Overdrive and Kickdown modes what is their function and are they really necessary?

Administrator posted this 25 April 2019

Overdrive” and “Kickdown” appeared on automatic transmissions to simulate certain manoeuvres and driving style as at manual gearbox. Adaptive automatic transmissions can be deprived of the ability to switch to such modes, as they are programmed to remember the style and driving conditions. However, even with adaptive automatic transmission, many manufacturers set the Overdrive and kickdown modes.


Overdrive is a mode of driving at maximum gear. Increases the number of revolutions of the drive shaft, but the amount of torque reduced. However, the speed remains the same.

Overdrive can be used in the city and on high-speed routes. Overdrive function in some cases can be used for overtaking, but only if the speed is not higher than 100kph (60mph). With uniform movement within the city (in the absence of traffic jams and heavy traffic).

  • Reduces wear and tear of the transmission unit and of the engine (however, constant or prolonged driving in Overdrive mode, frequent transition and reset can have a radically opposite effect on the engine life).
  • Reduces fuel consumption (however, the figure is small)
  • Reduces noise when driving at high speed, ceteris paribus.

It is necessary to take into account that in certain conditions it is better to turn off the Overdrive mode:

  • When driving uphill or on a difficult downhill. In this case, all the resources a vehicle is a big burden.
  • When driving in tow or when a trailer is connected to your car. Most likely, in the Overdrive mode, the engine life is spent according to the norms of your car, then its weight at the maximum number of passengers and Luggage, but is not designed (included) for the presence of a trailer.
  • When driving on the rough terrain, off-road.

You will see information about the Overdrive position on the dashboard. Do not forget that if you turn off the engine, the mode will be automatically turned off



Kickdown mode allows you to lower the gear and increase engine speed, it is necessary when making overtaking. If you need to go to Overdrive mode by pressing the button (or otherwise, depending on how the the manufacturer has decided), then you need to push down the pedal in order to connect the kickdown mode.

The mode is fully automated, and after a time it will disconnect itself, and the car will return to the original driving style.

In order for your car to always function properly, use the inCarDoc application to search for errors and malfunctions of the electronic system of it.