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Old 15.11.2012, 23:13
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my new car shuts off engine at traffic light

Hey all,

I remember someone asking this a while back but I cant find the thread. Essentially, the question was;

"How come I see so many people shutting off the engine at traffic lights? yeah, you might save a few drops of gas, but isn't that hard on the starter?" I have to admit that I was in this camp.

I just got a Mini with the push button start, and darned if it doesn't have that as a design feature. Take it out of gear and release the clutch, the engine dies. push in the clutch and it starts again in about the length of time you take to get it shifted back into first.

I'm in town a lot, so I'm going to drive it that way for a week, then just drive "normally" for a week and see how much fuel savings there really is.
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Old 15.11.2012, 23:41
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Re: my new car shuts off engine at traffic light

Volkswagen brought in that feature around 1985. It was meant to lower city pollution, and to save fuel.
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Old 15.11.2012, 23:46
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Re: my new car shuts off engine at traffic light

Cars with this feature have bigger batteries and more powerful starter motors so that they can spin the engine up to a speed at which combustion can be sustained, only at that point does it start fueling the engine, the end result of this is that little or no fuel is wasted during the start up phase, you will notice this feature is only active when the engine is warm and that if you are stationary for a period of time that the engine will start by itself (without you depressing the clutch) to make sure that the engine doesn't get too cold, and as a by product of that the passenger compartment doesn't get too cold either.

In short the ECU makes sure that the engine parameters stay within optimum ranges to ensure clean quick starting, if the optimums aren't met the engine stays on or restarts itself to maintain optimums. Just make sure you keep your foot on or the handbrake on because without engine you lose breaking force so if you start rolling it won't be as easy to stop.
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Old 16.11.2012, 08:31
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Re: my new car shuts off engine at traffic light

My husbands BMW did the same thing, apparently to do with fuel savings and emissions. Personally I found it a bit scary as I was worried it wouldn't restart. There was an override button on the centre consol though so I could switch it off . It also didn't work when the temp was below 3 degrees so you should be ok for the winter 😃
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Old 16.11.2012, 09:35
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Re: my new car shuts off engine at traffic light

It is also part of the swiss trafic laws. If you are more than 3 cars behind a red light, or at what might be a long-ish stop (like red lights at road works) you are supposed to switch off your engine to decrease air/noise pollution.

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Hey all,

I remember someone asking this a while back but I cant find the thread. Essentially, the question was;

"How come I see so many people shutting off the engine at traffic lights? yeah, you might save a few drops of gas, but isn't that hard on the starter?" I have to admit that I was in this camp.

I just got a Mini with the push button start, and darned if it doesn't have that as a design feature. Take it out of gear and release the clutch, the engine dies. push in the clutch and it starts again in about the length of time you take to get it shifted back into first.

I'm in town a lot, so I'm going to drive it that way for a week, then just drive "normally" for a week and see how much fuel savings there really is.
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Old 16.11.2012, 09:59
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Re: my new car shuts off engine at traffic light

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My husbands BMW did the same thing, apparently to do with fuel savings and emissions. Personally I found it a bit scary as I was worried it wouldn't restart. There was an override button on the centre consol though so I could switch it off . It also didn't work when the temp was below 3 degrees so you should be ok for the winter 😃
A lot of the big German cars now have this feature, which can be easily be disabled.

The reason is it allows them to boast of better fuel consumption figueres and reduces CO2 outputs, thus asllowing them to creep into a lower tax bracket.

It is quite a useful gadget if the trafic is stopped for a fixed period of time but when it's creeping forward stop start basis such as at a junction, it can be a pain.
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