system turns your engine off when you are stationary and saves you fuel in the process. Here's more on how you can improve fuel economy by using start stop systems

Start-Stop systems

Unnecessary idling consumes a lot of fuel. You have read this in our Fuel Efficiency Guide already. To prevent that, you need to turn off the car every time you stop and that can be a very cumbersome affair if you have to do it on a daily basis. You can do away with that if you plan correctly while purchasing your new car.

A few cars these days come with automatic start-stop systems. While in India it isn’t a very popular feature yet, this shouldn’t take too long to catch up considering our very fuel economy conscious motorists. What do start stop systems do to save fuel though… Read on.

A start stop system cuts fuel to the engine and stops the spark plug every time you come to a halt. When you press the clutch or brake, the ECU reopens the fuel supply to the cylinders and allows the spark plug to ignite this fuel. Most cars equipped with start stop systems also give you the option of turning the system off. This is especially useful in crawling traffic when you cannot afford the time taken to restart the engine. 

Most stop-start systems are available in automatics as the gearbox automatically gets the car to neutral. In manual gearboxes, you need to slot into neutral and release the clutch for the start stop system to activate. The system does not work when the car is in motion. 

Since you cannot stop the air conditioning and the entertainment system every time you stop, a car with a start-stop system needs to have a larger more capable battery to handle other systems when the ignition is turned off. A larger battery to take care of these functions helps these cars qualify as a mild hybrid or micro hybrid. When the car is stationary, the battery works to keep all functions of the car running while the engine is off and when the car is in motion, the battery gets recharged. Start Stop systems also take a toll on your spark plugs because of the constant starting. The quality of spark plugs in cars equipped with start stop systems as a result need to be of better quality compared to conventional variants. 

Using a start-stop system certainly improves your green credentials. Not only are you reducing pollutants by turning off the car, you are also saving fuel. For someone who is concerned about the environment and cannot afford an electric or a hybrid car, a car equipped with a start stop system is a good way to contribute. Don’t expect fuel savings as much as you get from proper hybrids but it is definitely more than a drop in the ocean. Following more fuel saving techniques will cumulatively help you save fuel. 

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