ECO mode, What does it really do?

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    speedrcer1
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    Posts: 13
    Location: Long Island, NY
    Current Car: 2013 Sonata 2.0T Limited

    ECO mode, What does it really do?

    Post by speedrcer1 on 1/27/2011, 7:33 pm

    Hey all!
    Have not really been able to open up my 2 week old baby but hope to.
    (more snow than the turbo can handle!)

    So, just what does the little eco mode button do? I read that the green light on the dash is supposed to light when you are driving economiclly. Seems to me it does more than that. It never goes out when you press the buton.

    What says you?
    Question

    RenoF250
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    Posts: 28
    Location: Sierra Foothills, CA

    Re: ECO mode, What does it really do?

    Post by RenoF250 on 1/28/2011, 6:39 pm

    The ECO light is on whenever the button is on. The book says it works with the engine, transmission, and A/C to improve fuel economy. It seems to try to keep it in the highest gear possible and I assume it turns off the A/C when the engine is under load. It shuts of in sport mode or when you mash the throttle.

    1NICEBRO
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    Posts: 83
    Location: Fayetteville, NC
    Current Car: 2012 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T

    Re: ECO mode, What does it really do?

    Post by 1NICEBRO on 2/26/2011, 12:24 am

    I haven't noticed any change in the status of ECO regardless of what I do. If I drive aggressively it's still on. I have noticed when I turn it off the accelerator is more responsive to my input. When in ECO it's slow to respond and makes me mad sometimes....lol


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    grajr1952
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    Location: Alabama

    Active ECO

    Post by grajr1952 on 4/28/2011, 7:09 pm

    The 2011 Sonata has an active ECO system. It changes the operating characteristics of the ECU / PCM to provide improved fuel economy. I also own a 2011 Elantra Limited, my wife's ride, and the ECO system in it is only an advisory system. It uses the ECO light to indicate when you are driving economically or not. It makes no changes to the ECU / PCM. I hope this clears things up a little.

    mjack
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    Posts: 124
    Location: Raleigh,NC
    Current Car: Hyundai Sonata SE 2.0T 2011 Nav/Roof Iridesce

    Re: ECO mode, What does it really do?

    Post by mjack on 4/30/2011, 5:44 pm

    grajr1952 is right and the characteristic I pay most attention to is the transmission shift patterns. I particularly look to be at 47 mph which is where your shift to 6th gear happens. Lowest RPM produces greatest fuel economy. You still can short shift with paddle shift to get to highest gear possible as fast as possible (47mph to get 6th). The ECO mode also will
    try to hold the higher gear and not downshift unless it absoultely has to. You might notice the conflict as it doesn't always remain seamlessly smooth when at the edge of maximization. I'm sure the engine is restricting so it can accomodate the transmission wanting to keep the higher gear and forces more throttle to overide. You can significantly increase avg mpg if you try, Mickey

    worldflyer
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    Location: Las Vegas, NV USA
    Current Car: Phantom Black 2011 Sonata SE 2.0T

    Re: ECO mode, What does it really do?

    Post by worldflyer on 5/6/2011, 10:56 am

    Not a big fan of eco mode, I have left it off. It would probably help the mileage but I don't like the sluggish feel.

    On a side note, I wonder if the eco button on the left side dash is unique to the Turbo? I've seen dash pics of the 2.4L and the location of the button is a blank. Like in this picture

    http://www.velocityshow.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/2011-Hyundai-Sonata-Interior.jpg

    GN_Mike
    New Member

    Posts: 3
    Location: Chicago, IL
    Current Car: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T

    Re: ECO mode, What does it really do?

    Post by GN_Mike on 5/16/2011, 2:15 pm

    I believe the Active ECO Mode, which actually does something in the calibration of the transmission, throttle, and A/C, is unique to the 2.0T models. I believe the 2.4L Sonatas only have an "ECO gage", which essentially tells you when you're driving economically and when you're not.

    Here is what I posted on another forum regarding the ECO mode button in our cars.

    From a recovering automotive powertrain engineer...

    The "ECO" buttons on most cars do essentially two things:

    1. Change the transmission shift points to better optimize fuel economy at the expense of drivability. In other words, the transmission will usually shift sooner to keep RPM's down.
    2. For cars with electronic throttle control (such as the Sonata), change the calibration of the gas pedal. Generally, in ECO mode, you have to push the gas pedal down farther to open the throttle the same amount. This encourages drivers to leave the throttle more closed and keep out of power levels that require fuel enrichment. However, even with the ECO button on, the throttle will still open all the way if you floor it. Here's a neat trick I noticed in my 2.0T - I had the ECO button on, and I held the gas pedal at a position that kept the car at a steady 70mph. I then turned off the ECO button. The car immediately started to accelerate, because the gas pedal calibration changed and opened the throttle wider (even though I hadn't moved the gas pedal).

    Some manufacturers will also play around a bit with the air conditioning settings to squeeze out a few more fractions of MPG at the expense of A/C performance. Not sure if the Sonata does this or not. Depending on the manufacturer, there may be other minor engine calibration tweaks as well. However, Items 1 and 2 above are the big ones.

    Basically, for stop-and-go city driving, the ECO button will make some difference in MPG for most drivers. If you are just rolling down the highway with the cruise control on, it won't make any difference in MPG.

    Hope this helps...


    What I would also say is that it's likely that ECO Mode results in less aggressive settings for the wastegate on our turbocharged cars. In other words, the ECU might hold the wastegate open more to prevent spooling of the turbo at low throttle positions to save fuel. Not sure about this, but l'm guessing it does.

    Regards,



    Last edited by GN_Mike on 5/16/2011, 2:19 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added signature)


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    2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T (Daily Driver)
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    JaSonata
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    Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
    Current Car: 2011 Sonata 2.0T Limited

    Re: ECO mode, What does it really do?

    Post by JaSonata on 5/19/2011, 1:04 pm

    I played with the "ECO" button a few times, and I didn't happen to notice any improvement in the milage. I didn't alter the way I drive (spirited mostly) but I guess if you drive easy it could offer benefits

    speedrcer1
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    Posts: 13
    Location: Long Island, NY
    Current Car: 2013 Sonata 2.0T Limited

    Re: ECO mode, What does it really do?

    Post by speedrcer1 on 5/27/2011, 7:55 pm

    Thanks for all the replies.
    My intial post was weeks after taking delivery.
    Now months later I love the feature. The forced fuel economy the ECO delivers is great. It feels like it cuts HP by more than half. Unless you mash the throttle and it lets the horses out.
    And when I feel like playing you just swtch it off and bang, an instant 100 HP.

    mjack
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    Posts: 124
    Location: Raleigh,NC
    Current Car: Hyundai Sonata SE 2.0T 2011 Nav/Roof Iridesce

    Limited advantages of ECO mode for some drivers

    Post by mjack on 5/27/2011, 9:09 pm

    Almost a month ago I commented on the effects of the ECO mode and economy. My opinion mostly is the same with a few changes. First I do not believe the engine power is changed at all, but the throttle response and travel making the amount of gas pedal movement greater to increase power. I also believe that the driver can mitigate and emulate the ECO mode by conservative demands on the power available. I do not use the ECO mode at all any longer. With proper technique it is posible to achieve very similiar economy along with much smoother transmission operation. Without the ECO mode on, the performance is more naturally transitioned and the overall drive is far superior and the feel is significantly better. With full power demands there is no difference in the engine power produced, but there is a great deal of change in the transmission behavior that will continually try to operate in the highest gear and hence the lowest rpm. The driver can do the same thing by using the least amount of throttle to go the desired speed including using the paddle/sport shift to get to the higher gear at a slightly lower rpm. The driver can, although unsafe, may use neutral to coast downhill or coasting at lower rpm while slowing down for traffic. The limited advantages of fuel savings are probably not worth the effort of going past a conservative fuel saving habit of operation. The vehicle drives much better without the ECO mode and should not result in a significant fuel usage increase. For some people it might have a more significant fuel usage level and might be worth using.

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