Did you notice the green button in your Honda on your dashboard, but you are not sure what happens when you activate it?
We very often receive these questions from Honda owners as well as from other car brand owners.
So I decided to write about the function of this mysterious button and when you should use it.
We’ll start with some necessary information about the Econ button, and further down in the article, you”ll find extensive details about which functions of your car are changed by this button and how you can use it most efficiently.
What is the Honda Econ Button?
These days, all major car manufacturers are on the hunt for the best car in terms of efficient fuel consumption and environmental impact. Every day they come up with new features and ways to reduce fuel consumption. That’s why Honda has decided to install this button in their cars.
You can often find the Econ button in Honda Civic, Accord, CR-V & Odyssey, but also in other Honda models. It is a relatively new function and you will not find it in older Honda models.
As you might suspect, the Honda Econ button influences and reduces fuel consumption, which has a long-term positive effect on the environment. But how does it affect fuel consumption and when should you use it? Let us find out!
When you activate the Honda Econ button, many things in your car’s electrical system are affected, even if you cannot see it. Your car has several different ECUs for each function of your car, and these can control almost every part in your car.
Here are some of the functions that the Honda Econ button affects:
1. Fuel Injection
The engine control unit always controls how much fuel it injects into the engine. However, to be able to function in all different climates and driving styles, there is always a small margin to make the car even more efficient. If you want your car to be as fuel-efficient as possible, you will most likely need the best performance from your car.
This is the margin that the engine control unit can reduce and inject less fuel into the engine, resulting in better fuel economy.
2. Air conditioner
Even if you are not thinking about it, the air conditioning system consumes a lot of energy when you are driving your car. The AC compressor, blower and other parts of the air conditioner need the energy to work. To generate enough energy for these functions, the engine has to work harder to deliver it to the AC compressor using the alternator and the serpentine belt. This leads to a higher fuel consumption to generate this energy.
By reducing the effect of the air conditioning system, you can save a lot of energy and thus reduce fuel consumption. This is a function on which the Econ button acts.
3. Throttle Response
When you drive a car, it is easy to use a little too much fuel when you are not using it. Nowadays you have no throttle cable between your pedal and the throttle valve. These things are controlled by the engine control units, which read the value from your pedal and send it to your throttle valve.
For this reason, the engine control unit can make the throttle less sensitive and reduce the opening of the throttle valve. This saves a lot of fuel if you only press the accelerator pedal when you need to.
4. Transmission Gear Shifting
If you have an automatic transmission, the Econ button also affects the gear changes for you. The transmission control units feel all parameters such as speed and engine RPM to know when it’s time to change gears.
If you shift gears earlier than usual, you can keep engine RPM low and save fuel. This will, of course, affect engine performance, as you will often need a higher RPM to achieve high engine performance.
5. Cruise Control
If you have the cruise control function in your car You probably know that it does all the work for you, including shifting gears if you have an automatic transmission. Again, if you drive with cruise control, the ECON button ensures that the car doesn’t downshift as early as normal to save fuel.
When you shouldn’t use the Honda Econ Button
Even though the Econ function is fantastic, there are some situations where you should not use this button. If you use the button under these conditions and circumstances, it may give the opposite result and increase fuel consumption.
On hot days:As the Econ button affects the air conditioning, you may not want to use it on hot days as it will reduce the air conditioning. In this case, it can have the opposite effect and give you higher fuel consumption and higher temperatures in the cab.
Highway Entries:As we discussed, the ECON button will reduce your car’s performance. To get safely onto the motorway, you want to reach the speed as quickly as possible. In these situations you want the extra power that the ECON button removes.
Overtaking: The same principle applies here. To overtake safely, you want to make sure that your car has as much power as possible. Activating the Econ button in these situations can be dangerous for you.
Steep hills: When you are driving up steep hills, you want the gearbox to be able to shift down at the right moments and you want the highest performance. If you have activated the Econ button here, this can lead to higher fuel consumption and can be dangerous.
In conclusion, the Honda Econ button is a great function if you know when to use it. If you are not aware of the function of the switch, it can have the opposite effect, which leads to higher fuel consumption and can put you in dangerous situations.
If you have further questions about the Honda Econ button, please leave a comment below and I will answer your questions as soon as possible.
Hi, I’m Magnus, the owner and the writer of Mechanic Base. I have been working with cars for 10 years, specialized in diagnostics and troubleshooting. I created this blog because I was tired of finding false information on the web while looking for repair information. I hope you enjoy my content!