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Old 04-03-2014, 03:20 PM   #31
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CADreamin are you using the tow/haul mode ?
http://www.toyota.com/content/ebroch..._ebrochure.pdf
TOW/HAUL MODE help improve towing performance, t
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:01 PM   #32
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Unfortunately, the older Tundras (ours is 2004) don't come with that feature. We just drove with OD off.
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:08 PM   #33
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Bob,
I don't think the 2004 Tundra had tow/haul mode. They had an overdrive setting that they could switch off in 4th gear. (Of course I could be wrong, since I never had a 2004 Tundra.)
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:28 PM   #34
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You don't really "turn overdrive off" with most modern transmissions, since overdrive is not a separate feature, although sometimes the switches supplied make it seem like it is. You just select a gear position which limits the transmission from using higher ratios, and if you pick a position lower than any gear ratio which happens to be an overdrive (less than 1:1 input to output ratio), you don't have overdrive. There's nothing special about overdrive ratios.

The current (not 2004) Tundra has a six-speed automatic in which both 5th and 6th gears are overdrives.

Tow/Haul mode - for those brands which use it (including the current Tundra) - is quite different. When it is on, it means that the transmission controller follows a set of rules for shifting which are different from the normal mode, and better suited to heavy loads such as when towing. Tow/haul would normally include use of any ratio when appropriate, including overdrive... but of course the highest ratios are less likely to be appropriate when heavily loaded - or as Toyota says, it "expands the use of lower ratios".
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:37 PM   #35
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I donno. There's a button on the shift selector in my Ford F-150. I push it and an indicator light comes on that says "overdrive off."
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:49 PM   #36
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Brian, my understanding is that it's crucial to keep an automatic transmission from "searching" for the right gear when towing, because the constant shifts build up heat, which can degrade the transmission fluid and cause premature wear.

I like the "manual shifting" feature in my 2011 4Runner which allows the driver to upshift or downshift with reference to the tachometer and the upcoming terrain, and to keep the transmission out of top gear.

Most upscale SUVs, especially European models, have a "paddle shifter" system, but I'm surprised that tow-oriented vehicles like the Tacoma don't have it.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:55 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
I donno. There's a button on the shift selector in my Ford F-150. I push it and an indicator light comes on that says "overdrive off."
Right - the button tells the transmission the same thing as moving a lever from "D" (for "drive") to the next step down. That's what I mean about the button making it look like overdrive is some special feature, when it's really just allowing use of the top one or two gears.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catchlight View Post
Brian, my understanding is that it's crucial to keep an automatic transmission from "searching" for the right gear when towing, because the constant shifts build up heat, which can degrade the transmission fluid and cause premature wear.
Yes, that's the primary benefit of tow/haul mode. For those who don't have the mode switch (my motorhome does, my Sienna trailer tug doesn't), moving the shift lever to the lower of the two gears that it is bouncing between (or using "OD off" button or +/- buttons or levers or whatever is provided) achieves a similar result (it can't shift up so stops hunting), but not as intelligently... you have to tell it when it is okay to shift up.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:10 PM   #38
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Older Tundra's had a button in the end of the column shift lever that took it out of overdrive. The 2007 thru 2014 have a tow/haul button on the dash.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:28 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
You don't really "turn overdrive off" with most modern transmissions, since overdrive is not a separate feature, although sometimes the switches supplied make it seem like it is. You just select a gear position which limits the transmission from using higher ratios, and if you pick a position lower than any gear ratio which happens to be an overdrive (less than 1:1 input to output ratio), you don't have overdrive. There's nothing special about overdrive ratios.
In my truck, with a 5 speed auto, when I push the button to turn overdrive off the torque converter will lock up in 4th but with overdrive on it locks up in 5th so it isn't just stopping the transmission from using a higher ratio.

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Old 04-04-2014, 11:09 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catchlight View Post
Most upscale SUVs, especially European models, have a "paddle shifter" system, but I'm surprised that tow-oriented vehicles like the Tacoma don't have it.
My last three Chevrolets and our basic, four year old Tundra all came with it. With Florida being the flattest state in the US, I've never had need of this feature in the past, but with the new 21' trailer and a trip through the Rocky Mountains, it might finally be useful.
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