When to use Overdrive??

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When to use Overdrive??

Postby Jaycie685 » Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:02 am

Hi I own an automatic Vibe and am lost as to when to use overdrive. I know it's a silly question but this is the first vehicle I've ever bought that comes with optional overdrive. My first vehicle that I drove had automatic overdrive so I didn't really have to turn in on or off myself.
I have been told numerous things from friends on when to use overdrive, but I don't know what to believe since most of them drive stick.
I've been told to use it when going over 70mph, then another person told me it's for when you're going uphill and need extra power. I figured I'd ask the forum and get a correct answer for once!
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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (Jaycie685)

Postby BlueCrush » Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:18 am

Mine is always on unless I get into busy traffic on the highways.
I occaisionally turn it off when driving in the city. For the most part it is always on so I can get the best gas mileage possible at all times.
It is meant to be left on all the time unless you feel you need to turn it off (i.e. - heavy traffic, wet slippery roads, snowy/icy roads)
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Postby Kari » Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:27 am

Perhaps it should also be clarified that the button on the shifter actually turns overdrive *off*, not on. The default is on, and it's pretty much meant to be left on unless it's necessary to turn it off.

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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (Jaycie685)

Postby damronjr » Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:29 am

The salesman at the dealership when we bought it said it is fine to have off until 60mph, after that you will lose mpg. I only turn it off when I want to go faster than my car wants to let me, when I am going uphill and need extra power, or when the gears are just being goofy and shifting around when I don't want them to.
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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (damronjr)

Postby drunkenmaxx » Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:57 am

actually, it revs higher in every gear with it off. (this would cause worse mileage) the only time i turn it off is when i need more (removed) behind me. (like in heavy highway traffice, switching lanes)
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Postby Jaycie685 » Tue Apr 05, 2005 4:38 am

So pretty much I drive with it on? I turn it off when I need extra power?? Ahhh I'm still lost.
I usually do mostly city driveway to run errands and the freeway to go to work or when I'm going somewhere far.
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Postby Jaycie685 » Tue Apr 05, 2005 4:51 am

Correction... that's "driving" and not driveway!
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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (Jaycie685)

Postby JayC » Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:06 am

Overdrive button turns the 4th gear on or off. It has nothing to do with the lower 3 gears.

Leave it on, unless there's a reason why you don't want 4th gear to engage at higher speed. Then, you will be using 3rd gear instead of 4th gear at higher speeds, which makes your engine rev higher. This is useful during uphill and downhill driving. Also may be helpful if you want quicker acceleration at higher speeds, since the transmission does not have to download from 4th to 3rd gear.

Other than that, leave it on.

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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (Jaycie685)

Postby scherry2 » Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:22 am

my thumb is on the o/d button whenever I want more power, drive along at any speed and hit the o/dbutton (turn off overdrive, the litte light on the dash will come on) and you will notice the RPM's increase and you will have more power to pass ect... I will cruise on the interstate at around 60 hit the O/D button for an instant and have plenty of power to pass someone.
no, it will not hurt the transmission to leave it off, you just won't have Overdrive and you will notice that there should be another shift point at around 45 to 50 MPH.
If your the kind of person that doesn't put their foot on the gas all the time, use it when you need that extra oomph going up a hill ect...

Overdrive" is the term for gear ratios that are lower than 1:1 – a situation where the engine is turning slower than the drive shaft. Overdrive gears are appropriate when very little torque is needed – the vehicle is no longer accelerating – and can deliver the best fuel economy. The six-speed transmission in the Ford Five Hundred has two overdrive gears, with a final ratio of 0.686:1.


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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (drunkenvibe)

Postby BlueCrush » Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:40 am

Quote, originally posted by drunkenvibe »
actually, it revs higher in every gear with it off.

Mine revs that same in every gear with it on or off. It should have no effect on the rev limiter with it being on or off.

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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (BlueCrush)

Postby damronjr » Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:49 am

Quote, originally posted by BlueCrush »

Mine revs that same in every gear with it on or off. It should have no effect on the rev limiter with it being on or off.

It does rev higher. It's not a matter of the rev limiter, but rather the pre-set shift points in the auto trans. You can go past what it would normally shift at with the OD off.

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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (damronjr)

Postby BlueCrush » Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:30 am

Hmmm... Interesting. I hadn't noticed that before even when I just tested it out today. Are you talking about shift points when driving normally? Because, when flooring it I can go to redline(6400) in every gear.
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Postby tnpartsguy » Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:41 am

Leave it on, unless you're driving in a hilly situation, and the transmission starts 'hunting' (shifting gears often) then turn it off. 'nuff said!
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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (BlueCrush)

Postby damronjr » Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:42 am

Quote, originally posted by BlueCrush »
Hmmm... Interesting. I hadn't noticed that before even when I just tested it out today. Are you talking about shift points when driving normally? Because, when flooring it I can go to redline(6400) in every gear.

Do you have auto or stick? In autos it usually shifts well before the rev limiter, but if you manually shift or use the OD in the higher gears then you can go past the normal shift points in auto, otherwise it would have just shifted on its own at an earlier RPM, you see?

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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (damronjr)

Postby BlueCrush » Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:43 am

I have AWD, so Auto tranny. Okay , I gotcha!
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Re: When to use Overdrive??

Postby Thewhite » Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:53 am

I drive standard, but my mom had an auto Escort (I know, I know...) with a D and an OD. What she was told to do, and what she always did, was, in the city use only D (3rd gear) cause if using OD, it will always pass from 3rd to 4th for nothing as soon as she drives around 55-60 km/h, so it was more to prevent a constent shifting in city use. on highway, always use OD. so in your case, Ill say turn it off in city and when more power is needed, and on for highway.
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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (Jaycie685)

Postby litefoot » Tue Apr 05, 2005 1:11 pm

I leave my overdrive on as much as possible, to get better gas mileage.I disable my overdrive when I feel the trans shifting a lot or hunting.This usually happens when I’m on hilly roads or driving in snow.
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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (litefoot)

Postby tecton » Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:15 pm

all od is is 4th gear

you have 1st second 3rd (drive) and 4th (od)

if you notice
on the vibe
first goes about 0-35
second 40-70
third 70-100ish
then you still have od

od has almost no power to it, its an economy gear designed to let the vehicle cruise at highways speeds at reletively low RPM's

its not some magical nos button, its not an after tranny overdrive (though they make these) its nothing but 4th gear, thats it

you push it, it downshifts to 3rd, thats all thats happening

leave it off or on? who cares....hell i downshift into 2nd alot, much less 3rd

i dont know why toyota designed the shifter like this
why not just have a 4th position instead of a dam n button is beyond me

probably just to confuse you all

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Postby Jaycie685 » Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:32 pm

I think I'm starting to get the grasp of this whole overdrive thing. That explains my really poor gas mileage! I've been driving with the overdrive off since I got my Vibe two weeks ago! Thanks everyone!!
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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (tecton)

Postby esjones » Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:07 pm

Quote, originally posted by tecton »
all od is is 4th gear

This is relevant to the conversation thread, but not necessarily to the Vibe...
My Safari van (now defunct) and my Dad's Chevy 1500 pickup both advise to use 3rd gear (NOT O/D) when towing any trailer.
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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (tecton)

Postby drunkenmaxx » Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:48 am

Quote, originally posted by tecton »

i dont know why toyota designed the shifter like this
why not just have a 4th position instead of a dam n button is beyond me

probably just to confuse you all


because it is convenient to use. need some more power (thanks to a downshift) just push a button!!

and yes, you can redline with overdrive on, it just depends on how you mash the gas. but, the car does rev higher overall with overdrive off, it is a fact that i have observed.

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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (esjones)

Postby tecton » Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:45 am

od=super nos
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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (drunkenvibe)

Postby tecton » Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:46 am

od=super nos
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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (tecton)

Postby Stang2Vibe » Wed Apr 06, 2005 6:05 pm

Quote, originally posted by tecton »
"My Safari van (now defunct) and my Dad's Chevy 1500 pickup both advise to use 3rd gear (NOT O/D) when towing any trailer."

thats because 4th gear has no power
its an economy gear

if you put it on OD while towing, all that would happen is you downshift to 3rd alot, then back up into 4th, probably strain the tranny

That is exactly correct. If you're towing a trailer or even significant weight in the vehicle itself, it's best to shut off O/D. The constant shifting between 3rd and 4th will cause unnecessary strain to the tranny and the motor.

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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (tecton)

Postby Stang2Vibe » Wed Apr 06, 2005 6:12 pm

Quote, originally posted by tecton »
"the car does rev higher overall with overdrive off, it is a fact that i have observed"

its impossible for there to be any difference

its just a 4th gear
its not some magical super power button

That might not be correct. No, pressing the button won't give the car a magical power increase. However, it is quite possible that the shift points are electronically altered when the O/D is shut off. It just depends on how the tranny's electronics are programmed. Saturns used to have a "NORM/PERF" button that changed the shift points and shift speed. In "PERF" mode, the gears would wind out further into the RPM range before shifting and the tranny would shift faster, giving noticably firmer shifts. Did it make a big difference in overall acceleration? No. Was it probably mostly just a marketing gimmick? Yes. But it still did do something.

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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (tecton)

Postby drunkenmaxx » Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:36 am

Quote, originally posted by tecton »
"the car does rev higher overall with overdrive off, it is a fact that i have observed"

its impossible for there to be any difference

its just a 4th gear
its not some magical super power button


you must drive the stick. no, its not some super power button, it changes when the car shifts. therefor, you dont have to wait for the downshift, it already is there. geezus christ.
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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (drunkenvibe)

Postby damronjr » Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:06 am

Ok, lets get this straight...

auto trans

gears
p
r
n
d
2
1

overdrive button on the side

normal operation: d with o/d on
shifts normally 1-4

o/d off: d with o/d turned off (button pressed, O/D OFF lighted on dash
shifts normally until 3rd gear, then it stays in 3rd gear until you turn o/d back on again(keeps revving higher until o/d is turned back on) at which time it will shift to 4th gear and lower rpms

driving freeway then turning o/d off: in 4th climbing a hill or just driving down the freeway and you need more power, push button, o/d now off and lighted in dash
trans drops to 3rd, engine revs higher providing more torque and power until turned back on again

between 3rd and 4th is really the only time you will really notice anything with it off, since it won't change from 3rd!

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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (damronjr)

Postby tecton » Thu Apr 07, 2005 4:13 am

od=magic nos super revs button
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Re: When to use Overdrive?? (tecton)

Postby damronjr » Thu Apr 07, 2005 4:25 am

You're hellbent on making yourself look like an @$$ both on this site and MO.com today, aren't you!?! Feel free to agree with yourself, but obviously no one else does.
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Postby dug » Fri Apr 29, 2005 5:18 am

so the Vibe doesn't have a lock-up torque convertor? Overdrive on my 4th gen Monte Carlo was 4th gear with the tc locked up, and I always though overdrive meant having your torque convertor locked soas to improve economy on an auto tranny.

on a side note, OD on the Monte was annoying: 130hp V6, 3600lb car, 2.41 final axel ratio and hillls don't mix well with OD. I unplugged the harness from the tranny and just drove around with 4 gears and no lock-up. Awesome, much improved driveability. I was running an auxiliary tranny cooler, so no worries.

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Postby pacerman » Mon May 28, 2007 1:21 pm

Heres the way I look at it, in the auto you actually have 5 speeds, the torque convertor is either locked up or in partial lockup condition, as well as the 3 "mechanical" gear ratio's in the tranny...........

I found this from a post in alt.toyota..........

"Overdrive is just 4th gear. The sequence is 1 to 2; 2 to 3; TC lockup in
3rd; TC unlock and shift to 4th (A.K.A. overdrive), TC lockup in 4th.

>>If you want to unlock the torque converter while at a steady cruise, tap
>>the
>>brake pedal just enough to make the brake lights come on. Having the
>>brake
>>lights come on will trick the transmission ECU into unlocking the torque
>>converter. You should see about 100 to 200 RPM increase with the torque
>>converter unlocked.

Since 4th gear is an overdrive gear, the transmission output shaft is
turning more slowly than the engine so it takes a lot more torque to
accelerate. To accomplish this, the TC unlocks to allow the TC to develop
torque multiplication, kind of like twisting a rubber band, and if more
torque is needed, then it downshifts to 3rd or 2nd, depending on vehicle
speed and throttle position. "

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