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Thread: Shutting off engine at red lights?

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    Senior Member dani3d's Avatar
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    Shutting off engine at red lights?

    Hi,

    I was just wondering how much wear does shutting off the engine at the longest red lights do to the engine?

    I heard conflicting info about this and when I think of the cars that are used for delivery and how they go ON and OFF many many times per day, how bad can it be to just skip a few red lights?


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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra SR automatic: 7.0 L/100 km ... 40.4 mpg (Imp) ... 14.3 km/L ... 33.6 mpg (US) ...


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    Your engine won't wear any more by running it at lights, but your electric starter motor will wear SIGNIFICANTLY faster.

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    Administrator Daox's Avatar
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    Its really not that bad. Another forum we run is about driving and modding car for better fuel mileage. People do this all the time. I've only heard of a couple instances where starters wear out, and this is over years of running the forum. As you said, delivery people wear theirs out much faster.

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    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    I've been doing this for many years... more than just at long stop lights. If I know I'm going to be stopped for more than ~10-15 seconds, and it's safe to shut off (no risk of rear collision), I do it in my car.

    I've never worn out a starter, and the city fuel savings is significant: roughly 5-10% depending on your route/conditions & how often you turn off. Which is why auto stop/start is appearing on more and more new cars each year. It's already common in Europe/Japan (the Euro Micra has it).

    In some countries (Switzerland comes up in searching) it's law to manually shut off the engine when stopped at traffic lights if you don't have stop/start. (The light warns you when it's about to change back to green so you have time to re-start and shift into gear).

    Warm starts cause negligible wear to the engine itself. Yhe starts that hurt an engine are the cold ones, where the oil is cold, pressure is low and oil has drained away from moving parts.

    Of literally thousands of ecodriving/ecomodding forum members who use this technique, I only know of one report of a worn out starter, and he was the most hard-core of them all.

    So I would say do it, and don't worry about it. Enjoy the fuel savings. Also, with your automatic, you can just pop the shift lever into N (no button-press and no looking required), and pop it backward into D (no button required) when you do your stop/re-start.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.5 mpg (Imp) ... 20.0 km/L ... 47.0 mpg (US) ...


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    Senior Member dani3d's Avatar
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    Ok cool. I was doing this mostly at long red lights (2 to 3 minutes), and I catch around 10 of them per day, going to work and back home. So far my computer went from 6.4l/100km to 6.2 average, doing only 2 to 3 lights that way per day.

    Here it's not a law to shut of the engine but I am starting to see signs everywhere at red light to suggest doing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
    I've been doing this for many years... more than just at long stop lights. If I know I'm going to be stopped for more than ~10-15 seconds, and it's safe to shut off (no risk of rear collision), I do it in my car.

    I've never worn out a starter, and the city fuel savings is significant: roughly 5-10% depending on your route/conditions & how often you turn off. Which is why auto stop/start is appearing on more and more new cars each year. It's already common in Europe/Japan (the Euro Micra has it).

    In some countries (Switzerland comes up in searching) it's law to manually shut off the engine when stopped at traffic lights if you don't have stop/start. (The light warns you when it's about to change back to green so you have time to re-start and shift into gear).

    Warm starts cause negligible wear to the engine itself. Yhe starts that hurt an engine are the cold ones, where the oil is cold, pressure is low and oil has drained away from moving parts.

    Of literally thousands of ecodriving/ecomodding forum members who use this technique, I only know of one report of a worn out starter, and he was the most hard-core of them all.

    So I would say do it, and don't worry about it. Enjoy the fuel savings. Also, with your automatic, you can just pop the shift lever into N (no button-press and no looking required), and pop it backward into D (no button required) when you do your stop/re-start.
    Last edited by dani3d; 04-24-2015 at 10:38 PM.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra SR automatic: 7.0 L/100 km ... 40.4 mpg (Imp) ... 14.3 km/L ... 33.6 mpg (US) ...


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    MetroMPG (04-24-2015)

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    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    Those signs are at intersections? Neat. I haven't seen any except near buildings/schools.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.5 mpg (Imp) ... 20.0 km/L ... 47.0 mpg (US) ...


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    Senior Member dani3d's Avatar
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    Yes, I see them more and more at intersections in my commute to work.

    Quote Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
    Those signs are at intersections? Neat. I haven't seen any except near buildings/schools.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra SR automatic: 7.0 L/100 km ... 40.4 mpg (Imp) ... 14.3 km/L ... 33.6 mpg (US) ...


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    not a safe practice people...what if the car doesn't start, there will be a lot of angry motorists idk

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    Senior Member dani3d's Avatar
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    It's safe alright...What are the odd the car won't restart?? If it's that bad, it could just stop on its own and not restart. Mine is a brand new car.

    But the worse is that I don't see any fuel economy doing this, so I am only doing it for the very long lights and only when I catch the light right at the beginning.

    I noticed that if I shut off the engine at red lights, my car computer show a better fuel economy but when calculating the real thing with fuelly, it's not any better than not shutting it off.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra SR automatic: 7.0 L/100 km ... 40.4 mpg (Imp) ... 14.3 km/L ... 33.6 mpg (US) ...


  11. #10
    Senior Member micrapolis's Avatar
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    the mere hassle of doing this is not worth it, imo.
    and our traffic lights dont 'warn' that it's about to go green, either



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