Overdrive switch - '03 Echo (Auto trans.) - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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#1 Old 08-17-2005, 11:49 AM
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Overdrive switch - '03 Echo (Auto trans.)

Does anyone in this forum know what is the purpose of the "overdrive switch" located on the left side of the transmission lever? when are you actually supposed to use the "overdrive off" position? The book just describes how to turn overddrive on/off:

"'you can select either third gear (with overdrive off) or forth (sp.) gear (with overdrive on) by pushing this switch." Toyota 2003 Echo owner's manual.

That's basically all they say. What's the purpose of this button and when should it be used? The manual also states "if the engine is turned off when the overdirve is off and restarted, the overdirve will automatically be on." So, I assume that the car "defaults" to "overdrive on" each time it is started.

stumped.

Jack.

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#2 Old 08-17-2005, 01:48 PM
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Pretty straightforward: o/d off is 3rd gear, o/d on is 4th (top) gear, which allows you to run the car at a lower rpm compared to 3rd gear at the same speed, which gives you better fuel economy (especially on highways). You should turn o/d off (switch down to 3rd gear) only when you need more acceleration/torque in situations such as passing, going uphill, or towing something. Same can be achieved by just flooring the throttle, telling the car's computer that you need to accelerate faster so it'll downshift to 3rd for you. But some people (like me for instance) wouldn't like to wait til the computer shift for me, so pushing the button downshifts to 3rd almost instantly, but remember to push the o/d button again to turn it back on when you're done passing or going uphill.
And yes, since today's Toyota's o/d button is a one-state button (unlike 2-states button of the past which stays down after you pushed it, and will revert to up position if you press it again), only the dash o/d off light (and perhaps by feel and sound of the drivetrain) will tell you whether you have o/d on or off. So everytime you turn off the car and crank it back on again, o/d is on by default.

Hope this help, and really, go ahead and try out the o/d button when it's safe to do so. Trust me, you won't break anything. Otherwise you might be better off with a manual
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#3 Old 09-15-2005, 12:07 PM
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lol... thanks for the thread. I just got my 2005 last week and I never noticed that switch (but after being on a hilly highway this weekend wished there was one)
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#4 Old 12-13-2006, 11:49 AM
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Canada

Also very good for winter driving.
When you are in slushy snow, or some ice, in stop-and-go or slow driving, turn OD off to prevent you from spinning as much if you give it too much gas on a slippery section. It keeps the wheel speed limited.
You would be going slow enough that 4th gear isn't needed.
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#5 Old 12-18-2006, 08:03 PM
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If fourth gear isn't needed anyways then there's no point to having the overdrive off. It won't engage anyways. In my Corolla I just used it for times when I needed to be in third gear at part throttle (such as climbing hills), rather than flooring the thing to make it downshift.
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