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Old 05-08-2013, 06:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Starter motor

'Evening all.

I just found this forum while Googling the potential risks involved bump-starting, which I did accidently today while coasting down a well-travelled hill only to be met with a traffic light appearing out of nowhere at the bottom, road works or something, plus my phone went off at just the wrong moment; distracted, I forgot I was EOC, engaged the clutch in 6th, didn't even notice it was all so smooth, then realised what I'd done after I'd stopped and panicked. Anyway, a thread I read here which I'm not allowed to link to with a post-count under five seems to have put my mind at rest.

So I wanted to make a greetings post to my like-minded brothers in hypermiling wierdness, and realised I had a question: EOC requires a restart, the consequence of which is that use of the technique will mean you restart the engine far more than the average driver. Does this cause noticeable wear to the starter motor? There are some short hills I coast down with the engine on as a kind of compromise between additional fuel cost and less wear on the starter motor, but if this is inconsequential I will happily EOC every descent.

I drive a Honda Type R, manufacturer mileage 31 mpg, my mileage ranges between about 41 in winter and 48/49 in summer.

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Old 05-08-2013, 09:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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...only to be met with a traffic light appearing out of nowhere at the bottom, road works or something, plus my phone went off at just the wrong moment; distracted,...
EOC is not inherently dangerous, however driving while distracted is. That traffic light did not appear out of nowhere, it only seemed that way because you were not paying attention.

If the phone going off is distracting, you would be well advised to turn it off when driving.

That said, I normally EOC 4 to 9 times in my three mile commute to work. I mostly bump start, sometimes key start.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Now that you've discovered how smooth you can clutch start, why would you use the starter? (Aside from when you've come to a full stop.)

Starters used to be wear items on old cars, but in my opinion, it's a non-issue on newer vehicles.

I only know of one person who has worn out a starter on a car that's less than 10 years old - and that's the guy who invented the word "hypermiling." That was also an automatic (so no clutch starting option). I wouldn't guess how many tens of thousands of times his starter might have been cycled, but you can be sure it was an extremely high number!
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
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EOC is not inherently dangerous, however driving while distracted is. That traffic light did not appear out of nowhere, it only seemed that way because you were not paying attention.
Valid point. You're not saving fuel if you're driving like the average Joe, getting "surprised" by traffic lights.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMichler View Post
EOC is not inherently dangerous, however driving while distracted is. That traffic light did not appear out of nowhere, it only seemed that way because you were not paying attention.

I wasn't speaking literally, and it obviously didn't appear out of nowhere. It had never been there before, which was why I chose that particular phrase, but I don't want to get into a semantic argument; I'll will try to be more literal in future, if it's an issue. What a patronising reception.


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Now that you've discovered how smooth you can clutch start, why would you use the starter? (Aside from when you've come to a full stop.)

Because I'd understood that damage could result, which appears to be an urban myth. The starter on my previous car, a 2005 Vauxhall Corsa, did fail, which leads me to be cautious. However, stop-start technology seems to function in effectively the exact same way, so I suppose a modern starter should be fairly indestructable.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Both my current Honda civic with 234,000 miles and my old Honda civic with 280,000 miles have original starters, my room mates car, a Saturn had a new starter put in at 150,000 miles, I've loaned my Saturn repair manual to a handful of other people to replace their starters, same with Volkswagen's because their starter has a design flaw in it that causes a single wire to burn out.
So yes, the more you use a starter the more wear it gets, but each design and make of starter is going to have it's own issues that is going to give it more or less a set number of times it can be used, for some this may be 5,000 time for others this may be 50,000 times and there are people who EOC so much that they kill their battery because it never charges and it''s turning the starter over 50 times in a single day, for them a starter that is going to last 50,000 uses will only last 2-3 years while it would last me decades.
I don't like turning my engine off unless I get to coast at least half a mile and a mile is more likely and I don't like using my starter if I don't have to because of the added wear to the battery that you get as well.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I'll will try to be more literal in future, if it's an issue. What a patronising reception.
Though it does sound patronizing, please understand we're all pretty big on driving awareness in all its forms. In my opinion, eco-driving encompasses many points, including greater spatial and situational awareness than other drivers exhibit.

For you to phrase your sentence the way you did, it almost makes it sound like you are trying to legitimize looking at your phone while driving, and this is what JRMichler was addressing. I don't think anyone here wants to get bogged down in semantics, we just don't want another distracted driver on the road either!

So please understand why you were addressed that way and carry on!

In regards to your initial question, here are some of my opinions.
Based on the overwhelming support here for EOC, I don't think it will cause excessive wear, but I personally find it takes too much effort, and don't bother with it (with a few notable exceptions). I have also heard (through this site) that the starter contacts can wear out. Supposedly this is a very inexpensive repair, but it's something else I don't want to have to worry about either.

If you are willing to invest the time in it, more power to you. If you're nice to your clutch, you won't have to worry about any premature wear.

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Old 05-09-2013, 08:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flakbadger View Post
Though it does sound patronizing, please understand we're all pretty big on driving awareness in all its forms. In my opinion, eco-driving encompasses many points, including greater spatial and situational awareness than other drivers exhibit.

For you to phrase your sentence the way you did, it almost makes it sound like you are trying to legitimize looking at your phone while driving, and this is what JRMichler was addressing. I don't think anyone here wants to get bogged down in semantics, we just don't want another distracted driver on the road either!

So please understand why you were addressed that way and carry on!

Fair play to you. Spatial awareness is a given, as you cannot EOC without it or you'll wind up in intensive care, to say nothing of keeping sensible distance in traffic queues to avoid stop-start; and actually, many other considerations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
there are people who EOC so much that they kill their battery because it never charges and it''s turning the starter over 50 times in a single day,

50 doesn't actually seem to be all that excessive to me. I usually do a minimum of eight restarts, and that's on a total of an only 16 miles' round trip. Each coast is at least half a mile, some quite a bit longer.

So is the general consensus that the best way to restart the car after EOC, and obviously enough not from stationary, is a bump with clutch release and not the starter?


One other thing I learned is that you cannot do this with headlights on. I had assumed that since the battery recharges the lights, a thirty seconds' coasting run followed by engine recharge would not cause any trouble. I was wrong, I killed my battery eventually and ground to a halt at a roundabout. I'm aware that puts me at risk of another "irresponsibility" jibe, but I genuinely assumed the battery recharge would more than compensate for the short headlight drain. It occurred to me subsequently that I could have tried a bump, as I was still moving.


Oh, and here's a pet peeve while I'm at it: There's one lovely long hill I always EOC down. It's preceeded by a flat which is dual, merging to single carriageway for the descent. Everyone else does the following: they drive like maniacs on the approach to the descent, apparently desperate to get in front of whoever's in front of them. Then they arrive at the descent and slam the brakes on, followed invariably by pottering down this great long hill in an absolute nose to tail line, brake lights flashing and usually interupting my EOC as I end up catching up and having to brake. Every single time I think, why not approach at a modest speed, then carry on with the descent in the same way? They don't have to EOC, or even in neutral but on, just take the approach sensibly and not have to then take the descent nose to nail. Wild acceleartion followed by braking is just profits to the oil giants, and a total road nuisance generally.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If you are planning to continue EOC then you might invest in a small 1 or 2 amp battery charger and plug your battery in once every week or two, it can extend the life of your battery by years, recovering the cost of the charger right away while saving you time by not leaving you with a dead battery.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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One point, you should try to bump start it gently. Some cars are known to break straps in the clutch cover. When I had my garage I built a few custom clutch covers for some die hard eoc guys who kept breaking straps. It will also wear the clutch out somewhat faster but clutches are a wear item anyway. If/when it does you just get kevlar facings and it will easily outlive the car.

Also be aware that EOC can have a significant impact on cat life because of the constant temp cycling. Most OE cats are good quality and shouldn't go bad too fast. The whitebox specials (high flow, el-cheapo ones) not so much. They're ceramic core and not always top quality. I changed the cat on my subaru for a stainless core one. On a restart (engine off for about a minute) it lights off in about 10 seconds versus 40 for the ceramic core one but while running doesn't really improve overall emissions...

-Michael

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