Stupid question, but...how does ECO mode help?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by a-dogg, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. a-dogg

    a-dogg Junior Member

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    So I just got a 2011 prius IV 2 weeks ago and thought I'd been in ECO mode all the time until I pressed the button and saw "ECO mode" light up on the dash. The manual's very thin on this, and a search around here didn't pull anything up...

    Can anyone advise exactly what the differences are between driving in ECO mode and out of it (not in power or EV modes)?

    Weird -- I found the priuschat posts that answered this by via google.com, but when I searched from within the forums, it pulled up nothing.
     
  2. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    Alright, a 2011 owner. Welcome aboard!

    There are many threads about ECO mode. I will say I saw about a 2 mpg improvement over normal in the summer time.
     
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    I'm a very green Prius owner as well. I understand setting the car to ECO mode changes the behaviour of the aircondition in some way, aiming to improve mileage. And maybe a few other things?

    Apart from that, my main impression is it makes the gas pedal less responsive. I've been leaving the car in ECO mode constantly for the last few weeks, figuring to give it a decent try.

    As far as the ECO mode icon in the middle of the fuel efficiency bar display, I don't see that sub'ing for having it in ECO mode. That icon is more-or-less always on, until you push the bar into the power zone.
     
  4. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I do not own a Gen III but this is what I think I understand:

    1) it remaps the throttle pedal so that you have a longer push to mid throttle, so you can fine tune the pedal position easier.

    2) it allows the A/C to drift more, so you are not running it as often.
     
  5. a-dogg

    a-dogg Junior Member

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    Ya, this all makes sense. My next question is about how the heck you actually get into the glide mode where you have no arrows on the energy screen -- maybe it just takes a LOT of playing, you probably need access to longer stretches of open road which is near impossible to find in LA.

    But that is a different post for a different thread!
     
  6. Jim Clark

    Jim Clark Member

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    The car decides when it goes into glide, generally when going downhill or coasting to a stop. Some hypermilers use a method of slowly accelerating up to speed then backing of the pedal and slowly decelerate or "glide" for a bit, then repeat. That method is mostly used in highway driving without a lot of traffic.

    IMHO, hypermilers are little bit nuts, they crack me up.

    Just put it in PWR mode and enjoy it. If you don't have too much of a lead foot off the line, it won't hurt your mileage that much.
     
  7. evpv

    evpv Active Member

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    Originally I had written the ECO mode off as too mushy. But recently I have found it useful on the freeway when traffic is heavy but still moving fast. It mutes the throttle just enough to prevent you from speeding up and slowing down too much. Give it a try.
     
  8. tedjohnson

    tedjohnson Member

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    It gives you better gas pedal control of when the ICE turns on and allows longer glides. Used with the HSI screen on, it matches pretty well to a scan gauge 20 hp indicator when powering up the ICE , in that the ECO mode signal goes off, a bit higher then 20 hp, which is the BHp where you get the most energy for a given quantity of fuel...ie best gas mileage. It is useful, and stepping on the gas pedal hard, gives you the same power as normal mode does. So you lose nothing but gain some better control, and as stated previously it helps reduce the AC load.
     
  9. Penny's Dad

    Penny's Dad New Member

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    I find cruise control with eco on the highway to be the best way to go...
     
  10. donee

    donee New Member

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    Hmm,

    Well people who pulse and glide on the highway are a little nuts in my opinion too. Since you got it backward, its no wonder you think hypermilers are nuts....

    Pulse and Glide is used on secondary roads, below 45 mph (Gen III Prius, 40 mph Gen II).
     
  11. tedjohnson

    tedjohnson Member

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    Wrong - P&G works well on the highway, if it is not flat, and you learn to use the terrain as your guide - lets you get 60 mpg easily if you do and still maintain 55 mph.
     
  12. donee

    donee New Member

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    Semantics....
     
  13. TurtleHare

    TurtleHare Guest

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    Now that the weather is colder here in New England, the motor is running more than in the summer (explaining my almost 10mpg drop --- and thanks ethanol). In ECO mode the heater fan runs slower thus allowing the engine to be warmer (and thus turn off more). That is how ECO can save some mpg. And yes I agree, ECO w/cruise on the highway is the way to go.
     
  14. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I think there is another one:

    (3) it allows the Cruise Control to drift more.
     
  15. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Use the HSI screen, not the energy flow screen. With the gas pedal, make the power bar disappear -- no thrust, not regeneration.

    In real life you should be satisfied with getting the bar close to zero, not the exact zero needed to make the energy screen arrows vanish.

    Above 45 mpg in the GenIII, and sometimes slightly below that speed when it elects to keep the ICE spinning, it is really in Warp Stealth, not Glide.
     
  16. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    Welcome to PriusChat!:welcome:
    The only stupid question is the one you don't ask.

    I use ECO mode pretty much all the time. Since I've only got 3000 miles in type, I'm still figuring stuff out about this car---especially the pulse and glide thing. I haven't noted that ECO mode increases my mileage much if at all---but I've grown used to the throttle in that mode, so I keep it there.
    I don't get a chance to P&G much, since I have to share the roads with other people, and there's enough Prius hate out there already.
    I'm knocking down 58-MPG in our relatively mild winter mostly by limiting heater use, strategic routing, and trying not to use my throttle and brakes like an on-off switch.
    I also never use the cruise control---which was a big change for me, since I was addicted to it in my truck. I always beat the CC by at least a few MPG on the highway by letting the speed drift with terrain--when traffic allows. I'll also try to get behind a truck---not close enough to draft, but close enough to allow traffic to pass both of us.This alleviates my need to worry about overtaking traffic and constantly worrying about the rv mirror. It works for me---but traffic is pretty light down here.

    You're right about one thing though---hypermilers are a little nuts!
    However (comma) they get better mileage than I do by doing things like tire over inflation, grill blocking, and drafting. Note: Never tell a real hypermiler that his/her tires are over inflated unless you want a sermon on the subject...:rolleyes:
    You probably can get away with bumping your tire pressures up to 40/42, and blocking your lower grill will probably also prove to be somewhat beneficial---depending on what mileages you're wanting to achieve.
    I'm just not that much into it---and 58 is good enough for me.
    Good luck!!!
     
  17. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Note2: Don't claim that real hypermilers use drafting, unless you want a sermon on the dangers of tailgating.

    There is much more to be gained by controlling one's own speed than by handing that control over to someone else in front.
     
  18. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I found it a lot harder to glide in the Gen 3 than in the Gen 2. I just live with a very light throttle that shows power from the battery to the wheels (EV mode). It's close enough for me.
     
  19. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    Concur 100%---with the caveat that I've heard 'real' hypermilers brag about doing so. The only thing more stupid than tailgating is drafting....:cool:
     
  20. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Here's my take on the ECO mode button .... really don't like it.

    Basically, you push the gas pedal where you'd normally push it and you get about half the response from the car. So, if you want to accelerate really slow and piss off other drivers or have to push the gas pedal further down, use ECO mode.

    Maybe one would get used to it, but I don't see the point.

    The goal is to blend in with the flow of traffic and get great fuel economy doing so. I get that in regular mode.

    btw, I wouldn't be inclined to use power mode a lot either.
     
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