Dear Car Talk,
I recently bought a 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the auto start/stop feature. This feature is driving me crazy. Every time the driver initially starts the car the feature has to be turned off if you don’t want to use it. I know it’s supposed to save gas and reduce pollution but there’s no way in the world the life of the starter, battery and who knows what else is not reduced. Also at a red light for example the engine stops automatically but then starts again after about 10 seconds. What’s up with that? What’s the real advantage of this feature and what are your thoughts?
Pulling what little hair I have left out in Fort Worth.
Dear Car Talk,
Almost all new vehicles have auto start/stop. Some systems seem to work well, but I think I would just get used to switching it off each time.
Read this for the scoop from an “auto industry insider” (in other words, propaganda). https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1109687_dont-start-stop-systems-wear-out-your-cars-starter
You’re lucky you can turn it off…some systems you cant.
Recently one of the automotive shows on TV was hawking an electronic device that can retain the desired setting for the autostop feature on many vehicles that allow turning the feature off, so that the driver doesn’t need to press the button at each startup. I’m not sure I should share the product name or company here though, so as not to be thought a spammer.
I don’t see that it would do much good in the small city near where I live. The traffic engineers have set the lights up to where one catches one red light after the other. In many of the intersections, one can sit there alone at an intersection for 10 minutes without it ever going green. Many times i just go through them on red… Why not? There’s no one within a mile anyway.
I don’t know if Amarillo, TX is still the same way but a lot of their streets are one way. Light goes green and one takes off. Halfway down the block the next light goes green, and so on and so on. Get rolling and never stop.
My sister lives in Fort Worth and it would seem like a real aggravation to me considering the traffic situation. My FB (which I seldom use) has “fortworthsucks” for a password.
The way I look at it is that every mechanical thing on planet Earth has a certain amount of cycles in it before it acts up or outright fails. Eventually the failures will come and hopefully not in the middle of 820 at rush hour…
At a red light, does it turn the engine back on if the AC/defrost are not turned on?
The advantages are less fuel is used and less pollution is being caused when the engine is not needed for motive power. I rented a Chevy Cruze a couple years ago and the system worked seamlessly. I liked sitting at a red light with no vibration or sound from the engine, and a smooth quiet takeoff when I pressed the gas pedal.
It seems like it’s a good idea in theory but a pain in practice. To have the engine turn off and instantly back on at every stop sign is ridiculous, and doesn’t save any fuel or prevent any emissions. In stop and go city traffic, it’s impossible that it doesn’t overheat the starter, leading to early failure, and strain the electrical system. In cars that won’t allow you to disable it, just revert to stickshift habits, and always downshift into D2, or S, or whatever the low-drive or pseudo-manual setting is labeled a second before you come to a stop. In every car I’ve driven that had auto-stop, that bypassed it.
Not true. Does it save enough to justify the cost/complexity? That’s a different question.