The stop-start system can be turned off on this Ford F-150 pickup truck using the button on the dash. Some systems cannot be turned off. James Halderman photo

Reader is skeptical of stop-start technology

Wheels:

Al F. write by email: “I am thinking of buying a new car but I am skeptical of stop- start technology. Can it be turned off?”

Halderman:

Sometimes. Some vehicles equipped with a stop-start system can be turned off using a button on the dash or center stack. Stop-start systems are designed to increase fuel economy and reduce exhaust emissions.

Fuel economy and the reduction of CO2 emissions are estimated to be 5 to 10 percent, depending on the vehicle and how it is being operated. With stop-start mechanism, the engine is stopped when the vehicle is stopped at traffic signals or in stop and go traffic conditions to reduce the fuel consumption.

Therefore, whether or not the feature can be turned off depends on if the system is needed to meet the mandated fuel economy and/or emission standards. If it can meet the standards without being actuated, it can be turned off. However, the button usually has to be pushed every time the vehicle is started as it often defaults to on.

Various vehicle manufacturers refer to stop-start systems using different terms including:

  • Auto Stop
  • Stop-Start
  • Idle-Stop
  • Smart Stop
  • Intelligent Stop and Go
  • Auto Start/Stop
  • Engine Stop-Start (ESS)
  • Start-Stop

Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to exclusive deals and newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.