That's a very good explanation.ECON mode does not improve fuel economy by any measurable amount. If it did, it would default to "on" every time you started the vehicle and its operation would be required during EPA testing.
ECON mode works by encouraging relaxed driving by "dampening" throttle response within a wide band from just off idle to just before wide-open throttle. Although it doesn't make any mechanical changes, it reduces part-throttle response to make the vehicle feel less powerful. When a vehicle feels less powerful, you tend to drive more gently which saves fuel. With ECON off, the vehicle feels more responsive and powerful which encourages quick starts, fast driving, and quick stops which reduces fuel economy.
Technically what happens you turn ECON mode on is:
- The throttle becomes less responsive to accelerator pedal input within a band. However, wide-open throttle is still wide-open throttle.
- The HVAC fan speed is slightly reduced, recirculation mode is used more often, and the cabin temperature is allowed to vary more.
- The cruise control becomes less aggressive - the vehicle will lose more speed going uphill and gain more speed going downhill.
That's it - no magic going on. It's basically a "feel good" button. Many drivers report lower fuel economy by using ECON mode. I notice no difference in my CR-V's fuel economy. I get 33 MPG driving to work every day with it on or off. Personally, I keep ECON mode on for the simple fact that it makes the throttle less "touchy".
The only hardware involved is a momentary pushbutton switch and a bit of wire - hardly anything that's likely to fail. The rest of the system is all software running on hardware that already exists.It sounds like something else to malfunction with no appreciable payback.
Correct - which is why it frustrates me so that Honda does not provide an equivalent button to let us turn off VCM.The only hardware involved is a momentary pushbutton switch and a bit of wire - hardly anything that's likely to fail. The rest of the system is all software running on hardware that already exists.
Unlike ECON mode, VCM actually does save fuel and therefore must be operational at all times as a function of the EPA estimates. If VCM could be disabled by the driver with the press of a button, the vehicle would have to be tested by the EPA with the feature off and Honda could no longer claim "best in class" fuel economy. There is currently no system in place for separate sets of EPA estimates with and without fuel saving technologies enabled and disabled.Correct - which is why it frustrates me so that Honda does not provide an equivalent button to let us turn off VCM.
But on a positive note, the Econ buttons are usually made so that produce a nice purty green color that soothes the savage breast in heavy traffic. >
In the "good ol' days" we did this by adjusting the transmission's throttle valve linkage on the side of the carburetor. My, how things have changed!Our school buses have an ECON switch on them with the Allison transmissions and what it does is change the shift rpms, lower in econ.