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Drive vs Overdrive

My husband and I differ on use of overdrive when driving in town. I take the overdrive off so I can brake quicker; he leaves the overdrive on to get better gas mileage. Who is making the better choice? We live in the Blue Ridge mountains but our local town is relatively flat.

There is now correct way, just drive it the way you want.
Pros and cons for each.

In town you won’t use the OD enough to be significant. On the other hand, leaving it on is perfectly harmless.

Agree to disagree (with hubby). Neither of you is doing anything wrong.

How would having the overdrive off or on effect how well your brakes function?


While it is true that purely local driving is unlikely to allow the transmission to shift into Overdrive, the car’s braking ability is the same, whether the transmission is in Drive or in Overdrive.

Not worth worrying about, but leaving OD on will get you slightly better mpgs and slightly less wear on the tranny. Shifting is not worth the trouble.

It doesn’t. But if she prefers to leave it off, no problem!

With the overdrive OFF , you get engine assisted deceleraion just by letting off the gas pedal. This makes local driving smoother and more manageable.

With the overdrive ON , If your driving along, say 40ish not yet in overdrive, as you let off the gas pedal the trans now ques itself to shift INTO overdrive. Now you don’t slow down as you wish you would and braking can be much harder than necessary when you’re surprized by your vehicle not slowing as you wished but rolling free.
This un-intended and un-necessary shifting can, in some cases, over-work the transmission. I’ve seen transmissions in the shop which have been shifted to death, and numerous brake jobs on vehicles that could have been driven with the overdrive off and saved all that mess.
The problem is the electric on/off buttons usually default to ON every time you start your car. You have to purposely remember to turn it off every time.

I prefer in-town driving with the overdrive off for all of these reasons.

All the answers are good, but an accurate answer would depend on the speed you’re driving (since you’ve said you’re not driving on hills). If you don’t go over 35 mph it doesn’t matter whether you have overdrive on or off.

If you’re often going at speeds in which overdrive would normally kick in, you may as well leave it on. The effect on your braking is little to none on flat land.

VDCdriver. For the most part I aggree, but wouldn’t 3rd geaar help slow down the car going down a hill or if stopping??? Also in town (speed limit 35 or less) ther’s not much sence of having a car shift into overdrive just to have it shift back to 3rd or on down in the next block.

“With the overdrive ON , If your driving along, say 40ish not yet in overdrive, as you let off the gas pedal the trans now ques itself to shift INTO overdrive”

That was true years ago, but with the advent of fuzzy logic programming for transmissions, this no longer happens.

When allowed to my transmission try’s to shift into OD at 42 MPH. Around town, this incessant shifting drives me nuts and is hard on the transmission. Like you, I lock it out until I’m on a stretch of open road…

I agree with Caddyman!!