DRIVERS are just beginning to realize the “hidden” button that turns your engine into a race car – but there are some serious downsides.
Many modern vehicles have knobs that allow you to change the functionality of your car with the push of a button.
While these changes are not long-term in nature, they can impact fuel efficiency, throttle speed and performance.
One such button is “sport mode”, which is usually controlled by a switch or toggle button.
Sport mode essentially acts as a sprint booster for your engine and is present in vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz S-class and the BMW models.
According to Hotcars, it helps your car accelerate to its top speed faster and makes throttle input much easier.
The mode can increase the power and torque of your vehicle’s engine, allowing you to speed past other drivers on the highway.
Sport mode also maintains gears longer to keep acceleration consistent while you feel your engine unleash its maximum potential.
However, the same car changes gears much faster in Normal or Comfort mode for better fuel economy.
Experts say engaging Sport mode also results in stiffer suspension and tighter steering – which can make you feel like Lewis Hamilton behind the wheel.
And car enthusiasts will be pleased to know that this lowers your car’s center of gravity and increases your engine’s maneuverability.
Also, you’ll have better handling at high speeds and the feel and response of your throttle should be improved.
Even a small tap of the accelerator gives instant results while sport mode is engaged.
However, with the improved steering mechanics, drivers should be on their guard, as comfort is affected when the toggle switch is switched on.
As unbelievable as it sounds, Sport mode is not without its drawbacks and some can cause lasting damage to your beloved engine.
An obvious downside to the switch is that it typically increases fuel economy and squanders valuable gallons trying to keep up with the massive power demands.
Meanwhile, excessive use of the mode for an extended period of time could cause your engine to wear out faster than expected over time.
Constant use of the switch can increase wear and tear on chassis components, tires, brake rotors and steering components, experts say.
This may go unnoticed in the short term, but running your car in ‘Sport’ mode instead of ‘Normal’ mode will eventually take its toll.
It goes without saying that Sport mode isn’t great for everyday driving, as the average drive doesn’t compare to a Silverstone circuit.
But the secret switch can be especially fun on long, winding back roads and empty tracks.
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