‘I’m a car mechanic – avoid hidden button or your car could wear out rapidly’

Manual car drivers should be wary of using one button that could ultimately wear out their engine, a vehicle mechanic has warned.

Scotty Kilmer, who has built a 5.8-million strong army of followers on YouTube, issued the warning in a recent clip that has received thousands of likes.

The car mechanic, who has enjoyed a career spanning more than 55 years, uses his pearls of wisdom to prevent fellow drivers committing common errors.

His video drew attention to the small button that exists in almost every car, with the acronym ECT inscribed on it.

“What happens when you push them?” he asked, “Does it mean that rockets are going to fire off and you’re going to tear down the road? No!”

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He continued: “ECT stands for electronically controlled transmission, so it will shift later to give more power.”

In other words, the upshift in the power mode will occur later when the vehicle is at a higher speed, depending on the throttle opening.

When you push the button a light should appear on your dashboard, indicating that the transmission will shift to give you more power.

“Does it work? Yes!,” noted Kilmer. “Your engine goes to higher RPMs for more power, but of course, you get worse gas mileage and it will wear things out slightly faster because it’s spinning faster.”

Experts at the Honest Mechanic Colorado echo this warning, pointing out that increased wear and tear are a common side effect of the feature. 

The most obvious downside of the button is an increase in how much fuel is burned, so drivers looking to improve their mileage should avoid it.

Because the power button is designed to increase the speed at which the engine runs, it will also ultimately wear down the engine and other components of the vehicle.

“In the olden days, if you had a standard transmission, you’d shift it yourself and rev it up more,” added Kilmer. “This does it automatically with a computer.”

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Viewers appeared grateful for the tip, with hundreds rushing to the comments to thank the mechanic for his invaluable insight.

“When I’m starting to think of getting rid of my manual car, these videos make me think twice,” one viewer wrote.

“I use the ECT button on extra cold winter days to warm my engine faster in my 2000 4runner. Works like a charm,” wrote another.

Another pointed out: “That looks like a James Bond car button.”

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