While Auto Idle Stop is supposed to save gas, some Honda and Acura owners find the annoyance of how it operates outweighs the savings at the pump.
Honda and Acura’s Auto Idle Stop aka Auto Start Stop (or Auto Start Stop,) given the right conditions, shuts off your engine if you’re idling more than a few seconds. Meant to save gas, the Auto Idle Stop takes the guess work out of turning off your engine and on again at stop lights or any number of situations where you’re idling for a prolonged period of time.
Thanks to robust direct injected engines, a heavy-duty starter motor, and a larger 12-volt battery that can take the added stress, start stop systems, theoretically won’t, over time, mess up your engine.
And, programmed to fire up instantaneously once you let off the brakes, Honda’s Auto Idle stop system is supposed to make that transition between engine off and engine on as smooth and quick as possible.
However, all Start Stop systems are not as good as others and Honda owners don’t live in a perfect world where the benefits of Auto Idle Stop outweigh the minor annoyances.
The truth is a lot of Honda and Acura owners find the Auto Idle Stop system to be annoying, taking too long to engage the gas engine and finding out that, with Start Stop off, they aren’t saving that much fuel anyway.
Here’s how many Honda and Acura owners are permanently disabling their Start Stop systems for good.
Pressing the Auto Idle Stop Off button every time you start your car.
OK, I know this option is a cop out, but a lot of Honda and Acura owners hit the Auto Idle Stop System Off button every time.
It becomes so habitual, they no longer think about it and Start Stop is no longer an annoyance.
If you don’t know where the button is, it’s located near your shifter and is the button with an A with an arrow over it. Underneath the letter A is the word ‘OFF.’
If you’re not a particularly handy person and the thought of spending $80+ on a permanent fix (we’ll get into that later) makes you convulse, unfortunately, this is the only solution for you.
Buying a permanent in-line bypass Start Stop system.
If you have about $80, some very smart and entrepreneurial people developed these convenient in-line systems that permanently disables Honda and Acura’s Start Stop system for good.
Once installed, you no longer have to worry about Auto Idle Stop ever again.
Installation is simple and involves owners gently prying off pieces near their center consoles and unplugging and plugging in the Start Stop defeat system.
In other words, it’s plug-and-play.
As I understand, these systems trick Honda and Acura’s Auto Idle Stop systems to think conditions are not met for Start Stop to initiate.
These are all the conditions Honda lists where Start Stop does not work.
If, taking coolant temps as an example, Honda’s Auto Idle Stop system does not run if the coolant is above 104F, these in-line defeat systems “tell” Honda’s Start Stop system that coolant temps are perpetually at 105F+, so, Start Stop never comes on.
This is a harmless workaround that does not affect any other system.
This is the most popular system, the Idle Stopper.
DIY permanent Start Stop disable
If you’re comfortable unplugging wires and absolutely don’t want to spend money on a permanent fix, this one’s Free.99.
You’ll find the solution linked here, courtesy of Piloteers.org.
Basically, you find the Auto Idle Stop connector under your shifter console and, by unplugging a yellow wire and plugging it in, in tandem, with a green wire, you’re essentially sending power, at all times, to the wire responsible for shutting off Start-Stop.
It’s a simple, yet elegant, solution.
And, if you’re not comfortable with the idea of wires, there are YouTube videos showing you how easy unplugging wires from connectors really is.
Those are the most popular ways to disable Auto Start Stop in your Honda and Acura.
Do you have any other permanent systems I missed that are worth mentioning?
Let me know in the comments below.