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What's the point of stop-start?

Whats the point of stop-start when your Volkswagen/Audi diesel is doing probably 60mpg? Is this just making a problem that isn't there or just another cost to the consumer?

John Craven (Blackpool,lancs)

Oct 2016 Filed under: fuel economy and emissions

Expert answer

Hi John,

No, it’s not just another cost to the consumer. Stop-start systems are designed to prevent the car from running the engine unnecessarily at standstill when doing so would be at its most wasteful of fuel. After all, if you’re not moving then what is the point in having the engine on? Stop-start systems are specially designed with either a beefed-up alternator or an integrated starter/generator so that it can handle multiple stops and restarts in rapid succession, and it’s estimated that on an average car, stop-start can save as much as ten per cent of overall fuel consumption – not to be sniffed at, never mind the benefits to city-centre air quality.

Admittedly, the car makers have brought in stop-start to bring their cars' official CO2 and fuel consumption figures down, and the benefits are only really felt if you are stopping and starting regularly. If you spend all your driving time on the motorway then you won't use the system at all.

Neil Briscoe - Complete Car Advisor

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