Finding a Mode for Every Mood and Move You Make
Driving mode controls are a relatively new technology leveraged to offer you the best, most personalized driving experience possible. Access to mode controls and select traction systems has revolutionized the market of available vehicles that respond to performance cues. Driving modes include flexible ways to improve towing capability, fuel efficiency and controls for weather conditions like sleet, ice, wind and snow.
For example, Tow / Haul mode allows the transmission to hold gears longer when engaged. This protects the transmission from damage caused by towing heavy objects at low RPMs. It also makes it easier to drive up steep terrain while pulling.
Modern automobile manufacturers have engineered ways to stylize your driving preference using various systems. Each driving mode option serves a specific purpose for when, where and how you drive. Every mode choice improves your vehicle’s performance in a specific area and works to adjust the steering throttle and engine control functions that respond to road conditions.
Modes of driving include:
- Economy / Tour
- Smart / EV Only
- Snow Mode
- Tow Mode
- Sport or Sport+
- +R (Track Mode/Racing Mode)
Leveraging your powertrain response, traction system and desired reaction to road conditions is paramount to comfortable driving. You can switch on any driving mode at any time, even while in motion. Sophisticated electronic vehicle systems allow you to master seasonal driving changes and can even keep you safe in harsh conditions. The Snow and Ice drive mode feature improves performance across slick road conditions by altering your pedal map and torque response.
Economy mode saves on fuel consumption costs by adjusting how the engine and transmission function together. This can decrease your vehicle’s power output, which protects the environment and improves your miles per gallon.
As you explore customizing your driving style, you’ll discover that several driving modes will improve your experience on the road. Personalizing your commuter sedan, hard-working pickup truck or deluxe SUV is more accessible than ever. In-demand driving mode technology allows you to ride in luxury or rule the road. With features like automatic engine starting and advanced all-wheel drive toggles, performance tech is at your fingertips.
Driving modes have transformed drive time into fun, tailored experiences that can change from circumstance to circumstance. Although some vehicles only have a few options, others feature nearly a dozen or more choices. Switching between driving modes is more commonly included in newer model cars, trucks and SUVs.
Depending on your vehicle, you have several performance settings to navigate from like Snow, Ice, Mud, Sand, Towing and Steep Terrain. Add to that list racetrack settings and velocity boosting elements. Keep in mind, the various modes might have different names depending on your vehicle’s make and model.
For example, Tour mode is in line with Eco mode. At the same time, you can use the Terrain mode on low speed through mountainous terrain, but it is also good for pulling boats out of the water, launching a boat and mild off-roading adventures. This is similar to Off-Roading mode, which improves your traction when the surface below your vehicle is less than ideal.
When the Sport or Track mode is activated, you can tighten the front seat side bolsters. Depending on your vehicle, the active exhaust will open, and the car won’t cut power when you go sideways due to all traction-related systems turning off temporarily. Sport modes are so much fun to try, but you should only test them on a safe, open track with an experienced driver at the wheel. Sport mode variants can also include the ability to stiffen the suspension, which reduces the car’s traction.
In general, the road condition options like Mud, Sand, Snow and Rock modes are for specified situations and terrains. While in Sand mode, your ride might have an extra sensitive throttle control to allow for more wheel slip so you can maintain momentum as you drive. Rock mode will adjust the traction control system to dampen the throttle response, letting you experience a less bumpy ride. This usually requires you to select a low-range setting for activation.
On most vehicles, the driving mode is connected to the engine control module (ECU) to control the engine, transmission, suspension and steering and brakes. This offers power maps for different driving conditions. Each mode alters engine functions to suit your choice, and you can pick the mode you prefer as you commute.
Modern Vehicle Technology Supported by NAPA
Smart system-wide support birthed a new driving experience where you can develop on-road skills, making it safer and more fun to cruise the streets. Take the variations in Sport mode, for example, which enable that car, truck or SUV to react sharply and in style.
Adjusting driving dynamics is an automatic function in some vehicles. Imagine commuting across the country and going from sandy terrain into a mountainous snow range. Now, picture your vehicle automatically toggling between your vehicle’s ideal driving mode based on your preferences, road conditions and weather. Won’t it be thrilling to drive on cruise control, and your ride automatically switch from Comfort or Economy into sport mode when you hit the open, backcountry pavement?
In part, driving modes have improved all-season driving safety by eliminating common driving issues using advanced sensors that predict the road. Extra safety is paramount when driving in winter conditions, and Snow / Ice and Rain mode can significantly reinforce your traction. Snow mode is known for dialing back your throttle response, increasing the stability of your traction control system and reducing wheel spin.
Different road conditions and your own brand of driving contribute to your vehicle’s unique characteristics; therefore, you must investigate to choose the best driving mode for you. Browse through all the vehicle performance enhancers that NAPAonline.com offers for improving your Sport mode. For advice and expert tips from our technicians on enhancing your ride, visit one of NAPA’s 17,000 Auto Care locations. The next time you drive, play with the different modes and see how you and your vehicle respond.
Featured image courtesy of Pixabay.
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