What Is Automatic Start/Stop & How Does It Work? – Autostop Eliminator

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Auto Start Stop - What Is This Feature?


  • Auto Start Stop is a feature that is coming standard with most new vehicles, that is designed to conserve fuel by shutting off & restarting the engine at traffic stops.
  • The auto start stop feature was designed to comply with the Clean Air Act and became very popular in Europe.
  • Many people find the auto start stop feature highly ineffective and will turn to aftermarket devices, like the Autostop Eliminator, to disable it.


If you have purchased a car that is model year 2010 or newer, there is a good chance that the vehicle will have the auto start/stop feature. This feature was designed to help improve the fuel economy of vehicles while reducing carbon emissions. You probably recognize this feature whenever you are driving and come to a stop at a traffic light. Your engine stops and subsequently turns back on when you engage the gas pedal again. This feature has evolved a lot since it was first created but what do we really know about this technological feature?


History Of The Auto Start/Stop

The auto start/stop feature was first introduced on a vehicle in 1974 when it was included on the Toyota Crown. Toyota claimed at that time that this feature provided you with a gas savings of up to 10%. Although Toyota was the first auto manufacturer to include an auto start/stop feature, it would be a while before this feature would be widely used by the industry or even again by Toyota. Car manufacturers Fiat, Volkswagen, and Audi produced a few models between 1980 - 2000 that included an auto start/stop feature but the feature just wasn’t that popular. It’s not surprising that only European automakers were using this technology as it has been the European Union (EU) who had been setting the strict emissions standards that have led, over time, to global changes in emission standards. When the EU announced the European Emissions Standards - Euro 5, everything changed for the auto start/stop technology.

Euro 5 set drastic cuts on emission levels produced by passenger vehicles across Europe. This led both European automakers, as well as many Asian automakers, to start adopting the auto start/stop technology as well as improve emission levels. When Hybrid vehicles started to be produced, many came standard with the auto start/stop feature which greatly increased the feature’s popularity. All Toyota Prius models have the start/stop feature and there were over 2 million Prius’ sold last year alone (The Prius was first introduced in 1997). The feature’s popularity spread past Hybrids and now you are seeing the start/stop feature on many new vehicles produced today.


What is the Auto Start/Stop Feature?

In most vehicles, the auto start/stop feature is a system designed to sense when the car is in an idle state and when this state is sensed, the engine shuts off. The engine turns back on when the gas pedal is reengaged. The “system” itself is generally a group of sensors that are designed to determine when the vehicle is in an idle state and/or looking for the transmission to be set to neutral. These sensors include a wheel speed sensor, crankshaft sensor, and a neutral speed sensor. Some much more recent vehicles with newer start/stop technological advancements even have additional computer sensors and incorporate AI to best determine when, where, & how long the engine is shut off as well as when the engine needs to be turned back on.

This system does work on a regenerative battery. The battery regenerates power very similarly to the way a Hybrid battery regenerates power through both the vehicle's alternator as well as energy recovery through the vehicle’s braking system. By recovering energy from these means, the battery lasts longer and has fewer instances of failure. This takes the majority of the energy demand that the auto start/stop system needs away from fossil fuel and places it on electrical input. Because this type of energy production/recovery system was already being incorporated on Hybrid vehicles, it made complete sense for Hybrid vehicles to include an auto start/stop system to further better their overall gas usage.


Is ESS The Same As Start/Stop

The term “auto start/stop” tends to be the most common term to refer to this system in any vehicle. But, it is not the only term used. Many car manufacturers use different terms to refer to this system, with little congruency. Below is a list of terms that are used to reference a vehicle’s auto start/stop system.


Brands That Use It

Electronic Start Stop (ESS)

Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, RAM

Idle Stop & Go (ISG)

Hyundai, Kia

Idle Stop

Mazda, Honda, Nissan

Intelligent Start Stop (ISS)

Land Rover


Any brand not mentioned uses the term “Start/Stop” and yes, all these terms refer to the same system on a vehicle.


Effectiveness Of The Auto Start/Stop Technology

Studies have shown that vehicles that utilize the auto start/stop technology only reduce carbon emissions by about 5%. Some will say, every little bit helps, while others say that at 5%, it’s hardly worth it. There are other issues as well. Many people say that because the vehicle is turning on and off more often, this causes parts of the engine to wear out faster. There is truth to this statement in that when an engine is at rest, there are parts of the engine that rest metal on metal. This is why it is often recommended that when you start your vehicle up, you let the engine run for a moment to get the oils & lubricants moving over the parts. If the engine is turning on and off several times a day, this action will increase the wear to these engine parts. 


Disabling The Auto Start/Stop System

There are ways to disable the auto start/stop feature. Most vehicles with this feature have a button to disable the system, generally marked with an A inside a circle. Unfortunately, the button is single drive use meaning that you have to hit the disable auto start/stop button every time you start your vehicle. Since many of us can’t remember to take our Ginkgo Biloba every day, we probably will forget to hit this button every time we get back in our vehicle as well.  

There are internet hacks where you can alter the technology in your vehicle to override the auto start/stop system. Unfortunately for these internet hacks, most of these hacks will void the vehicle’s warranty as well as have the potential to do damage to other parts of the vehicle. We strongly do not recommend performing any of these internet hacks on your vehicle.

Finally, there is automotive technology that can disable the auto start/stop system on your vehicle, FOR GOOD! Our motor vehicle accessory product, the Autostop Eliminator, safely and easily plugs into your car. The location is different as per different vehicle makes. The Autostop Eliminator also does not void any car warranties. In less than five minutes, this disabler of the auto start/stop system can be functioning on your vehicle. When the Autostop Eliminator is activated, it will remember your preference of having the auto start/stop system on or off without you having to push the button every time you get in your vehicle. It can easily be turned on or off depending on where you are driving and personal preference. We carry a model for many different vehicle makes. With our 60 day money back guarantee, we know you will be happy with how this product works. Click here to see if we carry an Autostop Eliminator for your vehicle!

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