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jwmiller33

overdrive while pulling boat

24 posts in this topic

a buddy of mine told me you should turn the overdrive off in your truck while you are pulling a boat behind you. he also said if you dont, it will burn up your tranny. is this true? or does it not really matter? fyi, i'm pulling a little 16 ft lund behind a ford ranger. can't even tell the boat is behind you while towing

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That is true!

It depends on the size of boat and rig pulling it. A good rule to go by would be: if in OD you have no power and/or its shifting down and up a gear-- probably take it out of OD! Or just always pull in D.

When I was younger and dumber, I lost a tranny in my silverado while pulling an enclosed trailer in OD @ 70mph with a stiff head wind. Take this advise so you dont have to learn the hard way!!

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I pay attention to my truck. If it has a hard time staying in OD and so I hear it downshifting a lot I'll take it out. I'm pulling a 16' Sylvan Adventurer and make at least one run up to the Lac Seul Reservoir (600+ miles), a run to Winnie (200 miles), a run up to Vermilion (250 miles), and numerous local trips up to 50 miles annually. Been doing it since I got my truck in 2000 and haven't had any problems.

Edit: It should be noted that my truck has the towing package, which includes an additional transmission cooler.

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Like the others said. If it is shifting in and out of OD a lot you will want to just keep it in drive, otherwise if it will hold the gear you should be fine. An extra transmission cooler is always a good idea. Just pay attention to what your vehicle is doing and what the road conditions are. A flat stretch of highway is a lot different than hilly roads.

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So if I turn OD off all the time when I pulling whether it needs it or not am I doing any harm to my truck? Or will I just get worse mileage?

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It all depends on what you are driving and what you are pulling!

Your owners manual will give you the best advice on when to take it out and when to leave it in!

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in my old S-10, GMC and both Tacoma owner's manual told/tells me to take it out of OD when towing, or under heavy load, period.

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I pull a 16' with my pontiac bonneville, Flat road i will pop it into OD, otherwise i am always in 3rd gear since there is no D option. And Yes gas milage is worse when not in OD!! you simply run higher RPM's

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guess I've never given it thought, always pull my 16Ft lund in D. Was told to do it from day one and just have

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in my old S-10, GMC and both Tacoma owner's manual told/tells me to take it out of OD when towing, or under heavy load, period.

Do they define towing? In other words, if you were to tow a lawn mower on a small utility trailer where the entire load may be 400 lbs. at best, would they recommend the same?

Do they define "heavy load"? Depending on the situation, just carrying passengers could be a heavy load. wink

I think common sense has to rule here. But then, common sense is not so common.

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I'm also one who tows in OD as long as my truck isn't downshifting frequently to keep up to speed. I did keep it in 3rd last week when towing my brother's car after he hit a deer, but in that case I was just being overly cautious. When pulling my boat, I find that I rarely have to put it into 3rd. The tow/haul mode does help keep it from downshifting on slight grades.

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I look at it this way, maybe I lose 1-2 MPG towing in Drive verses OD. The last tranny I burned up and had to buy was $2500. $2500 buys an awful lot of gas.

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I look at it this way, maybe I lose 1-2 MPG towing in Drive verses OD. The last tranny I burned up and had to buy was $2500. $2500 buys an awful lot of gas.

I agree with mnfishinguy, gas is less than a new tranny. I always tow everything I own in tow haul.

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Originally Posted By: mnfishinguy
I look at it this way, maybe I lose 1-2 MPG towing in Drive verses OD. The last tranny I burned up and had to buy was $2500. $2500 buys an awful lot of gas.

I agree with mnfishinguy, gas is less than a new tranny. I always tow everything I own in tow haul.

tow/haul is not taking it out of overdrive, it will help, but it will still shift into overdrive. the tow haul helps it not to kick out of od so much though. you have to put it in "3".

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I always turn over drive off. dont have to worry then about the tranny

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What is tow/haul mode? I've never heard of that. Something relatively new?

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The Tranny guy who rebuilt the transmission on my Ford Ranger said the only time you leave it in OD is if the box is empty and not towing anything. He ended that statement with "unless you want to come see me again". That cost me $1800, believe me, it would have bought a lot of gas!!!

OD is made for economy not towing or hauling.

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What is tow/haul mode? I've never heard of that. Something relatively new?

My 3/4 ton Chevy has that, pretty much holds it in the lower gears longer to make more power.

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Tow/Haul is a GM thing. It does a slight remapping of the computer to give you more torgue and it alters the shift points. It's a pretty slick deal, especially with a heavily loaded diesel. I wish the other companies would have it too, however it does not take it out of OD.

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I have had no issues with using tow/haul. If I'm in a real hilly area, then I will shift into 3. I also change my tranny fluid and filter more often than suggested in the Chev. manuel.

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Better safe than sorry, IMO.

And, the gas mileage won't be much, if any different, between towing OD and 3rd/drive if the load is heavy enough to be a concern about it anyway.

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I pull my 17' 115 hr. boat in overdrive most of the time. Like stated earlier if it is shifting in and out of overdrive than I use the tow/haul mode. If it still shifts a lot go to straight drive. When I pull a friends 24' pontoon I do not even think of using overdrive as the wind drag on that thing is unbelievable. My newer chev. reads the tranny temp. but the owners manual does not say what temp. is too hot only that 180 to 200 is normal. I seldom get over 185. Does any one know at what temp. the fluid starts to break down?

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Found this on the web.

Quote:
It doesn't take long for the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) to heat up once the vehicle is in motion. Normal driving will raise fluid temperatures to 175 degrees F., which is the usual temperature range at which most fluids are designed to operate. If fluid temperatures can be held to 175 degrees F., ATF will last almost indefinitely -- say up to 100,000 miles. But if the fluid temperature goes much higher, the life of the fluid begins to plummet. The problem is even normal driving can push fluid temperatures well beyond safe limits. And once that happens, the trouble begins.

At elevated operating temperatures, ATF oxidizes, turns brown and takes on a smell like burnt toast. As heat destroys the fluid's lubricating qualities and friction characteristics, varnish begins to form on internal parts (such as the valve body) which interferes with the operation of the transmission. If the temperature gets above 250 degrees F., rubber seals begin to harden, which leads to leaks and pressure losses. At higher temperatures the transmission begins to slip, which only aggravates overheating even more. Eventually the clutches burn out and the transmission calls it quits. The only way to repair the damage now is with an overhaul -- a job which can easily run upwards of $1500 on a late model front-wheel drive car or minivan.

As a rule of thumb, every 20 degree increase in operating temperature above 175 degrees F. cuts the life of the fluid in half!

At 195 degrees F., for instance, fluid life is reduced to 50,000 miles. At 220 degrees, which is commonly encountered in many transmissions, the fluid is only good for about 25,000 miles. At 240 degrees F., the fluid won't go much over 10,000 miles. Add another 20 degrees, and life expectancy drops to 5,000 miles. Go to 295 or 300 degrees F., and 1,000 to 1,500 miles is about all you'll get before the transmission burns up.

If you think this is propaganda put forth by the suppliers of ATF to sell more fluid, think again. According to the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association, 90% of ALL transmission failures are caused by overheating. And most of these can be blamed on worn out fluid that should have been replaced.

On most vehicles, the automatic transmission fluid is cooled by a small heat exchanger inside the bottom or end tank of the radiator. Hot ATF from the transmission circulates through a short loop of pipe and is thus "cooled." Cooling is a relative term here, however, because the radiator itself may be running at anywhere from 180 to 220 degrees F.!

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Since I last posted in this thread I have traded my 2001 up to a 2009. Trying to help save a job.:-)

My new Ford does have Tow/Haul mode and the manual recommends using it for hauling or towing. It actually states that it is not necessary to take out of OD. My instrument panel also includes a tranny temperature guage so I can monitor the temperature.

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