2016 Hyundai Elantra - What EXACTLY does ECO mode do?

Messages
1,322
Location
Central Oklahoma
I've completely read through my owners manual and done some Googling with no worthwhile results. So far I like the feel of ECO mode better than non-ECO, and I see no mpg difference either way. I am generally very light on the pedal anyway, and always seem to exceed the EPA ratings on any car I drive when tracking mpgs. I'm sure everyone will say go with what I like, but ultimately I want what is best for the car. But I have no idea what ECO mode actually changes. Does it retard timing, change shift points, or cause any hidden issues? Something else entirely? I love this car, but truly hate how vague Hyundai is about everything on this car. Why does it matter? Well, using my Impala as an example, lets say it has an ECO button (it doesn't). If the ECO button activates AFM (cylinder deactivation) when on, some may like it, some may not. But in my case, AFM caused it to burn a quart of oil every 700 miles. Not good for the car or my wallet. Obviously YMMV from mine, but at least some people know/complain about the hidden problem. So I fixed the problem by tune-disabling AFM. Life is wonderful and I burn no oil at all anymore. If ECO causes any issues at all (even petty ones that long-term may be a nuisance), I'd rather just leave it off. Does ECO mode have any strenghts or weaknesses? Is ECO better in one driving style over another (city/highway, <40mph/>40mph) Hopefully someone can chime in with details. Thanks in advance!
 
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3,500
Location
Occupied Virginia
Sorry, I can't tell you specifically what Eco mode does in your particular car, but generally all it does in the modern cars I've driven that has an Eco feature is smooth out your throttle inputs to help improve gas mileage. It was barely noticeable in my parent's Dodge minivan, but it it turns the touchy gas pedal on my wife's new Civic from an on-off switch to what it should normally feel like. She leaves it on all the time for just that reason. I think these newer cars' systems, like engine tune and CVT transmission tune, all adjust to demand on the fly anyway nowadays so I doubt the Eco button does much more than that, and probably not anything 'drastic' like enabling AFM.
 
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12,888
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
In a nutshell, it dampens the throttle response whether or not the driver can tell the differences between modes(Econ, Norm, Sport). To me, it is definitely something that the drive needs to pay close attention to in order to be able to tell. Also, ECO/ECON modes changes the tranny shift points to shift sooner for fuel economy reasons. And in many vehicles, ECO mode lessens the steering weight where SPORT increases the steering weight. And in more cars still, ECON, NORM or SPORT modes can firm or soften the suspension damping. I certain European vehicles, all of the modes can be more tailored individually between: *Throttle response *Tranny shift points *Steering firmness *Suspension damping *And more; maybe even Brake Pedal Pressure
 
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Messages
5,124
Location
Atlanta,GA
RTFM? Seriously though, it could be a variety of things. My own vehicle has the feature and when in ECO-pro it basically does the following: - Activates "sailing" where it feels like you're coasting in neutral when you let off the accelerator. - Shift points are lowered; (ie, higher gear at lower rpm) and an increase in pedal travel. - A/C compressor operates at reduced capacity to reduce engine drag. I think I gain an extra 5-10 miles per tank. I never use it.
 
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Messages
2,804
Location
St. Louis
I have a 2017 Elantra. In ECO mode it shifts more often to get to the higher gear faster. Steering becomes very light making it super easy to park. A/C is affected. The A/C is so robust with variable compressor do not notice much in that regard. Cooling is not as quick in ECO. Regarding oil burning I have the same concerns. I had a Saturn for years. I did break in per owner's manual which required keeping above 2k RPMs. The SPORT Mode that possible. After 13k miles zero oil consumption. The ECO mode keeps engine at lower RPM's which to me long term does not seem best for the engine. I am trusting Hyundai engineers on this one. Hopefully not the same ones that designed the Theta II engine. smirk I had tons of Pennzoil Platinum 5w-30 and Chevron Supreme 10w-30 in garage so that is my Winter/Summer fill. Also ran 5w-20 PUP. I cannot tell a difference in mileage between those oil. I change the oil every 6-months or at 3,750 miles. That is my strategy to prevent an oil burner.
 
Messages
1,340
Location
ZFW
I did nearly the exact opposite of the recommended break-in procedure in my 2017 Elantra- lots of highway cruising (maintaining steady RPM), in ECO mode, and fast acceleration onto on-ramps. Just about to hit 30k miles and it doesn't burn a single drop of oil over a 7500 mile OCI. As for ECO mode, I would echo MONKEYMAN, it seems to shift much more readily and the steering feels a little lighter (but it's not super noticeable to me).
 
Messages
1,883
Location
NoVA
As said and correct, it makes it shift sooner and more apt to stay in higher gears vs down shifting quickly. Throttle will not respond as quickly. For normal driving its fine and does save gas. If you want the best performance then leave it off. I left it on 99% of the time I rented a Hyundai in FL recently. Was able to get 50mpg on the highway in a newer elantra with ECO on and cruise control.
 
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1,188
Location
WA
My 17 Santa Fe has it, and I never use it. It delays downshifting to the point that, IMO, it is dangerous should you need to accelerate out of trouble.
 
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2,995
Location
The Northeast
In my '18, I find both the ECO and SPORT modes annoying because of the weird revs and artificial steering. This car gets good enough MPG in normal mode that I don't bother putting up with the weirdness of ECO.
 
Messages
25,022
Location
ON, Canada eh?
In the Toyota Highlander it castrates the performance and makes the already bad shifting program worse. It also takes a lot more pedal to get it going than when it's in sport mode. I have driven my sisters Elantra and it makes no perceivable difference so I'm sure some OE's handle it better than others. In the Caravans I have driven the eco mode makes it skip a gear when accelerating and also tries to upshift a lot more.
 
Messages
2,804
Location
St. Louis
Originally Posted by Brigadier
My 17 Santa Fe has it, and I never use it. It delays downshifting to the point that, IMO, it is dangerous should you need to accelerate out of trouble.
I tend to use ECO mode most of the time. I am one push of button away from SPORT mode. I find that useful. Every Sunday I have to get on an on ramp with two lanes of traffic merging the other direction. I just put it in the SPORT mode and it downshifts so I am ready to make my evasive maneuver. I drive a lot of streets where speed limit is 30 or 40 mph. ECO mode seems perfect the way the street lights are timed. When I rushed someone to the ER or pulling out into traffic where every second counts SPORT mode all the way.
 
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12,583
Location
Phoenix, AZ
In my Sonata it make sit shift sooner, lightens up the steering, and turns it anemic. I only use it in parking garages for the light steering. I'm always in Normal mode otherwise.
 

wdn

Messages
1,249
Location
NH
I have the 2010 Elantra. It has an actual ECO button on the dash. So it is either normal, or push the button and it is ECO. ECO mode also lights up the word ECO on the instrument cluster and if you step on the gas hard the light goes out. If you keep a light foot on the accelerator the light stays on all the time. So it is also a feedback system on your use of the accelerator.
 
Messages
2,804
Location
St. Louis
I am sure I am getting a dopamine hit when I use the ECO mode. By coasting when I can and easy throttle I can tell a difference in the screen that displays MPG. I like to guess what the reading will be when I reach my destination.
 
Messages
417
Location
Va
My sister in law has a 2015 or so Sonata. She said her dealership advised not to use ECO mode due to it altering the length of the intake manifold runner or something to that nature. Dealer said it was hard on the engine or intake. That was her relaying the information to me so it might not be accurate. However there could be some truth to that statement.
 
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14,486
Location
...
Originally Posted by FFeng7
My sister in law has a 2015 or so Sonata. She said her dealership advised not to use ECO mode due to it altering the length of the intake manifold runner or something to that nature. Dealer said it was hard on the engine or intake. That was her relaying the information to me so it might not be accurate. However there could be some truth to that statement.
I would love to see that in action.
 
Messages
2,874
Location
California
ECO mode on mine is annoying to me (that too bright flickering green light) - so I keep ECO mode off. Seems to me when I did try it when I bought it, it did change the shift point. If I could only keep the headlight icon and cruise control icons off too (also bright green) would be nice. And the too bright stereo display back light. It's on or I can turn it off - can't adjust its brightness. Driving to work an hour in the dark I wish I could dim these - at least I can turn the stereo back light off, but comes on when any control to it is adjusted. Just seems the darker it is inside, the easier it is to see outside - just easier on my eyeballs.
 
Messages
869
Location
Wash, DC
Originally Posted by Errtt
ECO mode on mine is annoying to me (that too bright flickering green light) - so I keep ECO mode off. Seems to me when I did try it when I bought it, it did change the shift point. If I could only keep the headlight icon and cruise control icons off too (also bright green) would be nice. And the too bright stereo display back light. It's on or I can turn it off - can't adjust its brightness. Driving to work an hour in the dark I wish I could dim these - at least I can turn the stereo back light off, but comes on when any control to it is adjusted. Just seems the darker it is inside, the easier it is to see outside - just easier on my eyeballs.
Are you over 50? Been tested for cataracts? Seriously.
 
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