OD or 3rd?

I drive approx 40mi total to work w/ 10mi of it on highway,the rest of the weekly drive is in town 15mi or less. Should i use overdrive or 3rd? Just trying to conserve a little gas and lengthen the life of the engine even though it is a 2010.

Back in the 80’s when 4 spd autos were coming into service, my mechanic suggested using 3rd gear for city driving (stop and go) in my 86 Camaro. Times have changed, just leave it in OD and let the trans worry about the shifting. I have a 93 Caprice and a 2000 Blazer and I use OD in both vehicles.

Ed B.

Leave it in OD.


The only time that you should take the truck out of overdrive is if you are driving in hilly country and it continually “searches” between 3rd & Overdrive. At that point, it is much better to simply put the gear selector into 3rd.

At all other times, allow the transmission to shift as it is programmed to do.

Leave it in OD, unless you are towing, hauling a heavy load, or you are annoyed because the transmission is hunting constantly for a gear, which should be rare.

To conserve gas and reduce motor wear you leave it in OD all the time. Less rpm’s and the trans knows proper gear for conditions.

I personally live in an area that is hilly with a number of 35 to 40 mph roads and I prefer non OD while on these roads for a bit more engine braking descending hills and then going back up again. No biggie on saving the truck, just preference.

Always turn off the OD when towing with my truck as per mfg recommendation.

Check your owner’s manual for Ford recommendations.