Volkswagen – Disable automatic start-stop system

Symbol of the disabled automatic start-stop system.

Last Summer I bought a Volkswagen Passat B8 (Type 3G) with automatic transmission (DSG/Direct-shift gearbox). The automatic start-stop-system drove me nuts from the first moment. My previous Passat also contained an automatic start-stop system, but it had a manual gearbox. So when the car came to a halt and I didn’t want to stop the motor, holding the clutch was enough to keep the motor running. In a car with an automatic transmission, there is no such possibility. The only thing to do is to press every trip the disable-automatic-start-stop-system-button to switch of the system. And of course, you will forget this and remember about it at the first stop. There is no standard way to keep this setting in memory for the next trip.

Why the automatic-start-stop-system is irritating me? I have several reasons:

  • It can lead to dangerous situations: It causes some extra delay to come in motion. In some situations you have to accelerate fast from stand still. Think about inserting your car between two other cars at a secondary road. When you press the gas pedal, you expect the car will move.
  • It is irritating when you only stand still for a second: Stop for traffic light and at the moment the motor turns off, the light turns green. Effectively the motor stopped for 1 second.
  • I think it causes unnecessary wear

Hardware solution

There is a hardware solution on the market which will memorize your last setting of the automatic-start-stop-system. Search for something like: ‘Start-Stop-Automatic-Memory-Modul (SSAM-Modul)‘. You connect this module to: ground, disable-automatic-start-stop-system-button and ignition plus. See the links for an explanation and a do it yourself solution.

Software- / Settings- / Noninvasive solution

I decided to find my solution in a software setting and not boggle with the hardware of the car. I do have a VCDS/VAG-COM cable, so I looked around in the settings of my car and found two interesting settings, I haven’t written them down because they both didn’t lead to the desired solution: one setting is just the current status of the disable-automatic-start-stop-system-button, which will be reset the next trip, the other was was to disable the automatic-start-stop-system, but caused a malfunction error on my dashboard.

Searching around on the Internet, learned me there is a way to trick the automatic-start-stop-system, so the conditions to stop the motor will not be met. When one of these conditions is false, the motor won’t stop. The bad thing here is, that when you change this, the automatic-start-stop-system is virtually disabled forever, till you change this setting again. So you canĀ“t overrule this by a button. The conditions which must be met to let the automatic-start-stop-system decide to stop the motor are:

  • The energy consumption may not be too high (air-conditioning etc.) this is measured by the voltage of the battery;
  • Temperature of the engine not too low;
  • Outside temperature not too high/low;
  • Driving without a trailer (you can also fake a trailer by a dummy trailer plug).

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that your car including this automatic-start-stop-system is approved to use the road, so it could be illegal to permanently disable the automatic-start-stop-system. Use the information in this article only for educational purposes. I’m not responsible for any damage you cause to your car or fines you will receive.

I decided to try to tweak with the first condition: the voltage of the battery. The default value is 7.6 Volts, this means that when the battery voltage is below 7.6 V, the automatic-start-stop-system won’t decide to switch of the engine. Such a low voltage is indicating a strong power consumption. When you change this value to i.e. 12 V, this condition will never occur. To change this value, follow these steps:

  1. Select in VCDS the CAN controller.
  2. Select in the CAN controller: Adaptation – 10.
  3. Select in the pull down menu: ‘Start/stop start voltage limit

    VCDS – Controller: CAN / Adaptation – 10 / Start/stop start voltage limit
  4. VCDS – Controller: CAN / Adaptation – 10 / Start/stop start voltage limit / New value

    Here you see a stored- and new- value. The stored (original value is: 7.6 volts, use as new value: 12.0 (so without V). The ‘V’ of Volts is in a separate input box, don’t change this.

  5. Press: “Do it!
  6. Confirm this change by pressing “Yes

The next time you stop your car and the automatic-start-stop-system should stop the engine, the engine keeps running. At your dashboard a warning will pop up indicating ‘Power consumption is too high‘, this is the reason your engine keeps running. In fact the voltage of your battery could be just fine.