Modern vehicles are equipped with many driving modes designed to give you a personalized experience based on your needs. While some cars offer a Sport mode for a more engaging drive or an Off-Road mode for rough terrain, Eco mode seems to get the most attention.
What is Eco Mode and is it really worth it? This economy mode is supposed to save fuel and protect the environment, but when should it be used? We take a look at the benefits of Eco mode and discuss proper use.
What is eco mode?
Eco mode is short for “economy mode.” This is a new driving mode in many vehicles. The cars will contain an Eco Mode button or a dial to adjust.
When Eco mode is activated, the vehicle’s characteristics are modified to provide more efficiency. However, it is also known that performance is reduced to achieve this efficiency.
How does eco mode work?
Eco mode limits transmission and engine performance for better fuel efficiency. Even if you stomp on the accelerator while Eco mode is engaged, you won’t get mind-blowing power. Instead, it will only operate within the limits programmed by the automaker.
Eco mode can also modify the fuel and air intake to create a better mixture for greater efficiency. These adjustments further add to the lack of responsiveness and power.
To activate Eco mode, the driver can press the button or turn the dial. This action can be performed while the car is moving and requires no special tools.
Benefits of eco-mode
1. Improved fuel economy
When the manufacturer installs Eco mode, the settings are automatically adjusted to save as much fuel as possible. In any case, it is about reducing the power of the engine and transmission.
However, some models also adjust the air-fuel mixture to further promote efficiency. It is estimated that using Eco mode could reduce fuel consumption by 3–10% when used in the right circumstances.
2. Easy to use
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how to use Eco mode. In fact, manufacturers failed to make the system easier to use.
On some vehicles, there is a special button to activate Eco mode. Other models use a selector dial to change driving modes, with the Eco option as one of them. Luckily, Eco mode is just as easy to turn off when you’re ready to have fun on the road again.
Disadvantages of eco-mode
1. Loss of power
To achieve better fuel economy, the automaker sets limits on engine power when operating in Eco mode. If you’re on the highway, you probably won’t appreciate the benefits of this fuel-saving system.
Also, if you like to hit the gas and go fast, that won’t happen with this system activated. Instead, coming out of a stop will feel a little more gradual.
2. Torque reduction
There are times when an extra pair is needed. For example, if you are towing or tackling a steep grade, torque is needed for a smooth ride.
When Eco mode is activated, torque is reduced for better fuel economy. This is the reason why Eco mode is not favorable for people who need high torque performance.
When to use eco mode?
Eco mode is advantageous whenever you want to spend less on fuel. However, it is not ideal when performance is a must.
If you are traveling on a busy road where you need quick acceleration or traveling at highway speeds, it is often best to turn off Eco mode. Although it requires more fuel, it is safer to drive without it in these circumstances.
Urban commuting is ideal for Eco mode, as it typically doesn’t try to accelerate quickly and drive more slowly. Since these situations typically consume more fuel, this seems like the perfect opportunity to try Eco mode.
While it’s fine to drive with Eco mode on at all times, you’ll likely find that it’s not ideal. There will be times when you demand more from your vehicle than it can give you while harnessing the power.
Is Eco mode bad for the engine?
It would seem that anything that impairs engine performance can cause damage. You may even be afraid to step on the accelerator with the Eco Mode button activated.
However, we haven’t seen any evidence to suggest that Eco mode is harmful. However, your driving behavior is what matters most. You can easily damage your engine if you push it too hard or if you don’t fix it, whether you use Eco mode or not.