Does Eco Mode Really Save Gas?

Eco Mode
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Today, eco mode is a common feature in cars, but the question is: does it really make a difference in terms of fuel efficiency?

The debate over whether to switch to hybrid or fully electric cars has become a hot topic in recent years, along with sustainability and the issue of fuel efficiency. That handy eco mode/button serves as the balancing act. On the one hand, there are a few easy strategies to put into practice a more fuel-efficient driving lifestyle. On the other hand, maybe that eco mode or button is the one universally useful magic trick we all need to conserve fuel, cash, and the environment. However, it’s simple to doubt it given that driving in eco mode doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. Just keep reading.

What Is Eco Mode?

Eco Mode is a term that refers to a vehicle’s “economical mode.” When the driver activates Eco Mode, certain aspects of the car will change as they are being driven.  When driving, Eco Mode is typically engaged to maximize the number of miles per gallon or liter of fuel. Technically speaking, Eco Mode hinders the performance of the engine and transmission by slowing down throttle response in an effort to increase fuel efficiency.  As a result, a vehicle’s acceleration is less responsive and uses less fuel. 

What Does Eco Mean On A Car

Numerous additional elements will be incorporated by various automakers into their unique programs. For instance, cylinder deactivation is used in the new Honda Accord models (VCM: Multiple Cylinder Management).

All of these changes will inevitably make the car feel slower to drive. Everything will have a somewhat sluggish feeling; it won’t be completely unresponsive, but it will be less responsive than when your car is in other engine modes. Saving money on fuel comes with a price.

Honda calls its Eco Mode setting “ECON“. In essence, it’s the same thing; Honda’s name is just a different way of saying it.

Some cars from Kia/Hyundai call the setting “Active ECO” – many still call it Eco Mode, though.

Other than that, “Eco Mode” is a reasonably unanimously used term across the automotive industry.

What Does Eco Mode Do

  • Throttle responsiveness – the throttle pedal (also known as the accelerator or gas pedal) controls how much air travels into the engine at any given moment. If it helps, imagine it as bellows for a fire. The combustion reaction will be more potent the more air that enters. The throttle plate was previously controlled by a wire; today, a position sensor (TPS) is used. While still taking this information into account, the ECU slightly reduces the response time. You won’t need to use as much fuel to accelerate the car if the throttle opens more slowly.
  • Transmission shift pattern – for maximum fuel economy, the transmission should be in the highest gear logistically available at any given moment. Additionally, it ought to shift gears as infrequently as possible. The car may feel as though it is having more difficulty than usual with basic tasks because there is less going on here as well. In any case, fuel will be saved.
  • Fuel quantities and air-to-fuel ratio – when you need to accelerate hard (for example), your air-to-fuel ratio becomes richer. In other words, there is more fuel than is ideal for every unit of air. This occurs as a result of the engine producing more power with richer mixtures. The environment is also negatively impacted, and it is less efficient. Depending on your driving conditions, activating Eco Mode will maintain the air-to-fuel ratio as low as possible.
  • Air conditioning and electrical systems – by essentially decreasing the effectiveness of the AC and less significant electrical components (such as the interior lights, heated windshield, radio, stereo, etc.), the car will have less to power. As a result, the fuel it is burning is converted into power and sent to the wheels more effectively.

Is Continuous Use Of Eco Mode Acceptable?

Without a doubt! You can drive in Eco Mode at all times without having to worry, though you might experience some performance deterioration while doing so. Nothing will go wrong with the engine, require more maintenance, or cause any other new issues.

Vehicles with Eco Mode were specifically created by the manufacturer to run flawlessly when it was activated. You don’t have to be concerned about anything firing incorrectly and causing damage because all of the car electronics adjust in accordance with the new engine and transmission outputs.

In fact, it’s advised to always drive in Eco Mode unless you’re in a situation where you need the extra power and responsiveness.

Eco Mode Vs Normal Mode

As much as I wish I had the resources to do it, this wasn’t a test confirmed in conditions akin to those of a scientific laboratory. (One more test track, please?) As a result, the results aren’t always exact and would probably differ if they were repeated.

But I found some interesting things.

The Eco Mode on the Volkswagen Golf TSI Bluemotion improves fuel economy “by optimizing your engine and gearbox performance to save fuel.” It lessens the air conditioning system’s power consumption as well.

In my experiment, I traveled in a Golf with a companion 10 miles from Lichfield to Sutton Coldfield along the A38, and then we drove the same route back. A good mix of fast, open roads and more congested city driving can be found on this route.

I don’t currently have an OBD plugin, but they are available. They monitor your car’s condition and generate a variety of odd and fascinating graphs. I was therefore limited to using the car’s onboard “average trip mpg” calculator.

To find out the average mpg for that trip, it was decided to drive to Sutton. In Normal Mode, we would carry out that action. Then, on the way back, we would switch the car to Eco Mode to observe what happened to its average mpg. If the average mpg increased, it meant that the trip had been more economical in Eco Mode than Normal Mode. Naturally, the opposite would be true as well.

Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go as planned, and the final two miles of the return trip were delayed by a traffic jam, adding about 30 minutes to the travel time. However, the Golf has a stop/start system installed, so we (unintentionally but unavoidably) included that in the experiment.

Eco Mode

When Is Eco Mode Appropriate?

Whenever possible, you should use Eco Mode to conserve fuel. Eco Mode shouldn’t be used, though, whenever you think you might need more performance because it affects your car’s performance.

This means you should think about leaving Eco Mode off when traveling on highways and other congested roads. Getting a little more gas might be necessary, but you don’t want to be unable to accelerate when you need to in order to avoid an accident.

Driving in Eco Mode has a little disadvantage in urban areas, however. It’s a lot of stop-and-go traffic, so you don’t need to accelerate quickly. It’s the ideal chance to experiment with increasing your fuel efficiency without making any sacrifices!

So when should you use Eco Mode? whenever you feel fine with your car having a little less power.

Which Occasions Are Unsuitable For Eco Mode?

Your fuel economy will increase with eco mode, but performance will suffer. The best option may be to switch to another mode if you want your car to operate at its best. Eco mode might not be the best choice if you specifically want powerful acceleration. Do not forget that you can use this setting whenever you want. You are not required to use Eco mode the entire way. It’s acceptable to drive in Comfort or Sport mode for a portion of the time and use Eco for the remainder.

Furthermore, if you’re driving in bad weather, this may not always be the mode you want to use. Many vehicles with drive modes have a Snow mode for when traction is crucial and the road conditions are bad. Off-road driving is not best done in eco mode. Use the off-road modes on your vehicle if it has them when you leave the pavement for better traction and control in off-road terrain.

Is Eco Mode Effective In Saving Gas?

Many people believe that changing your driving habits will produce similar results to using Eco Mode. While it’s possible to increase gas mileage by accelerating more slowly and lowering your top speeds, Eco Mode will enable you to do so even more effectively.

There is no denying that Eco Mode increases your fuel economy, even though the precise amount of fuel saved by using Eco Mode varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. It would be beneficial if you understood that Eco Mode won’t turn your car from a 20 MPG monster to a 45 MPG hybrid with the push of a button.

In actuality, Eco Mode only improves your fuel economy by about 5%. Therefore, if you spend $200 per month on gas, you can anticipate saving $10 per month. Yes, it works; no, there are no appreciable cost savings.

Last but not least, if you drive in a way that uses more fuel than necessary, you’ll probably see even bigger savings at the pump. This is because driving more sustainably can reduce your fuel consumption by up to 24 percent and Eco Mode can help you become more conscious of your driving habits. The performance difference will likely be more apparent to you than to other drivers, though.

Eco Mode is a great way to save money at the gas pump and release a little less CO2 into the atmosphere, even though it may not be the most exciting feature of the car.

Tips For Driving In Eco Mode

The time has come to maximize the use of Eco Mode now that you are aware of what it is. Take a look at some pointers to improve your Eco Mode driving! 

Before Your Drive

  • Ensure that your tires are inflated properly. Tires that are properly inflated can last longer than those that are not. Also possible is a 3% increase in gas mileage. 
  • Use motor oil that is of the recommended grade for your particulate vehicle. You can inquire with your dealer or just let the experts handle the oil changes. Using the right motor oil will increase your car’s gas mileage by more than 1%! Despite not seem like much, it adds up quickly! 
  • Ensure that your engine is tuned up correctly. You do not desire a vehicle with a failed emissions test.
  • Review and check your air filters. Usually, an oil change includes this. Your car’s gas mileage could increase by up to 10% with the replacement of dirty or clogged air filters! 

When You’re Driving

  • First of all, you shouldn’t be speeding in the first place, so don’t. Second, using Eco Mode is pointless if you are speeding. Over 60 mph, gas mileage decreases significantly. As a result, you should plan on spending an extra 10 cents per gallon of gas for every 5 mph over 60. “Stop!” is what your wallet is requesting. Slow down!” 
  • Driving enraged is not the solution. Yes, we have all encountered individuals who drive erratically and behave poorly. Your gas mileage will decrease by over 33% if you drive aggressively. Don’t chase someone just to irritate them. Leave the swerving in and out of the traffic behind. Maintain composure and keep your car. 
  • Leave the excessive idling alone. The miles per gallon for this are 0. In general, larger engines use more gas when they are idle than do smaller engines.
  • Use cruise control. By putting your car on cruise control, you can maintain a constant speed while also saving gas. 


A car’s Eco Mode is an awesome feature to have. You keep your car in good condition while saving money. Your car’s Eco Mode will be the feature you frequently use for many of your outings, keeping patience, common sense, and peace at the forefront. 

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