Fuel Economy Technology Systems: Auto Start/Stop

Tightening regulations on fuel economy along with rising awareness about pollution have influenced vehicle design and function in recent years. However, most consumers are not willing to sacrifice comfort, vehicle size, or power, so auto makers needed to use different methods to boost fuel economy. For the most part, aerodynamics can be directly related to fuel efficiency. The smoother air flows over the vehicle, the less power is required to make the vehicle move, leading to higher fuel economy. Unfortunately, a vehicle that has excellent aerodynamics may not be a functional vehicle for everyday consumers. So, other measures needed to be taken. In this series we’ll break down some of the methods used to boost aerodynamics and fuel economy along with any special cautions on how to repair them. Let’s check out the vehicle start/stop function.

In most vehicles, the engine will shut off after a period of time when the vehicle is at a complete stop. As soon as the brake is released, the engine will restart in order to allow the driver to accelerate. This can improve fuel economy by not allowing the engine to burn fuel while idling. While this function can be beneficial for fuel economy, it may also interfere with other functions and features of the vehicle, like remote start for example. Most vehicles will not engage the start-stop function depending on the state of the battery’s charge and temperature if the A/C, heat, or defroster is running, or if the vehicle is in a different gear position other than “drive.” Most vehicles with this function allow the driver to manually turn off the auto-start-stop feature by pushing a button on the instrument panel.

It is important to understand how the system is designed to work to make sure it is operating as intended. Make sure to follow procedures from the OEM, as some of these systems may need calibration after a repair.

Always research repair procedures to make sure that all repairs are being performed according to the manufacturer. If these systems that are not properly functioning after a collision, the vehicles fuel economy will be sacrificed, which leads to an unsatisfied customer. Though some of the systems may not pose a safety concern, it will cause a problem with fuel efficiency and emissions.

Additional I-CAR Collision Repair News you may find helpful:

Related I-CAR Courses