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MetroMPG 07-13-2016 02:59 PM

Saw first non-hybrid (Malibu) with engine stop/start. Why do people hate stop/start?
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Driving out of Toronto today with the windows down, I rolled up beside a new-looking Chevy Malibu stopped at a traffic light. When the light turned green I heard its conventional starter motor light up the engine and thought, "oh that's interesting -- maybe he's doing it with the key."

But at the next light when it shut down again I realized there was almost no delay between start-up and when the car started driving away -- no pause to account for shifting from N to D.

Which made me realize... it must be automatic stop/start.

And that's the first time I've seen that feature in the wild that wasn't on a hybrid.

Someone posted a start/stop Malibu demo on YouTube. Jump to 0:35 if you're impatient. :)

Technical overview of the system below. I didn't realize the car had a secondary, smaller 12v battery that powers the car ONLY during the "restart" phase. And the car has a larger capacity glass mat battery for more power & durability.

oil pan 4 07-13-2016 03:32 PM

I like when GM calls something "new technology" when japan had it as far back as the late 90s.
The ones in japan would automatically start back up when the brake is released.
But Americans didn't want it because the car's air conditioner doesn't work while the engine is off.

19bonestock88 07-13-2016 05:42 PM

Yup, I think all of the 13-15 Malibus (with the 2.5) had that... My co-worker has one and doesn't care for the auto start/stop(probably because it kills the A/C at a light)...

Ecky 07-14-2016 08:49 PM

Pretty sure I've heard some recent BMW's doing this.

MetroMPG 07-14-2016 10:21 PM

The thing is: I'm sure you can override the AC issue. If you choose one particular AC setting, it lets auto stop/start work, but if you select another, it keeps the engine on.

The amount of consumer resistance to this in North America is pretty significant, if you go by comments on auto blog sites and forums. Representative of the general public though? I dunno.

Natalya 07-14-2016 10:36 PM

I like this, if people are upset about it then they probably need their value systems changed. Or they live in Arizona.

SDMCF 07-15-2016 08:59 AM

I had this on my previous car (Mercedes) which I just changed. The replacement car doesn't have it and I do miss it, even though it didn't always work as I expected it to. Going back to manually stopping and re-starting the engine seems somewhat stressful after being used to it being done automatically. Not sure if the Merc stopped the AC when the engine stopped; I very rarely use AC so never noticed.

MetroMPG 07-15-2016 10:08 AM

Unless the Merc had an electric motor-driven AC compressor, then it probably also shut the air conditioning off when the engine stopped. For brief stops, even in very hot weather, this wouldn't be a problem.

I rarely use the air myself. But I can see it being a problem for people who are sensitive to the heat. (Or it gets much hotter than it does here! 32C / 90F yesterday is getting up to our summer high temps.)

Mr. Pancake 07-15-2016 11:28 AM

My boss was in town yesterday and she took us to lunch in her rental car. Jeep SUV, grand Cherokee? It had an auto stop feature and she proceeded to complain about how she hates it, her personal car has it too and she turned it off, etc. So I ask her why she doesn't like, she doesn't have to do anything different and it saves fuel. Her response, "I don't care, I don't like it."

That's it, no legitimate reason. Nothing. She just doesn't like it so she went out of her way to stop it from working.

Save gas? Less pollution? Nope, don't like it.

I wanted to tell her how stupid I thought she was being but I value being employed and resigned myself to being quietly very very annoyed.

MetroMPG 07-15-2016 11:47 AM

Maybe she just couldn't articulate why it bothers her?

I think I could guess: an engine that stops running unexpectedly? That's a BAD THING (TM) -- I can see that putting fear into a person who doesn't understand the feature or is generally nervous about their safety.

In a lifetime of driving conventional vehicles, an engine that stops running unexpectedly indicates the beginning of a stressful, possibly dangerous and probably expensive situation. It may be hard to overcome that.

Another source of unease: you want to scoot across the intersection but the engine is currently off? That's another BAD THING (TM).

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