Overdrive vs Drive
The terms drive and overdrive are concepts used in terms of power transmission in cars and other automobiles. Whether you have manual gears or automatic transmission in your car, both drive and overdrive options are available to you. For those who do not wish to be told in technical terms, overdrive is the top gear while drive is normal lower gears. Let us see what the difference between overdrive and drive is and how it affects performance of a car.
Simply speaking, drive gives you more power but also utilizes more gas. It is therefore prudent to be driving your car in overdrive when it is cruising at high speeds. This makes the engine run at lower rpm thus saving gas. If you have 5 gears in your car, overdrive is the 5th gear while all lower gears are called drive. Overdrive only needs to be turned off when you are slowing or when you are going uphill as this is when you require more power to push up the vehicle. The only drawback of overdrive is that it does not let the vehicle reach its maximum speed. If the maximum speed of your car is 115 mph, you can reach this speed with drive gears but you have to make a sacrifice with overdrive as it will not allow the car to go beyond a speed of 100mph. but as long as you are getting better mileage, who cares if the car is not attaining maximum speeds.
While drive is 1:1 ratio (implying wheels are turning at exactly the same speed as the engine), overdrive is around 0.66:1 which allows you to go at higher speeds easily improving gas mileage. You thus achieve higher speeds with less noise of the engine with lesser consumption of gas with lower torque now available to you. This is bad news for acceleration or towing. So overdrive is just like having an extra gear in your car the lowers the revs of the engine with gas mileage going up. However, you must remember that overdrive is not for hauling up a steep slope or when pulling loads.
To save on gas, you must try to run the car in overdrive as much as possible. However, when going up a hill, use drive instead of overdrive as this is when you need more power from your car.
• Overdrive is not something extra in your car but the top gear of your car whether you have a manual or automatic transmission. On the other hand, lower gears are called drive of the car.
• When cruising at high speeds, it is better to run the car in overdrive as it lowers engine rpm thus saving gas.
• Though overdrive is meant for higher speeds, one has to sacrifice the top speed of the car. He also has to sacrifice on torque which means acceleration.
• Driving in the city should be done in overdrive while drive is required when you are hauling up a steep slope.