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Fuel Economy Technology Systems: Eco Mode

Eco mode button on a 2016 Honda CR-V.
Eco mode button on a 2016 Honda CR-V.

Tightening regulations on fuel economy along with rising awareness about pollution have influenced vehicle design and function in recent years. However, most consumers are not willing to sacrifice comfort, vehicle size, or power, so auto makers needed to use different methods to boost fuel economy. For the most part, aerodynamics can be directly related to fuel efficiency. The smoother air flows over the vehicle, the less power is required to make the vehicle move, leading to higher fuel economy. Unfortunately, a vehicle that has excellent aerodynamics may not be a functional vehicle for everyday consumers. So, other measures needed to be taken. In this series we’ll break down some of the methods used to boost aerodynamics and fuel economy along with any special cautions on how to repair them. Let’s check out Eco Mode.

On some vehicles, Eco Mode restricts the use of comfort and convenience features that could take power away from the engine. When less power is being drawn from the engine to run HVAC systems and producing electricity for other systems, it allows for more efficient fuel use. Some of the features that eco mode may limit are: HVAC, cruise control, and heated seats. This system may also affect the transmission and engine performance. If a customer enters a service department for issues within the before mentioned items and systems, the technician should check if the eco mode is engaged. Before servicing the eco mode system, reference the service manual for specific procedures or tests.

Always research repair procedures to make sure that all repairs are being performed according to the manufacturer. If these systems are not properly functioning after a collision, the vehicles fuel economy will be sacrificed, which leads to an unsatisfied customer. Though this system may not pose a safety concern, it will cause a problem with fuel efficiency, emissions, and customer satisfaction.