Toyota Auto Start/Stop System: Estimating the Lifespan of Starter Motors

Finite Replacement Limit for Annoying Feature Exposed in Viral Video

The implementation of an auto start/stop system offers benefits such as increased fuel economy, however, it can also have an impact on your car’s starter motor. In a recent TikTok clip shared by Faye Hadley, she uncovered information from a 2017 Toyota Highlander manual stating that Toyota models with this feature allow for 384,000 restarts before the starter motor and relays require replacement.

After the designated quantity is attained, the hyphen will beam, indicating the activation of the check engine light, signaling car owners to take their vehicle to a Toyota dealership. The professional mechanic will then exchange the starting motor and relays, and subsequently reset the tally using dealership software.

The video does not imply that the auto start/stop function will no longer work after a certain number of restarts. However, according to Toyota’s manual, the starter “must” be replaced.

On average, a car owner will restart their vehicle approximately 131 times every day over an eight-year period. This may seem like a significant number and could raise concerns for those looking to purchase a used car. The replacement of the starter motor may be a prominent consideration for consumers in the used car market.

This is one reason why car owners are not fond of the auto start/stop capability. Numerous individuals are irritated by the juddering sensation when the engine automatically shuts off and turns on. Additionally, when stuck in traffic, the restarting of the engine can cause delays in acceleration. As a result, this feature is more commonly used in hybrid vehicles, as electric motors provide immediate power.

In certain situations, when an automobile’s engine shuts down on its own, additional components such as a dashboard camera may also lose power. This can be especially frustrating in the summer when the air conditioning is also affected. Adding to the inconvenience is that this function turns on automatically when the vehicle is started, requiring drivers to manually disable it each time for it to be out of the way.

The inclusion of the auto start/stop system in cars has generated a considerable amount of fuel efficiency and emission advantages, making it a feature that is here to stay. Furthermore, this technology aids automakers in conforming to the strict emission regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


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