Playing with the brake pedal is not a great option.
There is no "playing" with the brake pedal, your right foot never leaves the pedal, there is a very slight pressure release required to prevent the auto start stop from stopping the engine, the brakes are always fully engaged and the vehicle doesn't move. Once you get a test drive of the 2019 Forester you will be able to try this technique and appreciate how simple and more importantly safe it is.
Can anyone else chime in if the auto start/stop turns on even if the a/c is on? This would cause a significant drag on battery and systems I would think.
I'll chime in again and say again the Australian Spec. NA 2.5 SJ CVT Forester since February 2013 has been equipped as standard with the auto stop-start function, I have owned a MY13 (US MY14) and currently a MY15 (US MY16).
When the a/c is turned on it does NOT turn off or disable the auto start-stop in the Australian Spec. NA 2.5 SJ CVT Forester.
I don't know if the US market will get the same auto start-stop system as ours in the new 2019, time will tell.:smile2:
My comments are from over 5 years of physical driving experience with the auto start-stop system in the current Forester.:smile2:
I was very cautious of the auto start-stop system for the first 6 months in 2013, I carried a Jump Starter Battery all the time just in case the car battery died:smile2: all good so far, I regularly use a CTEK MXS5.0T Battery Charger to keep the car battery in good shape and pick up any issues with the battery ie. sulphation, before it becomes a drama.
BTW it is very rare for me not to have my a/c on all year round in this part of OZ - subtropical with many days over the last few years in Spring/Summer/Autumn with well over 100F and 80% + humidity.
I hope this clarifies some of your auto start-stop concerns