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Is it bad to NOT drive in overdrive at all times? Because if you take it out of O/D a light comes on. This to me means a warning, as if it's something bad. I leave it in O/D all the time and it seems to be fine...

if your on the interstate and u wanna pick it up and blow by someone (if your already at about 60 or 70 i switch to OD off...it revs a little higher and you feel the torque increase...other than that though all it really does is shift a little differently to lower the revs and keep your gas mileage somewhat respectable.

(I used to keep OD off 100% of the time but I've matured and only travel in triple digits SOMETIMES :-p )

but no its not a 'bad' or 'harmful' thing

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All turning overdrive off does is keep the transmission out of the last drive gear (4th on your RX300, 5th on your 330s).

What Lexus do you have that has an O/D off light?!

Turning overdrive off makes no difference when passing on the highway, when you get on the gas the car will downshift anyways.

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No it is not bad to NOT drive in overdrive at all times. Prior to 1981, Toyota automatics did not have overdrive yet they still lasted 300,000+ miles as did the engines.

It is actually better for the engine, transmission and brakes to lock out the overdrive when driving at moderate speeds (30-60 MPH) in hilly terrain because it reduces frequent upshifting and downshifting and aids vehicle control on downgrades.

It is also better for the engine and transmission to lock out the overdrive when towing a trailer.

Nearly all owners made the mistake of assuming the higher engine rpm associated with locking out the overdrive causes the engine and transmission to run hotter. However, owners who have installed fluid temperature gauges have found the transmission runs cooler with the overdrive locked out when driving in hilly terrain or towing a trailer

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All turning overdrive off does is keep the transmission out of the last drive gear (4th on your RX300, 5th on your 330s).

What Lexus do you have that has an O/D off light?!

Turning overdrive off makes no difference when passing on the highway, when you get on the gas the car will downshift anyways.

I don't even know if the light comes on on any of my cars, i've never tried to take it out of O/D. i just know a light (warning) does come on some other cars, (all of which have transmissions) ;) .

Since the O/D button is on the shifter, you really don't know if you accidently press it. If there isn't a light on dashes, there should be B)

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What is the main purpose of overdrive? I never understood it. I played around with it on my RX, and I only noticed some more torque and revs go higher.  ?

overdrive creates a final drive ratio of <1:1, meaning the engine has to make less than one revolution in order to make the drive wheels rotate 1 full time. This creates a condition where less gas is used to go a further distance. The autobox will usually drop into OD (the last available gear) when the car is going about 45 mph or more and there is no load situation present (acceleration, going uphill, etc).

Many vehicles have an OD cancellation button. This allows the operator to block the ability or the autobox to utilize this final gear. This is prefered if you are towing anything, go up and down alot of hills, accending a large incline (ie. mountain pass), and when you are in frequent stop and go traffic. If the vehicle has an autogate shifter (meaning shifting is not a press the button and pull the selector in a straight line kinda shift) then eliminating OD is achieved by putting the shift lever in the highest number possible before the D position.

steviej

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