Pressing this button could cost you $100 a year

Leow Ju-Len

start stop button


This button deactivates a fuel-saving device, so using it all the time will cost you

SINGAPORE — Modern cars come with all kinds of features to save fuel, and one more clever ones is engine start-stop.

It’s also one of the more commonly deactivated ones — press a button, and hey presto, it’s cancelled.

That’s because start-stop is uncomfortable. It saves fuel by killing the engine when the car is halted then restarting it automatically when the driver wants to go, and when the engine doesn’t run, neither does the air-con compressor.

That means while you’re sitting at a red light, your car is getting hotter by the second.

Cars with start-stop come with a button to defeat the device, helping you to overcome this problem. But that, of course, removes the fuel savings.

But how much can you actually save with the start-stop feature?

The Lexus NX 200t is one car we recently drove with start-stop, and it also comes with a handy display to tell you how much fuel is being saved.

READ MORE > Our review of the NX 200t

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In three days with the car we covered 259.1km, during which time the display said we saved 0.66L of petrol from having the engine deactivated at standstill.

Given that the average car travels 17,500km a year in Singapore, that implies 44.6 litres of fuel savings from start-stop.

engine start stop

If you use 98 Octane petrol, that works out to $100 a year saved. Pumping RON95 means savings of $87 a year. Deactivating an engine for a few seconds at a red light might not seem like a big deal, but over time it can add up.


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