Lots of vehicles have stop-start technology, where the engine shuts off at red lights or in the pickup line at school rather than idling. If you’re of a certain age, or your parents are, you probably think that’s counterintuitive. Doesn’t it take more energy to start the car back up than it does to just keep idling on at low revs while you wait?
Nope, it does not, according to the super nerds at the Argonne National Laboratory. Even at short stops, on the order of about 10 seconds, the car uses less fuel when doing its start-stop thing instead of idling.
If your car has start-stop technology, you probably know it. The engine shuts off when you stop for a few seconds and fires back up when you take your foot off the brake. If your vehicle has an especially smooth system, you might not notice the change. In that case, a little green light will show up on the dashboard, a circle with an A inside it. That’s your autostop notice right there.
Those of you who have traveled to Europe lately will certainly have driven a car with this technology. Even though it’s not unusual in the States, it’s way more common in the European Union.