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Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: rz
Date: March 06, 2022 04:08AM
I’m in the middle of a 5 week business trip in Japan. Something I’ve noticed is that many drivers turn their cars off as they approach a stoplight, then start them back up when the light turns green. I even noticed a bus do this the last time I was here, but have been on several busses and none of them has done it on this trip. I think I saw a sign that said people should do this out of courtesy for people along the side of the road so there are less fumes, but this seems counterintuitive to me. Wouldn’t restarting the car generate more fumes? And wouldn’t it waste more gas? Gas is expensive here, about the equivalent of $6/gallon.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: rz
Date: March 06, 2022 04:09AM
Also, it’s weird being the only registered user on MRF right now. I guess pretty much all of you in the US are asleep right now.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: Forrest
Date: March 06, 2022 04:51AM
It would not be safe on older vehicles to swich off the engine approaching a stop, because you would loose power steering and brakes. Hybrid vehicles are designed to turn the ICE off and still run the power steering and brakes - I assume these systems run on electric power.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: March 06, 2022 06:17AM
A lot of cars do that now automagically. Most people I know who have that "feature", hate it.



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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: RecipeForDisaster
Date: March 06, 2022 06:19AM
Some kind of do this automatically now. They just seem to stop the engine when idling, then start it back up when you give it gas.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: Fritz
Date: March 06, 2022 07:23AM
my last 2 cars had this. Hated at first, but got used to it after a fashion and kind of enjoyed the huge savings in gas over the higher risk of mechanical failure from constantly on/offing around town.



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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: March 06, 2022 07:54AM
Digitally controlled direct injection cuts emissions on restarts. It is fine as long the battery and starter were also designed with this in mind. Might be an issue for someone driving a car over 10-12 years old.

Are electric cars going to shut off their noisemaker feature at stoplights in solidarity?



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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: Lux Interior
Date: March 06, 2022 08:26AM
Cars I rented in France did this automatically.

This was over 10 years ago.

Freaked me out at first (and still did a little each time - hard to get used to).
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: March 06, 2022 08:58AM
Many cars now do this. In some places it’s required by law.



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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: March 06, 2022 09:40AM
I think this has been around for 20 years or so. My new car does it. I might buy the $60 wiring harness that turns it off by default. In the city it doesn't make much sense. 90% I'm stopping at stop signs so only stopped for a second or two before proceeding or moving forward. At stop lights where one might be stopped for a minute or two, it makes more sense.




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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/06/2022 09:41AM by M A V I C.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: DinerDave
Date: March 06, 2022 10:06AM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman

Are electric cars going to shut off their noisemaker feature at stoplights in solidarity?

Mine only makes noise when moving below 16 MPH, not at standstill.

Dave



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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: Wags
Date: March 06, 2022 10:47AM
My car does that when in eco mode. Eco mode gives me about 10% better gas mileage. Not sure how much the auto shutdown contributes.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: March 06, 2022 10:50AM
I gotinto the habit of doing this during the recession, but since then I've rarely done it. On lights that I know to be very long I'll do it occasionally.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: lost in space
Date: March 06, 2022 11:04AM
Funny shutting off cars at stop light in Japan would be a thing now. When we lived there in the 90s it was common to see people sitting in their cars asleep with the AC on, especially at lunch time.



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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: Acer
Date: March 06, 2022 11:16AM
My Prius does this, sort of. It's more about demand than stopping. If I am running the heater or AC when first heading out before the cabin has come up or down to temp, the ICE will run during a stop.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: DavidS
Date: March 06, 2022 11:47AM
Quote
bazookaman
A lot of cars do that now automagically. Most people I know who have that "feature", hate it.

agree smiley
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: jdc
Date: March 06, 2022 11:58AM
Quote
DavidS
Quote
bazookaman
A lot of cars do that now automagically. Most people I know who have that "feature", hate it.

agree smiley

Have it on mine. No problems. Also shuts off in drive thru lines and pulling in to park. It does take a second to get used to. You drive just a bit different when coming to lights so you don’t actually come to a complete stop. It’s weird to drive a car without it now. Same with auto brake hold. My car has it, wife’s doesn’t. Have to watch myself when stopping at a light — in my car I take my foot off the brake… can’t do that in hers.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: DavidS
Date: March 06, 2022 12:03PM
Quote
jdc
Quote
DavidS
Quote
bazookaman
A lot of cars do that now automagically. Most people I know who have that "feature", hate it.

agree smiley

Have it on mine. No problems. Also shuts off in drive thru lines and pulling in to park. It does take a second to get used to. You drive just a bit different when coming to lights so you don’t actually come to a complete stop. It’s weird to drive a car without it now. Same with auto brake hold. My car has it, wife’s doesn’t. Have to watch myself when stopping at a light — in my car I take my foot off the brake… can’t do that in hers.

My wife's last two cars have had it. The older started right up when it was time to go. The newer one (same model car, newer year with redesigned engine) takes a couple seconds, which is annoying. Also, in the older car, this was an option that you turned on. In the newer model, it is now automatically set to do this, and you have the option to turn it off.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: March 06, 2022 12:07PM
In some places it’s required by law.


Where, in what states?






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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: wurm
Date: March 06, 2022 12:43PM
Quote
RAMd®d
In some places it’s required by law.


Where, in what states?

I already knew about here in the Commonwealth of MA, but...

Nine states—Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Texas and Vermont—and Washington, D.C., limit idling to between three and five minutes for most vehicles.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: PeterB
Date: March 06, 2022 12:45PM
My Prius does this as well. And it's not a problem, because: 1) Some of the stoplights here are ridiculously long, you could literally be sitting there 1-2 minutes; 2) It discourages "jackrabbit" starts, which improves fuel mileage as well.




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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: S. Pupp
Date: March 06, 2022 01:11PM
Volkswagens with this feature have high capacity deep discharge batteries and a more powerful starter. It’s a myth that you use more gas to start a car than run it in the age of fuel injection.

Unless your car is built with stop-start in mind, you may be putting your battery at risk, and risk getting stuck at a traffic light from a dead battery.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: Buzz
Date: March 06, 2022 01:48PM
I remember gas powered golf carts that did that back in the 1960's, so the actual tech has gotta be pretty mature by now.
==
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: March 06, 2022 02:06PM
Quote
PeterB
My Prius does this as well. And it's not a problem, because: 1) Some of the stoplights here are ridiculously long, you could literally be sitting there 1-2 minutes

1-2 minutes for a stoplight is NOT “ridiculously long.”



It is what it is.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: March 06, 2022 02:11PM
Our Tucson Hybrid does this but then also keeps the engine off when people inevitably creep forward, because the electric motor can handle all that. The gas engine cars will turn the engine back on and keep it on for The Creep. The hybrid's electric motor will even handle cruising at 40mph on a flat road and turn off the gas engine for fuel economy, at least 'till the battery runs out but we live in dense suburbs so there' zero risk of that.

Getting 35MPG in town vs 14 with the old Odyssey is a nice upgrade, especially with $5 gas.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: DavidS
Date: March 06, 2022 02:31PM
Quote
Lew Zealand
Getting 35MPG in town vs 14 with the old Odyssey is a nice upgrade, especially with $5 gas.

I’m getting 30 MPG on my new Sienna Hybrid. I also upgraded from an Odyssey.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: deckeda
Date: March 06, 2022 03:04PM
Quote
M A V I C
... 90% I'm stopping at stop signs so only stopped for a second or two before proceeding or moving forward. ...

I've been in modern Hondas that allow you to turn off the stop/start feature.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: deckeda
Date: March 06, 2022 03:08PM
This isn't something people do with old cars that lack the tech. I doubt the people the OP saw on the street in Japan were shutting down their cars. They don't even drive old cars there; the government incentivizes them to stay modern in various ways.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: PeterB
Date: March 06, 2022 04:44PM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
PeterB
My Prius does this as well. And it's not a problem, because: 1) Some of the stoplights here are ridiculously long, you could literally be sitting there 1-2 minutes

1-2 minutes for a stoplight is NOT “ridiculously long.”

It may not actually be 1-2 minutes, I've never timed it. It FEELS very long. There, are you happy? grinning smiley




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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: Forrest
Date: March 06, 2022 04:57PM
If you are stopped for 1-2 minutes at a traffic light, you are getting Zero mpg. Turning the gas engine off/on is much more efficient. My Rav4 hybrid with AWD gets 34 mpg.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: Racer X
Date: March 06, 2022 05:58PM
Quote
Forrest
It would not be safe on older vehicles to swich off the engine approaching a stop, because you would loose power steering and brakes. Hybrid vehicles are designed to turn the ICE off and still run the power steering and brakes - I assume these systems run on electric power.

Yes, they do. FAR more efficient.

I know these are really old numbers, but they illustrate the idea.

At full speed, a water pump driven fan can suck up 15 horsepower on an old American V-8 auto or truck. 765 watts equals 1 horsepower. That's @55 amps at 14 volts, assuming no power loss. So, a water pump driven fan can consume a massive amount of energy, and all but a tiny amount is wasted. An electric cooling fan, or even 2 11" or 12" ones can consume between 6 to 18 amps, depending on design. So, even a pair of big inefficient cooling fans only need 1/4 horsepower, assuming no power loss. Now you know why they went to electric cooling fans. Add to that electric power steering, electric water pumps, and electric A/C compressors. The power savings are HUGE.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/06/2022 10:40PM by Racer X.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: Racer X
Date: March 06, 2022 06:01PM
Quote
Forrest
If you are stopped for 1-2 minutes at a traffic light, you are getting Zero mpg. Turning the gas engine off/on is much more efficient. My Rav4 hybrid with AWD gets 34 mpg.

My 2013 Prius plug-in gets mid 50s, and high 40s on the freeway. The engine is always starting and stopping in town. HOWEVER, a hybrid's ICE is a very different design. You try this with a mid '70s American design, and the engine will wear out pretty fast.



********************************************
“A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand.” Seneca the Younger

The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)

Judge Lee wrote that “we cannot jettison our constitutional rights, even if the goal behind a law is laudable." 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

[www.youtube.com]
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: rz
Date: March 06, 2022 06:12PM
Wow, did not know they did this automatically. It would explain why I’ve noticed some cars restarting before the light turns green. I guess they accidentally step on the gas and it starts up again.

I’d say 90+% of the cars I’ve seen are actually Japanese cars. Seen a few Audis and BMWs. I’ve been here 3 weeks and yesterday finally saw a Ford.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: Don C
Date: March 06, 2022 06:39PM
My last year in the AF at Wright-Patterson AFB I had a junker Chevy to get from my apt to the base. I carried the battery into the building at night and eventually even at work so it would have enough power to start the car. Had I turned it off at a stoplight, I would have used the whole green cycle to get it restarted.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: Speedy
Date: March 06, 2022 09:22PM
Our Volt and Caddy ELR do this when the traction battery is ‘depleted’ and the on-board generator is running. The generator usually shuts off before the car even stops and doesn’t restart until after I clear an intersection. It’s designed to be able to cycle on/off so no problem.



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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: August West
Date: March 06, 2022 10:05PM
Where's Drew at?



“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in."
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: March 07, 2022 12:11AM
Nine states—Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Texas and Vermont—and Washington, D.C., limit idling to between three and five minutes for most vehicles.


Ok, that sounds like if one's car is going to be idling for more than a specified time, the driver has to turn the engine off.

The post I replied to stated: Many cars now do this. In some places it’s required by law.

That read like cars are required to do this, not drivers, and I don't know that the state has that power to require it of cars.

Maybe access to certain areas?

Such as eVs only in the town square, etc.

Just don't know if that would stand a legal challenge.



It would explain why I’ve noticed some cars restarting before the light turns green. I guess they accidentally step on the gas and it starts up again.


Or might they be starting the car so they're ready to go with the light says so.

That might be drivers who aren't confident in the vehicle rolling immediately from Off.

I was aware eVs did the Start/Stop drill, but not that any non-hybrid ICE cars did.

Could that feature be turned off?

I think I saw one reference hear as to that not being possible in one make/model car.


Where's Drew at?

Japan, I believe.






I am that Masked Man.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: Drew
Date: March 07, 2022 05:59AM
Quote
August West
Where's Drew at?

Hey! Thanks for asking. I'm here in Osaka/Kobe. Turning headlights off at a stoplight is done as a courtesy, so as not to shine lights in the eyes of the other driver who is waiting at the same red light but going opposite direction of you.

I noticed it first time I came to Japan in the 80s. At that time, American car headlights were controlled with a knob/switch on the dash, while nearly all cars in Japan had them on a stalk on the steering wheel for this very purpose.

Now, headlights are designed to turn on automatically when dark outside and not many people bother to turn off at the intersection, I'm guessing because they don't think about the light control so much these days. However, it does seem to be an automatic feature in some high end cars, as I see them dim their lights whenever they stop, not just in a courtesy situation.

My Nissan is a hybrid. Engine usually turns off when not moving. Accelerating after that is sometimes a bit jerky when the gasoline engine takes over for the electric, though I'm used to it now.

rz is in a great part of Japan right now, hopefully having a good time and enjoying great food.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: March 07, 2022 06:39AM
Our Prius does this, it's seamless, you don't even notice it.



Grateful11
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: March 07, 2022 07:10AM
Quote
rz
I’m in the middle of a 5 week business trip in Japan. Something I’ve noticed is that many drivers turn their cars off as they approach a stoplight, then start them back up when the light turns green. I even noticed a bus do this the last time I was here, but have been on several busses and none of them has done it on this trip. I think I saw a sign that said people should do this out of courtesy for people along the side of the road so there are less fumes, but this seems counterintuitive to me. Wouldn’t restarting the car generate more fumes? And wouldn’t it waste more gas? Gas is expensive here, about the equivalent of $6/gallon.

Are you sure that they are physically turning the car off and it's not auto stop/start?

As others have mentioned, this functionality was common outside the US many years ago. It's become more common in the US as it helps improve EPA fuel economy ratings.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: March 07, 2022 10:33AM
I noticed it first time I came to Japan in the 80s.

It was common in the '70s as well.


As others have mentioned, this functionality was common outside the US many years ago.


I question how common, in how many different brands of ICEmobiles, and how many years ago.

A MUG memeber had one of the early Honda Insights and it did the Start/Stop thing.

I assumed most eVs and hybrids followed suit at some point.

But the ICE thing is new to me.

I've been doing some DuckDucking trying to find a list of ICEmobiles that do it.






I am that Masked Man.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: March 07, 2022 12:15PM
Quote
RAMd®d
I noticed it first time I came to Japan in the 80s.

It was common in the '70s as well.


As others have mentioned, this functionality was common outside the US many years ago.


I question how common, in how many different brands of ICEmobiles, and how many years ago.

A MUG memeber had one of the early Honda Insights and it did the Start/Stop thing.

I assumed most eVs and hybrids followed suit at some point.

But the ICE thing is new to me.

I've been doing some DuckDucking trying to find a list of ICEmobiles that do it.

Every rental car that I had in Europe over 5 years ago has had the auto/stop start. Many different brands.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: mikebw
Date: March 08, 2022 10:06AM
Quote
Drew
Quote
August West
Where's Drew at?

Hey! Thanks for asking. I'm here in Osaka/Kobe. Turning headlights off at a stoplight is done as a courtesy, so as not to shine lights in the eyes of the other driver who is waiting at the same red light but going opposite direction of you.

I noticed it first time I came to Japan in the 80s. At that time, American car headlights were controlled with a knob/switch on the dash, while nearly all cars in Japan had them on a stalk on the steering wheel for this very purpose.

That's very interesting. My 87' Toyota Cressida had the light controls on the stalk just like you say and I never understood why American cars had the controls on the dash. It seemed very primitive in comparison.
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: freeradical
Date: March 09, 2022 07:49PM
The light controls on the stalk are so you can flash your brights...
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Re: Turning car off at stoplights
Posted by: Drew
Date: March 09, 2022 08:04PM
Quote
freeradical
The light controls on the stalk are so you can flash your brights...

That too. Remember when they were controlled by a foot switch?

I should note that I posted the comment about the lights when this thread was actually started to talk about engines turning off at stoplights and such. My apologies.
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