Doctor Diesel

Finding it difficult to switch off

Hello Doctor. 


I have a new Dacia Sandero Stepway 1.5 dCi, which I bought in France where I live. It is running in nicely, is pleasurable to drive, and performs well in all respects, except for the annoying stop-start system which, although switched off, reverts to “active” every time the car is key started. I rarely drive in town centres or heavy stop-start traffic, so for me, and I presume other similar owners, it becomes an annoying nuisance, and does little to help with emissions, or indeed mpg, or litres/100km, as the locals quote fuel economy in. 


I have asked my local main Renault/Dacia dealer if the system can be ‘bypassed’, either by computer and the OBD socket, or just a simple physical wiring alteration, but all to no avail. 


Any suggestions to overcome this shortcoming would be greatly appreciated, before I spoil the Anglo-French “Entente Cordiale!” Please keep up the good work with Diesel Car.


Best regards

Dick Wilson, Vidauban, France


Hello Dick


Is it so problematic for you to hit the stop-start deactivate switch just down by the handbrake? I do agree with you that these systems can be annoying, and I do agree with you that you ought to be able to deactivate it permanently. But it’s not as if you can’t turn it off with the flick of a switch whenever you start the car, at the same time as you put your seat belt on. It would surely soon become second nature.


Glad to hear that you like the Sandero though, and I’m sorry if this response causes any offence,  but I am getting older and grumpier!


Best regards,



P.S. No, there is no easy/clever way of deactivating it permanently. A good auto-electrician would probably be able to do it, even a French one, but it might generate some adverse effects in the electronics and throw up some warning lamp, and there’s a fair chance that it might well also nullify your warranty, and then you would be in the ìsoupe ‡ l’oignon.î

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