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Poor gas mileage?

I have had problems with the overdrive in my mazda for years now. could that be why i get such poor gas mileage? also it is the type you push off and on from the shifter on the steering wheel. I had work on the transmission a couple of years ago, and thought they fixed it. I don’t use it and haven’t because the light goes on(in use) and it is to hard to dis-ingage.

How about a little more information?

  • What year Mazda do you have?

  • How many miles on it?

  • What mileage are you now getting?

  • What work was done on the transmission?

  • Have you kept up with ALL the recommended maintenance as found in the Owner’s Manual?

    Frankly I am at a loss to suggest anything with so little information to go on.

    I don’t use it and haven’t because the light goes on(in use)

     That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here.

Frankly, if you’re not using your overdrive your gas mileage will suffer.

What light goes on? The OD light?

Well, most overdrive lights turn on to indicate that overdrive is off. You turn it off to keep the transmission from going into top gear when you’re towing or driving in the mountains. So if your light is accurate, it means your transmission isn’t going into the highest gear, which means your engine is working harder than it needs to and using too much gas.

Mazda B3000, 155,000 miles on it and I am getting 13 miles to a gallon. The transmission problem was an electrical one. And yes The maintenance has been kept up. As far as the kid in class analogy, it wasn’t necessary, and I your talking apples and oranges and not answering my question??? …Thanks anyway.

You still have not said the year of truck.
So I’ll guess that this B3000 is the Ford Ranger in Mazda badge.

The overdrive is always ON.
When you push the button and the light displays, the overdrive is OFF.

A common problem in not being able to work the switch is a break in the mini wires that run through the shift lever to the column.
Included only with a new shift lever.

Running with the overdrive off really hurts your gas mileage, the purpose of overdrive is to improve mileage.

Well, technically, you didn’t actually ask a question, however…

also it is the type you push off and on from the shifter on the steering wheel

IF (as assumed below) this is the overdrive function, then it’s causing at least some of your mileage problems. If it’s not working properly, it should be looked at. Mostly, those should be left on at all times. It will automatically disengage in the lower gears. There’s little reason (apart from heavily loaded or towing) to turn it off.

Everyone here’s trying to figure out what you mean by your entries, to help you solve a problem. In order to do that, sometimes we have to ask questions. Just like any mechanic, dealer, pharmacist or doctor you talk to.


I purchased the truck in 1999 new. The over drive button will work sometimes when I push it and not others. It has always been off really, because of the problem. So my freeway driving isn’t that great. I have changed the fuel filter, had regular tune ups, and oil changes. It has been one of the best vehicles for dependence. I have never had any real big issues with it. (other than the electrical problem a few years back. But the gas mileage is terrible. Thank you so much for your input. I will have a mechanic check that problem.

could that be why i get such poor gas mileage?

That’s a question. Please don’t fall into the car talk trap of trying to ream the OP a new one.

I would find the two wires going to the OD button and connect them together, permanently enabling OD.