When you get into a new car, there are probably a lot of things you’ve never seen before. Most of the time, that’s because automakers are always adding new features to stay ahead in the very competitive car market.
Eco Mode is one of the new features that can be found in almost all new cars.
What is Eco Mode exactly, and how does it work? And even more important, when should you use it?
Just keep reading, and we’ll explain everything you need to know about Eco Mode. You’ll know more than you need to!
What is Eco Mode?
The term refers to the car’s mode that uses the least amount of gas. In simple terms, Eco Mode is a feature that makes your car use less gas by doing different things.
When you press the “eco mode” button, the car’s basic functions change. This lets you drive for a long time on just a litre of gas.
It helps the driver save money on gas, but it also hurts the car’s performance, especially if you tend to drive quickly.
A Brief History of Eco Mode
Eco mode has been around for longer than you might think. That’s because each brand has its own “Eco mode,” and even though they all have the same name, they don’t all work the same way.
Each manufacturer keeps information about their own systems secret, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about the basics and when car makers started using them.
The 2006 Toyota Prius had a “Eco” mode, but it only worked when the car was going less than 34 miles per hour and didn’t do much to save gas. But over time, the option has changed a lot for the better.
In 2008, the Nissan Leaf hybrid got an option called “Eco mode,” which saves up to 10 percent more gas. In 2009, Honda was the first company to offer an Eco mode, and in 2012, both Ford and Chevy did the same.
Eco mode is now so common that it’s hard to find a car company that doesn’t offer it on at least some of their models. How well the modes work depends on the manufacturer, and there’s no doubt that some brands offer the feature even though it doesn’t make much of a difference in fuel economy.
On the other hand, some cars, such as the Honda Accord, Nissan Leaf, and newer Toyota Priuses, have “Eco” modes that save a lot of gas.
How Does Eco Mode Work?
As we said before, each manufacturer uses Eco mode in a slightly different way, and the science behind each brand is often a trade secret. But most people know the basics of how each system works, and this is pretty consistent across different brands.
Most of the time, Eco mode works by reducing how well the engine works. If you push the gas pedal all the way to the floor and hold it there, the throttle will be wide open, and the engine will use as much fuel as it needs to keep up with the extra airflow.
Eco mode cuts off the flow of fuel, which makes the car have less power. But it does it all the time, not just when the throttle is wide open. This will make the engine less responsive, and you’ll often notice a big drop in power as you speed up.
Some manufacturers also add a stop-start feature to the Eco mode. This feature actually turns off your engine when you’re not driving. Since you’re not burning fuel while you’re idling, this saves you money on gas.
Is Eco Mode Worth It?
Almost always, if you want to save money on gas, the answer is yes. Even though some cars don’t have a good Eco mode, this is usually the case with older models that came out when the technology was just starting out.
When you drive in “Eco mode” on a modern car, you can save between 5 and 10% because the car uses less gas and needs less maintenance.
If you drive your car 1,000 miles per month and get 30 miles per gallon without Eco mode, you’ll use 400 gallons of gas per year. If the average price per gallon is $2.50, that means that fuel costs $1,000 a year.
Some cars can drop that number to just over $900 a year if you turn on Eco mode. That’s $100 you can save just by clicking a button.
How Popular/Common is Eco Mode?
Even though Eco mode is fairly new, it is becoming more and more popular very quickly. Before 2008, only a few cars, like the Toyota Prius, had a “Eco” mode, and most of them didn’t do much. Since then, almost every car company has added a model with an Eco mode to their lineup.
Even markets that don’t usually sell “green” cars have added cars with an Eco mode option to their lineups. That’s why new cars like the Chevy Silverado have Eco modes that you can turn on with the push of a button to save more gas.
Can You Drive with Eco Mode on All the Time?
Most drivers can just turn on Eco mode and never think about it again. But there are a few times when you should make sure that Eco mode is turned off. For example, if you’re trying to haul something with your Chevy Silverado while it’s in Eco mode, you’ll find that the option is a big problem.
Many people say that it will hurt your engine or transfer case, but it won’t. Instead, you won’t have enough torque to really get going down the road. You shouldn’t use Eco mode when you’re towing a heavy load, and you should also turn it off when you know you’ll need to speed up quickly.
This can be hard to predict, but examples include trying to merge onto busy freeways and dealing with stop-and-go city traffic during rush hour. You don’t want to be in a situation where you need to speed up quickly to avoid a crash, but you can’t!
Is Eco Mode Bad for Your Car?
Not even close! Eco mode slows down the engine, but this doesn’t hurt the engine or do any other kind of damage to the car. In fact, because your engine isn’t working as hard, you might be keeping parts of your car from wearing out as fast.
But any extra time will probably not make much of a difference. But despite what many people say, running your car in Eco mode is not hard on the transfer case or the rest of the driveline.
Pros of Eco Mode
The main benefit of Eco mode is that it saves you money on gas. Even better, you can quickly turn it off with the click of a button, and when you want to save more fuel, all you have to do is click the button again to turn it on.
Improved fuel efficiency
Turned on and off quickly
Cons of Eco Mode
With Eco mode, you get better gas mileage, but you lose a lot of power. And if you usually speed up quickly, you’ll notice a difference. Also, Eco mode isn’t worth it if you need torque, like when you’re pulling something behind you or trying to get up a steep hill.
Obviously, all you have to do to turn it off is click a button. Eco mode is not something you have to like; if you don’t want to use it, just don’t turn it on!
power output has gone down
lowered the force on the wheels
When Should You Turn Eco Mode on?
Of course, whenever you want to save gas! If you drive your car to and from work every day, you can probably leave Eco mode on all the time. If your car has an Eco mode setting, you should only turn it off in a few situations. Even if you forget, it won’t hurt your car in any way.
When Should You Turn Eco Mode off?
When towing or hauling heavy loads, you should turn off Eco mode. If you add more weight to your car, you’ll want as much torque as possible to the wheels. Eco mode is made to limit this power and torque, which makes it a bad choice if this is how you use your car.
Even though Eco mode might be new to you now, you can be sure that more and more cars will have something like it in the future. That’s because there aren’t many bad things about having an Eco mode option on a car.
You can save money with the click of a button, and if you ever need more power, all you have to do is turn off Eco mode! Eco-mode cars are the way of the future, and you can expect to see them in more and more cars in the future.