Stop/Start engine technology? Does it have a dark side?

14,015

Asked by Nov 28, 2015 at 01:58 AM about the 2009 Toyota Prius

Question type: General

There's some talk that cars,  particularly hybrids,  that have a feature that shuts off then restarts the engine at intersections actually cause more harm than good in the overall lifetime of your car's engine?  There's no doubt that they save fuel,  but,    what are your thoughts on this.

19 Answers

37,885

You come up with some interesting questions, they do make you think. How about this, back in the later 70's early 80's the GM Cadillac 8 cylinder motor in some, would shut down 2 cylinders at crew-zing speeds, when not under load, so this has been tried before. I'm sure now with new technology, but starting something up and shutting it down all the time in my book is never good for the life of any motor.

19,625

the "Dark Side" is that these cars have a limited life span anyway- who is gonna go thru the expense of replacing batteries when they wear out? Or the complicated electronic control systems- and really, they are not attractive cars- have you thought about where the batteries and other toxins associated with these cars will be disposed of? And the joke is that these are marketed as ecologically superior to other cars- "Dark Side"? This is the car the Darth Vader would drive-

37,885

Right on, whether true or not, I heard it takes more energy to make one of these cars than it saves keeping them charged up. Not to mention all the plastic, copper and lead that goes into them.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
14,015

jamnblues- wow! You've got to admit that some people would think that driving the car "Darth Vader " would drive would be pretty cool. Seriously, the batteries in these cars have come down a lot from when they were first introduced, and besides, battery replacement is pretty rare, see this article below. I'm really more concerned about the electronics and the very often restarting of the engine, not to mention the starter motor. Maybe this as designed for this? There's a lot of these cars on the road and it's the most popular car in California. It's no secret that California has the highest fuel rates in the USA, so, getting 50 miles per gallon is really good. It may come as a surprise to a few people, but, fuel is the most expensive thing you put in your car. You do bring up an interesting point about the battery disposal, here's the link below to answer your question as well. http://www.autoblog.com/2012/01/05/replacing-prius-batteries- can-be-good-for-the-environment-and/ http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1078138_toyota-hybrid- battery-replacement-cost-guide

14,015

Rowefast, I don't think there's any evidence that it takes more to make one of these cars than other cars. In fact, the amount of fuel these cars save is really significant, so, when you measure te the amount of savings in relationship to fossil fuels on the planet, this translates into a major impact. Here's a really good primer on hybrid battery technology. I know that a lot of people probably don'tlike thsee cars because they're not particularly sexy, but, I've seen cabs with over 200,000 miles on them and still going strong. Kind of like the energizer bunny. So, this is in conflict with the reports I'm hearing from people who say that the engine life is shortened by the stop start technology. http://www.thehybridshop.com/battery-conditioning/questions/

37,885

Ya, I know and it doesn't help that I am old school...

14,015

Rowefast- actually, I do remember the Cadillac 8-6-4 technology, and a friend of mine had a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe with this technology, so, I would imagine it's alive and well. See this, http://media.chevrolet.com/media/us/en/chevrolet/vehicles/tahoe/ 2015.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2014/Feb/napa/chevr olet/0224-powertrain.html

14,015

Rowefast-- hey, it's OK to be old school, but, everyone wants to save money, I remember people used to say "performance is economy ". And, just think about this, the Four cylinder cars today have as much performance as large old pushrod V8s from the 60s. The naturally aspirated engines with four valves per cylinder and variable valve timing have changed the game. So, modern technology is very cool. We just have to maximize the return on investment. Don't you agree?

37,885

Ya! that is what is was, I didn't know they kept up with that for so long, we didn't like them at the time, at the service station I worked at, I just finally accepted having a motor run by sensors, and just got threw updating myself on this. I even went out and bought a Actron CP9690 Elite so I could keep up with my families vehicles since I work on them.

37,885

Yes I agree, but I am still old school...

14,015

I understand, cars today are really "rolling computers ". Aside from particularly skilled individuals and hobbyists like yourself, there's not many backyard mechanics who tinker and those who do that without sophisticated electronic tools are walking blind. Fortunately, cars do seem to last longer today, especially if you're careful about which car you purchase. I like to tell people, would you rather "look good or feel good "! I personally would prefer to feel good.

37,885

Sooo what,? The newer cars just don't have it like the old ones did? I like looking good and feeling good that I am in my vehicle that I can rely on and still get the looks. I am just razzing you, I am just working in my garage now that it has heat. And the back yard mechanics where I live are all up to date. You should see some of their garages, and they do more than fix the new junk. (chuckle), lol...Remember now, I'm just tinkering in my garage today, trying out my new 70 year old oil burner I restored.

14,015

Rowefast, nice looking and very well organized garage.

37,885

Hey man, thanks. I just came in the house as I was working all day on sprucing it up some more since I have the heat now, and my old kick ass stereo to listen too. Have a good one, looking forward to what you come up with next!

19,625

Yes, it takes approx. 80 barrels of oil to manufacture a single new car- want to lessen your carbon footprint? buy an old Geo Metro- but people will eternally want their cake and eat it too- the truth is, global warming will continue until people decide not to own cars at all, and utilize the mass transit which should take the lead in this- but I'm not holding my breath because I realize that to separate the American Man from his Machine will take a miracle of biblical proportions-

19,625

I meant to say the American government should take the lead in mass transit- and, btw, since you mentioned the "Dark Side" wanna know the REAL darkness in our fascination with our automobiles? how about 50,000 traffic deaths in the U.S. last year? And it could happen to you, it could happen to me-

14,015

jamnblues- Yes, I know. For the last 10 years that I was working, i took the commuter train to the office, much less stress and probably safer too, not to mention saving the wear and tear on my cars. I only had to drive about 4 miles to the station vs. 25 miles one way. I could read, listen to music and talk with other passengers, a win win. Yeah, not for everyone and not available for everyone, but, yes, self driving cars are coming and they'll change the culture of how we use cars. Cars will be primarily used for long trips out of town. I know a lot of people are not going to like it. An article in today's LA Times is talking about a lot of what even I would call draconian measures to get people out of their cars eventually with higher taxes and other disincentives to reduce vehicles on the road. Overall, not a pretty picture for car enthusiasts.

14,015

The real problem with public transportation is the lack of bathroom facilities. People in cars have choices to go stop and use places whenever they want, but, people on buses don't have that luxury. In fact, it's really hard to find places that have public restrooms without buying something. This is NOT GOOD and will be a major impediment to getting people out of their cars unless they find a solution. There's plenty of public restrooms in Europe, what's wrong with us here in the USA?

14,015

By the way, the bathroom problem is most evident in major cities, there's smaller cities doing better, but, they don't have the congestion problems and offer restrooms, go figure.

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