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      01-13-2013, 03:48 PM   #1
scottrh
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Stop-start question

I have purchased a 2013 X3 2l diesel. Recently I counted the number of stop-starts while travelling through town - about 20 times over a distance of less than 10km, mainly due to poorly synchronised traffic lights. As I am concerned that this is excessive, could BMW please assure me (and other members) that the starter motor assembly has been designed for so many starts over such a short travel distance on a daily basis.
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      01-13-2013, 05:34 PM   #2
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I can only give you my opinion: the Start/Stop feature is exactly for this type of usage. Gas mileage is lowest when stop/starting a great deal- the S/S feature assists the owner of the vehicle to counteract poor gas mileage.
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      01-13-2013, 05:45 PM   #3
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I don't believe fuel consumption isn't scottrh's primary concern... longevity of the starter is.

How much fuel do you actually save and how much does a starter cost (supplied and installed)?
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      01-13-2013, 05:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottrh View Post
I have purchased a 2013 X3 2l diesel. Recently I counted the number of stop-starts while travelling through town - about 20 times over a distance of less than 10km, mainly due to poorly synchronised traffic lights. As I am concerned that this is excessive, could BMW please assure me (and other members) that the starter motor assembly has been designed for so many starts over such a short travel distance on a daily basis.
As I've intimated on other threads on this subject it is not the starter which would incur the highest cost as a result of excessive wear. The gearbox would need to be removed to replace the fly wheel (drive plate for auto) ring gear. This would certainly be very costly and far outcost any benefits gained on fuel economy. Thats why BMW print a disclaimer on the usage af this system and state that it may increase wear on certain (unnamed) components. I suppose deciding whether or not to use this system will depend on how long you intend keeping the car. Wear on these components under traditional use is not significant but that is based on historical use i.e. start the car at beginning of journey and stop at destination. As you say this stop start sequence of engine starts can be easily as much as twenty times during a single journey. I have no idea how long it will take before excessive wear causes an engine start malfunction and subsequently costly repairs. Time will tell but you can bet that BMW will not replace under warranty as it will no doubt be regarded as "wear and tear" and owners referred to the handbook disclaimer.
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      01-13-2013, 05:52 PM   #5
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Others have quoted that the BMW manual states that the start/stop feature may put excessive wear on parts.
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      01-13-2013, 11:08 PM   #6
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Thanks for your input scotta2. If BMW regards mechanical failure from excessive stop-starting as wear and tear not covered under warranty, then there should be a way of optionally setting the system default to off. Is this possible?
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      01-13-2013, 11:20 PM   #7
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US BMW dealers are reported to be authorized by BMW to do a one-time change of the default setting from "On" to "Remember Last Setting". You will have to ask your BMW dealer in RSA if they are permitted to reprogram it for you.

See this thread for further information:

http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=730730
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      01-14-2013, 02:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotta2 View Post
As I've intimated on other threads on this subject it is not the starter which would incur the highest cost as a result of excessive wear. The gearbox would need to be removed to replace the fly wheel (drive plate for auto) ring gear. This would certainly be very costly and far outcost any benefits gained on fuel economy. Thats why BMW print a disclaimer on the usage af this system and state that it may increase wear on certain (unnamed) components. I suppose deciding whether or not to use this system will depend on how long you intend keeping the car. Wear on these components under traditional use is not significant but that is based on historical use i.e. start the car at beginning of journey and stop at destination. As you say this stop start sequence of engine starts can be easily as much as twenty times during a single journey. I have no idea how long it will take before excessive wear causes an engine start malfunction and subsequently costly repairs. Time will tell but you can bet that BMW will not replace under warranty as it will no doubt be regarded as "wear and tear" and owners referred to the handbook disclaimer.
I totally agree. The stress on numerous known and unknown parts is not worth the small saving on fuel. I guess if you plan on keeping the car for just a couple of years it might be OK.

Regardless, the resulting shudder (35d) when starting it and delay (even if short) when taking off is irritating and in my opinion could be unsafe. As a result I shut it off immediately upon start-up.

In the States you have the option of deactivating it but here in Europe BMW says we are stuck with it.
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      01-14-2013, 05:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottrh View Post
Thanks for your input scotta2. If BMW regards mechanical failure from excessive stop-starting as wear and tear not covered under warranty, then there should be a way of optionally setting the system default to off. Is this possible?
I'm not aware of any empirical evidence which could be used to make any judgement on wear characteristics of the many engine components affected by increased stopping and starting. This is obviously new technology and car manufacturers are all squeezing as much miles to the gallon / litre as is possible to suit the green lobby (and of course our pockets). City driving will obviously dramatically increase the number of stop starts so wear will no doubt take place quicker than driving in the country. I have just gotten into the habit of switching it off manually at the start of each journey but there may be a way of de- coding it? There is a rather large thread on this topic and you may want to ask the question there, of course it may be possible for your dealer to do it FOC. There are many forum members who have came to accept and even like the system, it's just not for me and I don't want to be regretting using it one day when the starter just makes a grating noise instead of turning over the engine.
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      01-14-2013, 07:03 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by scottrh View Post
Thanks for your input scotta2. If BMW regards mechanical failure from excessive stop-starting as wear and tear not covered under warranty, then there should be a way of optionally setting the system default to off. Is this possible?
I have just taken delivery of my X3 and had the dealer set the default to "off". They requested I sign a form titled "Formal obligation conerning activation of MSA memory function". Which I happily complied.
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      01-14-2013, 08:07 AM   #11
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I've coded my car to remember the last setting. I also have concerns that the ASS will have a negative impact (in the longer term) with respect to systems longevity.

I do admit that I sometime leave ASS enabled as there are only 7 stops between my home and place of work. With longer signalized intersections the ASS is sometimes appreciated.
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      01-14-2013, 08:37 AM   #12
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Can you alleviate the wear problem by keeping the clutch in, on manual transmissions ? even in neutral, the flywheel is still connected, unless you press the clutch.

That's a really old trick for cold starts too, as it reduce the inertia needed to start the engine...
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      01-14-2013, 09:25 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by buze View Post
Can you alleviate the wear problem by keeping the clutch in, on manual transmissions ? even in neutral, the flywheel is still connected, unless you press the clutch.

That's a really old trick for cold starts too, as it reduce the inertia needed to start the engine...
The stop start will not work if you leave your foot on the clutch - with the manual box, you have to put the car in neutral, and release the clutch fully. As long as all of the other parameters have been met, the engine will switch off.

The moment you touch the clutch pedal, the car will restart. It catches really quickly, but I'd have thought that by the time it starts, you'll probably have the clutch full engaged. hopefully saving some of the additional stresses.

Just don't try to move the steering wheel with the engine stopped, as this will also prompt the engine to start again......
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      01-14-2013, 05:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buze View Post
Can you alleviate the wear problem by keeping the clutch in, on manual transmissions ? even in neutral, the flywheel is still connected, unless you press the clutch.

That's a really old trick for cold starts too, as it reduce the inertia needed to start the engine...
The ring gear to which the starter pinion engages during every start is located onto the flywheel or drive plate on the auto. The flywheel / drive plate is connected directly to the engine crankshaft. I don't have the manual gearbox so I am not sure how that (ASS) system works. Starting an engine with the clutch depressed is always good practice for various reasons but mainly for safety.
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      01-16-2013, 05:46 PM   #15
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If it's a concern, especially in city driving, why don't you just dis-engage it? Just press the S-S dis-engage switch next to the start button.
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