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2016 Kia Optima LX 1.6T
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I'm surprised at hearing that ECO mode isn't good for stop and go. I had thought it was perfect since you don't have to be as careful about pressing down too much and then having to quickly brake hard. Running SPORT mode in stop and go is really jerky since there's so much power behind the pedal
 

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2014 Kia Optima
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So I don't know too much about modern automatic transmissions, but don't they use torque converters rather than a clutch? Or do modern automatics have clutches now? As far as my eco mode goes, I just found that my car will up-shift sooner and delay the down-shift for an extra second or two, both resulting in uncomfortable bogging. So that seems like it would have a larger impact on gas savings with stop and go driving. If you are cruising on the freeway, the car will be in it's highest gear even without eco mode. I don't have a sport mode, but I would imagine that would just keep you in a lower gear so that you can get instant acceleration when you want it.
 

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So I don't know too much about modern automatic transmissions, but don't they use torque converters rather than a clutch? Or do modern automatics have clutches now? As far as my eco mode goes, I just found that my car will up-shift sooner and delay the down-shift for an extra second or two, both resulting in uncomfortable bogging. So that seems like it would have a larger impact on gas savings with stop and go driving. If you are cruising on the freeway, the car will be in it's highest gear even without eco mode. I don't have a sport mode, but I would imagine that would just keep you in a lower gear so that you can get instant acceleration when you want it.
That's what I was told and what I experience about sport mode. It keeps the RPMs up longer instead of dropping them if I let up on the gas a bit. Thus I don't notice the trans shifting as much. I can be going at a constant 25-40 mph in the default comfort mode and I can feel the trans shifting up and down sometimes as often as every 5-10 seconds as it tries to keep the RPMs as low as possible. Consequently it will often begin lugging at any speed 30-60 to keep the mpg up and stress the engine in the process. I only keep it in the default comfort mode until it gets warmed up a bit then I switch to sport mode so there's less stress on the engine. I've never used eco mode.
I'm used to driving a V8. Its RPMs were something like 1500 at 45mph & 2000 at 55 mph in drive (1500 at 55 in overdrive if I recall.) I don't see how anyone can think it's good for a 4 cyl to move a similar weight car at 1000-1500 RPM and using thinner oil on top of that. To accelerate the V8 would simply accelerate smoothly but the 4 cyl will jump to 4000+ RPM before the trans decides what it wants to do. I don't think I ever had my V8 at 4000 RPM. I drove that car over 30 years and it never had a trans problem. So I prefer to drive in sport mode with RPMs in a slightly higher better range and take a little less mpg if it will keep engine wear lower.

BTW, the dealer says there's nothing wrong with my trans. The car is 2.5 yrs old and has 8000 mi and I'm still getting used to this trans.
 

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2016 Kia Optima 1.6T LX
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This is a difficult subject to explain. Probably the only time the clutch wear comes into play is during low-speed driving, stop and go traffic, slowing to nearly a stop and then accelerating. Those times when, if you had a clutch pedal on a manual transmission, when you have to let the clutch pedal out slowly and smoothly. Once moving, the shifts really don't wear the clutches because during the shift, the clutches just go from disengaged to engaged very quickly. No real scuffing involved during shifting gears at speed, no matter what mode you are in. Just the slow speed stuff. Like...if you were in stop and go traffic, a manual transmission with a clutch pedal, Eco may have you coasting slowly in 2nd gear, and Sport may have you coasting slowly in 1st gear. So when you apply power when traffic speeds up a bit, it is easier on the clutches in Sport mode. Try to imagine stop and go traffic with a normal clutch, you are feathering the clutch pedal to keep rolling slowly, but you are not allowed to use first gear and must use 2nd gear most of the time (Eco mode).

To be fair, in Eco mode, if you come to a complete stop, the transmission will shift to 1st gear and there is probably no more wear than if you were in Sport mode. But, if you just slow to about 3 mph, Eco will probably keep you in 2nd gear, and when traffic moves, you begin to accelerate, the clutches do their slow scuffing engagement in 2nd gear as opposed to 1st gear.

IMO, don't worry about it except in rush-hour traffic. That is when I always go to Sport mode.
 

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2012 Black SX Prem. & Tech.
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I find it fun to put that shifter over to the left and run the gears myself. Heck, gas is cheap LOL
Try using that manual shift mode, but not shifting. The car will still automatically shift for you but wait until the last minute before redline, so you get to rev higher than you could if you manually shift earlier.
 
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