According to the 1995 Tracer's Owner Guide (page 241): Overdrive is the usual driving position for an automatic overdrive transaxle(transmission). It works the same way D (Drive) works, AUTOMATICALLY upshifting or downshifting as the vehicle speeds or slows. However, Overdrive also shifts into a fourth gear (an overdrive gear) when your vehicle cruises at a consistent speed for any length of time (like on the Interstate). Overdrive will increase your fuel economy when you are traveling at cruise speeds (usually 50mph or higher). But, Overdrive may not be appropriate for certain terrain such as hilly or mountainous roads because the transaxle (transmission) automatically shifts back and forth between 3rd and 4th gears while doing this type of driving. Therefore, it is recommended if your car is continously climbing hills/mountains (which requires additional power) then you should shift to D (Drive).
It should indeed stand for Electronic Controlled Transmission. It will basically make the transmission delay shifting until the engine revs higher, giving you a bit more power. There should also be a button on the gear selector itself that probably turns on and off the overdrive, as described below. Of course the problem with running your car in ECT mode, means you will be using more gas. This is either the Overdrive button or the Traction Control button. On this car, I think this stands for Electronic Controlled Transmission, which means it turns the overdrive on an off. While traveling at 50 mph push the button. If you hear and see the engine rpms go up on the tach, this is the overdrive button.
Overdrive is the normally allowed position If the vehicle is shut off and then restarted , the overdrive will be allowed To turn off the overdrive feature , the button on the end of your gear selector has to be pushed and the O/D OFF light comes on in your dash ( if you push the button again the O/D OFF light will go out and the overdrive feature is allowed )
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