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Hidden features your car might have that you don’t know about could save you a lot of money

Hidden features your car might have that you don’t know about could save you a lot of money

These little icons and buttons are well worth knowing about.

Our cars are always lighting up with icons and symbols, some of them common enough that we all know their meaning, but others a little more obscure.

If you've ever looked at a button on your dashboard in confusion, or seen a light flashing and wondered what it means, chances are you could have some extra features in your car that could be brilliant money and time-savers.

One of the biggest that people often don't know about might seem obvious to some - if you have a green button or setting on your car with the word 'Eco' on it, this is something you should absolutely look into.

Bilal photos / Getty
Bilal photos / Getty

In most modern cars, this button acts as a toggle to turn on 'Eco' mode to reduce your engine's power a little and significantly increase its fuel efficiency.

Of course, you'll consequently have a little less power to work with when it comes to accelerating, but some estimates say this could boost your fuel economy by 5-10%, a bargain that's well worth it for us.

Another way to save money is if your car has an adaptive cruise control setting - a button that often looks like a speedometer with an arrow on it.

This setting, which might be relabeled as Autopilot or another branded version in some cars, basically lets you turn on cruise control but with more smarts behind it.

Once activated, it'll keep the speed you've set it at, but if the car in front of you brakes or slows down, it'll be able to detect this and alert you to touch the brakes yourself.

This might sound simple, and it is - but adaptive cruise control settings can sometimes be used by insurance providers as a reason to lower your insurance costs since it's substantially safer than a standard cruise control setting.

Olivier Le Moal / Getty
Olivier Le Moal / Getty

If you're still thinking about fuel efficiency after learning about 'Eco' mode, there's another common setting that could help you out massively.

If your car has start-stop technology, it's probably enabled by default, but this feature lets the car turn itself on and off when you stop for pauses at traffic lights or while waiting for a turning.

This reduces the time when the engine is idling for no reason, and can again get you nice boost to your fuel economy, ultimately saving you money.

Some mechanics claim that start-stop technology can cause more wear on the car since the engine revving up to turn on again is a stress point, but you might decide that this is outweighed by the benefits to both your gas bills and the environment, since idling isn't great for air quality either.

Featured Image Credit: John Lamb / Bernhard Lang / Getty