JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – On a four-wheeled motor vehicle, there is a feature located on the transmission lever in the form of a button that can be pressed to activate it with the words O/D aka overdrive.
At rest or at a moderate speed, it feels like no significant changes have occurred, even when felt carefully. So, what exactly is the use of this feature?
Aftersales Division Head Auto2000 Nur Imansyah Tara stated that the button is an overdrive which generally functions to provide fuel efficiency at high speeds.
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Overdrive has a gear ratio of less than 1.0:1 which means the car’s wheels can turn more with each engine speed. Keeps engine RPM low while speed remains high.
The opposite of overdrive gear is granny gear, which delivers a lot of torque to the wheels but only at very low speeds.
Historically, both vehicles with automatic and manual transmissions have used overdrive starting in 1934. This feature was originally a separate system used in three-speed transmissions.
The driver can overdrive manually when in 2nd or 3rd gear (at cruising speed).
In some cars, releasing the accelerator will automatically put it into overdrive, pressing the accelerator again will release it.
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This condition persisted until around the 1980s, before technology and knowledge increased. The need for efficient, safe, and comfortable travel on the highway is also increasing.
Today, overdrive gears are just part of the transmission and work naturally during regular shifts. Modern transmissions usually have two or more overdrive gears above the regular gears.
“In automatic cars, overdrive maximizes fuel economy while keeping noise and vibration at a more tolerable level,” said Imansyah.
“Whereas in manual transmission vehicles, the overdrive gear is used naturally when the driver shifts to a higher gear at a higher speed,” he added.
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That way, if the overdrive can be activated separately, the most appropriate situation to use it is when you want to drive at high speeds.
But actually, it doesn’t matter if you drive without overdrive. However, the driver will get lower fuel economy with less damping
“There is no good reason why you should turn it off, except when climbing or descending a steep hill,” said Imansyah again.
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