You should have overdrive turned on as frequently as possible to get the best gas mileage. While not the norm, some new models – mostly SUVs and trucks with towing needs -- give drivers the option of selecting overdrive through a button located on the gear selector.  

Having overdrive as a button on the gear selector may be confusing because it doesn’t mean extra performance, like “Shift into maximum overdrive!” It’s actually there to lower the engine’s cruising rpm for better mileage. It should only be turned off when the engine is lugging or straining, such as when towing or climbing a hill. You can also turn it off when descending a hill to slow or maintain speed through engine braking.


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Answered by Joe Bruzek on September 15, 2009 in How Does That Work? , I'm Just Wondering | Permalink

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