Print 37 comment(s) - last by Kiffberet.. on Dec 19 at 7:54 AM

2014 Ford Fiesta
Start-Stop tech can improve fuel efficiency by up to 10%

Ford has announced that it plans to have Start-Stop technology integrated into 70 percent of its North American vehicle fleet by 2017. Start-Stop technology is one of the methods that many automakers are using to improve the overall fuel economy of their fleets to meet future CAFE standards for fuel economy.
Start-Stop technology automatically turns the engine of the car off when it is stopped in traffic or at a light. When the driver releases the brake pedal, the engine automatically springs back to life.
Vehicles fitted with Ford's Start-Stop tech have an advanced battery inside that continues to power vehicle accessories while the engine is stopped. Ford says that the average fuel economy improvement is 3.5%, but those that drive in heavy traffic conditions could save as much as 10%.
“Simply put, Auto Start-Stop helps customers use less fuel, which is an important component of Ford’s Blueprint for Sustainability,” said Bob Fascetti, vice president, Ford global powertrain. “By making Auto Start-Stop available on more vehicles, we are working to be part of the solution to environmental sustainability with effective, fuel-saving technologies.”
Ford expects to sell over 500,000 vehicles with Auto Start-Stop technology globally this year.  The tech is currently available in the U.S. on the 2014 Ford Fusion with the 1.5L EcoBoost engine. Ford also plans to offer this Start-Stop technology on the Fiesta with the 1.0L EcoBoost in 2014.

Source: Ford

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Sounds good but...
By hpglow on 12/16/2013 11:18:51 AM , Rating: 3
What happens when your engine gets over 200k miles and doesn't start like it used to? What does this system do when you want heat on a cold day or AC on a hot one? How much does this "advanced battery" cost?

RE: Sounds good but...
By Mr Perfect on 12/16/2013 11:38:17 AM , Rating: 2
Hopefully this is something you can toggle on and off in the settings. Considering the time the engine needs to start is longer then the time it takes me to transfer from brake to accelerator, I'd rather have this off myself.

RE: Sounds good but...
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/16/2013 12:55:07 PM , Rating: 1
Gonna suck if you are stopped at a light on a hill and the guy behind you is right on your bumper.

Sitting on a steep rising inline waiting for the light.

* Light turns green. *

You let off the brake to hit the gas, car rolls back 5 feet and you see the grille of the car behind you really close up.

Insurance company is just gonna love you.

Auto trans cars depend on the torque converter and a running motor to hold your position on a hill. Dual clutch trannys (DCT) will hold the brakes for a second to give your foot a chance to move from the brake ti the gas pedal.

If these guys are shutting the engine off, this won't work terribly well because the brakes are still being applied in the DCT and in the standard automatic doesn't have a running engine to drive the torque converter. Manual transmissions? Don't even go there.

RE: Sounds good but...
By kingmotley on 12/16/2013 1:18:13 PM , Rating: 2
It's called hill assist, and available in cars made today.

RE: Sounds good but...
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/16/2013 2:24:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, and what does hill assist do? It applies the brakes.

And what is it that starts the engine?

Hill assist/hill holder is all well; and good if your engine is running. When it is not, things get more complicated.

I just hope Ford provides a way of turning it off cause honestly I am really not interested in that at all. In fact, I would much rather not have to pay for all that extra tech to start with (pun intended).

RE: Sounds good but...
By Spuke on 12/16/2013 3:16:40 PM , Rating: 2
Are you guys talking about strictly manual transmission cars?

RE: Sounds good but...
By Souka on 12/17/2013 5:49:19 PM , Rating: 2
Last few automatics I've driven have hill assist when in 2nd gear. Transmission holds the car, not the brakes and engine isn't being utilized. As I apply the gas the engine revs and torque applies moving the car.

This applied to automatic VW Passat, Acura MDX, Subaru Forester, Subaru Outback, Ford Explorer, Mazda B4000 pickup to name a few I've driven.

I'd imagine with a start/stop the same would occur... just that the engine has to start up before engaging the tranmission.

My Prius (50mpg avg) has a start-stop, but is a CV-transmission... I just use two foot method when starting on a hill, easy enough.

RE: Sounds good but...
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/17/2013 8:26:49 PM , Rating: 2
Not necessarily manuals only. Cars with Automatics normally depend on a running engine driving the torque converter to reduce the possibility of backward roll. DCT cars depend on brake line pressure holding the car on a hill like manuals.

With start-stop, the engine is not available to drive a torque converter since releasing the brake signals the car engine to re-start. You can't start a car and drive a Torque Converter/slip a clutch at the same time.

I know how it would be handled (solution is dead simple really). I'm mostly trolling to see what you guys come up with ;)

RE: Sounds good but...
By Kiffberet on 12/19/2013 7:54:16 AM , Rating: 2
All my cars have hand brakes. Perfect for hill starts.

RE: Sounds good but...
By kingmotley on 12/16/2013 1:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
Considering the time the engine needs to start is longer then the time it takes me to transfer from brake to accelerator

It would not be terribly difficult to use electric power to get you going for the first few seconds while the engine restarted.

RE: Sounds good but...
By JediJeb on 12/16/2013 3:14:11 PM , Rating: 2
That is provided it has some type of hybrid drive train. A normal drive train would need an added electrical forward assist to do that.

RE: Sounds good but...
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/17/2013 8:29:14 PM , Rating: 2
Toyota's drive systems provide that. Not sure about Ford's though.

RE: Sounds good but...
By JediJeb on 12/16/2013 3:11:07 PM , Rating: 4
What happens when your engine gets over 200k miles and doesn't start like it used to? What does this system do when you want heat on a cold day or AC on a hot one? How much does this "advanced battery" cost?

I asked the same question in a previous article about this.

I am guessing it is going to force people who like to keep their cars longer than a few years to spend more money keeping the engine components tweaked and up to spec, even when they would still be fine under normal circumstances.

Another question. If you are in really bad stop and go traffic where you only advance about a car length at a time, how many times will you be able to start the engine, run it a few seconds, then start again before you drain the battery? And for people who commute in this kind of traffic, how often will they need to replace worn out starters?

RE: Sounds good but...
By Spuke on 12/16/2013 3:34:52 PM , Rating: 2
My wife's BMW has start/stop. It works but in this application the starting is too jarring. I've read that Ford's application is much better. As far as stop and go, it won't perform the start/stop everytime you stop. It depends on how long the distance is between stops. Also, if it's near freezing or very hot it disables itself. The heat keeps going when in stop mode but at very low fan speeds but the air shuts off with just the fan running (I might be wrong on this but it seems like that is what happens). BMW does provide a button that disables it (it also gets disabled in sport mode).

RE: Sounds good but...
By boeush on 12/16/2013 6:30:48 PM , Rating: 3
It would work exactly the same as it already works in hybrids: the start/stop is available as long as the battery has enough charge. When the battery charge drops too low (e.g. due to excessive start/stops in bad traffic, or because you're running your heater or AC or whatever), then the engine kicks in to recharge the battery (and drive all those appliances, if any) even if you're at a full stop, and the engine keeps running until the battery once again has enough charge that the engine can be shut off.

Really guys, this isn't something new, or something non-obvious. So I'm having trouble understanding the root of all this panic/skepticism/FUD...

RE: Sounds good but...
By JediJeb on 12/17/2013 11:30:39 AM , Rating: 2
Really guys, this isn't something new, or something non-obvious. So I'm having trouble understanding the root of all this panic/skepticism/FUD...

Maybe we have just seen too many instances of companies introducing something new without putting much thought into engineering around the possible shortfalls.

By BZDTemp on 12/16/2013 11:34:21 AM , Rating: 3
I mean since apparently 70% will start and stop the rest must then be going all the time. Hopefully they don't make to much noise or it will be hell to live in a neighborhood if a lot of cars are running 24-7 :-)

Still noise is a small issue and hopefully soon 100% of all their car will be perpetual motion machines. The other auto makers better up their game or they'll be out of business.

By AlvinCool on 12/16/2013 11:38:30 AM , Rating: 2
What happens when you are sitting at a red light and realize the vehicle approaching from the rear isn't stopping and you step on the pedal, finding out that you can't go because your car isn't running. Having been hit this way I don't think I want one of these.

RE: collision
By Argon18 on 12/16/2013 12:31:58 PM , Rating: 3
You do the same thing you'd do in a prius or other slow junk car; sit there and get hit.

Name Correction
By btc909 on 12/16/2013 2:30:21 PM , Rating: 2
Start, Stop, Your AC.

Stupid technology unless you can run the AC compressor (12V isn't going to cut it) electrically and move the vehicle at the nearly same rate from a stop as a gas motor on electrical power.

RE: Name Correction
By JediJeb on 12/16/2013 3:20:06 PM , Rating: 2
I believe most cars with this technology also have electric AC compressors just for this purpose.

By MagicSquid on 12/16/2013 3:34:23 PM , Rating: 3
I'm very skeptical how much this technology could actually benefit an average driver in increased fuel efficiency compared to the additional wear on components from all the re-starting of the engine.

Almost no fuel is used by your car while it's just sitting there idling at a light. You can idle for over an hour on less than a gallon of gas.

Almost all of the car's fuel is used up accelerating, like what you do after coming to a stop at the light.

This just seems like useless wannabe-do-gooder technology trying to solve a problem that doesn't really exist. A waste of effort that should have been applied elsewhere.

Just like an Elvis song...
By retrospooty on 12/16/2013 11:07:21 AM , Rating: 2
He'll just be singin' along and then he'll stop...

... and start again.

I don't think start-stop affects CAFE
By Mint on 12/16/2013 11:27:04 AM , Rating: 2
AFAIK, CAFE is measured using the same EPA city/highway tests that are used for the stickers on cars. There are only a few points in the city test where the car is stopped for a significant amount of time.

Mazda said start-stop only increases EPA mileage by 0.1%.

I think Ford is going down this road to improve customer satisfaction by giving them better real-world economy.

What's the problem.... ?
By kilkennycat on 12/16/2013 4:28:11 PM , Rating: 2
Have driven a couple of manual transmission hire cars during trips to Ireland with start-stop technology. No problem. As for hill-starts no apparent problem too. Maybe they have automatic 'hill-holder' brake technology like my (US) non-start-stop manual-transmission Forester? I did not pay enough attention at the time to experiment.

100mpg Civic
By flyingpants1 on 12/16/2013 4:51:17 PM , Rating: 2
Google it.

brake lights
By Heidfirst on 12/16/13, Rating: -1
RE: brake lights
By BZDTemp on 12/16/2013 11:40:56 AM , Rating: 2
Tell me about - that part is getting old very quickly.

RE: brake lights
By DFranch on 12/16/2013 12:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
Do you put your car in park when you're stopped at a light? I have my foot on the break when I'm at a light. Have I been doing it wrong all my life?

RE: brake lights
By JediJeb on 12/16/2013 3:17:22 PM , Rating: 2
I think you have it correct. But now I understand why I have to sit and wait so long at stoplights now after they turn green, all the people with lazy legs that have to put the car back into drive before they start moving :)

Besides, most brake lights I see even today are just bright enough to see, I can't imagine them blinding anyone. Heck many brake lights I can barely see if the sun is behind me shining on the rear of the vehicle in front of me.

RE: brake lights
By Heidfirst on 12/16/2013 6:57:43 PM , Rating: 2
try it at night with a high-level brake light on right in front of you for several minutes ...
That'll ruin your night vision for sure.

RE: brake lights
By JediJeb on 12/17/2013 11:37:28 AM , Rating: 2
Actually red is a color that least interferes with night vision, is why fighter jets use red cockpit lighting. I have only seen a few vehicles that even the high mount brake lights are what I would consider bright. The led ones in the Cadillac seem bright and I did get behind a Honda Insight that had brake lights that were rather bright, but for the most part around here not many are very bright.

Of course it could be all the road grime that builds up on the lenses that dim them down a bit, but also there are not that many new cars on the road here.

RE: brake lights
By Heidfirst on 12/17/2013 5:22:57 PM , Rating: 2
the red lighting in submarines etc. is relatively dim & not usually directed at your eyes. I'm ex-military & in my last few cars I have changed the courtesy light over to a red bulb to protect my night vision (I know that this is odd but I do quite a lot of wildlife stuff often around dawn or dusk) & these are typically ~3W. In the UK brake lights are 21W (or equiv.) & of course have reflectors & lenses designed to focus & send the light out directionally.
Typically at traffic lights high level brake lights on the vehicle in front are pretty close to your seated eye-level & 10 feet or less in front of you.
If you are there for a couple of minutes it's a pain (& a quick Google shows that I'm not alone in finding this annoying).

RE: brake lights
By Heidfirst on 12/16/2013 6:55:40 PM , Rating: 2
No, I drive a manual (stick shift). But yes, I do apply the hand brake (e-brake) & put it in neutral at traffic lights if I expect to be there more than a few seconds.
At least by UK standards you have been doing it wrong all your life if you don't.

RE: brake lights
By Argon18 on 12/18/2013 3:12:09 PM , Rating: 2
"Do you put your car in park when you're stopped at a light? I have my foot on the break when I'm at a light. Have I been doing it wrong all my life?"

Whats the purpose of keeping your foot on the brake unless you're stopped on a hill where the car would roll? Just put it in neutral. Don't keep the clutch depressed either, as that causes excessive wear on the throwout bearing.

Unless of course you are elderly or handicapped and drive an automatique transmission.

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