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Tested the ECO button to see if it really did anything. Drove the entire length of Everglades National Park, about 49 miles, pulling my boat, 55 mph with cruise control on. No traffic so no slowing down or speeding up - straight shot at 55 MPH. Then at the end of the day came back with ECO off under same parameters. Results:

ECO on - 18.1 MPG
ECO off - 18.3 MPG (actually better than ECO on)

So, tell me again, what does ECO do and what am I missing here?

Thanks.
 

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Headwind vs tailwind possibly? Less gas in both the truck and boat on the way back? What road specifically? I've spent a lot of time in the areas of monument lake, bear island, loop road, Indian reservations, etc. If you did this test today most likely it was the variables I mentioned.
What I understand the eco mode is a function of calculated load limiting and a lower duty cycle of the AC compressor.
 

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Two posts that explain what it does and why it likely didn't really enter into your 'steady-state test' ....

ECON mode doesn't do anything for steady-state cruising. It encourages efficient driving by reducing the throttle gain between 10% and 80% of accelerator pedal position (throttle response when the accelerator pedal position is below 10% and above 80% remain the same). It also allows for larger speed variations in the cruise control and wider temperature swings in the climate control. That's it. There are no magical changes to the engine or transmission that make either more efficient. Instead, ECON mode encourages the driver to drive more efficient by changing the way the vehicle responds to driver input.

ECON mode stays where you leave it. It doesn't default to a particular state each time the vehicle is restarted.

The reason fuel economy ratings do not reflect the use of ECON mode is because...well...maybe it doesn't actually help. Chew on that for a while. :) If Honda could gain even a fraction of MPG of improvement by using ECON mode, then it would not only default to "on", but it couldn't be turned off.


IMO / IME the ECON button effect is really a detriment (to vehicle performance / response / ACC behavior) when trailer towing, especially if encountering even the slightest hills or traffic speed variations.

Myself, I toggled it Off, removed it from the dash (zip-tied it behind), and use that hole for something useful (my RedArc trailer-brake controller knob) (y) :ROFLMAO:
 

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Honda ECON Button works by changing how your throttle response, cruise control, air condition and transmission works.

  • The throttle response is affected in the middle range. The beginning and end range of the throttle response is not effected. Therefore the difference will be felt at highway speeds. The gas pedal will feel a little softer reducing acceleration but gaining better gas milage.
  • While in cruise control with the ECON button on the transmission won’t shift down as quickly. Therefore while driving up a hill in cruise control the vehicle may decrease in speed until the vehicle reaches the crest of thill in order to save gas.
  • The ECON button also effects the air conditioner by turning the compressor on and off more frequently which will save fuel. The down fall is that the vehicle will take much longer to cool down on a hot humid day.
  • Last but not least the transmission changes the shift points in order to be more fuel efficient while in ECON Mode.
  • Gentler throttle – When you press the gas pedal, the throttle will open more slowly in order to use less gas.
  • More efficient shifting pattern – In vehicles with an automatic transmission, the car will shift into higher gears sooner than in normal driving mode. In models with a manual transmission, activating Eco mode will make the vehicle’s display screen indicate when to shift gears for maximum efficiency.
  • More efficient air conditioning – In Eco mode, your car will save on power by limiting how long the air conditioner will run.
 

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Tested the ECO button to see if it really did anything. Drove the entire length of Everglades National Park, about 49 miles, pulling my boat, 55 mph with cruise control on. No traffic so no slowing down or speeding up - straight shot at 55 MPH. Then at the end of the day came back with ECO off under same parameters. Results:

ECO on - 18.1 MPG
ECO off - 18.3 MPG (actually better than ECO on)

So, tell me again, what does ECO do and what am I missing here?

Thanks.
I'm currently doing a long term test on Eco on vs. Eco off. I flipped a coin when I bought the RL 6 month ago and Eco off won. So after a full year I will turn Eco on and drive another full year. (If I can stand it.) However I drove my previous ride with Eco on all the time and it never bothered me.
 

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We are not sure yet whether Econ mode actually saves us on fuel or not, but I am finding that I am preferring to have it on so to "soften" the initial accelleration from a stop, especially in stop-n-go traffic. For those times that I do want that instant acceleration, even in Econ mode, mashing the accelerator does a pretty good job, but it is just a simple push of a button I can have available all that it can give. (Honestly, this is where a clutch would actually by my ultimate choice, much more controllable!)

Bill
 

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We are not sure yet whether Econ mode actually saves us on fuel or not, but I am finding that I am preferring to have it on so to "soften" the initial accelleration from a stop, especially in stop-n-go traffic. For those times that I do want that instant acceleration, even in Econ mode, mashing the accelerator does a pretty good job, but it is just a simple push of a button I can have available all that it can give. (Honestly, this is where a clutch would actually by my ultimate choice, much more controllable!)

Bill
My spouse keeps Econ on in her CR-V for the same reason. She likes a softer pedal.
 

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We are not sure yet whether Econ mode actually saves us on fuel or not, but I am finding that I am preferring to have it on so to "soften" the initial accelleration from a stop, especially in stop-n-go traffic.
It's swell that ECON works to make driving easier for you and your wife.

I'd offer that a softer foot can accomplish the same thing insofar as initial rate of acceleration. Maybe an acquired skill, 'mashing' may be more of a natural ability (?)

6 of one …..

no worries :)
 

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Does the Econ button activate the cylinder deactivation more often or sooner. If that's the case I will never use it.
No. ECON mode has no direct effect whatsoever on VCM operation. The engine will operate on three cylinders under light loads at steady speeds whether ECON mode is on or off.
 

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It hasn't really been practical for me to truly test this but . . .My overall MPG experience with my GenIs seems to be a bit counter intuitive. Best MPG is acheived, not with a soft foot but rather quickly reaching an efficient traveling speed. The theory goes that babying the throttle only keeps the Ridge in its less efficient state longer; it actually uses less gas to quickly get it to cruising speed.

Of course if you are expecting to have to come to a stop for traffic or at the next traffic light in a few moments then above doesn't hold true.
 

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First year, almost never used Econ, got 22 mpg overall. Year two, used Econ almost all the time, got 24 mpg. I don't tow. Mostly local, some highway. You get used to it. If you are depending on the extra zip to avoid accidents, you're not a good driver. If you like the extra thrill, maybe a Ridgeline isn't for you, get a V8 truck. Saved a few hundred bucks, a bit less CO2 emissions, all good.
 
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