What Is O/D In Automatic Cars, And When Should It Be On/Off?

Last Updated on February 5, 2023 by Leepu Da Maxim

O/D stands for Overdrive while R/P is Reverse. These are gears in cars, which have been around since the 50s. The O/D gear allows your car to increase its speed even when going downhill, but it should only be used when you’re driving on level ground because if the car goes uphill, it might overheat.

Key Takeaways

  • It is advisable to turn off the O/D when you are driving on icy roads or snow-covered roads so that the car doesn’t slip
  • An O/D off mode means that the driver has to make a conscious decision about when to shift gears, instead of having it done automatically
  • You should turn on the O/D when driving on the highway or at high speeds to improve fuel efficiency
  • O/D improves fuel efficiency and reduces engine wear by reducing the number of revolutions the engine makes per minute

13 Situations When You Should Keep Your O/D of Automatic Cars Off

Situations When You Should Keep Your O D of Automatic Cars Off

There are some places where it might not be safe or wise to turn off your car’s O/D function. There are many situations where you should leave your self-driving off so it doesn’t put you or other people at risk. It is important to know when it might be necessary to have your car on autopilot so you don’t have an accident due to carelessness.

Automatic cars are quickly becoming the norm in society, but there are still plenty of situations where you should not use the “Automatic” setting.

The following is an overview of 13 situations when you should keep your O/D of automatic cars off.

1) If you’re driving in a crowded city with no chance to merge into another lane or head for a break in traffic;

2) If you’re driving on narrow, winding roads;

3) If the weather is bad and visibility low;

4) When there’s construction on the road ahead;

5) If it’s late at night and visibility is poor due to lack of illumination;

6) When you need to merge onto a busy highway with high-speed traffic;

7) When you are going up a hill, keep your O/D off

8) When you are going down a hill, keep your O/D off

9) When there is debris on the road, keep your O/D off

10) When there is ice on the road, keep your O/D off

11) If it is raining heavily, keep your O/D on

12) If it is snowing heavily, keep your O/D on

13) When it’s foggy outside and hard to see with human eyes, use human eyes and not the computer-assisted system!

13 Situations When You Should Keep Your O/D Of Automatic Cars On

Situations When You Should Keep Your O D Of Automatic Cars On

Automatic cars use a lot of sensors and cameras to identify objects and obstacles. These help the car to automatically figure out if it is safe for it to go forward. The O/D on automatic cars is important as it helps them avoid the “car-blindness” that can happen when they are too close to an object or an obstacle. With its O/D on, the car will stop and wait for you before moving again.

We have all been in a tough spot at some point. And when we are, we often take it for granted that there is someone to help us out. But what about those times when you are alone? Or the time to call for help is too long? Let’s face it, sometimes you need to handle things on your own. This is why it is important to know the 13 situations when you should keep your O/D of automatic cars on.

1) When there’s a pedestrian in the road, even if they’re not crossing, but they’re just standing there

2) When there’s a school bus stopped in the middle of the street

3) If the car knows the way home

4) If there’s no other car around

5) If there’s no traffic or other obstacles insight

6) When driving off-road

7) When driving close to the water

8) When parking your vehicle

9) If you are stuck in traffic because the pavement is blocked by an accident ahead of you

10) If there is a lot of slippery snow or ice on the ground and you don’t want to get out of your car

11) If a child or animal suddenly runs into the road and you want to stop them from coming close

12) In case of an electrical power failure- if there’s no power, automatic cars will not function

13) To avoid unexpected movement if going over a bump, pothole, or through a pot-hole, ensure that your tires are inflated to the correct pressure.


As a result of this study, it has been found that the main use of O/D is to have a smoother ride. The O/D should be on when going uphill and downhill. It should be off when on flat ground. And no matter what; drivers should always use their headlights in the evenings and nighttime hours.