What Is O/D Off On Dashboard? (Explained!)

If you have a vehicle and that vehicle has an automatic transmission, it also has standard overdrive (O/D) function on the gear shifter. So if you want to know what O/D off on the dashboard means, this article is meant for you.

So what is O/D off on the dashboard? The overdrive function in your vehicle will do many functions that can help with both the overall driving in every different condition and gas mileage. This will then allow you to drive even more farther away, and you will use less gas.

Those basic models are in this list, and even though it is said that the overdrive of every vehicle must be left turned on, there are times that it is said that you have to turn off your O/D on the dashboard. So let us put enlightenment on the matter. Let us discuss further the O/D off on the dashboard.

What Is OD Off On Dashboard

What Is The Meaning Of O/D Off?

The O/D off button will prevent the automatic transmission from shifting into the highest gear. The highest gear would typically be four. This is an overdrive gear. 

The standard abbreviations are the OD or the O/D. There are just typical situations wherein you would want to disable your highest gear. For example, if you are driving and are on a descent from a long hill and at freeway speeds, you might want to disable your highest gears. 

Suppose you are also climbing a hill with a freeway speed and you have a heavy load with you, or you might be towing a trailer. In that case, you have to disable the highest gear to prevent the transmission controller from upshifting prematurely. The overdrive is from the historical automotive designs. 

The transmission has a lot of lower gear ratios if the engine is turning faster than the driveshaft. Therefore, the highest gear is in the engine and driveshaft.

Is It Bad To Drive With Overdrive Off?

A lot of people are asking whether it is bad to drive with the overdrive off. Well, it is not bad if you drive your vehicle with the overdrive off. It will not harm your transmission. 

However, there are things you should consider. First, you might get a poor fuel economy. Second, if you are driving at high speed, you may also have a lot of noise. 

Third, you have to remember to turn on your overdrive. Fourth, you should turn off your overdrive if you go up or down a steep hill. With that, you can turn your overdrive off or on at any speed that you want and at any time.

What Happens If Overdrive Is Off?

So this is another major question people ask around. So what would happen if you keep your overdrive off? If your overdrive button is turned on, it will show that your overdrive gear will be off and that your torque converter is not locked. 

Now, if your overdrive gear light is turned off, it means that your overdrive gear will not be engaged. If you want to put your overdrive light off, you can do it by just pushing down a button on your gear shifter labeled OD. In vehicles that have automatic gears, their overdrive function is turned on. 

So if you turn off your overdrive, this will mean that you are locking it out and that you are not engaging it. If the button is pushed, then the transmission system will go through the gears, and then it will limit the functioning of the other gears.

When Should O/D Be Off?

It would help if you used your overdrive gear correctly at all times. So you should be able to use your overdrive gear correctly. If you are using it right, you will have a good fuel economy, and your fuel efficiency will also increase. 

You should know what the situations that you have to turn your overdrive off are. So there are some situations where you have to turn off your overdrive because it can cause very severe damage. So if you are speeding below fifty miles per hour (50 mph), or you may be driving over the hill, or you have a heavy load, like you are towing a trailer, then you must disable your overdrive.

How To Turn On Overdrive?

You have to look for your overdrive (O/D) button on the gear shifter. You can find the overdrive button on the left side of your shifter. It is below the button that you will use to shift gears. 

The button is much smaller, but it will work just the same way. First, you have to push it in so that you can turn the overdrive on. Then, if you push the button again and release it, you will then turn the overdrive off.


In summary, O/D means overdrive. This overdrive must be familiarized with drivers. Not knowing how to use and operate the overdrive can cause damage to your car. 

The overdrive must be turned off in some specific situations. You have to follow the guide, and your vehicle will be away from any damages brought about by the incorrect use of the overdrive.

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My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more