Some cars have a mysterious “ECO” button. Have you ever used it? Its promise is to offer more economical driving. But Eco mode also runs the risk of disrupting drivers’ habits, as it modifies the operation of various vehicle functions. Therefore, it would be wiser not to use it systematically on the road. Does it really reduce fuel consumption? How and when to use it exactly? Question time.
Eco mode: what exactly is it?
For several years, automakers have been implementing green solutions, with varying degrees of success. Objective: to reduce fuel consumption and emissions of harmful substances that pollute the environment. Thus, modern cars are equipped with buttons for changing the driving mode, such as “Sport Mode”. The driver is free to decide if he wants to modify certain parameters of his car in terms of performance and comfort or if he wants his journeys to be more ecological.
In the same way that your Smartphone integrates a battery saving mode that prolongs its autonomy, it is increasingly common to find the Eco mode in cars. Car manufacturers have installed it for the convenience of drivers who want to maximize the fuel economy of their car. Older models were equipped with a button labeled “ECO” or “ECON”. It is true that it is difficult to determine exactly what functions are offered, because each manufacturer defines its own strategy in this regard. To have all the necessary information, it is better to consult the user manual beforehand. But, in absolute terms, “ECO” functions are often similar in cars.
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Eco mode: a less powerful engine
In particular, you should know that certain changes take place in the car when you activate this button. It is already very noticeable on the accelerator: when you step on it, the car does not accelerate with the usual aggressiveness. A light foot on the accelerator allows for better fuel economy, but your engine won’t be as powerful. Even forgetting to decelerate the gas pedal, the Eco mode automatically does its job, and the car is necessarily less vigorous. It is up to you to see if you want to continue with this driving mode or if you prefer to return to the classic mode.
Eco mode: fuel saving
By activating Eco mode in your car, you can save money on gas. With this button, the engine and accelerator pedal become less sensitive. As a result, the car accelerates slower than normal when you press the accelerator pedal. Although it takes longer for the engine speed to reach the usual speed, it saves you the price of fuel. And when you try to accelerate, the powertrain is automatically less lively and less agile, so it doesn’t encourage spirited driving.
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NB : Eco mode is really advantageous to spend less on fuel. If you want to save money, this is still a very sensible option, especially since it doesn’t have any adverse effect on your engine. However, this mode is not ideal when you are traveling on a busy road, when you feel the need for faster acceleration, or even on the road where you want to drive at higher speeds. In this case, to optimize your driving, it is preferable to deactivate Eco mode.
And the air conditioning?
In addition to reducing the performance of your vehicle, in eco mode, the air conditioning system is also not very optimal. In fact, it regulates the AC compressor by systematically putting it in automatic cut-off mode, during use. In addition, it also decreases the fan speed to inhibit the load on the motor. Specifically, the cabin will take a little longer to cool down on a very hot day. Which is not always very comfortable!
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