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2001 Dodge Dakota overdrive question

Confusing , I just got a 2001 Dodge Dakota V8 4.7 L Automatic. The previous owner told me I must to turn the Overdrive ON (Indicator light ON) when driving on Freeway to save fuel and get better performance.
I also own a 1999 Chevy Tracker 4.2 4X4 4 Speed Automatic(3+OD), it have the overdrive button but Owner’s Manual indicates to use the Overdrive ON (indicator light ON, turning to 3 speeds)when towing or handling heavy payload and turned
OFF (Indicator light is off) for when city and highway high speed driving(4 Speeds).
I took this Dodge for a highway test using the Overdrive ON at 55 MPH. When I turned ON the OD the engine sounded forced and slowing down,felt like when you drive in a steep downhill and you switch from D to 2 or L position. I felt and believe the Dodge was not running right
using the Overdrive ON with high speed.
I have no previous experience with Dodge trucks.
Do the Overdrive option works in different manners in different vehicle’s makers?
My understanding about the use of Overdrive is that if the Overdrive indicator light is ON it means the Overdrive is OFF turning (reducing) the transmission to a 3 speeds in a 4 speed vehicle. If towing,heavy payload or mountain driving is involved then Overdrive is needed, (Indicator light is ON).
Am I wrong?

The button is to turn Overdrive off . Stopping the vehicle and then when restarting the overdrive function will be active . Did you not get an owners manual with this thing. Just start it and drive . it should know what to do.

Thank you,I have my Chevy Owner’s manual,it does indicates (and I knew this by experience) I don’t have to monkey around with the Overdrive button unless I need to tow my boat and drive in steep mountain roads. I asked the question to support a friendly argument with a good friend-the previous owner of the Dodge-.I think the confusion arises from a communication problem, my friend’s driving habits involves locking out the Overdrive Off (indicator light On)when he drives in the city and then he said “he turn the Overdrive ON” when he hit the freeways,which in reality means he actually is Unlocking the Overdrive (indicator light is OFF).

I agree with you,just start and drive the darn thing,leave the darn OD button alone.

Overdrive is always enabled unless you push the overdrive off/on button once, the indicator light reads
O/D OFF” indicating that you have disabled overdrive. It is easy to tell if overdrive is off or allowed.

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That’s how my 2001 Dakota works.

You friend seems to be the type that thinks he knows better than the manufacture.

Like people that use an automatic transmission, but shift through all the gears like they know better than the tranny itself.


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When we got our first vehicle with manual selection on the automatic transmission I did it one time just for fun . Decided that was silly.

I did a lot of driving with a guy that did this all the time and it drove me nuts!!!

I had a brother in law that never could just maintain the same pressure on the accelerator pedal.
You would be cruising down the highway at 55 for 30 seconds then he’d back off until he was doing 50 mph, then back up to 55 mph. Again and again, over and over, your head bobbing forward then back then forward then back.
I drove with him on a short hour trip and I felt like I had been in that car for hours on end.
I never rode with him again.


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