I have something against the Start-stop or Stop-start System in cars these days. As most of us are aware, this system automatically shuts down and restarts a vehicle's engine when it idles longer than a specific period of time. This allows the car to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
According to car manufacturers this sort of system is advantageous for vehicles that spend significant amounts of time waiting at traffic lights or frequently come to a stop in traffic jams. While this is a supposedly a good thing for the environment and to one's fuel bill I actually despise it.
I am quite familiar in cars with this function and I do not hate it because it may eat up battery life or the starter motor of the car. I hate it for something else.
I recently test drove a Honda Insight, a Honda CRZ and a BlueEfficiency Mercedes Benz C-class. I find them equally irritating when you drive with the system operating in rush hour traffic. Less irritating in the Mercedes but then again, the Mercedes is a whole lot more refined than the other cars mentioned.
In traffic jams that are long, tiresome and located in tropical countries like where we live we love air-conditioning in our cars. This is because the weather is hot and extremely humid most of the time and I personally use air-conditioning 99% of the time.
The only time I do not run air-conditioning is when I am in Fraser's Hill. I keep the air-conditioning on even if I am in Genting or Cameron Highlands as it isn't that cold these days. And if any of you have driven cars with Stop-start systems, you'd notice that most of the time the system shuts down the air-conditioning compressor and only the blowers are running. Not very nice in our climate. Even for a few seconds. I am sorry, but I am one of those truly spoiled people who enjoy the comforts of an air-condition compressor running when it needs to and not when the car feels that it needs to save some fuel.
I also do not like the fact that when a car restarts and then stops after a short period of time. It is actually quite irritating. When a car restarts itself things vibrate a whole lot more than when it is idling with its engine running.
In a Honda Insight, which probably has some normal rubber mounted engine mounts it is felt quite a bit. In a Mercedes C-class, which most probably has fluid filled engine mounts it is less irritating but still takes away some refinement. Imagine if the engine mounts are worn out is a car which is more than a few years old. It would be extremely irritating. This is why every time I end up in a BlueEfficiency Mercedes I end up switching off the Stop-start system in the car everytime I start driving it.
I suppose the only reason most car manufacturers have such a feature in their car is that the car in question may emit slightly less carbon emissions on paper. This is so that they can sell the car in a lower tax bracket in countries that base their road taxes on carbon emissions. Call it a necessity and not something truly environmentally friendly.
Of course, like the electrically assisted power steering which has basically taken over from hydraulic systems in order to gain that extra 3% fuel savings, Stop-start Systems are here to stay. But that doesn't mean that I like it. I don't.
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