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Stop and start function

In a recent column in SF Chron, you mentioned new hybrids have the functional capability to shut down the start when the accelerator is pressed. Or you could use the key, which was my first solution.

However, I remember one of my first vehicles from by parents, a 55 Buick and those thought provoking bumper bullets.

This model had to be started by putting the key in the ignition and stepping on the accelerator. Would this design work in stop and go traffic without having to touch the ignition again?

Re; Ford Escape Hybrid.
You do nothing.
The gas engine has a mind of it’s own, shuts down and starts up as needed. You do nothing.
The car is driven by the electric motor and battery at all times. The gas engine’s start and stop cycle is determined by battery charge state.

Yes I remember that Buick starter actuator. IIRC, the ignition switch was ON/OFF/LOCK so you did not need a key if the switch was left in OFF.

The starter actuator would crank the engine when the throttle was pressed down. It would not reactivate as long as there was sufficient vacuum in the intake manifold. So you would have to turn the engine off at each stop light. Also the transmission interlock would still keep the engine from starting when it was in gear. I guess you could bypass the interlock and get an instant launch as soon as the Dynaflow clutch coupled up. I don’t remember if the manual transmission version of this car had a clutch pedal start interlock so that model would be really exciting to launch.

The one advantage of the actuator was that the choke would be set and enough fuel squirted into the carburator throat from the acceleration pump to get an easy start. This was a boon for people who did not regularily push the gas pedal a few times before starting.

A car that you have to restart at every stop light? Am I understanding this correctly? What about stop signs?

So you would have to turn the engine off at each stop light.

I owned a 1954 Buick with the same starting system as you describe for your parents’ 1955 Buick. The engines on these Buicks did not shut down at a stop sign and would only stop if you turned the ignition to the “off” or “lock” position. There were three positions on the ignition switch: “Off”, “On”, and “Lock”. The switch could not be moved if you turned the switch to the lock position and removed the key. You could turn the key to “on” or “off” and remove the key and then not have to worry about the key. The starter on those Buicks functioned as follows: Turn the ignition switch to the “on” position and depressed the accelerator about 1/3 of the way down. This activated the starter. When the engine started, the starter disengaged and turned off. I think there was a vacuum switch that was activated when the engine was running, locking out the starter. Buick used this system at least as far back as 1940 and continued the system through the 1960 model year.
Back in this time period, the starter was activated in different ways on different cars. The Packards into the 1950s used the same system as the Buick. The Nash and Studebaker had a starter switch that was activated by depressing the clutch to the floor. My 1947 Pontiac had the starter pedal on the floor. The wildest arrangement was the early Nash cars with automatic transmissions–you put the selector in neutral and lifted it.
The shut down and start feature of the hybrids is completely different than the 1955 Buick system.

If you think that’s complicated, imagine trying to figure out the stop-start system of the petrol engines in Europe. They’re normal gasoline engines, but the computer stops and restarts the car automatically