Driving modes and the TDI-Tuning Box
When installing a TDI-Tuning Box a lot of our customers ask if it effects the original driving modes on the vehicle. We are referring to the set of modes normally defined by Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ (Your own car may use slightly different names). It is perfectly natural to think that adding a performance enhancing tuning box to your car could affect it's driving modes. So, in this month’s article, we set out to clear up some common misconceptions surrounding the topic.
What do drive modes normally do?
Before delving into if a TDI-Tuning Box effects your driving modes, it would be beneficial to understand what these driving modes do. Some cars might not even have them, but on the ones that do, we will discuss exactly what they do. The drive modes in your car (If you have them) will adjust one, or, several vehicle characteristics. These could include a multitude of things, including, suspension and chassis setup, right down to throttle responsiveness. Every car is different, and every manufacturer program these modes to do various tasks. Below is a general description on what each driving mode changes on a variety of makes and models.
Eco / EcoPro / Comfort
The driving characteristics of the vehicle change to be the most comfortable and economical. To achieve "Comfort" or "Economical driving", the suspension is adjusted to give it a softer feel. The accelerator pedal is less responsive. If the vehicle is automatic, then the cars computer systems hold it in the gears longer for improved fuel efficiency. Some cars will even reduce the power output of the vehicle in these modes. The actual process of selecting this mode will physiologically make the driver of the vehicle drive differently too!
Sport / Sport+
The driving characteristics of the vehicle change to be the sportiest, and greatest performance. The throttle pedal will be more sensitive. The gear changes (If automatic) will change to hold it in the gears longer. In some cars, the suspension will be harsher, optimised for spirited driving. The engine will produce the max power levels. In these modes the traction control system will allow for higher levels of slip. This means the car will be more unpredictable at high speeds and cornering. It's worth being careful in these modes if you own a high-performance vehicle. These modes are sometimes made for racing around the track. Not going over speed bumps and pot-holes.
Specific drive modes for certain cars
Some cars will have other modes that aren't categorised as "Sport" or "Eco". Land rovers will have various drive modes for different types of terrain. Including snow, gravel, and even sand modes. These will improve car safety and assist the driver when the road conditions are poor. BMW M-Performance cars sometimes have two buttons on the steering wheel labelled "M1" and "M2". These enable you to combine a mixture of vehicle characteristics with a push of a button. This gives the driver complete flexibility. Some Fiats, especially the Fiat 500, have a button that looks like a steering wheel. This button will put the vehicle into "City mode". It will make the steering input lighter so it is easier to manoeuvre in tight spaces. Lastly, some high-performance cars will have a “Race mode”. This normally shuts off the traction control and gives the vehicle all the power it can produce.
The driving modes in all vehicles will be different depending on the make and model of the vehicle. Sometimes the difference is unnoticeable. Some manufacturers have worked hard to make each driving mode special. Others may have implemented subtler changes.
Using a TDI-Tuning Box with your driving modes
Your vehicle may alter different things based on different drive modes. Rest assured, they are all compatible with the TDI-Tuning Box. Think of it this way. A TDI-Tuning Box increases engine power, irrespective of anything else. You will have more power available in all your drive modes.
The drive modes in your car are not changed. Everything that they normally do, they will continue to do. This is because a TDI-Tuning Box connects to your engine sensors, not anything electrical. So, if the chip tuning box doesn't change what the drive modes do, what does it change? The TDI-Tuning Box optimises engine sensor readings to increase engine performance. This means each of your drive modes will have up to 40% more power if you are using Mode 7. So, in Eco Pro / Comfort mode, the tuning box will be giving it more power. This power doesn't change driving mode characteristics. If your driving mode makes your suspension softer, then it will continue to make your suspension softer. If your driving mode increases throttle sensitivity, it will continue to do so. By the way, if you still aren't happy with your throttle sensitivity, we have a solution for that!
The driving modes on your vehicle are different to the driving modes on a TDI-Tuning Box. Our driving modes range from 1 to 7. Each of these modes will increase power output. If you would like more information on this topic, take a look at our blog post. You can of course easily change the settings on the TDI-Tuning Box as you change your driving modes on your car. Lots of our customers like to use modes 1-3 for when they are in “Eco mode”. This is an easy adjustment to make if you have selected the Bluetooth option on the TDI-Tuning Box. If you would like specific information on this topic, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.