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Old 04-02-2010, 09:31 AM
 
11,853 posts, read 11,157,802 times
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Default Overdrive question

Is there anything "bad" about leaving overdrive on constantly even when driving at low speeds? I know people that leave it on all the time without even thinking about it... I thought you were suppose to turn them on only when you reach highway speeds.. but can anything "bad" happen to the car by leaving it on constantly? They have been doing it for years and nothing "bad" really happened...
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:47 AM
 
Location: U.S.A.
2,525 posts, read 3,674,424 times
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Unless you are in rigorous stop and start traffic where the vehicle enters overdrive speeds only momentarily several different times or towing/hauling something then it should always just be left on. The automatic transmission knows when it should go into overdrive, its just a "gear" that should never be heavily loaded.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Phoenix,Arizona
2,805 posts, read 2,439,134 times
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Unless I'm over 50mph I do not use overdrive for
two reasons

(1) Constant shifting=more wear

(2) More hard on the brakes @ speeds under 50mph
if your in 3rd and take your foot off the gas the
transmission will brake the vehicle.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,958 posts, read 7,983,595 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilnewbie View Post
Is there anything "bad" about leaving overdrive on constantly even when driving at low speeds? I know people that leave it on all the time without even thinking about it... I thought you were suppose to turn them on only when you reach highway speeds.. but can anything "bad" happen to the car by leaving it on constantly? They have been doing it for years and nothing "bad" really happened...
For todays auto transmissions the "overdrive" selection just means that the tranny will select overdrive when the computer tells it to. For manual transmissions the driver must know when to engage it which is NEVER at low speed since that gear is for road cruising anyway.


So not to worry, if you drive a auto just put it in "O" and go. Let the computer decide when to use that gear (now this is ONLY for non-towing)
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,785 posts, read 22,177,841 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilnewbie View Post
Is there anything "bad" about leaving overdrive on constantly even when driving at low speeds? I know people that leave it on all the time without even thinking about it... I thought you were suppose to turn them on only when you reach highway speeds.. but can anything "bad" happen to the car by leaving it on constantly? They have been doing it for years and nothing "bad" really happened...
Non car people. The drive, but don't really know what they are doing. The manufacturers cater to this crowd as best they can, since in the US they are a big majority of "drivers" -

The point of locking O/D out (auto trans) is to avoid letting the trans shift into O/D when it would serve no real useful purpose - such as when it would stay in O/D for only a few seconds.

Since every shift wears the clutches, he who avoids un-necessary shifts will have longer tranny life.

That said, it only matters if you keep your cars long-term. The average nitwit trades "up" often enough that the additional wear is going to affect the next owner, not him.

For a manual trans, it's up to the "loose nut behind the wheel" to figure out what gear to be in.
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Beaverton, OR
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In my car's user manual, it's written that unless I am using the car for towing purposes, it should be in automatic overdrive ON mode.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:29 PM
 
1,861 posts, read 2,375,986 times
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I used to turn off overdrive when I used to drive my old Camry, just because it was programmed to upshift way too soon to conserve gas. But 99% of drivers don't even understand what locking out OD means and would probably assume something was wrong with the transmission if started to affect gas mileage.
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
860 posts, read 1,843,591 times
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My Santa Fe has a manual shift gate and I use that all the time to keep it from going into 4th while going down hills. I'll also keep it in 2nd when traveling through my neighborhood to keep it from going into 3rd. As people have said here, excessive gear changes equals premature wear.
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:21 PM
 
19,115 posts, read 10,986,152 times
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LOL Mitch.... geeze...
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,785 posts, read 22,177,841 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_Muz View Post
LOL Mitch.... geeze...

Hey, I calls 'em as I sees 'em...

Step daughter is a bit like that, so long as the damn car would go when she mashed the loud pedal, she didn't think about it any harder than that.

Tried to teach her to lock out O/D in town, not much luck. There are all sorts of things you can do to "drive like a mechanic" and conserve wear parts, reduce fuel costs, and at the same time make good progress - "timing" traffic lights, picking your route so you avoid downhill stops, being in the right gear at the right time - no doubt you do stuff like this yourself.

She drove home one time about 5 miles on a completely flat tire.

Ms. Novocaine Butt. Good accountant though...
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