When a car is new it comes with a, usually substantial, handbook. What happens to that book after that is in the hands of the owner. It pays to leave it in the glove box because it can help with any queries that arise during our every day motoring. Sometimes, they can end up forgotten in a drawer at home; that's why not all used cars have them. It doesn't matter though because replacements can be obtained or questions answered thanks to the miracle of the internet.
Fuel Saving & Money Saved
One of the many benefits that the latest sensible state-of-the-art automotive engineering has brought to our vehicles is the stop/start systems deployed when the car comes to a temporary halt; say at a set of traffic lights. Most recently built cars, like the excellent used cars we have available here, have a version these days. Although some folk think these systems are just annoying (remembering that there is usually an off button), the fact is there's money to be saved.
Most people think the amount of fuel saved by using a stop/start system is minimal, but the fact is that the petrol or diesel consumed while idling at a temporary stop soon adds up. If drivers take into consideration the wallet-puckering amounts of readies we have to hand over at the pumps, every little bit helps, as they say. A genuine recent study found that using stop/start can see a vehicle's economy figure improve by over 8% in heavy traffic. Okay, it doesn't sound a lot but, over time, it adds up to a respectable sum. Money saved is money earned.
Further; don't worry about wear and tear. This is modern motoring science we are talking about and the engines and components are engineered and optimised for it. These systems are also good for reducing the emissions that result from idling engines.
But It Doesn't Work!
In fact it probably does. Generally, stop/start systems sense that the car has come to a halt. It does this by understanding that the engine revs have fallen to tickover speeds, meaning the vehicle has come to a stop and that the brake is depressed. That's when the engine shuts down and disengages the transmission. When the braking foot is lifted the engine is restarted; that much is straightforward.
These systems have trickled down from hybrid vehicles into mainstream cars over the last few years and, although initially many drivers don't care for the sensation of the motor shutting down of its own volition, it does not take long to get used to it and it becomes second nature. What is more annoying is that car makers do not quite use a standardised system. Ultimately all do the same thing, that is shut down the engine to reduce idling, but some cars do it differently to others. If a driver is expecting it to happen automatically regardless, they may find the engine doesn't stop at all. This might lead that motorist to think something's wrong: It isn't.
Some cars will deploy stop/start when the vehicle comes to a halt and the brake is depressed, restarting when released. It doesn't matter if the car is automatic or manual. Others will only activate if the clutch (where appropriate) is depressed and the gearbox disengaged. Once a gear is selected and the clutch depressed again, the car starts. If in doubt, before you dash off to the dealer, check out the system for your car by consulting the handbook or asking the seller at the time of purchase. If all else fails, the all-seeing eye of the internet knows.
So when browsing our fine selection of AA inspected used cars remember that stop/start is a benefit and is worth having. If a chosen model is not familiar we will be happy to advise to ensure you get the best possible experience with your new car. If all else fails, turn the stop/start off.