Mazda I-stop Explained - Idling Stop

August 15, 2018

What is Mazda i-stop Technology

Mazdas i-stop saves fuel by automatically switching off the engine while you’re stopped.

When the engine is it an operating temperature and you come to a complete stop, i-stop will automatically switch off the engine.

The system keeps the engine ready to ignite, so when you lift your foot off the brakes the engine restarts almost instantly and you’re ready to go.

To temporarily deactivated i-stop, press the i-stop off switch. Note the system reactivates each time you turn off the car.

How Does Mazda i-stop Technology Work

SKYACTIV technology not only helps with fuel efficiency but lessens your carbon footprint as well because one of the key aspects of SKYACTIV technology is i-stop.

Say you’re travelling along and you’re stuck in a traffic jam, approaching an intersection or set of lights. Simply put your foot on the brake, and i-stop automatically kills the engine.

Without touching the steering wheel, turning your keys or hitting the start/stop button.

Simply take your foot off the brake, i-stop switches the engine back on and you’re off.

Mazdas i-stop uses combustion to restart the engine in roughly half the time of other conventional systems. That’s pretty impressive.

There’s a lot of smarts behind i-stop and it’s all there in your owner’s manual but here are a few things to keep in mind.

I-stop needs a base amount of charge to function, so it becomes operational after the engines warmed up. I-stop is ready when its indicator light eliminates green in the dash.

The other thing to remember is that i-stop only works when you’ve applied the brake and you’re holding it down.

The steering wheel needs to be reasonably straight if you turn the wheel significantly when pulling up i-stop won’t cut the engine out.

Also, if you got the air conditioning on maximum settings i-stop won’t work. It also won’t work if you’re on an incline, if you’re in reverse, if the doors are open or if the driver’s seat belt is unfastened.

If you decide at any stage that you want to override the i-stop system, you just simply press the button on the right-hand side of the dash and the engine operates as per normal.

Again, check the owner’s manual for all the details on i-stop functionality.

I-stop is a part of Mazdas SKYACTIV technology and is available in Mazda2Mazda3Mazda6CX-3 SUVCX-5 SUVCX-9 SUV.


How To Deactivate Mazda i-Stop

  1. Start the car.
  2. Locate the istop deactivation button found on the switch panel, mounted on the dash to the right of the steering column.
  3. Press the i-stop on/off switch once, and hold for 2 seconds.
  4. This should make the i-stop dash indicator light illuminate a continual orange.
  5. If the istop indicator light is orange, then istop is deactivated and your car’s engine will not turn off.
  6. To reactivate the i-stop system, press the on/off switch again for 2 seconds.

Note: The system reactivates every time you turn off the car.

How To Disable Mazda i-stop Permanently

This has been a frequently asked for many years now. And I would love to show you exactly how to do it! But, unfortunately, I can’t. Well, at least not at this point in time.

Currently, there is no way to permanently disable the idle stop function, at least there isn’t a genuine “Mazda” way to disable it…

I have heard several theories as to why, such as “it’s a safety function”. But my personal opinion ( this is just a theory, I have no actual evidence to prove this ) is that, due to more stringent government fuel economy and emissions regulations, car manufacturers practically have to install the function and have it defaulted to on in order to pass inspections.

But I have a solution! Thankfully there are many smart and savvy people out there getting creative with their own solutions. Now I don’t recommend any of these online solutions as I just don’t know if they have any side effects, cause any damage to the car or even void warranties, but some of the community over at Mazda 3 Revolution have some simple ideas you might want to check out. Just do plenty of research before attempting anything.

Does i-Stop Require A Special Battery

Mazda’s require (prefer) a specific Skyactiv battery, this is a heavier grade or known as a deep-cycle battery designed to handle more varying loads due to i-stop’s regular start/stop function. It’s similar to the idea of a regular battery and an alkaline battery.

Newer car technologies are becoming more electronics-based which in turn puts a heavier load on the car’s battery.

Mazda has created a great solution to help counteract this referred to as i-Eloop, this feature is currently only available in Mazda 6. Read more about i-Eloop.

Jade Taylor

Jade Taylor

Mazda specialist and past sales consultant. Owner, enthusiast, and lover of all things Mazda and tech.
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