Car Shows the OD Off Light – What Does it Mean?

car shows the OD off light

Many people wonder why it happens when they notice the OD off light on the car dashboard. No worries. You’ll get to know the reason while you read this article. The OD feature comes installed n most of the vehicles. This feature helps to manage the fuel economy of the car effectively. The OD also helps to reduce engine problems and push the car towards better working performance. Every car owner should possess a good understanding of this feature. Some drivers need to be made aware of the operations of the OD. The OD mode combines the input shaft with the output shaft of the car directly. Or else by increasing the output speed to move faster than the speed of the input shaft. “My car shows the OD off light,” is a common problem among many motorists.

Have you understood the meaning of the dashboard symbol OD, which displays on your vehicle’s dashboard? If you have recently switched to a new vehicle model, some features and accessories may need to be clarified. You’ll also receive the OD off option among the many notifications you receive from the car. This notification doesn’t at all mean your car has a fault. But let’s see what this OD light-off signal means.

What Does the OD Option Mean?

The two letters in OD mean the overdrive option. The phrase overdrive may sound like it is related to the high-performance capabilities of the vehicle. But the truth is the opposite. This OD function is frequently switched on and of through a button. It lowers the engine’s revolutions per minute at longer, higher speeds. Therefore, this function lowers the vehicle’s fuel consumption and increases its efficiency when running on highways.  

Almost all cars, including ones with manual or automatic transmissions, come with this feature. The OD off light in a car indicates that you have disabled the overdrive option. Depending on your driving situation, you can turn this on or off this function simply by pressing a button.

My Car Shows the OD Off Light – Why is it So?

You need to worry if your car shows the OD off light on the dashboard. This condition means you have turned off the overdrive function in your car. Depending on the driving condition you are going through, the onboard computer system of the car will automatically turn off this mode.

The driving condition mentioned above is related to whether you are driving on a highway or not. This overdrive function helps to improve fuel economy. So because of that reason, the OD mode will automatically turn on when driving on the highway. If the car is not frequently starting and stopping, like driving on city roads, the overdrive mode switches automatically.

Please let the car automatically decide when to switch on the overdrive mode. The onboard computer will make this decision allowing the car to maintain optimal fuel economy. Also, this mode will help to reduce the tearing and wearing happening to the vehicle. But if the overdrive light is flickering it conveys a different meaning. This blinking light indicates that the car has got a fault. The fault may be associated with the solenoid or the speed sensors. So if this condition happens, it’s best to take the car to a mechanic.

At What Instances Should I be on OD Mode?

Usually, you should enable the OD mode as the default setting. There are several benefits to doing so; before that, knowing where you should be in OD mode will help reduce the wearing and tearing of your car. The following are the instances you should have OD mode switched on.

When Driving at a Speed Over 40mph

Maintaining regular high-speed switching on OD mode is recommended when traveling on highways. This option helps you to maximize the efficiency of the vehicle engine. Also, switching on this mode is crucial if you are driving on wide-open roads. You are allowing your car to drive at its maximum while in the OD mode will maintain the RPMs to the lowest level. Therefore there will be less engine noise and force the car towards better fuel economy.

When Required to Increase Fuel Economy

A popular fact that everyone believes is that OD mode improves the vehicle’s fuel economy. So turning on the OD mode will steer the car and maintain a constant higher speed. This mechanism will happen using lower engine RPMs, less tear and wear on the engine, less operation noise, and less gas. The proper use of this function helps to increase the lifetime of the car engine by exerting less strain on the engine’s powertrain.

When Driving at Regular Times

When driving in your daily life, it’s helpful if you keep the OD mode on. This technique helps for better operation of the car and increases longevity. Running daily errands, traveling the regular commutes, or leisurely driving will not require you to use lower gears. Also, these instances will only need a little power to run the engine. So if there aren’t any particular circumstances, you should drive with the Od mode switched on.

Is it Safe to Drive While OD is Off?

If you ride in hilly areas, driving with the overdrive mode switched off is okay. However, it is better to switch on the overdrive button if you are driving, especially on highways. This action helps to have better fuel mileage. If the OD light is off when you are riding on the highway, it will cause to increase in fuel consumption.


Now you know why your car shows the OD off light on the dashboard. The overdrive is a simple function that comes with modern cards. A majority of motorists use the overdrive function to suit various occasions. They might use it intentionally, or the mode will turn on automatically to suit the driving conditions.

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