Designed to save fuel and minimize CO2 emissions, technology “Stop and start” it is installed in many models of the current market, and will certainly equip almost all the novelties of the coming car manufacturers. However, in reality, the savings in consumption are not obvious, or even non-existent in certain cases. Even worse, this gadget can cause major mechanical problems in your vehicle with a very high billing on arrival. Explanations.
What is the “Stop and Start” system of our cars?
First, let’s remember how this technology works. To put it simply, it simply turns off the engine when stopped, when the clutch pedal is released (on models with manual gearboxes) and the driver puts his foot on the brake (on automatic gearboxes) , the engine shuts down once the vehicle shuts down). has stopped completely and presses the brake pedal).
Once the gear is engaged again, or the brake pedal is released, the engine restarts. To do this, your car’s engine is equipped with an alternator-starter, which allows you to stop and restart the vehicle, without even having to intervene.
Be careful, however, because this device does not work when the heating or air conditioning is on. You’ve probably noticed that a small message is often displayed on the dashboard “Stop and Start off, battery charge optimization or comfort priority”.
You’ll see that this message is important, because in fact, your battery is being tested with this device.
Disadvantages much more expensive than possible savings?
Let’s talk about the benefits first. First of all it is very important to specify that they are not the same depending on the use of your vehicle. If you use the main shafts on a daily basis with very little or no downtime, technology does not intervene and you will not see any difference in fuel economy. On the other hand, it is true that if you regularly face congestion and regular downtime (rush hour, red light), then the device can be profitable, with a fuel saving of between 5 and 10%, which is not to be underestimated given current fuel prices and a reduction in CO2 emissions. Another advantage is the reduction of noise pollution. This provides some driving comfort to the driver by eliminating engine noise and especially the few small vibrations when restarting. And then that’s it …
On the contrary, there are disadvantages and above all they can be very expensive. First point, even before using the vehicle for the first time. The price of your car will be slightly higher than that of a vehicle that does not have one “Stop and start”because this leads manufacturers to equip the model with a specific reinforced battery as it will be much more stressed than that of a conventional vehicle.
Who says specific says more expensive, counting between 150 and 250 euros for a stop and start battery and its AGM technology, compared to fifty to one hundred euros for a conventional battery. And the one who says requested more often also says that the useful life is less important. A Stop and Start battery will have a shorter life than a conventional battery, about 3 or 4 years depending on the use of the vehicle. Another mechanical problem that can occur is a boot failure, which will also be very stressed. In the intensive use of the “Stop and Start”, it is not uncommon to have to replace it around 100,000 kilometers. And here, too, the latter usually costs twice as much as standard equipment.
Finally, the last and most worrying thing is engine wear. A start-up wears out the vehicle 70 times more than when it is running. Thus, inside your engine, when it is stopped, the oil will go down. When you go to restart, the oil does not have time to rise properly to properly lubricate the engine. Therefore, this phenomenon will cause premature wear of your engine.
What solutions to counteract the drawbacks of this device?
On vehicles equipped with this technology, there is a way not to use the “Stop and Start”. This solution is usually found by pressing a small button next to the control panel under the steering wheel, and allowing this feature to be disabled. So, what’s the point of buying a car with appliances if you can’t use them?
You can use this device freely, especially if you regularly encounter traffic jams. In this case, this help can be relatively interesting and make you realize some small savings, always welcome in these difficult times.
Conversely, if you are a motorcyclist traveling mainly in rural areas or on the highway, the “savings” achieved will not be very high. Also, changing parts for early wear could cost you a lot more …