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Auto stop-start on Sportback -- can it be turned off?


Active member
2018.5 TourX
Dislike the feature, but I've learned to accept it and perform work-arounds as needed to defeat it. Simplest manner is to modulate the brake when coming to a stop...down to zero on the digital readout without completely stopping. Could be that the system sees it as a brake pump, but it seems to work for me in most cases and the engine continues running without stopping.
Benefit of having the system...upgraded spec battery & starter motor assembly.


Buick Newbie
South Florida
2016 Summit White Regal, Premium II, Moonroof, Driver Confidence Package
Another question owners have is wondering if the start-stop system actually saves them any money. Modern engines don't use much fuel at idle, only enough to keep the momentum of the spinning parts moving and drive the accessories. Still, the EPA estimates real-world gas savings are in the 3 to 10 percent range. At AAA's current estimated national average of $2.87 per gallon, this tech saves the average vehicle owner around $10 a month in gas. Tech site CNET estimates start-stop adds $275 to the MSRP, so that means it takes a little over two years for the first owner to see the savings in their bottom line, or less if gas prices are higher.

Many owners report not liking the lack of control when the engine turns off automatically, or don't like the vibration on start up. Most systems can be deactivated manually, and the EPA estimates 50 percent of drivers turn the feature off. Still, despite owner criticism, manufacturers enjoy the higher EPA test numbers, so start-stop tech is here to stay.


Active member
Well, if it's really not noticeable in day-to-day driving, then fine. I've never driven a car with it yet, so I don't know what it's like. I imagine delays and rough starting, because that's the kind of evil imagination I have.

If one of my local dealers would ever get a Sportback that I could I test drive, I'd do it. But all they have, it seems, are the SUVs.
No, in the tourx it's pretty well unnoticable. the engine is running before my foot is entirely off the brake pedal.

The enclave I've been driving as a loaner, on the other hand, has a noticeable cranking time, and noise. There are many things not to like about that thing, though, so what's one more?


New member
I really like the concept of saving gas and lowering pollution especially when in heavy traffic, with five minute traffic lights. Is it that poorly executed? I wish my model had that same feature, but their decision not to let you turn it off is strange. Why not give people the ability to decide?

Is it saving you any money to turn the engine off when stopped?
Saving fuel might be a nice concept, but having to replace the starter early in a car's life isn't. It doesn't rub me the right way, thinking of the possibility of my car not starting at the traffic light because the starter went bad, then calling up the tow truck ($75), then having a new starter installed ($600). I'd rather waste a few gallons of fuel than to go through the stress and maintenance cost.


Well-known member
2014 Regal 2.0 Turbo AWD Trifecta Tune
The starter motor isn't the typical one used in cars without the stop start feature. It's designed to last much longer than a standard starter motor.

(1) The gear ratio from the starter-drive pinion to the flywheel ring gear is optimized to make the starter's motor turn more slowly. This can be done without materially changing the design of the transmission or flywheel at all on existing designs.

Crucially, this reduces starter-motor speed (in RPM), since 90 percent of starter-motor brush wear occurs not during cranking, but during the coast-down after the start has finished. If a higher-torque motor can spin more slowly, its coast-down time is shorter, increasing its longevity.

(2) The composition of the carbon and copper brushes on a start-stop motor differs from its traditional counterparts to increase longevity without accelerating the wear on the commutator.

(3) Rather than rely on oil-impregnated bushings for the rotating assemblies, start-stop starters mostly use needle bearings.

(4) The solenoid on start-stop starters decouples the mechanical action of engaging the drive pinion into the flywheel from the electrical action of stopping and starting the motor.

This allows for a dedicated design to turn power on and off to the motor, optimizing contact design and wear, against contacts that have to be integrated as part of a spring-loaded plunger.

This also reduces the electrical load requires to turn the engine, so that there is enough current available for accessories/lighting to operate during the start event.

(5) Finally, start-stop motors are integrated with other technologies that identify when each cylinder of the engine will reach top-dead center.

That lets the fuel injectors pulse and fire during the middle of a complete rotation of the crank, against having to wait for a complete revolution that lets the first cylinder reach that position to start the fuel-spark timing sequence.

And there you have it: the full technical explanation of why you don't need to worry about starter motors wearing out prematurely due to start-stop systems.


New member
Cleveland, OH
2019 Regal Tourx
I have this module. Plugs in under the hood. Best $150 I've ever spent on a car modification.
Even people who say they like it... I don't believe it. That car has the most aggressive auto stop strategy I have ever experienced it. You can't even park the car and move into a parking spot without it turning off.

I put that module in over a year ago and have never looked back.
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