New cars have so many incredible new features.

Navigation, heated seats, heated steering wheel, calculated gas mileage, back-up camera and more make buying a new car an exciting adventure in technology.

But one new feature may have you a little uncomfortable.

A lot of new cars come with the auto start/stop feature, meaning the car turns itself off every time you are stopped and idling. The concept adopted by a lot of car companies is this:

"Auto Start/Stop Technology automatically shuts off the engine when the vehicle comes to a full stop and idles for more than a few seconds. Once the driver puts pressure on the accelerator, then the engine turns back on. It's simple, and some say it can save between 3-5% of gas in stop-and-go traffic."
-- Nowcar.com

Car queue in the bad traffic road
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The folks over at Edmunds.com didn't like the ambiguity of "3-5%" and decided they would run their own tests.

Their study found that not only does auto start/stop work, but it actually does even better than the "3-5%."

From their website:

"All three of our test subjects delivered 9-10 percent ... in city traffic. People who live in particularly tough traffic areas with long wait times could do even better.

And the systems were mostly easy to live with. Restarts were fairly seamless and seemed appropriately quick for drivers who use the same foot for throttle and brake.

Functionally, stop-start doesn't take very long to get used to — in our three test cars, at least."

Edmunds said the auto start/stop feature in new cars does require some getting used to, and the electrical system has to be reconfigured as a heartier battery and starting system is a must, but ultimately it does save you money at the pump (at least a dollar a tank), and conceivably helps the environment.

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Still, if you grew up in the 60s and 70s, its hard to hear the engine shut off at every light and not be worried that your car just stalled. From Edmunds:

The biggest obstacle is mental: overcoming that sinking feeling that your engine just died. Once you get past that, you'll welcome the silence.

Annie McEntire
Annie McEntire
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If we can get over that, auto start/stop may just be an awesome new technology that can actually save you money.

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Santa Clara Write-in Candidate Knocked On Every Door In Town

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Janene Burton is a retired history and dance teacher who has developed a passion for the wonderful world we live in and trying to keep it that way.

So Burton, who was on the Andy Griffin Show Tuesday, decided to run for city council in her hometown of Santa Clara, Utah. She was determined to get elected and try and help keep the charm of downtown Santa Clara and the rich history of the burg just west of St. George.

"I love the city of Santa Clara and found out ... that with all the high-density housing going up, that they were going to change the little downtown historic district," Burton said. "Me, being into history, I wanted to preserve it for the people of Santa Clara."

So Burton, who had dabbled in politics in the past, decided to run for city council.

One problem, though.

Due to a canceled flight and a couple of other misfortunes, Burton did not get her name on the ballot in time.

Her only chance to get elected this time around would be a write-in campaign, and anyone who follows politics knows write-in campaigns are almost always unsuccessful. Many states don't even allow write-in candidates and of the ones that do, a write-in candidates wins less than 1 percent of the time.

"I knew the odds," Burton said. "But I was determined."

Burton went to city hall in Santa Clara and bought the biggest map she could find, complete with addresses and street names. She then knocked on every single door in town, walking as far as eight miles a day, taking care to leave personal notes behind when the owners weren't home.

"I got the door slammed in my face a couple of times, but by and large most all of the people in Santa Clara are wonderful people," Burton said. "They were so nice. Many said they had never had a candidate stop by their house before."

She even went so far as to print flyers that explained the sometimes confusing process of voting for a write-in candidate.

The end result for Burton was worth it. She was sworn in as a city councilperson last month.

Burton, who is widowed, also was crowned as Ms. Senior USA recently and has a message to all those who want to defy the odds.

"If you're bound and determined, you can do just about anything," she said.

L to R: Marianne Hamilton, Andy Griffin and Janene Burton
L to R: Marianne Hamilton, Andy Griffin and Janene Burton
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Beauty award winners Marianne Hamilton, L, and Janene Burton.
Beauty award winners Marianne Hamilton, L, and Janene Burton.
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