I was recently in the lucky position to obtain an (almost brand new) Alfa Romeo MiTo, Progression. Like many new cars coming out these days, it has "Start & Stop" technology that turns the engine off when the car is stationary and is put in neutral and the clutch is released. When putting down the clutch again the engine fires back up.
My question then is this:
a) Is start-stop technology bad for my engine in any way?
b) What impact might start-stop have on my battery? I.e. won't it deteriorate battery life with the constant turning on and off? (The radio, fans and lights remain on whilst in "stop"-mode, but not things like the aircon.)
c) Will this technology really benefit me that much with regards to fuel-consumption? I can imagine it will be more economic when stops in heavy traffic become really long or traffic lights are red for long periods, but for the most part when driving the car doesn't turn off for longer than a minute at most before I have to "start" it up again.
As many new cars lately have this technology I imagine that it can't be that bad, but I'm curious as to it's actual real benefits. I can turn this feature off, but I have to do so every time I start my car up for the first time and then I'm stuck with this glaring orange light in my dash, letting me know it's turned off.