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What is stop-start technology?

Stop-start - is a system on most modern cars that cuts the engine when the car is stationary. The engine starts again when the clutch is engaged or the brake is released, or when the driver is ready to move again. This is a starter motor killer and requires a fault free electrical system to ensure reliability.

Home / Our Services / Auto Electrics-2 Updated 17/07/2019
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Why Starter Motors Are Now Under Greater Stress

We take it for granted that the engine starts when we turn the key; we hope it does but when it refuses, then it’s time to look for a tow truck because there is no other way to get the engine to run. This is why the starter motor needs to be checked whenever your car is serviced but mostly it isn’t because it’s taken for granted that if you don’t mention unusual behaviour it’s not given a second thought.

Stop-Start Function Is a Starter Motor Killer

What is stop-start technology?
Stop-start is a system on most modern cars that cuts the engine when the car is stationary, in order to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. The engine starts again when the clutch is engaged or the brake is released, or when the driver is ready to move again.

How Does Stop-Start Work?

The system uses a computer to detect when the car is stationary or the car is out of gear, at which point it halts fuel delivery and spark to the engine. The ignition starts again when the car begins moving or the clutch is pressed. The process happens automatically, but drivers can choose (on most cars) whether the system is active or disabled by pushing their car’s stop-start button; a capital A with an arrow circling clockwise.

Disadvantages of Stop-Start Technology

Does stop-start wear out my starter motor and my engine? When it comes to durability and long life, all the bases relating to the starter gear itself should be covered, but the higher number of stop-start cycles lead to increased engine wear unless steps are taken to prevent it. A normal car without automatic stop-start can be expected to go through up to 50,000 stop-start events during its lifetime. But with automatic stop-start being activated every time the car comes to a standstill, the figure rises dramatically, perhaps to as many as 500,000 stop-start cycles over the engine’s life.

Highway Auto Will Test Your Starter Motor at Service Time, or right now if you like

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Flat Battery Means Double Trouble In Modern Cars

There are a lot more complex electronic systems in today’s cars than those of a decade, or even five years ago, which is why jumpstarting your car is never a good idea.

Great gains in luxury and convenience have come with the extra electronics, which have given rise to features such as satellite navigation and Bluetooth connectivity, and life-saving safety equipment such as airbags and electronic stability control. But one of the downsides becomes clear when you have a flat battery in a modern car, there’s a greater risk of expensive damage to the on-board electronics than in an older model.

Why You Should Never Attempt to Jumpstart Your Car

The big change from then to now is computers and it’s not as if a modern car has just one; a Mercedes-Benz S-Class from a few years ago has 64 ECUs (Electronic Control Units). Hooking up jumper leads can zap these computers. Jaguar has warned that you could damage the whole wiring harness if you try to jumpstart one of their cars, and that warning is probably applicable to most vehicles built in the past five years. A five-year-old Audi was recently taken to an NRMA approved repairer with an electrical system so badly damaged by an attempted jumpstart that, in the end, it was actually cheaper to write the car off rather than repairing the damage. Highway Auto will advise you on best practice so as to avoid the possibility of having a flat battery. This is a Free Service ring Steve for a chat, 07 4926 1303.

We recommend that you begin paying close attention to your battery. If your battery is starting to go, the first thing you'll probably notice is that the car sounds sluggish when trying to start. This is a major warning sign that shouldn't be ignored. Bring it into Highway Auto and we will check it out at no cost, just ask for Steve and quote this piece.

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A Maze of Wires and Computers are the Key to Your Vehicle's Deepest Secrets.

It's time for a discussion of a little-known aspect of your car: its computer network. In the past we would have called it the electrical system, but its mission has evolved way beyond simply moving dumb electrons. Collectively, these electronics are known as the Controller Area Network, or CAN, but, to be specific, the system of wires and software protocols acting as the connective tissue between a vehicle's computers and sensors is known as CANbus. CAN allows cars to be smarter, cheaper, and capable of doing some slick stuff that wouldn't otherwise be possible.

The Controller Area Network, How it Works.

The design of CAN is similar to that of a highway system. Data move like vehicles from high-traffic highways to local roads via on and off ramps. Thousands of data points traverse this freeway at any time along any given stretch and can get off at any exit. Throughout the car are various computers called electronic control units, or ECUs—the traffic lights and intersections of our road-system analogy. Each ECU has several jobs: controlling the engine or transmission, rolling up windows, unlocking doors, and the like. These computers have sensors and switches wired in to detect variables such as temperature, pressure, voltage, acceleration at different angles, braking, yaw and roll of the vehicle, steering angle, and many other signals. When an ECU needs a signal from a sensor connected to an ECU elsewhere in the car, that's where CAN comes in.

Over the years, more features meant more wires, until there were literally miles of wire in wrist-thick vines snaking all over the car. With CAN, the appliances and the switch that powers them don't have to be directly wired together. They can simply "talk" over the existing CAN network with no special wires needed. What is needed, however, is programming to get all the devices networked. It's a choice to shift toward programming complexity over physical complexity.

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