Can a genius mechanic help me to understand when to use the O/D feature on 1997 infiniti i30?

On the hand gear the little button labeled OVER DRIVE On/Off exists and when it is in the off position the little orange light symbol lights on the dash saying O/D OFF. This is when the car picks up much faster and shifts much smoother. I notice when the over drive is enabled and clicked in, the car is heavier and slower. I use this feature [Over drive being on and light not being on] in the rain right?Plz.. ;)

15 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best answer

    Overdrive is to be used at high speeds.

  • 1 decade ago

    If you drive "around town" a lot (under 45 mph) press the button so that the "O/D Off" is illuminated. You will notice that the car seems "more powerful" and responds better. With the light illuminated you are dis-allowing the transmission from using the O/D gear, this makes it easier for the engine to move the car, keeps the engine rpm's up a little higher (where it's making power) makes it more responsive, etc.

    If you're on the highway, press the button again so that the "O/D Off" light is not illuminated. This will allow your transmission to use the last gear. Which lets the engine spin at a slower RPM, gives you better mileage, etc.

    If you are carrying a very very heavy load or towing a trailer, you may want to drive with the "O/D Off" light illuminated while on the highway.

  • 1 decade ago

    Leave that button along for the most part. OD is automatic. OD is basically the last top gear. Before it get there it will go through other lower gears first. Think of the OD as the crusing gear - where you don't need much engine power.

    The only time you would manually turn OFF the OD is when you are on the hwy on long incline (and perhaps with full load of passengers). You might be at a speed where the computer feels it should be in OD. But given the extra load and the incline you might be need the extra pull of the lower gear (non OD gear).

    But for the most part, leave it along and you will do well.

    Good Luck.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Overdrive is essentially a extra high "gear" ratio that the car switches into which will save gas at the expense of Torque when cruising.

    So, if you are trying to get a fast start from a stop, having Overdrive on could slow you down a bit.

    It wont hurt the car to have it on, but, you might not drive as fast, but, you will save a little gas. Not enough to really make a major difference, but, hey, it is $3 a gallon.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Generally, the O/D is on all the time; it acts as a fifth gear and gives one better gas mileage. When you take the O/D off, you should feel a shift downward as the vehicle labors under the strain, I use mine mainly if I am needing more power and in an area where my speed will not increase above 25mph.

    Source(s): DOT and my dad.................
  • 1 decade ago

    Your overdrive is designed to be used at high speeds. If you're on the interstate traveling 75mph, you're going to want an extra gear to save you some gas mileage and prevent your motor from having to work too hard. That's what your overdrive does.

    I'd leave it off if you're driving around town, although I do believe the person who designed that little light on the dashboard should be shot.

  • 1 decade ago

    Overdrive helps you to obtain better gas mileage. If you are shifting a lot in city traffic, it may be better for your transmission if it is off. Overdrive is what helps to get excellent gas mileage on the highway when coasting, at least that is when it is the most noticeable. You have to use your best judgment to figure out what is best for your personal driving style and your pocketbook, in terms of gas.

  • 1 decade ago

    The O/D feature can be found in every other cars, not only in the i30. It is to help you achieve more MPG, when you are driving in a highway...

    Good Luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    over drive was designed to make the vehicle get better mileage and to help the engine run less rpm,s,and to get better gas mileage it should only be used in situations where speeds are going to be 50 or above,other wise you will feel it shifting back and forth a lot,also it will feel kind of heavy like you described it,around town is not a good place to use this feature,but when your out on the road and going over 50 that's when its really useful,but its not recommended you use it in stop and go traffic a,ll get used to it ,it takes time,good luck with it.

    Source(s): been a certified mechanic for 37 yrs.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    On the 97 I30 you only use the off setting if you are pulling something or off road. If you have a touring model turn it off in snow.

    Source(s): Former Infiniti service writer
  • 1 decade ago

    leave it on...your car uses overdrive (also known as fourth gear or even fifth in some cars) when you are cruising down the highway...all the rest of the time you car doesnt get up to speeds that would shift into such gears...overdrive is not something you turn on when you need it, its something you turn off when you dont want it ie. driving down a mountainside...thats why theres a light on your dash thats on when you dont use it as opposed to when you do...on is normal in other words...theres no such thing as not wanting it on in doesnt affect anything at slow speeds...the only reasons you would want to turn it of are to keep it in passing gear on the highway or, as i said before, driving down steep hills

    Source(s): im an auto tech
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