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Ls400 Transmission Use Question

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I've just bought a 1998 Lexus and the user manual description doesn't match the layout of the auto transmission.

Normally with an automatic I'm used to toggling the overdrive to achieve more instant power.

However, this model I have does not have an overdrive switch.

So I assume the options I can use are switching the PWR button on, dropping the gear lever to D3, or fully depressing the accelerator.

If I use the PWR or change gear, can this be done whilst the car is moving or do

I need to pre-select when the car is stationary?

The time I need to get more 'instant power' is after dropping speed to negotiate a tight corner and then needing to have full power for an uphill climb.

The image below shows the layout on my car.


Hope you can help - thanks

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In my 2000 LS400 I have essentially the same car as you but with the steering wheel on the "correct" side. Certainly you can switch to "PWR" or downshift to "4", "3", etc. as long as you don't over-rev the engine. But I suspect your transmission will last longer if you left the selector in "D". I've taken the gear selector out of "D" while driving only a handful of times since I bought my car in 2003 - mainly down to "4" to get just a little engine braking going down hills. The "PWR" setting reduces the retardation of ignition timing during gear changes and, IMO, is mainly for psychological effect. Maximum acceleration times are about the same whether the switch is in PWR or normal mode.

The last time I had a car with a real overdrive gear box was a 1978 Volvo with a Laycock de Normanville -- I bought the car new and dumped it within a year due to its marginal quality. Do some newer cars down there still have overdrives or are they regular automatic transmissions with a O/D switch which toggles between high gear and the next lower gear? The LS400 I bought in 1990 had an overdrive switch and the 1998 Toyota Camry we have now has one too but neither had/has a "real" overdrive gearbox.

Here is an old Aussie online article about the last LS400 series that you might find interesting:

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