How Does Honda ECON Mode Work?

When you buy a Honda vehicle, you’re well on your way to enjoying a fuel-efficient ownership experience. When you get in the driver’s seat, though, one little button might stand out to you. It’s just four letters – E-C-O-N. Press it, and it turns on ECON Mode. But what does that do for you? 

What ECON Mode Does

First, you need to know what happens when you press your Honda ECON button. It’s not magic, nor do little elves pull wires or rotate tiny gears under the hood. It’s all based on your powertrain’s computer settings.  By pressing the ECON button, your engine’s control module adjusts throttle response, cruise control, air conditioner, and transmission response to reduce the effort your engine needs to put out. The lower the strain on your powertrain, the better your fuel economy. And who doesn’t want to save fuel costs?

Why Use ECON Mode?

Honda models like the Honda Civic, Honda Pilot, and even the Honda Odyssey have notoriously low fuel consumption ratings. Why would you choose to use ECON model anyway? Whether your car has a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated engine, or the powerful 3.5-liter V6, you’re seldom pressing the accelerator pedal to the floor. Your air condition system rarely needs its full capacity to cool you. Since you aren’t using your Honda car, truck, or SUV’s peak performance anyway, why not save on gas when you can? ECON mode is the way to do it without changing any of your driving habits.    Here’s what you can expect. 
  • Midrange throttle response is less spirited, like at highway speeds. 
  • When the cruise control is set, the transmission won’t downshift as soon. That’s most noticeable when you’re climbing a hill or overpass, so your car might slow down slightly. 
  • The air conditioning system may take longer to cool you down, or may not achieve full cooling capacity. 
  • The transmission shift points are adjusted to be more fuel efficient. 
  If you decide that you’d prefer to take full advantage of your Honda’s performance, go for it! Turn off ECON Mode and you’re off to the races (although there really isn’t much difference!)   Wondering which model year has ECON Mode, or want to find a new car from your local Honda dealer? In Kansas City, MO, the Jay Wolfe Honda dealership is always well stocked with popular models to choose from.