I click off the overdrive occasionally, when I'm passing or climbing a mountain. I've also used it for engine breaking a couple of times when coming down a mountain. I wouldn't have thought of that, but it's in the owner's manual!
Element has 4 speed automatic transmission, if you put overdrive at off position, you have three speed... You RPM will go higher and your motor will have more power to go on the top of the hill ...but take more fuel
[quote:74d9608235="meanelvis"]can someone explain to me what overdrive is, anyway? i know that clicking it off seems to create more friction while i'm driving. other than that i have no clue.[/quote:74d9608235]
For many years, the top gear in a transmission was actually no gear at all -- the drive shaft spun at the same RPMs as the crankshaft. It was like having a solid rod through the transmission. Then somebody had the bright idea of adding another gear to the transmission so that the driveshaft actually spun faster than the crankshaft. This was universally called "overdrive".