The start/stop feature in the current BMW 3 Series is, by default, activated every time you get in and start the car. If you don't like it, you can deactivate the feature by pressing a button on the dash; however, the next time you turn the car off and start it again (with the key), the start/stop system will kick in.

This is too much hassle for some drivers, who wish start/stop to remain off unless they decide otherwise. To accommodate them, BMW has given dealers permission to activate the system's Last User Mode, which will start the car with stop/start in the same mode as when the car was shut down. Of note, BMW M models come with Last User Mode enabled automatically. There's a service bulletin below with the particulars.
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SI B12 15 12

INFORMATION
The Automatic Start/Stop (MSA) system is a further BMW Efficient Dynamics measure aimed at meeting BMW's commitment to reducing CO2 emissions and enhancing fuel economy.

BMW, always a leader in innovative technology, will be the first automobile manufacturer to bring MSA technology to all new models.

Automatic Start/Stop systems will become prevalent in the future, as manufacturers strive to meet increasingly stringent emissions and fuel economy requirements.

By automatically switching the engine off when the car is stationary, MSA can improve fuel economy and reduce emissions.

New F-vehicles now incorporate the second generation of MSA (MSA II), which has been further developed to operate in combination with an automatic transmission and the BN2020 electrical system.

A detailed description of the MSA Automatic Start/Stop function can be found in the ICP Technician library under Technical Training course ST1112.

SITUATION
Some drivers have expressed the desire to deactivate this function in certain situations. This can be done manually via the Automatic Start/Stop function button with the LED switched on, indicating that the start/stop function is deactivated.

However, by default, the Automatic Start/Stop function is reactivated each time the engine is started.

At the request of an owner, it is possible to modify this default logic to "Last user mode."

With this logic, the current MSA's activated or deactivated setting is stored and used on the next trip.

Note: All new BMW M models have the "Last user mode" as the default setting from production.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 53 Comments
      George Wang
      • 2 Years Ago
      the system is not smooth... it is very noticable and annoying
        Pinhead
        • 2 Years Ago
        @George Wang
        I'd like to try it. We have an insight, which admittedly is a very different beast, but it doesn't bother me at all. But then, the expectations on a 19k cheapo hybrid are probably a bit lower than on a 40k ultimate driving machine.
      otiswild
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wish they'd have that option for the driving mode in the Volt: every time you boot it it returns to 'Normal' mode, and I'd rather it stay in 'Sport' by default.
        lmg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @otiswild
        if you wanted a car that stays in sport mode all the time you bought the wrong car
      amade.ch
      • 2 Years Ago
      in all bmws i've driven the system worked brilliantly. (and there were a few) people who want that disabled probably should get rid of the catalysator as well. it sounds so much better without it. ;-)
      vusda2
      • 2 Years Ago
      What type of logic is that...? It should have been like that from the start for non-M cars... Hurr Durr BMW
      andrewm6767
      • 2 Years Ago
      Every single car should have this feature as mandatory and there should be no allowing it to be disabled. There is no good reason to have an engine running unless it is doing work (moving the car). With all of the modern technology in cars these days running a heater or A/C is possible for short periods with battery power.
        J
        • 2 Years Ago
        @andrewm6767
        Right, because who actually expects to pay for a vehicle, and have it work as they see fit? Absurd, I know.
        Rob J
        • 2 Years Ago
        @andrewm6767
        But that would take away all my FREEDOM! If you support mandatory anything, you HATE AMERICA! And you don't hate America do you? Comrade?
        MJC
        • 2 Years Ago
        @andrewm6767
        The reason to have it running is so you don't need to wait for it to restart. The penalty is not worth the gain.
        85ZingoGTR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @andrewm6767
        Oh ok. Cool! So when my BMW undergoes premature starter motor failure because your brilliant idea is to make it mandatory to use this thing 100% of the time with no disabling it I can scan the bill for a new starter motor and labor to get it replaced and send it to your email and you'll take care of it. Go back to driving your Prius you tree-loving jack ass.
        joe shmoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @andrewm6767
        sounds like you haven't experienced the 3 series start/stop firsthand. you should stop by the dealership some time
      Julian
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think that BMW should be forced to re-certify the car's EPA ratings. This is basically cheating the system. For those of you who selfishly care about anything about MPG, it's actually not up to you, because If it is up to each person, most act selfishly. And if you're that 'figging' picky, use what's left of your brain and buy the right car for yourself in the first place.
        Rob J
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Julian
        Last I checked, the EPA does not include stop/start in its tests. Also, it's not cheating even if they did. This is the equivalent of a "sport" mode on a car which, by user choice, changes the dynamics of the engine resulting in more fuel being burned.
      Agilis
      • 2 Years Ago
      Perhaps someone more educated could answer this: Wouldn't the gas/emissions being saved with this system be negated by the constant starting after the automatic stop kicked in? I'm under the impression that starting a car a tends to consume more gas.
        Agilis
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Agilis
        Really?! I'm down voted for asking a simple question?
          brian
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Agilis
          Because its a dumb question - If auto start/stop used more then it wouldn't be a feature, now would it?
        Rich
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Agilis
        It has nothing to do with fuel savings, this has to do with Euro-STD's on emissions. Notice that BMW NA will be able to toggle this on/off, but AG won't.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        BRKF06
        • 2 Years Ago
        Really? You buy a performance sedan and then want to deal with that stop/start at every stoplight? Driven several F30s. When my car arrives in September I will ask the dealer to turn it off for sure. It saves a tiny bit of fuel but overall start/stop makes the driving experience miserable. Might as well get a prius.
          The Wasp
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BRKF06
          Most 3 Series cars are not performance vehicles and are not driven by performance-minded people.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BRKF06
          [blocked]
        v6sonoma
        • 2 Years Ago
        To be honest although it doesn't apply on the 3-seris when I'm at a red light and my V8 is idling with a nice rumble slightly shaking the car do to the lopey cam profile it brings a nice grin to my face that is worth more to me then saving gas. I didn't decide to have a 470hp car for the mileage. However when I drive my commuter I'm perfectly ok having start stop tech. Different strokes for different folks. =)
      JohnM
      • 2 Years Ago
      Because its annoying as chit when you are waiting to turn left onto a busy street and there is that split second delay waiting for the car to turn back on. Now if they would only allow it so I could always have it in sport mode too. Here is the thing (i hope you are sitting down cause this just may blow your mind), some of us really dont give two flying figs about gas mileage. If it goes from 27mpg city to 25mpg, I am 100% ok with that.
        Generic
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JohnM
        You might not care about paying for the extra gas, but auto makers have fuel economy demands to meet. Also, people die so we can all have oil. Why do consumers some how think they own all the global resources that come from the earth?
          leo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Generic
          it's not even included in any of the current testing, so as of today it does nothing to help them meet those requirements
        brian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JohnM
        Do you also leave the lights on and the AC running when you leave home because it's too inconvenient to switch them on when you get home at night?
          Dean
          • 2 Years Ago
          @brian
          I have the lights at my house on timers, and my thermostat is one of those programmable ones, so I don't have to touch them when I leave the house, or when I come back. Didn't think about that, did ya?
        leo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JohnM
        I don't even know why you got down-voted must be the day when non-enthusiast visit this site they need to go back to consumer reports
      Narom
      • 2 Years Ago
      What exactly would the benefit be to switching it off.
        BRKF06
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Narom
        What's the benefit of keeping it on? 1-2% fuel savings? Even 10% = not worth the hassle.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BRKF06
          [blocked]
        leo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Narom
        not being annoyed every time you drive..that can change your mood and make you drive more carelessly thereby increasing chances that you will get into an accident, all because some annoying feature on the car.
      Matt Clare
      • 2 Years Ago
      The 2014 version will use the car's GPS to ensure the stop/start feature is only on by default while at the EPA testing grounds.
      diffrunt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why buy a car with an undesirable feature?
        BRKF06
        • 2 Years Ago
        @diffrunt
        Because the grand sum of desirable parts exceeds the undesirable. That you can get a RWD sport sedan with a manual is great. Nothing else like the 3 exists with the possible exception of the ATS (C is bland to drive, A4 heavy/not very enjoyable/plagued with Audi engineering, G37 huge, IS secretary car). Sadly, the ATS with a manual will be harder to find than a stock Integra.
          bearman
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BRKF06
          You forgot to mention the TSX, which you can get in a 6 speed manual for under $30k and all the luxuries and amenities the 3 series has without paying for ridiculous packages. Mind you, it is a FWD car, but it certainly looks better than the frankencar 3 series. Don't get me started on the interior... This new 3 is nothing like the E46 or E90's sadly.
          BRKF06
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BRKF06
          @bearman - You really think a FWD Euro Accord with 200 HP 4 is a competitor to the 3? It's not RWD... we're done right there.
          BRKF06
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BRKF06
          @0ver9000 - yes the Lexus IS.
          BRKF06
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BRKF06
          @Jason - enjoy. Just find the Is to lack in almost every way compared to the GS, A4. 3. I'm sure it has strong points...probably reliable. But beyond that it's just not for me.
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