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Using overdrive while towing

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by RELIABLELAWNMAN, Oct 25, 2003.


    Messages: 153

    After 244,000 + miles on my 91 Chevy S10 P/U I finally burnt it up
    (Water pump leak). I purchased a 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 with V8
    engine and auto. transmission. The tranny is equipped with overdrive. There was no owners manual in the truck when purchased. My question is do I use O/D when towing a trailer?
    I currently pull a 5 X 8 open trailer loaded with equipment and 2
    extra storage boxes loaded with spare parts, hand tools, fluids, etc. I have not owned a truck with O/D before so this is new to me. Any help will be appreciated.
  2. wojo23323

    wojo23323 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 608

    When using my F-250 for towing, the owners manual says to turn the overdrive off.
  3. goodbeus

    goodbeus LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    when towing with a 1500, od off...you'll burn up the transmission...
  4. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,260

    Both my 95' and 02' pickups (owners manuals) stated that while towing, don't use overdrive. My friend always towed in overdrive on his 97' and guess what happened- transmission problems!
  5. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    agreed...turn it off...besides, when towing the thing will always be shifting even on a slight incline if you dont turn it off
  6. Kingbman1

    Kingbman1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    I drive with it on, exept when driving up hills and such.
  7. 98rammer

    98rammer LawnSite Member
    from nb
    Messages: 14

    towing in overdrive is fine as long as the tranny temp stays down and you're not lugging it. i'd recommend a temp guage. the dodge transmissions line pressure is controlled by throttle position and what the pump can put out based on rpm (the more rpms, the more pressure that pump can put out as long as your foot is into it).

  8. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Messages: 4,350

    dont pull in overdrive unless you know what you're doing. ie: can feel the gear its in, stress being put on the gear, should be in a lower gear ratio. just keep it out of overdrive.
  9. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,446

    The others are giving you sound advice. A Dodge 1500 has a very touchy overdrive due to the torque converter lock-up feature. Keep overdrive off for towing and (if you have 3:55 axle ratios) keep it off for back road driving. Also install a tranny cooler if its not already equipped with one, it is a cheap way to prolong the life of your transmission.

    Good luck with the truck---the dodges are very solid in my opinion.
  10. Frosty_03

    Frosty_03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    Agree with KLC 99 install a tranny cooler. I have a 96 Dodge Ram with 123000 miles I have always towed without the over drive unless I get on the interstate or a good long primary road with not light, but for around town driving I take it out of overdrive. Hope this helps!!!!

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