American Spectator: I wish I could take credit for this one, but I can’t. However, I will shamelessly use it — and credit the reader (thanks, Jim!) who made the analogy:
Auto-stop/start systems — which have become de facto standard equipment in all new cars — are the automotive equivalent of the low flush toilet.
You may recall.
The government decided that people were using “too much” water in the bathroom. The solution was a fatwa outlawing toilets as they had been and requiring that new toilets be designed to use less water (1.6 gallons, about half the volume of water used in the old, “wasteful” toilets).
Everyone knows what the result was.
It now took two or more flushes to get the job done — which ended up using twice the water. Sometimes the job didn’t get done at all.
Eventually, the problems caused by the low-flow toilets was fixed by modifying the toilet to operate at higher pressure, so as to make more effective use of less water. These toilets, of course, cost more than the old “water waster” toilets, now outlawed.
Instead, people waste money.
Now comes Auto-stop/start.
It’s the same bad idea as the low-flow toilet, applied to cars. Use less gas by using the engine less — by automatically shutting it off whenever the vehicle comes to a complete stop. When the driver takes his foot off the brake — indicating his desire to get moving again — a high-torque starter motor is automatically engaged to re-start the engine and off you go — until the next stop, when the cycle repeats.
In theory — in government testing — it does save a little gas. On the order of 1-2 miles-per-gallon vs. an otherwise identical vehicle without the system.
But it costs a lot more money. more