Brown Motors is proud of Ford Motor Company’s technology advances. Ford has announced another excellent innovation to help our customers save at the pump. Ford plans to introduce fuel-saving start-stop technology on many vehicles starting in 2012. This technology is the newest addition to Ford’s long list of energy and environment savers.
START-STOP TECHNOLOGY COMING TO NORTH AMERICA
Starting in 2012, Ford Motor Co. will expand the use of technology that shuts off the engine of an idling engine to include more cars and trucks.
Auto Start-Stop technology already is on hybrid versions of the Ford Fusion and Escape and Lincoln MKX, and on vehicles in Europe with manual transmissions. But the Dearborn-based automaker announced Monday that the fuel-saving feature will be available on most conventional cars and trucks, including those with automatic transmissions.
The goal is to offer start-stop capability on most nameplates in North America by 2015, said Ford spokesman Richard Truett. Start-stop is poised to spread in North America in the next five years as automakers work to meet increasingly stringent fuel-economy and emissions requirements.
Most automakers offer a form of start-stop technology in Europe because it is affordable — suppliers and analysts estimate the cost as low as $500 — and can improve fuel economy as much as 15 percent. But the systems are almost exclusively offered with manual transmissions.
In North America, fewer than 10 percent of buyers drive a manual, so the technology must be adapted to work with cars most Americans drive. Ford plans to offer its Auto Start-Stop in gas-powered vehicles with both transmissions in North America, including Ford’s dual-clutch six-speed automatic.
BENEFITS OF START-STOP TECHNOLOGY
Ford says the system can improve fuel economy 4 to 10 percent, depending on the vehicle and how it is driven.
City driving with multiple stops will yield greater benefits. When a vehicle is stopped, the engine turns off and automatically restarts when the brake is released. Vehicle functions and accessories such as the radio and climate control continue to operate while the engine is off.
“Many of the same Ford engineers who designed the Auto Start Stop system used on Ford and Lincoln hybrids are developing the Auto Start-Stop system for non-hybrid vehicles that will be sold around the globe,” said Samardzich. Direct-injection engines work well with start-stop technology because they aid the fast engine starts required, she said. Start-stop will debut on four-cylinder engines but expand to include V-6 and V-8 engines.
IT’S SO EASY FOR THE DRIVER
No additional vehicle maintenance is required, said Birgit Sorgenfrei, Ford program manager for Auto Start-Stop. A light on the dash signals when the engine is off, and the needle on a special tachometer moves into the green zone.
“Our hybrid owners tell us that start-stop is one of their favorite features,” said Sorgenfrei. “When the engine is off, they know they are saving fuel and reducing emissions.”
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