What exactly is a Stop / Start System? While vehicle manufactures may use different terminology for these systems (Stop / Start, Stop and Go, Auto Stop / Start, Engine Stop / Start) they are essentially all systems which automatically shut off the vehicles engine and re-start it with very little driver interaction when the vehicle comes to a stop such as at a traffic light or stop sign. Although this technology has been used in Europe and Japan for some time and has also been used on hybrid vehicles for many years we are now starting to see wide spread availability of Stop / Start on many non-hybrid cars and trucks in the US.
Stop / Start Systems started showing up on a few models in the USA around 2013. Fast forward to 2017, and now almost all vehicle manufactures have Stop / Start option available on several models, some as standard equipment.
Why Stop – Start? There are estimates that in urban and suburban areas a vehicle can spend as much as 30% of the time sitting still idling. When a vehicle is at a stop sign or traffic light and not moving fuel is being consumed and harmful exhaust gases are emitted. Stop / Start Systems help to increase fuel economy and reduce emissions by automatically shutting the engine off for a brief period of time while the car is stopped, and then re-starting it when the driver is ready to go.
Some important points to know regarding Stop / Start Systems:
· Starters are engineered to be more robust due to the increased number of starting cycles that will occur
· Special Batteries (usually Absorbed Glass Mat) are utilized with Stop / Start Systems. Some vehicles even use an extra or auxiliary battery in conjunction with the Stop / Start System
· Other components such as Engine/Transmission Mounts, Starter Relays, and Battery Cables can also be specifically designed for use with Stop / Start Systems
· Software and safety features are used to prevent the Stop / Start System from activating when it should not be used
· Some vehicles have a button to allow the driver to deactivate the Stop / Start System if they prefer not to use it
As a supplier of starters and alternators to the Automotive Aftermarket, MPA has also adapted our products to account for this recent development. Applications that have Start / Stop technology are available in our product line today, and have all of the robust engineering included. We’ll continue to stay up to date with this technology as it develops and grows in our North American vehicle parc.