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What Does Econ Mode Do?

by Louise W. Rice

One thing most car users dread is fueling up the tank. Gas prices are always changing and it can put a toll on your wallet.

Luckily, advanced car tech has allowed some cars, most famously the Honda, to have fuel-saving features. You can easily access this feature with a click on the Econ mode button.

Econ mode helps conserve several fuel-consuming car functions such as air conditioning, cruise control, and more.

Stick around for more info on what Econ mode is, what it does, how it saves fuel, and the best time to use it.

What is Econ Mode?

With unstable gas prices, I usually find myself wishing for some feature to save my car’s fuel. Thanks to some good ol’ car engineering, vehicles now have Econ mode, also known as, energy-saving mode.

This mode allows for a more efficient distribution of fuel consumption. In other words, your car can handle more miles. Econ mode essentially affects the car’s power by reducing it. That way, your car won’t be drinking up too much gas.

The energy-saving feature is most commonly found in the Honda line. All you have to do to activate it is press the green “Econ Mode” button in the center console and you’re in business.

What Does Econ Mode Do?

You pressed the Econ Mode button, now what? Well, you get to experience a safe fuel-conserving journey in your car. Econ mode works on several car systems to save energy, rather than optimizing for peak performance.

Check out which parts would be affected below.

Air Conditioner

Did you know that you can use up to 20% of your fuel on air conditioning alone? During the summer months, I find it difficult to be frugal when the glaring sun is turning my car into a sauna. That can take a toll on fuel savings.

When using Econ mode, the air compressor will turn the air conditioner on and off. This will keep fuel consumption to a minimum.

Cruise Control

While you’re on a long highway, you might wish to activate cruise control, but what would happen if you activate Econ mode simultaneously?

It would only mean that the car won’t be downshifting as much to keep the same speed. By doing this, your car won’t suck up as much fuel.


The transmission controls the engine’s power output to the car’s wheels. As a general rule, the faster your car’s engine turns, the more fuel it’ll use.

Econ mode lessens those turns, otherwise known as Revolutions Per Minute (RPM). It’ll mainly affect the car’s power output by reducing it to save energy.


If you’re turning Econ mode on, then we suggest you don’t reenact a speed race from Fast and Furious. You’ll want to keep your speed steady. The throttle response in Econ mode will keep your acceleration levels lower to use less fuel.

When Should You Use Econ Mode?

Before you press that green button on your center console, you should know when to use it on the road. The best part is that you can use it every day if you want to.

If you happen to be on a highway cruising at a steady speed, Econ mode can be put to good use. In this instance, you can activate your cruise control.

If the weather’s relatively bearable and you don’t need the air conditioning, then you can crack the window open and push the Econ mode button.

Next, you might want to check the road conditions. You want to make sure the road is flat and even so you don’t exert too much strain on your engine.

With those conditions in mind, you’ll be using Econ mode safely and reducing any risk of damage.

When Not to Use Econ Mode

Now that you know when you can use it, there are also times when we don’t recommend turning on Econ mode.

If you’re on a particularly steep incline or winding road, you’ll want to prioritize your car’s performance rather than energy saving.

On an exceptionally hot or cold day, you might need to get as much air conditioning in the car as possible. Econ mode would just slow the cooling or heating process down.

Since you’ll be decreasing some transmission output, you might want to think twice about towing. Another instance where you want to avoid Econ mode is when you’re speeding up to pass other cars.

Does Econ Mode Save Fuel?

Overall, Econ mode does help in saving fuel. The car is operating at less power, acceleration, and air conditioning when using the energy-saving mode. Statistically, it can raise your fuel economy by approximately five to seven percent.

Nevertheless, you might achieve similar fuel-saving results if you drive sensibly. If you don’t press down the gas pedal too roughly, reduce your air conditioning use, and drive at a steady pace, then you won’t have too much to worry about.

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