Torque shop

Does a car with a stop-start system have a higher chance of stalling? Some of these cars come with notices on the sun visors advising what drivers should do if the engine does not restart.

This is a bit of an irony because stop-start systems go through periods of "stalling" that are independent of the driver or the condition of the engine.

Uninitiated engine shutdown is now standard fare in a number of cars, incorporated to reduce fuel consumption when waiting, as at traffic light junctions.

When this occurs, your engine has effectively "stalled". Start-up is automatic the moment you release the brake pedal. The feature can be deactivated by the driver.

However, some motorists are concerned that the engine will not restart when it should.

If the engine indeed does not start up automatically, then switch off the ignition and start up as you normally would. Ensure the transmission is in Neutral or Park when doing this.

Stop-start systems are designed with a number of fail-safe features to prevent a total shutdown. For example, when the battery is weak, stop-start will not activate.

For now, there is no hard evidence to suggest that a car with such a system has a higher chance of stalling.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2016, with the headline 'Torque Shop'. Print Edition | Subscribe