Getting the Most Out of Your Overdrive Automatic
If your car has an automatic transmission then your car also has an overdrive. The overdrive or O/D is basically the highest gear in the transmission, usually the fourth gear. With it on, and it usually is, your car can go at higher speeds while working the engine at fewer RPMs.
This is a feature many drivers don’t know about, overlook, or they simply just don’t care. The fact is it prevents your engine from being overworked and it improves fuel efficiency. Knowing when and when not to use it can save your transmission and engine a lot of work down the line and you will also cut back some on your fuel consumption.
Overdrive and ECT PWR
Many cars have a button for overdrive and for Electronic Control Transmission Power. ECT PWR is what you will usually see on the button. The ECT PWR will keep your car in lower gears a little longer which will increase your RPMs and give you more power for a quicker takeoff.
You may feel a quick downshift to bring you back up to speed but then again you may not even notice it at all. It is used more frequently in hazardous road conditions such as snow or mud to prevent slipping. Other than that there isn’t really a big benefit from keeping the ECT PWR on.
Your overdrive should always be on. It gives you better fuel efficiency because the automatic transmissions were designed to know when to shift. The only times you should consider turning it off is when driving in high altitudes, up a sharp incline, or if you’re towing a heavy load.
Note: When you turn the overdrive off when driving at highway speeds you will notice a downshift as it is going from overdrive to 3rd gear.
If you think you’re overdrive is giving you trouble then don’t hesitate to bring your car into 2J’s Automotive. We work on all makes and models at our auto shop in Fort Worth and offer the services and repairs you need to get back out on the road.
We will give you a FREE diagnostic test ($80 value) to determine the cause of the problem and inform you of your options so you remain fully aware of what we’re doing to your car.
Give us a call at 817-232-9866 if you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment.