it take you out of overdrive and puts you into drive. Kind of like shifting from 4th to 3rd. its useful for slowing yourself down when your going downhill and you don't want to waste your brakes. It can also give you a little more power going uphill.
Nah... it's basically the same as driving in fouth in a five speed manual, ie. 1:1 ratio. As long as you do not go over redline, there is nothing wrong (I wouldn't spend alot of time at redline mind you). It's the same as what your (auto) Element does when you are on the freeway and press full throttle to pass, it downshifts out of O/D and into the next lower gear (unless that would put you over redline).
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