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The Effect Stop-Start Technology has on Car Engines

January 6, 2020

We are now living in a new decade (hello, roaring twenties!) with that comes an increasing necessity and desire to make more eco-conscious decisions in our daily life, particularly as our beloved planet slowly descends into more climate chaos. Now, more than ever, is the time to act and adopt new habits and practices. One of the steps car manufacturers have taken to reduce fuel consumption and emissions is through the introduction of stop-start technology in modern cars. We all understand the environmental impacts and benefits, but what about the effect this new stop-start technology has on your car engine in the long term?

 

What is stop-start technology?

Let’s begin with asking this very simple question: what is stop-start technology? Stop-start technology is a system found in modern cars that cuts the engine when the car is stationary. This is to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. When the driver is ready to move, they can restart the engine by re-engaging the clutch or releasing the brake.

 

This process happens automatically when the computer detects the car is stationary, but drivers can choose to manually activate or disable this technology by pushing their car’s stop-start button (a capital ‘A’ with an arrow circling clockwise).

 

Does stop-start technology wear out my car engine?

When it comes to durability and long life of a car engine, a higher number of stop-start cycles does lead to increased engine wear, unless steps are taken to prevent it.

 

The main issue with stop-start technology is that when the engine is running, the two components (crankshaft and main bearing surfaces) are separated by a thin film of oil and they do not touch. This process is called ‘hydrodynamic lubrication’. However, when the engine is turned off, these two metal surfaces come into contact as the crank sits down on the bearing. It is this element of the metals coming into contact within the engine that sees significantly increased wear over time as a result of the stop-start system.

 

One of the main ways in which car manufacturers and innovators are combating this is through the development of new bearing materials with greater self-lubricating properties that can resist the wear on start up of the engine. The other method is through the improvement of low friction lubricating oils. By improving the durability of the oil film and reducing the friction to enable further ways forward for stop-start systems.

With both these methods in place (low friction bearing and lubrication technology) the potential threat to engine life by stop-start systems should theoretically be overcome in the future – which is great news for both car owners and the environment!

 

Contact

If you’re worried about the effects stop-start technology has on your car engine, you can call our expert team of car mechanics on 0207 609 1502, or fill out our online contact form today and we’ll be in touch.

 

If you’re looking for a well-established, family run car servicecar repairs and MOT centre, then look no further than F&G Car Services Ltd. We specialise in providing the key services every motorist needs to keep their vehicle running smoothly all year round.