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Why Motor Oil Quality is Crucial for Cars with Stop Start System

Are you seeking a way to cut down on fuel costs and make your driving more eco-friendly? Look no further than cars with stop start system. These innovative vehicles turn off the engine during idle moments and restart it when you’re ready to move again, offering significant fuel savings and emission reductions. In this post, you’ll learn not only about the benefits of stop start systems but also the importance of using high-quality synthetic engine oil to protect and maximize their efficiency. Let’s drive smarter, not harder.

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AMSOIL Signature Series 0W-20 100% Synthetic Motor Oil

Understanding Start-Stop Engines: Key Benefits and Mechanisms

Start-stop engine technology works by automatically shutting down the engine when the vehicle is idling, such as at a traffic light, and restarting it when the driver lifts their foot off the brake. This mechanism is designed to save fuel that would otherwise be wasted during these idle periods. Various car manufacturers first introduced different start-stop systems in the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, these early models were often considered cumbersome and weren’t cost-effective in terms of the benefits they provided.

Modern systems, by contrast, have been refined to function more smoothly and are now commonly integrated into most car models. This refinement includes quicker response times and smoother transitions between stopping and starting, which makes the feature less noticeable to drivers. Despite these advancements, some drivers still express dissatisfaction with the feature, citing reasons such as discomfort with the engine shutting off and restarting frequently or concerns about the longevity of the vehicle’s starter motor and battery.

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To address these concerns, certain manufacturers have incorporated switches that allow users to disable the start-stop system if they choose. These switches provide an option for drivers who prefer the traditional operation of their vehicles without the automatic shutdown feature. Additionally, some manufacturers have included more advanced algorithms to predict driving behavior, further enhancing the system’s efficiency and reducing instances where the engine might shut off unnecessarily.

AMSOIL 0W-16 100% Synthetic Hybrid Motor Oil.
AMSOIL 0W-16 100% Synthetic Hybrid Motor Oil

Start-Stop Engines: The Future of Fuel Efficiency

Despite their limitations, start-stop engines are likely here to stay. MAHLE, a leading bearing manufacturer, found that in 2017, idling vehicles in the U.S. consumed an astonishing 3.9 billion gallons of gasoline. This substantial waste highlights the critical need for fuel-saving technologies. Buick* reports that start-stop systems enhance fuel efficiency by 4-5 percent, based on EPA tests. For automakers, even modest gains in fuel economy are significant advancements, as they continually seek incremental improvements. Any technology providing a 4-5 percent boost in efficiency is invaluable and likely to be retained.

Critics argue that start-stop systems can cause increased wear and tear on engines. However, modern advancements in engine design and materials are mitigating these concerns. Enhanced bearings and lubricants are being developed to endure frequent stopping and starting. Moreover, the environmental benefits of reduced emissions and lower fuel consumption reinforce the case for these systems.

The potential benefits, including decreased fuel consumption and lower greenhouse gas emissions, offer compelling reasons for the continued adoption of start-stop technology. Despite some drawbacks, the overall advantages align with both regulatory goals and consumer expectations for more efficient and eco-friendly vehicles. For these reasons, start-stop systems remain a critical component of modern automotive design and our collective move towards sustainability.

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AMSOIL 5W-40 MS 100% Synthetic European Motor Oil

Top Reasons Start-Stop Engines Demand Superior Motor Oil

Most engine wear occurs when starting cold, a fact many are aware of. However, engines also experience wear during warm starts, which happen every time an engine with start-stop technology fires up again. To understand why, let’s get technical. The crankshaft, a critical component of the engine, spins thousands of times per minute when the engine is running. As it rotates, oil is pumped through minuscule openings in the crankshaft journals, filling the spaces between the journals and the main bearings. This process forms a continuous film of oil between these components, effectively causing the crankshaft to “float” on this oil layer. This phenomenon, known as hydrodynamic lubrication, ensures that the crankshaft doesn’t make direct contact with the bearings. Under these conditions, the wear on the bearings is minimal, contributing to their longevity.

Despite this, start-stop technology, designed to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, repeatedly interrupts the lubrication process. Each start causes a brief moment where the oil film isn’t fully formed, allowing metal-to-metal contact that results in incremental wear. While modern engines are engineered to withstand this, the cumulative effect over time can lead to reduced component lifespan. This presents a challenge: balancing efficiency gains with potential long-term wear, a trade-off that continues to drive innovations in engine design and lubrication technology.

When you turn off the engine, the oil film thins considerably. Consequently, the crankshaft rests directly on the bearings instead of floating above them on a protective oil layer. This film becomes so thin that it matches the roughness of the crankshaft’s surface, a condition known as boundary lubrication. Upon restarting the engine, the microscopic peaks, or asperities, on the metal surfaces come into direct contact. These asperities begin to wear down until the oil film can rebuild itself, enabling the crankshaft to float over the bearings once again.

AMSOIL Extended-Life 5W-30 100% Synthetic Motor Oil.
AMSOIL Extended-Life 5W-30 100% Synthetic Motor Oil

During this critical phase, the additives in the oil become especially crucial. These additives form a protective layer on the metal surfaces, significantly reducing wear and tear. They help to minimize the risk of damage, which can be substantial if the metal parts were to grind against each other unprotected. Without these additives, the engine components would suffer from increased friction, leading to premature wear and possible failure. Therefore, the role of oil additives is indispensable in ensuring the longevity and efficiency of the engine, particularly during those initial moments of operation when the oil film has yet to fully re-establish itself.

Understanding Start-Stop Engine Wear: The Compounding Effect Explained

Though starting the engine might cause only slight wear each time, it’s usually not a major concern for a well-maintained traditional engine with good oil. However, imagine significantly increasing the number of engine start-stop cycles. According to MAHLE, engines with start-stop systems could experience a tripling of these cycles over their lifespan compared to traditional engines. This means three times more starts and three times more instances of boundary lubrication, leading to three times more exposure to increased bearing wear. While some argue that modern engines are designed to handle such stresses, the cumulative effect of these additional cycles can still lead to accelerated wear in specific engine components.

Consider the components such as the crankshaft and bearings; these parts are subjected to immense pressure during each start. With start-stop systems, the engine is frequently shutting down and restarting, preventing the oil from maintaining a consistent lubricating film. This results in metal-on-metal contact during each start, exacerbating wear over time. Even with advancements in engine design and oil formulations, the reality is that the mechanical strain caused by frequent start-stop cycles cannot be entirely mitigated. The wear is not immediately noticeable but accumulates over years, potentially shortening the overall engine life.

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Furthermore, while manufacturers incorporate technologies like stronger starter motors and more durable bearings, these measures can only partially offset the increased stress. The truth remains that no amount of engineering can completely erase the impact of intensified start-stop usage on engine longevity. Thus, despite sophisticated technological adaptations, the increased start-stop frequency presents a risk to long-term engine durability.

Bearing wear can quickly escalate into a significant issue that affects the entire engine. When bearings wear out, tiny metal fragments can detach and mix with the oil, creating a blend that exacerbates the problem. These metal particles are abrasive, causing the bearing surface to become increasingly rough. This roughness leads to adhesive wear, a condition where metal peaks on the bearing surface catch and damage other surfaces they come into contact with. Adhesive wear not only accelerates the deterioration of the bearings but also spreads to other critical engine parts, increasing the likelihood of catastrophic failure.

In extreme scenarios, the crank journal and bearing may fuse together, effectively destroying the bearing and leading to potentially costly repairs. This situation underscores an essential takeaway for owners of start-stop engines: selecting a high-quality synthetic oil is imperative to prevent bearing wear. Start-stop systems, which frequently cycle the engine on and off, reduce the oil film thickness during engine restarts. This thin oil film is insufficient to protect against wear and tear, making oil additives a critical component for ongoing engine protection. These additives enhance the oil’s protective qualities, ensuring that even during restarts, the engine’s components are adequately shielded from wear.

Neglecting to use premium synthetic oil and appropriate additives can significantly reduce an engine’s lifespan and lead to frequent maintenance issues. Therefore, investing in high-quality synthetic oil and specialized additives isn’t just recommended; it’s essential for maintaining optimal engine performance and longevity.

Given that start-stop engines operate extensively under boundary lubrication, selecting an oil with superior film strength and high-quality additives is essential. These engines frequently halt and restart, leading to increased metal-to-metal contact and potential wear. During each cycle, the thin oil film can degrade, exposing engine components to higher friction and stress. This operational pattern raises the stakes for effective lubrication.

AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil stands out in this critical area, offering remarkable protection. Its advanced formulation ensures 75% more protection against horsepower loss and wear compared to standard oils. This added protection is particularly beneficial for modern engines, which often face demanding conditions such as frequent stopping and starting in urban traffic.

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The high-level protection provided by AMSOIL Signature Series not only ensures smoother engine operation but also reduces maintenance costs significantly and extends the engine’s lifespan. By maintaining a robust oil film, it minimizes friction and wear, making it an invaluable asset for engine longevity.

Moreover, using a premium oil like AMSOIL can enhance fuel efficiency, thanks to reduced friction, leading to smoother engine performance. It also contributes to lower emissions, addressing environmental concerns without compromising on engine performance. Thus, AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil offers a comprehensive solution for the challenges posed by start-stop engine technology, ensuring optimal performance and durability.

Maximize Engine Longevity and Efficiency

In closing, cars with stop start systems offer a practical approach to increasing fuel efficiency and promoting eco-friendly driving. By automatically shutting off the engine at idle moments, these systems contribute significantly to fuel savings and emission reductions. To further enhance the longevity and efficiency of these systems, use AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oil. Its superior formulation is specifically designed to support the unique demands of start-stop technology, offering unmatched engine protection.

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*All trademarked names and images are the property of their respective owners and may be registered marks in some countries. No affiliation or endorsement claim, express or implied, is made by their use.

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