Stop-start hater

Unique Cars - - MORLEY’S WORKSHOP -

Just got around to read­ing Is­sue 401 (and 402 ar­rived yes­ter­day so t hat’s how far be­hind I am.) Any way, apart from t he usual sto­ries about many of the cars I have owned, I came across Morley’s whinge about t he stop-sta rt f unc­tion be­com­ing ubiq­ui­tous in mod­ern cars. It hap­pens t hat my hol­i­day look ing af ter my brot her’s cat – a ter­rific mogg y named Kelly – a lso gave me t he op­por­tu­nit y to drive his Subaru Forester wit h t his fea­ture.

Within min­utes in Mel­bourne tra f f ic it be­came ap­par­ent that he, my brother, hated it and

so did I. There is a but­ton which a llows you to dis­able stop-sta rt, tem­po­rar­ily, but it means remembering to do it each time you re-sta rt, and it means hav ing a prom­i­nent warn­ing light on the dash­board. For­get to do it and you get to your f irst stop and t he en­gine stops. Less im­pa­tient peo­ple than me might not swear loudly each time that hap­pened.

So, Morley add me to your list of stop-sta rt op­po­nents, and if you f ind out how to dis­able it per­ma­nently, my bro will be in­ter­ested since the man­ual doesn’t tell you. Can I add another whinge? Those door locks t hat activate 20 sec­onds af ter you sta rt, trap­ping you in­side whether you want to be or not. Richard Creswick Vir­ginia, NT

THAT’S A RE­LIEF; I was hop­ing it wasn’t just me that could glee­fully stab a car en­gi­neer in the neck ev­ery time the damn car I’m driv­ing cuts out at the lights. Partly it’s the el­e­ment of sur­prise that gives me a rude shock. The num­ber of cars I’ve owned over the years that would cut out at the lights, though not fit­ted with stop-start, just poor tun­ing or worn out car­bys, have con­di­tioned me to get ready to panic when it hap­pens, even now, many years later. But I also de­test the noise and vi­bra­tion that oc­curs when the stop-start does its thing, and how any­body ever thought it would be a good idea on a diesel is be­yond me.

Funny thing is, in the last cou­ple of years that I’ve been spout­ing my ha­tred of stop-starts, I’ve ac­tu­ally run into a few peo­ple who reckon it doesn’t bother them. Af­ter a while. Which just makes me won­der what sort of mis­ery and con­tempt one can con­di­tion one­self to tol­er­ate. Mind you, that would ex­plain why no­body in the crowd has bitch-slapped Bernard Tomic yet.

Hat­ing stop-start kind of makes me feel a lit­tle hyp­o­crit­i­cal, though, ‘cos I’m the first one to jump up and down when a dopey politi­cian starts pro­mot­ing “our friend, coal” or claim­ing that wind tur­bines of­fend his stupid, cigar-smok­ing, poor­peo­ple-bul­ly­ing sen­si­bil­i­ties. But I just reckon that

“ANOTHER WHINGE – THOSE DOOR LOCKS THAT ACTIVATE 20 SEC­ONDS AF­TER YOU START”

stop-start is a dol­phin-hug too far. And be­sides, it’s stop-gap tech­nol­ogy: Once we’re all driv­ing plug-in elec­tric cars (and if you’ve driven some­thing like a Tesla, be­lieve me, it aint all bad news) stop-start will be ut­terly redundant. And good rid­dance.

And I’m with you on the au­to­matic door-lock­ing thing. From what I can gather, it was a mod­i­fi­ca­tion aimed at the USA mar­ket and de­signed to stop car-jack­ings. But it makes me won­der what hap­pens when the cav­alry ar­rives to res­cue you from your crashed car, you’re tak­ing a nap and the doors are locked. I reckon the so­lu­tion Holden came up with a few years ago is a bet­ter one: Click the un­lock but­ton on the key once and only the driver’s door opens. Press it twice and all the doors un­lock. That’s a great way to make sure no­body hid­ing on the pas­sen­ger’s side of the car in an un­der­ground car-park jumps in with you to help with the drive home. Which, sadly, is ap­par­ently a thing th­ese days. Mind you, any­body try­ing that on me would want to be hop­ing I hadn’t just been to the base­ball-bat store on my way home af­ter work.

ABOVE With over 20meg Ford As built, find­ing a motor for your DIY plane shouldn’t be too hard.

OP­PO­SITE PAGE Un­der at­tack – a man’s right to keep his motor run­ning.

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