The low-flow toilet [ applied to cars ]

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 moneymore

29 Comments on The low-flow toilet [ applied to cars ]

  1. I read Eric Peters Car Guy column regularly whenever it appears in The American Spectator. I have an older Honda Civic 4wd station wagon so I don’t have to worry about that but I hate the damned low flow toilets. Sometimes it takes more than one flush, so how is that saving water.




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  2. I just bought a new truck and that is what they were trying to get me into. I told them I wouldn’t even take it for a test drive. That’s what we need, more government ideas for products. Hey, I have and idea that will increase gas mileage more than 1-2 miles per gallon, get rid of ethanol in the gas. Use the corn for food.




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  3. @geoff the aardvark – I like Eric Peters a lot, too. If you want heavier doses of him, here’s his own web site, Eric Peters Autos: Automobiles, Motorcycles, and Libertarian Politics. If his politics aren’t your bag, simply don’t click on that section. But his libertarian (small “l”) approach to things underlies much of what he writes that isn’t straightforward technical stuff or product reviews. I’ve been enjoying his writing for quite a long time.




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  4. Not only that, in an automatic transmission equipped vehicle, this introduces starting the engine while in drive. Normally, you cannot start the vehicle except when in park or neutral.
    Also. If you have a push button start vehicle, you press the start button with the brake peddle depressed. If you are starting it that way and keep the foot on the brake, does that shut off the engine?




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  5. From above: “…a high-torque starter motor…”

    Anybody ever seen a low torque starter motor? I would think that to be a ‘non-starter’.

    Nods to VietVet. Trying, man.




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  6. Besides being tough on the starter….. there’s this thing, OIL PRESSURE, in most vehicles that drops to zero when you turn the engine off.

    I have heard that oil is somewhat important in engines.




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  7. It sounds like a crappy idea to me and speaking of crappy; with a ‘low-flow’ toilet, try holding the handle down during the entire flush, it seems to give that little extra water flow to complete the job. At least it works on mine.




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  8. Don’t get the wife started on the super expensive, but government mandated “high efficiency washing machine”. It’s amazing. You put in a load of dirty laundry, it uses only a cup of water, then grunts and groans for an hour, shredding your clothes, then delivers a load of dirty laundry.

    And then there is the federal mandate to put perfectly good corn liquor into your gas tank.

    I was reflecting earlier. JFK started NASA. Maybe.
    After that, can anyone point to a single positive contribution to the country from a Democrat president?

    I’ll settle for one.

    I’ve got a dirty shredded laundry list of their nefariousness and abject failures.

    C’mon Larry. Give me just one.




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  9. Employees bitterly resented government assuming we were dumber that what we were trying to flush. Pissed that we were forced to replace time tested turlets with PC, expensive toilets that were supposedly efficient but certainly were not effective. So employees had to stand there and flush two or three extra times to get socially accepted results. Water bill went up, time in production went down. But we were supposed to be grateful that we were now in compliance. Tax payers screwed once again by idealistic left.




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  10. It sounds great for those who are willing to throw money at “feel good” features. But wait until that starter wears out, or worse yet, the flywheel gear teeth get chewed up when the starter partially fails and doesn’t engage properly. Those few gallons per year saved won’t seem that “thrifty”…




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  11. @PHenry:

    …can anyone point to a single positive contribution to the country from a Democrat president?

    LBJ didn’t run for a second elected term? Or is that simply absence of negative?




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  12. GM is getting better with the start/stop technology. My boss drives a 2016 Buick Rendezvous, the start/stop on it BLOWS! I drive a 2017 Chevy Malibu, the start/stop is noticeably better. Give it another couple years and it will be good.




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  13. @judgeroybean – It would make a lot of sense to have a secondary, non-potable water supply for toilet flushing. You could use rain water, well water too mineral-laden for drinking, heck, even the drainage from your washing machine (as long as it isn’t one of those new and awful HE machines).

    But you can’t do that. The govt says so. Code violation!




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  14. “And get rid of the DEF (Diesel exhaust fluid) in all new diesel trucks and other diesel vehicles.”

    I’m driving a 2007 Duramax (old body style). I get asked at least once a week if I want to sell it. Most my life I’ve had a new truck every two years but I’m not to impressed with the new gadget trucks. If I were going to buy a new truck it would probably be a Dodge Cummins. But then you would need to replace the diffs with some lockers right away.




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  15. @PHenry November 8, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    > I was reflecting earlier. JFK started NASA. Maybe.
    > After that, can anyone point to a single positive contribution to the country from a Democrat president?

    After that, JFK. Who proved what one man (one hundred million men, if you’re Oliver Stone) can accomplish.




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  16. Hot tip- install a short piece of tubing on filler tube inside the toilet tank and adjust float to increase water.
    It’s kind of like taking your mattress tag off, keep it on the low low.




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  17. I’ve gone from a 3/4 ton diesel to a 1/2 ton gas engine PU. Easy riding, and quiet. Jeez, I sound like an old man.




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  18. joe6pak
    Hopefully you put a 6 inch FabTech lift on that bitch. LOL. Probably on my last lifted truck because shit hurts.




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  19. Joe6pack: Corn causes a problem either way. If we stop using it for fuel and use it, as intended, for food it starts causing problems for the low flow toilet.




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  20. Cynic, once again, if you were to listen to those that are looking out for you, chew each mouthful slowly, at least 30 times. If you do that you shouldn’t have any problems, even with a low flow toilet. Don’t you hate those bastards?




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  21. The first instance of this I am familiar with occurred while in a rental car in Germany. The car was stopping and restarting when I took my foot off the brake and on the gas.
    It was very disconcerting.
    I pulled over and read the manual real quick.
    There was a way to defeat this “economy” mode, which of course I did.
    Another ridiculous, overreaching government “cash for clunkers” style load of shit.




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