towing with honda CRV - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-24-2007, 08:45 PM   #29
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I should drive with the overdrive "Off" all the time?
yes, otherwise you will overheat the transmission....
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:00 PM   #30
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yes, otherwise you will overheat the transmission....

What she said!
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:51 AM   #31
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I try to keep my rpm's up under all circumstances... in town, downshift to 2nd or 1st when going slower and watch my tach - the higher the rpms, the more the fluids are moving around to keep the transmission cool - it doesn't sound like it (sounds like you are racing the engine), but it really is providing more cooling to both the engine oil and the tranny... when I pull up to a light I shift into "N", as the rpms are couple hundred higher than just sitting there in Drive...

I shoot for staying above 2700 rpms in my Toyota powertrain... so far, with numerous IR "shootings" of the tranny housing, temps are staying very reasonable...

hot summertime temps and low rpms are the killer...
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:07 AM   #32
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Carol, why don't you get a bunch of people really excited and tell them the mileage you got on your recent Scamp 13' trip.
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Old 07-25-2007, 12:12 PM   #33
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I try to keep my rpm's up under all circumstances... in town, downshift to 2nd or 1st when going slower and watch my tach - the higher the rpms, the more the fluids are moving around to keep the transmission cool - it doesn't sound like it (sounds like you are racing the engine), but it really is providing more cooling to both the engine oil and the tranny... when I pull up to a light I shift into "N", as the rpms are couple hundred higher than just sitting there in Drive...

I shoot for staying above 2700 rpms in my Toyota powertrain... so far, with numerous IR "shootings" of the tranny housing, temps are staying very reasonable...

hot summertime temps and low rpms are the killer...

Being that I'm a guy and all....I should know this stuff (i.e. all about cars, etc.)...but there's a lot I don't know....so logic would tell me that the higher the RPM, the more heat that is generated...guess that's not the case, huh?
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Old 07-25-2007, 01:20 PM   #34
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Many people advise towing "with the overdrive off". This doesn't make sense to me as a general recommendation for a few reasons:
  • there is no separate device called an "overdrive" in modern vehicles - what is usually meant is just the highest gear in an automatic transmission
  • there may be more than one transmission ratio which is overdrive (output shaft turns faster than input shaft), especially with automatic transmission of 5, 6, and even 8 "speeds" - there's nothing special about the overdrive ratio
  • different transmissions have different behaviour, so what works well with one may be exactly wrong for another
I think it is important to look at the reason for staying out of the transmission's top gear, and see if they apply.
  • in some situations, selecting the top gear position with a heavy load causes the transmission to "hunt" back and forth between gears - that's annoying and a possible reliability problem
  • in a lower gear, the engine turns faster (that's the point of different gears), so if more engine speed is needed for some reason...
The whole heat situation has little to do with the gear ratio in use. Modern transmissions have a lock-up clutch which keeps the torque converter from slipping. Keeping that locked is good, because slipping means making heat, which is bad.

If the transmission needs to let the engine go faster, it may do that by shifting down, or by unlocking the torque converter. If shifting down a gear on the selector (from "OD" to "D" on some selectors markings) allows the transmission to keep the torque converter locked up, by using the lower gear instead, this might help prevent overheating.

GM, on the other hand, changes their transmission logic to use lock-up more when the tow/haul mode is selected, so they don't want you to shift down... they sell trucks with 6-speed transmissions at a significant cost premium, with the expectation that all of those six speeds will be used.

So I strongly believe that "keep the overdrive off" should be replaced by "select the gear position recommended by the manufacturer for heavy load operation".
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Old 07-25-2007, 01:38 PM   #35
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I always run in the highest gear until the car starts shifting down and then back up, notifying me that we've entered rolling hills territory. In 21,000 miles of towing my Scamp with my Element the only two times the temp gauge* went up was when going under 30 in over 100F weather! (But the idea of keeping revs up to circulate the fluid sounds logical.)

* I didn't have an aux tranny cooler, as not specified by Honda as being required, and relied on the cooling tank at the bottom of the radiator, hence the water temp gauge was somewhat of an indicator of tranny temp. Now I have an IR temperature reader and will have a much better idea as I can zap the tranny cooler anytime I stop and get a quick reading.
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:53 PM   #36
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I just reviewed my CRV manual. It says to turn O/D off when going up or down hills.
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:20 PM   #37
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Let's be clear here -- Is that statement for normal driving or when towing? If the former, then extra care should be taken when towing....

Brian, I once held the same opinion as you about OD, in that all it meant was the ratio was greater than 1:1 and a gear-box could have OD1, OD2, etc., but I have been advised that some automatic transmissions do some different things when in OD than they do in lower selections, like locking (or not) the torque converter. Which means it is even more important to read and follow the OM for the particular vehicle, but for all, if an auto-trans is 'hunting' (constantly shifting up and down between two gears, then it should be operating in the lower of those two gears, regardless of what they are called).

I had a 93(?) Saturn and there was a console switch marked "economy - performance" which moved the auto-trans change points to slightly higher RPM in performance. When I towed a light trailer (600 lbs against a limit of 1,000), I generally kept it out of OD, w/performance switched on.

Carol, you are talking about keeping the RPMs up; is your tranny an auto or a manual? Normally manual transmissions don't have any exterior cooling because the components aren't very delicate...
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:58 PM   #38
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Brian, I once held the same opinion as you about OD, in that all it meant was the ratio was greater than 1:1 and a gear-box could have OD1, OD2, etc., but I have been advised that some automatic transmissions do some different things when in OD than they do in lower selections, like locking (or not) the torque converter. Which means it is even more important to read and follow the OM for the particular vehicle...
That's exactly what I'm saying: overdrive is just a ratio; the change in behaviour with gear selector position varies from transmission to transmission, and features like lockup have nothing to do with the ratio. Their behaviour depends on the gear they're in, and position of the selector. When automatics had three speeds (and dinosaurs roamed the earth), lockup happened in the non-overdrive third gear, and all the same issues applied.

"Overdrive" is irrelevant. Just because one OD transmission should tow in a lower gear does not mean that others should.
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:15 AM   #39
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Pete - 4 speed automatic... and yes, the torque converter slipping is what I listen for...

and Pat? nah... that might cause an uproar!
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:57 PM   #40
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Brian, you know and I know that the word overdrive was just a ratio, but the meaning of the word has been changed by marketeers and other useage and means different things in different contexts, esp with automatic transmissions, so the current best advice is RTFM! (For the uninitiated, RTFM means Read The umm, Fine Manual) OD on the gear selector means more than just a gear ratio.

Wikipedia's Overdrive


In fact, everyone with an automatic transmission should review their OM occasionally to understand what happens in that vehicle at each of the different selections, because it may not be either straightforward or standard.
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