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2018 Ford F150 - Starter

I have a 2018 Ford F-150 with the auto stop/start feature. will this cause excessive wear on the starter or shorten the life of my battery? It may stop and start up to 20 times on my way to work.

No, Ford designed it to do exactly this. If you don’t like it, turn it off. Your owners manual tells you how.

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Great question and one that our fellow CarTalk contributor and BestRide editor did somereal research on. Here’s why you should not worry (ps - every 2019 truck will have that, not just Fords) At one outlet I work at “Ford F-150 Stop Start” is our most commented on story. Universally hated.

Yes, I imagine it will cause additional wear. Manufacturers have designed starters to withstand additional wear - so they know additional wear occurs, right? They’ve just tried (hopefully successfully) to mitigate it.

Aftermarket tuners can turn that feature off permanently. Of course it voids your warranty. I’ve read on F150 forums that you can insert a jumper wire behind the button, causing the default position for the button to be the off position, also. I might do that, but would research it more first.

Based on my one experience with opening and refurbishing the internals of a starter on an 18 year old car with about 170K, I don’t see how it wouldn’t wear out with more starts.

So if a trip to work is normally one start, drive to work, and then park, 20 starts means the starter experiences 20 times the wear. Are the new starters built to be 20 times more durable? 10 times? 5 times?

More cycles equals more wear. Period. Automakers design the starters differently to cope with the greater demand. Time will tell if they’ve been successful or not. I’d prefer not to have my $40k vehicle be designed to stall. I’m all for saving fuel, but some of these fuel saving tactics are more complicated than they’re worth in my opinion.

Millions of cars waiting at stoplights? Each waits at 20 lights? Like OP? Everyday? Lots of gas

Just use the start/stop feature while in the warranty period and see what happens .

I’m sure it’ll be fine for 60k miles. I don’t want it, myself. But I come to a complete stop only once, maybe twice during my commute. I can see it being cumbersome leaving a ballgame or going through a drive through where you have to inch forward a car length at a time. Which is where I’d want to turn it off. And where it would save the most gas… yeah, I don’t think it’s for me. I guess it helps the average on a whole rather than the individual driver. Just go electric or something and be done with it, in my opinion. If we’re really concerned with saving fossil fuels, give me an alternative. Not an automatic stall gas engine.

That wouldn’t be something I’d worry much about. If you got it , use it. You’ll save a little money on gasoline. But it does cause some add’l wear on the affected parts, and use some extra charge from the battery each time, and requires the alternator to re-charge the battery each time. The Ford engineers are aware of all of this, and presumably designed the battery, charging system, and starter to handle it. It’s a race now, might go on for years and years, to see if you save enough money on gas to pay for the extra wear and tear. I expect it’s a wash. Like I say, I wouldn’t worry about it.