Automotive

What does "Overdrive" mean?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 8th, 2005 4:06 pm
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Member
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Feb 2, 2003
281 posts
20 upvotes
Overdrive just means a gear ratio where the engine does less revolutions than the drive wheels. With 5 and 6 speed transmissions it is possible to have 2 overdrive gears.
Deal Addict
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Feb 9, 2005
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Vancouver
I have overdrive on my RAV4, dont really know whats going on when I use it, but I use it to go uphill as it doesn't go into 4th gear and gives me more climbing power. I also use it on the highway for light engine braking. This is how I use my overdrive, not sure if it's how your suppose to use it though, I remember vaguely the dealer said it's used when towing and offroad.
Jr. Member
Dec 22, 2004
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pandaharo wrote:I have overdrive on my RAV4, dont really know whats going on when I use it, but I use it to go uphill as it doesn't go into 4th gear and gives me more climbing power. I also use it on the highway for light engine braking. This is how I use my overdrive, not sure if it's how your suppose to use it though, I remember vaguely the dealer said it's used when towing and offroad.
Overdrive is simply a higher gear. You should use it on the highway so that your rpm drop. Do not use it for towing, if you use it going up a hill your vehicle will probably just kick down a gear anyway.
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Feb 9, 2005
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marty5898 wrote:Overdrive is simply a higher gear. You should use it on the highway so that your rpm drop. Do not use it for towing, if you use it going up a hill your vehicle will probably just kick down a gear anyway.

just checked, when I press the OD button the light actually says OD OFF, I guess I've been using OD OFF to go uphill and light engine braking. I got it totally reversed, but I think I was still using it correctly.
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Aug 13, 2002
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Yes, OD is just a higher gear. And you didn't use OD to go uphill. If we're actually talking about going up an actual hill here and not just a slope, then it would make no difference whether you have OD on or not, it will drop to the correct gear. If you're going up a slope with OD on, turning it off will just force it to drop a gear.
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Aug 10, 2004
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Once car started moving; it does not lot of power to keep that speed.
Automoblie insdustry came up idea overdrive. In which basically Engine runs at low RPM and car move faster. That will give you better fuel economy and less Pollution.
You always wants to drive you car in OD mode. Have your car computer decide what gear should be.
However if you are pulling REAL HEAVY LOAD on UP HILL at 30 degree your Engine RPM keep jumping between 2-3K RPM Range; then you may want to come out of OD. Some time computer keep hunting what is the best gear, and figure out what is right gear.
I am pretty sure you will be ok with OD on or drive OD gear.
Cliff Notes: OD is good
Only time you take if off from OD when you really know what is going on with your ENgine
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