Archive for February, 2019

Do Stop-Start Systems Really Save Fuel?

Thursday, February 28th, 2019
kia idle stop go isg quakertown pa

To answer the last question in our 4-part series “Does the Idle Stop & Go System Really Work?”, Gateway Kia Quakertown PA service department describes the technology behind a stop-start system. To save fuel the ISG (Idle Stop & Go) system automatically shuts down the engine when the vehicle is idle for a period of time. Then, it restarts the engine automatically when the driver performs certain actions. The concept is hard to dispute because an engine doesn’t burn gas when it’s shut down.

This technology began with hybrids. At lower driving speeds, the hybrid electric motor engages and the gas engine disengages. Since the early days, systems that developed into the Idle Stop & Go have been installed in nearly every type of vehicle. This includes heavy trucks and vans. But the theory has yet to sink-in with motorists. They still question whether there’s a fuel saving.

POPULAR CONCERN

The reason for their questions is a popular belief that starting the engine uses more fuel than an idling engine. Logically, repeated starts will burn more fuel. Kia Quakertown PA service department says this is true, but only under one condition. That condition is starting the engine from a cold start. When cold, the engine will consume more fuel because the onboard computer is programmed to richen the fuel mix. A richer mix burns hotter and warms the engine faster when the outside temperature is cold.

Now, if the “Idle Stop & Go” system does save on fuel costs, the big questions are how much does it save and is the option worth it?

RESPONSE

First, as we explained in the previous section of this article, the Idle Stop & Go system deactivates under certain conditions. One of those conditions is when the engine is cold, so the ISG system does not repeatedly start a cold engine, it only engages after the engine is warm. Accordingly, Kia’s Idle Stop & Go system only stops and starts warm engines.

The majority of drivers believe the amount of savings from the ISG system is small, but when you repeatedly save something small, it adds up quickly -like putting loose change in a jar. The engineers who developed these ISG systems report potential fuel savings in the range of 3-12 percent. The extended span from 3 to 12 percent accounts for the diverse driving styles and conditions. For example, motorists who briefly stop at stop signs see fewer savings than those who sit idle at long stop signals. Remember, the longer the vehicle sits, the more fuel saved when the ISG engages.

IMPORTANT TIP

Using the above points, if your vehicle performs at 20 mpg in the city, there is a very good possibility the vehicle will perform at 22 or 23 mpg with an ISG system installed. However, the impatience that builds from waiting in traffic can undermine savings. While in stopped traffic, drivers tend to move forward at any opportunity, even if only by an inch. So, to keep the system engaged, the driver should resist the temptation to inch forward when they see the car ahead inch forward. Inching along disengages the ISG system and it won’t re-engage until the vehicle passes a minimum speed threshold. Whenever possible, keep the car still until there’s enough distance between you and the car ahead so when you move, you can meet the minimum speed threshold.

POLLUTION

Overall, the Kia ISG (Idle Stop & Go) system has become more popular with Kia owners. Mainly because the feature offers the vehicle owner a level of accountability for contributing to reducing the use of fossil fuels and emissions that pollute the environment. If you find these reasons beneficial and wish to see the ISG system in action, then stop by at Gateway Kia Quakertown PA and a Kia customer service representative will assist you.

Does The Auto Stop-Start Drain The Battery?

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019
kia idle stop go isg quakertown pa

To answer the second question in our 4-part series “Does the Idle Stop & Go System Really Work?”, systems and features that drain the battery when the engine is shut down are lights, sound/entertainment systems, temperature controlled options such as heated/cooled seats, the onboard computer and engaging the starter motor for starting the engine.

Gateway Kia Quakertown PA service department technicians report that when the engine is not operating, the generator is not producing and delivering power to the electrical systems or battery. When the engine is shut down, only the battery transfers power to active systems or features.

POPULAR CONCERN

We know from the previous question that Gateway Kia Quakertown PA vehicles are installed with Idle Stop & Go systems, and they operate when the vehicle is in (D) Drive, the engine is at peak operating temperature (warm or hot), and at a stand-still idling. We also know the electrical system is powered by the engine. So, what happens to those systems when the engine is shut down or when the engine is repeatedly restarted?

Gateway Kia Quakertown PA service department explains that normally, the average driver is using the infotainment systems or enjoying the air-condition or heater. And drivers are concerned that when the engine is shut down, those systems continue to operate and draw power from the battery. Also, restarting the vehicle places a heavier load on the battery when the engine doesn’t operate long enough for its systems to recharge the battery.

RESPONSE

Again, Kia technicians say not to worry. Kia vehicles are outfitted with heavy-duty components designed to endure the “Idle Stop & Go” system. All of Kia’s parts are reinforced for heavy workloads and designed to reduce servicing costs, especially the battery.

Even though Kia’s batteries are designed especially for extended restarts, they’re not overloaded by electrical systems such as the infotainment and comfort systems. The “Idle Stop & Go” feature monitors a dozen conditions before shutting down the engine. This is to protect the battery from being weakened. For instance, if the outside ambient temperature is too high (hot) the system is programmed to disengage and the engine continues to circulate and control coolant temperature and air-conditioner. The programming for cold weather is similar but instead of air-conditioning, the engine runs the water pumps and heater blower motor to warm the interior.

CLICK HERE FOR QUESTION #3: Do Stop-Start-Systems Really Save Fuel?

Is The Auto-Stop Bad For The Engine or Starter Motor?

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019
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The answer to the first question in our 4-part series “Does the Idle Stop & Go System Really Work?,” the auto-stop (Idle Stop & Go) feature DOES NOT harm the engine or starter motor. So, traveling from Allentown PA or from Gateway Kia Quakertown PA to Philadelphia, and familiar with sitting in Blue Route traffic, the Idle Stop & Go system is safe and unquestionably saves fuel. Let’s look at how this system works.

Aside from the electrical systems and related components (battery, cables, etc.), we focused on the starter motor and the engine. But because the starter motor cranks the engine from a dead stop, there is more demand placed on the starter motor.

Engines are designed to withstand countless hours of operation under extreme conditions, but a starter motor has certain limitations. Gateway Kia Quakertown PA service technicians confirm the components installed in a standard starter motor are less resistant to extreme extended use. Their use is designed for traditional operation -to start the vehicle. Here’s a typical cycle- a driver engages the starter motor via the ignition, the starter motor cranks the engine, and when the ignition is released, the starter motor disengages to allow the engine to run on its own.

POPULAR CONCERNS

Let’s say a typical starter motor is built to operate approximately 100,000 cycles, but when a vehicle is fitted with a stop-start system, the starter motor may be engaged for as many as 300,000 cycles. Three times the workload places an extra burden on bearings and electrical components inside the starter motor, which shortens the life of the motor.

On the other hand, an issue that may burden the engine is temperature. In the past, we were taught to allow the engine a warm-up period before driving away. Also, traveling short distances under 10-15 minutes was bad for the engine because it never has the opportunity to warm up and circulate vital fluids before shutting down.

RESPONSE

Gateway Kia Quakertown PA service department technicians say not to worry. Kia vehicles are fitted with parts reinforced to withstand additional workloads for systems such as the “Idle Stop & Go.” In this case, heavier duty starter motors are installed. Also, the Kia ISG system only works when the engine is hot, so the cold winter Quakertown PA temperatures are not an issue.

Kia’s standard policy is to install higher quality parts in all its vehicles to accommodate the different driving styles and situations between motorists. For example, someone traveling within the city of Philadelphia may use ISG technology more often than someone traveling within Quakertown PA. The city driver will definitely see more stop and start traffic than in Quakertown. So either way, Kia’s original equipment covers all drivers.

CLICK HERE FOR QUESTION #2: Does The Auto Stop-Start Drain The Battery?

Does The Idle Stop & Go (ISG) System Really Work?

Monday, February 25th, 2019
kia idle stop go isg quakertown pa

aThis four-part article discusses how in recent years, nearly every automotive manufacturer offers a technology that saves gas and reduces exhaust emissions. Kia named their version of this technology ISG. The acronym stands for Idle Stop & Go. Gateway Kia Quakertown PA service staff department explains that the ISG system was designed to automatically shut the engine down after the vehicle has been idling for a period of time.

So anyone traveling from Allentown PA or Quakertown PA to Philadelphia is familiar with getting stuck in traffic and idling on the Blue Route. This is where the ISG technology works best. But even though the tech is innovative and well-tested, motorists still have questions because their general knowledge about repeatedly stopping and starting the engine is bad.

Thinking back over the years you sat idle in Philadelphia traffic, in line for gas, or making quick stops at your local Allentown PA or Quakertown PA Wawa, your vehicle may have sat idle for as much as 5 minutes. Also, you may have thought that starting your car used more gas than letting it sit idle, so you didn’t shut the engine down. In some instances, you may have chosen to leave the car idle because you wanted the interior the right temperature, especially when you have leather seats. Personally speaking, I installed a remote start to pre-warm the car on those cold Quakertown winter days. With all that said, the most popular questions drivers have are:

  1. Is the auto-stop bad for the engine or starter motor?
  2. Does the auto stop-start drain the battery?
  3. Do Stop-Start Systems Really Save Fuel?

There’s a lot of information to cover within the answers of these three questions, so let’s break them down. Looking at the first question, the subject relates to the wear on engine parts, the next addresses battery drain caused by repeated starting, and the last question examines fuel consumption and emissions control. Before jumping into the answers, owners of a Gateway Kia Quakertown PA vehicle should know the primary operation of the ISG System.

First, the technology is “ON” by default but the driver may turn the system off manually. When ON and the vehicle is in D (Drive), the ISG system detects when the engine is idle and shuts the engine down. The driver is given an alert by an AUTO STOP signal illuminated on the instrument cluster. Once the brake pedal is released or the shift lever is moved from the D (Drive) to R (Reverse) position, the system restarts the engine and the AUTO STOP indicator turns off. However, there are situations where the ISG system is automatically disabled. They are:

  • The seat belt is unfastened.
  • The hood or a door is opened.
  • Battery condition is poor.
  • The front or rear defroster is turned on.
  • Engine coolant temperature is low.
  • The outside ambient temperature is too high/low.
  • Emission control devices activate.
  • The vehicle is on a steep slope.

CLICK HERE FOR QUESTION #1: Is the Auto-Stop Bad for the Engine or Starter Motor?