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Driving query

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Driving query

Returning home from the Lakes yesterday the M6 was closed between junctions 36 to 34 so a 30 minute journey took over 4 hours, quite likely most of you have been in a similar situation at one time or another but the question is should you switch off your engine when in stationary traffic ?
Clearly if you have a good view of distant traffic in your lane and there is any movement further ahead then it would make sense to leave the engine running but if you do not have a clear view or nothing is moving do you turn the engine off ?
On a more personal note due to a common condition in men of my age group I could not have lasted that long without a comfort break but fortunately managed to do so quite likely due to dehydration having been walking for most of the day.
21 REPLIES
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Re: Driving query

My son's car and many like it have Stop Start which turns off the engine automatically during such traffic conditions.
Mine doesn't but it would depend on conditions but if I could see I would be not moving for 5 minutes then off it would go until there was signs of movement.
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Re: Driving query

All cars come with stop-start, it's called the ignition switch... Grin
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Re: Driving query

Perceived wisdom seems to say that an engine will save fuel if it's switched off for ten seconds or more. I personally don't like it in town traffic where you are constantly stopping/starting, but on the motorway it's probably useful, especially if you have a good view of the queue ahead. I wonder what impact it has on the battery and starting system?
pwatson
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Re: Driving query

Quote from: nozzer
I wonder what impact it has on the battery and starting system?

That would be my concern as well - You want the car to start again!  My current car has Stop/Start and it only stops the engine if certain conditions are met - Battery has good voltage, lights aren't on, fan isn't on more than 3 etc and the car also has a beefed up battery.  During the winter months the system never kicks in...
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Re: Driving query

As twocvbloke has said.... all cars come with a stop/start facility... intelligent use of this device, not only saves fuel, but also cuts pollution,... and if you have ever sat in a queue of traffic, with your ventilation fan running, you have been well and truly polluted by the car in front....  which should bring to mind a certain rear window sticker..... "The car in front is.......... (polluting my breathing air ). a Toyota."... oops !...
If you don`t believe that switching off, at traffic lights( or in traffic queues )  saves fuel, then just check your "consumption" figures on the dashboard... (or your mpg if you prefer).. and watch it gradually reduce the longer you sit there... On certain journeys, I know which traffic lights are "long stay" versions, and  I always switch off, even if I am "number 1"... switch on as soon as you see the yellow light, and you are "away" as soon as the green light comes on... and hey... so what if the guy behind you sounds his horn... YOU are in the car in front of HIM. ! ! !..
on the subject of cutting pollution when stationary.... most level crossings have signs telling you to switch off to cut pollution....
Motorways are no different....  with modern cars, the "fear" of your car "not starting" as soon as you see the car in front move, has been eliminated ( almost ),.. with the use of the battery and starter motor... older cars that used the starting handle may have more of a problem, if they switched off on a motorway, or traffic queue.   Cheesy
As for the impact on the battery and starting system.... c`mon guys.... you are driving modern technology now.... Modern battery design and manufacture have overcome the old problems you "perceive".. it is just "old habits die hard".....  I have NEVER had any problem with my previous cars, regarding "stop/start"  and battery failure... my old skoda only had 2 batteries fitted in the 10 years I had it... and that was due to "old age" and not "usage" of the stop start system.
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Re: Driving query

Even an Austin Maestro can do stop-start, well, the start may be a bit harder, but will happily stop... Grin
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Re: Driving query

Replace your car battery with Super Capacitors... http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/breakthrough-electric-cars-supercapacitors-miracle-substance-graphene-charg...
They recharge quickly, have high power output even when freezing.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
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Re: Driving query

If it looks like I'm gonna be stuck for more than about 30 seconds I'll turn off the ignition. A couple of months ago there was an accident on the A299 and nothing moved for 40 minutes. There were still several cars with their brake lights showing for most of the time Roll eyes

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Re: Driving query

if it's cold and you're sat for 40 minutes then you'll need the engine running to keep you warm.
if you turn your engine off and leave all the electricals on for 40 minutes then you'll be lucky to start it again (lights don't usually turn off on their own).
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Re: Driving query

Quote from: shutter
"fear" of your car "not starting" as soon as you see the car in front move, has been eliminated

Only now my alternator has been replaced.
Quote from: twocvbloke
Even an Austin Maestro can do stop-start, well, the start may be a bit harder

I had to dribble fuel directly into the carb to start up my old (scrapped) Maestro in the morning.
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Re: Driving query

Quote from: chenks76
if it's cold and you're sat for 40 minutes then you'll need the engine running to keep you warm.

Depends who I'm with Wink
Quote from: chenks76
if you turn your engine off and leave all the electricals on for 40 minutes then you'll be lucky to start it again (lights don't usually turn off on their own).

That has happened but not because I turned off the engine in traffic; parked up for a moonlight walk and accidentally left the side lights on.Embarrassed Thankfully all sprang to life about about 15 minutes of leaving everything fully off Smiley

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quelquod
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Re: Driving query

Quote from: billnotben
I had to dribble fuel directly into the carb ...

Great days!
I used to carry a can of ether-based engine startup spray to get my old Hillman going on cold days.
Always a bit of a worry that something might explode ..... Wink
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Re: Driving query

Quote from: billnotben
I had to dribble fuel directly into the carb to start up my old (scrapped) Maestro in the morning.

1.3L A+ engine I take it? Grin
PowerLee
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Re: Driving query

Good old A+ engine  Grin
SU HIF carb, needle & jet worn out every 20k or so miles, dashpots that drank oil.
Maestro, Metro & Montego with A+ power train used to snap clutch cables for fun,
Brilliant design feature of having the low pad & low brake fluid warning lights come on with handbrake warning light to test the bulbs so the dash lit up like a xmas tree everytime the handbrake was applied,
Excellent security feature of having the key number on a sticker on the steering column  Grin
The fibre optic headlamp & wiper stalk symbol illumination was a good design feature  Cool