Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Ford To Offer Fuel-Saving 'Start-Stop' System

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the eventual-acceleration dept.

Transportation 572

Ponca City writes "The Detroit Free Press reports that Ford plans to offer start-stop systems on many cars in 2012 that save fuel by turning an engine off when the vehicle is idling and quickly restart it when the driver releases the brake or steps on the gas pedal, improving fuel economy by 4% to 10%, depending on driving conditions. The system, common in Europe on cars with manual transmissions, is already in use in the US on gasoline-electric hybrids, including the Ford Fusion Hybrid. Automakers have been reluctant to add the feature to cars in the US because the testing method that the Environmental Protection Agency uses to determine fuel efficiency ratings doesn't include many stops and thus doesn't recognize the technology's effectiveness."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Buy a Ford! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34680430)

Buy a Ford!

Re:Buy a Ford! (2, Interesting)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680904)

At least it's not Government Motors.

Cold weather (5, Interesting)

E-Sabbath (42104) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680452)

How does this system behave in cold weather? Sometimes, I want the car running for a while, either to power the heater or to just warm up the engine before I take it on the road?

Re:Cold weather (5, Informative)

lyml (1200795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680494)

Well we've been using it for a while in Sweden and it's pretty cold up here. No problems so far.

Re:Cold weather (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34680498)

It doesn't turn off the accessories, so the heater will still work. And engines don't really have to be warmed up more than a few seconds before you start driving.

Re:Cold weather (1, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680620)

It doesn't turn off the accessories, so the heater will still work.

You DO know how a Heater works, don't you?

Re:Cold weather (2)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680646)

You know how fast a big block of metal cools down don't you? ;)

Re:Cold weather (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680712)

You know how fast heat from that block gets to your heater core with the water pump shut down don't you?

Re:Cold weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34680744)

You know how a water pump can be driven by an auxiliary electrical motor don't you?

Re:Cold weather (1, Funny)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680876)

You know how a water pump can be driven by an auxiliary electrical motor don't you?

Can be, sure. But we're talking Ford. Water pumps have never been their strong suit. (Owned many a Ford, generally pleased, but water pumps are just not so good. My old dealer had a display case of consumables -- oil, grease, filters, spark plugs, water pumps -- next to the parts department. Someone had a sense of humor.)

Re:Cold weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34680902)

Can be, sure. But we're talking Ford.

Yeah, so can I have that in terms of a car analogy, then? :)

Re:Cold weather (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680892)

Good luck getting home after an hour in stop and go traffic depleting your battery continuously running a pump, on top of 8 or 12 restarts per mile.

Re:Cold weather (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680842)

You know how fast a big block of metal cools down don't you? ;)

Heats up slowly, too.

Re:Cold weather (1)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680648)

How do YOU think they work? I doubt the cooling system would loose all that much heat through the heater core at a stoplight.

Re:Cold weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34680684)

Ages ago I had a problem with my Escort's radiator, in the middle of winter, on a freeway. I was able to drive for short distances and then had to pull over before the engine overheated. It cooled off fairly rapidly once sitting there idling.

Re:Cold weather (2)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680704)

Something has to pump the water around. Your heater core has about 30 seconds of heat in it without hot water coming in.

Stoplight is your BEST case scenario. But even that would save next to nothing, because of re-start waste after only 30 seconds.

Traffic Jam rush hour is far more typical scenario, where real saving could be found.

Re:Cold weather (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680816)

It doesn't turn off the accessories, so the heater will still work.

You DO know how a Heater works, don't you?

For those who don't or (like me) kinda sorta do [howstuffworks.com] .

Re:Cold weather (2)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680636)

In all cars I have driven, the "heater" uses the heat generated by the engine and transferred to the radiator fluid. Then there is a radiator across which air is blown to heat the inside of the vehicle. The amount of radiator fluid in the heater core at any one time is not very much. If the engine is not running, the heater will not remain warm for long.
On the flip side, the Air conditioner compressor is belt driven and will definitely not do anything if the car is not running. On these new cars, will the heater and AC both be completely electric? This would be very inefficient.

Re:Cold weather (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680938)

There's little doubt the heater would cool off some, but even at a long traffic light it's not like the car will freeze over while you wait. Keep in mind, there will still be convection and the water in the heater core will still be in direct contact with the water in the rest of the cooling system.

If that's not enough, an electric water pump could solve it.

Re:Cold weather (1)

N1EY (817702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680664)

Car Engines are tight. This increases efficiency. Yet it takes a while for them to get moving. Ford engines such at the 4.6l need to warm up. I know from experience. These engines use 5W-20. So I think that this also indicates they are tighter than some of the Chevy, which use 10-30.

Re:Cold weather (2)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680502)

The Prius has been doing just fine since the early 2000s.

And modern engines need no more than 30 seconds of idling to be "warmed up" for driving.

Re:Cold weather (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680596)

Just because the engine is 'warm enough to drive' doesn't mean the car is - my car takes 5-8 mins of running before the heater is warm enough to prevent my breath from causing condensation on the windshield.

Re:Cold weather (2)

belmolis (702863) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680884)

Not to mention the time to melt the ice on the windshield if you live where I do.

Re:Cold weather (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680612)

And modern engines need no more than 30 seconds of idling to be "warmed up" for driving."

My 2007 Honda Civic may need 30 seconds for the engine to be ready to pull loads, but in 20 degree fahrenheit weather, it needs 12 minutes at least or I'll be driving around with fogged up glass. (Extremely dangerous).

Although I would like tips to reduce that somehow.

Re:Cold weather (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680656)

Hmmm. Roll down all the windows?

Re:Cold weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34680806)

Are you familiar with Wind Chill [wikipedia.org] and Exposure [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Cold weather (1)

Soft Cosmic Rusk (1211950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680988)

That's not possible where I live. The windows are frozen in place and cannot be opened for the first 5-10 minutes.

Re:Cold weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34680660)

Use the defroster. Max fan setting, air conditioning on (for dehumidification), and heat at maximum.

20 degree farenheit weather is NOT that cold -- you shouldn't need to warm the car up at all in that circumstance.

Re:Cold weather (1)

bob65 (590395) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680782)

Use the defroster. Max fan setting, air conditioning on (for dehumidification), and heat at maximum.

Not sure if there's a joke there I didn't get. I think the parent was looking for slightly more insightful advice than "use the defroster".

I've found that cleaning the inside of the windshield helps -- oils/gases from the interior plastics can produce a coating that makes it easier for the windshield to fog up.

Even if you parked outside overnight, 12 minutes to defog seems a bit long for 20F (about -6C). Although unlikely, maybe you want to check if there is water leaking into the interior? That would definitely cause some bad fogging (and problems defogging).

Re:Cold weather (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680828)

Not that cold? It's 12 degrees below freezing which is why he has the problem in the first place.

I'm not sure you are understanding the situation or perhaps you got your F and C mixed up. And yes, I'm used to 20 degree C too. In the smaller compact cars, this can be an issue where it's not as much as one in the larger cars where the windshield is further from the people sitting in it.

Re:Cold weather (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680844)

Lol.. That should be 20 degree F too. I guess I should have previewed the buttons when clicking to continue editing.

Re:Cold weather (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680906)

Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose and breathe through your nose as much as possible. Seriously. It is of course a good idea to get the defrost going properly, but if you're in a rush or it isn't working well, you can reduce the amount of water vapor that you exhale.

Re:Cold weather (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680688)

And modern engines need no more than 30 seconds of idling to be "warmed up" for driving.

But what about the catalytic converter -- that has to be hot before it does anything and I don't think that 30 seconds of running gets it anywhere near hot enough.

Re:Cold weather (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680870)

It doesn't matter anyway; catalytic converters don't clean up car exhaust until you've been running at a fairly high power setting for several minutes. On the motorway when you're piling on the coal they work just great but around town they make emissions far worse.

Re:Cold weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34680894)

Modern cars dump extra fuel to get the cat warmed up ASAP.

Re:Cold weather (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680756)

My car battery dies just about every winter because it's driven 1.5 miles to the transit station and 1.5 miles back. That type of driving takes a serious toll on a battery when the temps hover around a balmy -22F for several weeks a year. Will this restart the engine from the battery? If so, will Ford replace it under warranty for having a feature included for those of us who don't idle our cars ever because we take mass transit?

Re:Cold weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34680936)

A) Get a bigger battery (Look for a high number of cranking amps and cold cranking amps, or get a deep cycle/marine battery.)
B) Get a better alternator.
C) Put a trickle charger on the battery at night.

Three easy fixes for not driving your vehicle the way it was designed. Although frankly it sounds like your charging system isnt working properly.

P.S. I know many auto parts places like autozone or advanced auto, will test your battery and alternator, either on the car or off. They will even give your battery a good charge overnight and retest in the morning for free. Many others will do so also, just call and ask.

Re:Cold weather (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680942)

Many vehicles just won't charge up the battery if driven that way in really cold weather. I've sometimes had to make a point of taking mine for a longer drive to charge up the battery. One alternative might be walking some or all of the time. Another is to buy a battery charger and charge your vehicle from house current at night.

Re:Cold weather (1)

screwzloos (1942336) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680558)

It wouldn't behave in cold weather. It would have to be an option that could be disabled.

Depending on how cold the climate is, it might even be better for the car to sit and idle for a little while before taking off. Oil and transmission fluid don't lubricate terribly well below 0F - even the low viscosity flavors. This is especially true when the vehicle has been sitting for several hours. If it's cold enough, there might be -no- oil on the cylinder walls. Starting the engine cold and immediately taking off like that would damage the engine.

Re:Cold weather (5, Informative)

Shuntros (1059306) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680708)

It behaves perfectly well in cold weather. I have a 2.0L/200bhp diesel BMW in the UK where it's been sub-zero (that's on the rest-of-the-world temperature scale) for the last month. A number of pre-requisites have to be met for the car to commence the start-stop behaviour, such as the engine having warmed up sufficiently, battery charged etc.. There's also a button on the dash to disable it as it can get a little annoying during rush hour due to frequent stopping in heavy traffic. It took a couple of weeks to get used to, but it now feels strange to sit at the lights with the engine running. It's very fast aswell; kills the engine below 5mph when the car is in neutral and clutch is out, then the moment you hit the clutch to pop her back in gear she fires up again, so quickly that it's almost impossible to get your foot on the gas before she's running.

Not sure how they plan to implement it for cars which run in "stupid mode" (automatic transmission); presume it'll crank it when you take your foot off the brake to drive off.

BMW specifically recommend NOT warming the car up for long periods before driving off; it's no longer necessary due to today's technology, nicosil-plated cylinders etc...

Re:Cold weather (1)

infinite9 (319274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680710)

How does this system behave in cold weather? Sometimes, I want the car running for a while, either to power the heater or to just warm up the engine before I take it on the road?

This feature will flop in florida et al. No engine, no a/c.

Re:Cold weather (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680888)

This feature will flop in florida et al. No engine, no a/c.

Bet whether the engine is going will depend on the load on the overall system. If the A/C is on full, the load will be enough to justify the engine being on (well, at least a lot of the time; that'll depend on a bunch of other factors such as how well insulated the passenger compartment is and what size of battery is fitted).

Re:Cold weather (1)

Matimus (598096) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680718)

My guess is that in a modern vehicle will do whatever is necessary to perform the enabled functions. Turn on the car, turn up the heat and the computer will run the engine if that is necessary. Once the car is up to the specified temperature the engine will shut off again to preserve power. I suppose they could have missed this use case, but that seems unlikely.

Re:Cold weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34680720)

My BMW 318 has the stop-start system - in cold weather, the engine stays on; it only turns off once the engine's warm enough. It also stays on if the heater is on full-blast, so basically in winter it doesn't kick in - but in summer, you notice the difference in the fuel bills.

Re:Cold weather (4, Insightful)

GWBasic (900357) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680752)

My 2003 Civic Hybrid has this feature. The engine doesn't stop in cold weather.

Re:Cold weather (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680790)

How does this system behave in cold weather? Sometimes, I want the car running for a while, either to power the heater or to just warm up the engine before I take it on the road?

I just drove my Uncle's Prius in 10F (~-12C) weather, and it restarts just fine. Given that Ford obviously knows how that works, I'd think there wouldn't be much of a problem. But yeah, if you need the heater, it's gonna run more. The Prius did that, so again, Ford has the advantage of seeing a problem already solved and starting from there. I know I'm more confident in being able to solve a problem if someone else did it first.

Re:Cold weather (1)

kryptKnight (698857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680824)

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2374756,00.asp [pcmag.com]

The coolant pump is electric so that it can be ket running when the engine is off. The 100C coolant that runs through the heating coil doesn't cool significantly in the time you would spend at a traffic light.

Fuel-Saving? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680460)

I've always heard that starting a car uses more gas than a couple minutes on idle. Is that a myth? Mythbusters, wherefore art thou?

Re:Fuel-Saving? (1)

chibiace (898665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680478)

i have heard this also

Re:Fuel-Saving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34680504)

in the cold the engine requires a lot more fuel because the fuel is not atomized properly, so it's somewhat difficult to get it into the cylinders, once the head has been warmed up, the fuel can vaporize easier, so restarting will not take much fuel.

direct injection would also offset the need for more fuel in cold start and restart.

Re:Fuel-Saving? (4, Informative)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680560)

On fuel injected cars you pay the penalty on a cold start - until the engine and exhaust / emissions systems are warmed up, the car runs rich (open loop).

Once the car is warmed up, the ECU (engine control unit) will go into a more efficient closed loop operation, using O2 sensor output to set more efficient fuel levels. Shutting off the engine for a moment will not send the system back to the less efficient open loop.

Re:Fuel-Saving? (0)

Pingmaster (1049548) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680940)

Maybe, do you think just maybe, Ford might have thought about that and put a special case instruction in the ECU to oh, I don't know, not do that?
Just a thought

Re:Fuel-Saving? (5, Insightful)

lyml (1200795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680506)

Since it's already been deployed in Europe with great success (although the silence when you stand still at a red light is ominous) Mythbusters seems redundant.

Re:Fuel-Saving? (1)

donotlizard (1260586) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680890)

I enjoy "wasting" fuel. It makes me feel like a big man, like when I yell at children who walk past my girlfriend's house. Oh wait, I don't have a girlfriend.

Re:Fuel-Saving? (-1, Flamebait)

toleraen (831634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680982)

Yeah, I mean if something has been adopted by the masses then why bother questioning it?

Re:Fuel-Saving? (1)

JazzyJ (1995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680512)

Current method of starting a car may indeed do so. (Mythbusters, find this out!)

The article mentions 'quickly restarting'.... might involve a different method for starting the vehicle.

Gosh, I'd hate to think what this would do to your car battery when stuck in NY/LA traffic or something....

Re:Fuel-Saving? (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680520)

Remember when we said that about turning off computers?

Re:Fuel-Saving? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680650)

Remember when we said that about turning off computers?

I slap the wrists of any of my users who shut down "their" machines. Because after they're done with them, it's my turn to do work on them, and not every manufacturer (Apple, esp) knows how to utilize WOL properly (No, Apple, WOL doesn't just mean wake from sleep. We want wake from off-state). When we eventually get around to using idle machines for extra render nodes, there will be public shamings for users that shut down for the night.

Re:Fuel-Saving? (2)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680546)

I don't remember if Mythbusters did an episode on starting/stopping the engine, but I do know it's a myth that starting and stopping the engine uses more gas than idling. [fcgov.com] It may have been true once, but electronic engine starters are pretty efficient these days.

Re:Fuel-Saving? (1)

thynk (653762) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680910)

Good link, even better that I used to live in Ft. Collins :-)

Re:Fuel-Saving? (1)

Macman408 (1308925) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680574)

I've heard the same thing about fluorescent lights. But in both cases, it's wrong. The Prius, for example, gets rather incredible mileage because of (not despite) this. There could be increased wear, if the devices in question aren't designed properly, but the Prius handles all the starts and stops just fine. Average cheapo fluorescent lights, on the other hand, tend to burn out quickly if cycled on and off, though.

Re:Fuel-Saving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34680584)

Pedantic anon troll here,

Wherefore actually means "why", not "where".

Re:Fuel-Saving? (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680792)

would say it would use about the same, But the biggest issue could be is the wear on the starter motor and engine of start and stopping it like that would lead to repair bills and/or lose of fuel economy.

Would be great for the EPA to consider (1)

Super Dave Osbourne (688888) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680474)

a lot of things like driving habits and terrain when considering the efficiency of the car. The EPA isn't in the business of doing the right thing, its in business.

Re:Would be great for the EPA to consider (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680554)

Terrain.

Yikes, starting after a stoplight on an up-hill street could get tricky.

Re:Would be great for the EPA to consider (1)

WebManWalking (1225366) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680914)

Well, I'd have to say Torain has more drive than Portis. But neither one shuts off his engine.

I love the American way... (1)

Ebbesen (166619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680500)

... "If it's not being tested or measured, it's not worth doing".

Re:I love the American way... (2)

ultranova (717540) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680570)

... "If it's not being tested or measured, it's not worth doing".

That's a great way. I wish more people - especially politicians - would require actual measurable results, rather than simply latching onto an ideology and basing all their decisions on that, no matter what the results are.

Re:I love the American way... (1)

Ebbesen (166619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680644)

Well, I could rewrite to say: "If it's not being tested or measured by the government, it's not worth caring about".

Just because it isn't tested by EPA, doesn't mean it's a stupid thing to do.

Imagine if Ford had done this 10 years ago, and rumor had spread among car owners that "those non-hippie gasoline/diesel powered cars from Ford are really energy efficient". Perhaps they would have a larger market share today.

Of course, that requires thinking that goes beyond the next quarterly earnings report - something that's often hard to do for such companies.

Re:I love the American way... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680968)

But something that Ford is demonstrably capable of: they did not receive TARP money like the dinosaurs down the street, precisely because they recognized in the early oughts, the need for more fuel efficient, reliable cars. (although that may just have been due to being sick of all the "found on road, dead" jokes in the 90s...)

Re:I love the American way... (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680600)

Certainly not in any large way.

Manufacture half a million new cars with feature X, only to find you have half a million lemons to scrap.

There are thousands of experimental cars running around the US. Running on everything from battery power, fuel cells, to hydrogen.

Starter / solenoid setup, or something simpler? (1)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680508)

How many cycles will a flywheel driving starter motor / solenoid setup last?

TFA doesn't mention what will be used, but a spring / torsion system that captured the rotational inertia of the engine to stop it, and then used that stored energy to restart the engine would be great for warm restarts.

Re:Starter / solenoid setup, or something simpler? (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680918)

Replacing the starter is cheap and easy enough on most engines (with the exception of the LT5, where GM marketing departments bonehead requirements demanded the same bore spacing as the smallblock so the starter sits in the lifter valley underneath the intake plenum - a royal pain in the ass to swap it out). It's certainly much cheaper and easier to replace than the other parts that excessive start/stop cycles will destroy: the bearings, lifters, valves stems, and so on. In other words, the engine will be an expensive casualty of this "feature" and the material/oil/pollution costs of building a new engine to replace the worn out one will more than offset any theoretical savings. Of course, if they're smart enough to include a dry sump oiling system to pre-pressurize the oiling system prior to start up, it's a non-issue. Just make the starter easy to replace; or more specifically, design the starter to be in an accessible location with the brushes replaceable by swapping out a cartridge.

Re:Starter / solenoid setup, or something simpler? (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680920)

"How many cycles will a flywheel driving starter motor / solenoid setup last?"

Considering that the starter is always the first thing I have to replace, even on Hondas and Toyotas, I'd be really hesitant to get a car with this "feature" in it.

in some parking lots (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34680514)

Particularly outside fast food restaurants or supermarkets, sometimes it seems that there are drivers in most of the "parked" cars, eating meals, talking on the phone, or waiting for the passenger to emerge from the store. And usually the car is idling. That's a fair amount of cash going out the tailpipe right there.

Why hasn't it been done before? (2)

guanxi (216397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680534)

Automakers have been reluctant to add the feature to cars in the U.S. because the testing method that the Environmental Protection Agency uses to determine fuel efficiency ratings doesn't include many stops and thus doesn't recognize the technology's effectiveness.

When I asked the question several years ago, a Ford engineer told me that they didn't implement it because non-hybrid cars didn't have enough battery capacity. I know that each start drains a car battery, and then the battery recharges as you drive (even in standard, all-gas-powered, non-hybrid cars). I inferred from his statement that standard car batteries wouldn't recharge quickly enough to provide capacity for frequent restarts. That would make sense; designing that much capacity into standard batteries would be a waste.

Does anyone know the truth? Was the engineer full of it? Is Ford using higher-capacity and/or faster-charging batteries? Don't tell me to RTFA, because I did and know enough not to take everything at face value.

Re:Why hasn't it been done before? (5, Informative)

Ebbesen (166619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680586)

Well, Volkswagen made the Lupo back in the 90s. It was able to achieve 78 miles to the US gallon with a 1.2L diesel engine.

So, I guess he's full of it, if the battery pack on the big American cars are unable to store enough energy.

Re:Why hasn't it been done before? (1)

guanxi (216397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680630)

Well, Volkswagen made the Lupo back in the 90s. It was able to achieve 78 miles to the US gallon with a 1.2L diesel engine

Did the Lupo use 'Start-Stop'? And how big was its battery?

Re:Why hasn't it been done before? (1)

Ebbesen (166619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680750)

Did use start-stop.

Don't know about the battery specs, but from I've been able to google in the last 5 minutes, it looks like a totally normal car battery.

Re:Why hasn't it been done before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34680872)

For one thing, the starter for a diesel is not the same as a starter for a gasoline engine.

Re:Why hasn't it been done before? (1)

MayonakaHa (562348) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680766)

A quick Google search shows the Lupo 3L had start/stop technology. The battery size I'm unsure of but I believe it uses the same size as the other model Lupo cars, which would make it a 12v 60Ah. Varta's website shows their "Start-Stop Plus" batteries have those specs and are made for start-stop systems.

Re:Why hasn't it been done before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34680794)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Lupo

Yes, it uses start/stop, and by the size of the car, I doubt it has a mega battery in it, it's a 2 door car!

Re:Why hasn't it been done before? (1)

rbollinger (1922546) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680878)

Yes and we all know how huge Honda had to make the Insight to hold it's battery.

Re:Why hasn't it been done before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34680856)

Well, it's a very small engine. Maybe that means that the battery needs to provide less power to turn it over during a start. I can imagine that a big V8 would require more power.

Re:Why hasn't it been done before? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680628)

As I've sometimes tried to start my car a dozen times or more at a time because of one problem or another, I suspect he's full of it. Not to mention it would be easy enough to implement a battery voltage detection system that disable the system if their is not sufficient charge.

Re:Why hasn't it been done before? (1)

guanxi (216397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680654)

As I've sometimes tried to start my car a dozen times or more at a time because of one problem or another, I suspect he's full of it. Not to mention it would be easy enough to implement a battery voltage detection system that disable the system if their is not sufficient charge.

Both good points. I'd also consider that 'Start-Stop' would have to be able to restart the car much more than a dozen times in a trip around the city.

Re:Why hasn't it been done before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34680680)

Well one would assume one would look at the battery charge level (guess) and the heat requirements, and outside temp etc, before turning the engine OFF. Frankly this isn't rocket science even a prius will run the engine to provide enough heat energy in cold situations.

Re:Why hasn't it been done before? (1)

denzo (113290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680722)

A good deep-cycle battery with a good cold cranking amps rating would be able to handle this just fine. But car manufacturers tend to prefer the cheapest parts possible to get a car on the road, so he was probably speaking more in economics than in possibility.

Re:Why hasn't it been done before? (1)

Ebbesen (166619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680780)

I found this: http://www.tayna.co.uk/063-Numax-Car-Battery-P937.html

Specs:
Voltage - 12V
Capacity - 44Ah
CCA(SAE) - 360A

Dimensions(mm)
210 x 175 x 175

Does not look special at all.

Re:Why hasn't it been done before? (1)

GWBasic (900357) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680764)

Does anyone know the truth? Was the engineer full of it? Is Ford using higher-capacity and/or faster-charging batteries? Don't tell me to RTFA, because I did and know enough not to take everything at face value.

My guess is that it requires a different kind of starter. My 2003 Civic Hybrid has this feature; but the reason why it works is that there's a 15hp dynamo built into the engine block.

Re:Why hasn't it been done before? (1)

screwzloos (1942336) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680834)

Current (mainstream) automotive batteries are a lot more willing to discharge than they are to charge. You can probably run your starter for a minute or two before the battery is dead, but if you tried to charge it that fast not only would it not hold the charge, but it would likely overheat and explode. Automotive alternators (the thing keeping your battery charged) are built with this in mind. They provide relatively little current over a longer period of time. Also keep in mind that making a larger alternator to overcome this would drop the efficiency of the engine.

Starting and stopping the engine repeatedly in any situation would not work out. The only place this kind of thing would work is if you have infrequent, long stops.

Re:Why hasn't it been done before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34680916)

My last Government Motors car used to had half that system. Every time I came to a stop, it would stall. The "start" part of the equation was always questionable, though.

This would only increase engine wear. (1)

NimbleSquirrel (587564) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680826)

It is a known fact (maybe not widely known) that a very large propotion of engine wear occurs in the first few seconds after startup. When the engine is stopped, gravity pulls oil back down to the sump, and the oil pump takes thise seconds after startup to redistribute oil around the engine to vital moving parts. I also suspect that will increse the thermal shock loading on the engine, especially as the O rings will suffer a much greater number of heating/cooling cycles than in a regular engine.

The conspiracy theorist in me says that this is just a way for manufacturers to increase their revenues for ongoing maintenance (as these engines WILL need far more regular maintenance cycles) while selling it to consumers as being environmentally friendly. I doubt Ford will let anyone aside from their dealers touch these engines.

A far better solution would be to make the engines super efficient at idle (whether this is by shutting down cylinder firing or by other low friction means). This would keep the oil in the engine moving, and would keep the engine relatively warm.

Re:This would only increase engine wear. (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680930)

When the engine is stopped, gravity pulls oil back down to the sump
... if you leave it for several minutes. Stop a car engine and immediately turn the key back on. How long does it take for the oil pressure light to go off? If it's less than about 30 seconds, your engine is badly worn. At that point there's still a good, deep film of oil on the bearing surfaces - there's just no pressure to force more in immediately.

Re:This would only increase engine wear. (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680946)

Yes, startup from cold. The engine is stopped for brief enough periods to mitigate problems with oil cooling or flowing away from where it's needed. Also, what do you mean by O-rings? I can tell you that the things sealing the pistons against the cylinder are called piston rings. O-rings are usually rubber and they're used in the same situations as gaskets.

Re:This would only increase engine wear. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680972)

If it wasn't Ford I'd suggest they had added a small electric oil pump to keep the head wet.

Given that it is Ford I'd suggest that all they are thinking is 'Start-Stop' will be better then 'Stop-break-leak-fall apart-blow smoke-rust'.

What is the real goal? (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680850)

What is the real goal of this? Is it really to decrease fossil fuel consumption, or is it planned obsolescence, considering that most engine wear occurs during engine start up when oil has drained back into the crankcase? Will all vehicles with this feature be equipped with electrically-driven dry sump systems so the bearings and lifters are already pressurized at start-up?

Flywheel start (1)

knarf (34928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680868)

I'd think it should be possible to rig up the flywheel so it can be used to store momentum to restart the engine after a short stop. An electric clutch - normally engaged to keep the engine running when said clutch has broken down - with a soft engage mechanism so the flywheel can smoothly get the crank turning. A modern engine generally starts in the first two or three rotations of the crank, especially when it is already warmed up. Stop the engine while keeping the flywheel running, wait for the lights to turn, engage the flywheel to the crank and start the engine.

Car will be fitted with new steer (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 3 years ago | (#34680966)

It will have a nice round blue logo and when you press it, you can either start your car or select "sleep"...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?