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200 start-stop for 2.4 only?

by David Zatz on

An optional stop-start system for the Chrysler 200 has been in the works for some time, and has been all but confirmed. A credible source has said that the system will be used with the 2.4 liter engine alone, and not the V6, presumably on the assumption that those who value fuel mileage will already have chosen the smaller engine.

The system now shows up in the Chrysler 200’s owner’s manual, which says that the feature is enabled after the customer drives over 5 mph at least once. To go into “autostop” mode, the system must be ready (it will display that), come to a complete stop with the shifter in Drive or Neutral, and have the brake pedal down. Then the engine shuts, the tachometer drops to 0, and an indicator lights up. The climate control may change airflow on its own.

The system does notwork if the driver is not buckled or has their door open, if the battery is too hot or cold, if the car is on a steep grade, if the cabin is too hot or cold, if the fan is on high with the vent set to full defrost, the battery is not fully charged, the engine is not warm enough, the hood is open, maximum a/c is set, or the brake pedal is not being fully depressed.

The engine restarts automatically when the brake is released or the accelerator is engaged. The brakes automatically hold the car in place until the transmission is engaged and the engine is on.

The system is likely a belt-starter generator, with an electronic belt tensioner to reduce parasitic loss at highway speeds.  Fuel mileage savings will be minor, but the cost will also be much lower than a full hybrid system, without the need for massive batteries or heavy motors at the wheels. EPA ratings may not change, as they are not set up in a way which accommodates stop-start. Thanks, Mike V.

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