I have a 2019 Lincoln Nautilus. I was always told that the hardest thing you can do to an engine is start it. The starter is used to start the vehicle from a cold start. Yet, when sitting idle at a traffic light, the engine stops. As I let off the brake the engine starts again without hearing the starter. How does this work? This will happen 5 - 10 times during my trip in town. Is this not hard on the engine?
Mostly an old urban story. Yes , the first start of the day might cause a very small amount of wear . But after it has been running there is enough lubrication in the engine that you need not worry.
Your owners manual should tell you how to disable the auto start/stop function.
Car Talk’s own Craig Fitzgerald did a deep dive on this topic (auto stop start and is it harming your engine) you may find worthy of a read.
I trust that the auto manufacturers wouldn’t knowingly design a car with a flawed system.
Having said that… if it bothers you, and you can disable the feature, then do so.
I’m currently shopping for a new car and although I will never be a fan of this technology, the article helps. I know I can turn this feature off, but if the starter ever goes bad I don’t think I want to know what this new starter would cost to replace. I got a feeling it would trump any fuel savings. Even though I choose not to use the feature, the starter is still going to cost me when it breaks (brakes). The battery I suspect is also an issue. Seems that all the cars I’m interested in will have this, but it’s not a deal breaker even if I had a choice. I’m more concerned with CVT transmissions. Also start/stop feature annoys me at take off, but if I use it I’ll probably adapt.
However, some are easier to disable than others. It might involve a lengthy trip though the menus on the car’s video screen, and on most cars it has to be disabled for each trip. I think it is pretty rare for any of the manufacturers to allow permanent disabling of this feature.
The Fords usually have a button you can hit to disable it.
And if the shifter has a sport mode, that too will disable it.
This was done to satisfy EPA that the mileage in town could be improved. I had one rental with this and it is irritating as heck. Plus the price of a heavier duty starter and a $400 limited availability battery, and no thanks for me. You’ll have to read your manual to see if you can disable it but some don’t let you like Jeep. In that case you have to trick it such as making it think the hood is ajar to disable the system.
All the more reason I’ll keep buying used cars from the past 10 years or so.
New cars today have more and more “features” I’m just not interested in having. Or paying for.
Engines have come a long way since people first started saying that, and anyone who says it now doesn’t understand modern engines. Tight tolerances, computer-controlled fuel injection, and improved refining standards and additives for motor oil mean it’s not hard on the engine.
I would disable it. “Autostop Eliminator” makes a button that defaults the autostop to off so that it is permanently off unless you decide to turn it on via the button. The factory button defaults to on.
Correction, they make the product for the f150, I’m not certain about other Ford / Lincoln products.
And yes, it’s harder on the starter and the battery. Otherwise, the manufacturer wouldn’t see a need to add a heavy duty starter and AGM battery, right?
I might leave it on if I lived in an urban setting anyway. But for rural areas like mine, the system would just be annoying with no fuel mileage improvement. I only stop 2 to 3 times on my way to work anyway. It might be worthwhile in gridlock traffic. Still annoying, though.
I’ve made a “napkin math” on this once, and even in urban use, the savings will well below the extra acquisition and further maintenance costs.
My only [logical?] explanation is that it seems to be a relatively legal way for manufacturers to cheat on EPA compliance score of some sort.
I just bought a 2020 and I wouldn’t even look at them if they didnt have a simple button to shut it off . And dont assume all have a way to shut it off as a lot of GM models have no way to shut it off. They were taken completely off the buy list .
Also in some of these systems you now have to worry about 2 batteries and the expense that goes with it . The car I just bought has 2 . A garbage system .
In all fairness, it’s probably better for the total greenhouse gas emissions if all vehicles shut off at a redlight, if you buy into the climate change deal. No comment from me.
But, if you shut off X vehicles every day that would otherwise emit Y C02, then you’ve reduced the carbon output by Z. Whether or not it benefits the purchaser of said vehicle is immaterial in the grand scheme (some think). No comment from me again.
Agree with you , LOL .
It doesn’t hurt the engine but it does stress the starter and battery. Presumably those parts are designed robustly to avoid being weak links. Click on ‘cartalk.com’, above-left, you’ll see Ray’s comments on this topic, a recent Ask Car Talk column.
I think stop/start would be less annoying with a ~15 second delay before stopping.
Then it would not shut off at every brief stop.
But still, not a technology I would want.
The stop/start feature on my lawnmower is annoying. When I release the handle it stops. It puts added wear on my right arm and shoulder to restart it. I feel the pain for the poor battery and starter motor in cars with the stop/start feature.
(Actually the cable broke for the automatic stop on my lawnmower, so I defeated the system. I can’t see that the mower has used any more gasoline. My guess is the fuel savings on a car is miniscule).