The ES's and R/T's have overdrive. It is where the engine's RPM's are lower than the RPM's at the output of the transmission (I think BEFORE the differential). Normally the transmission gears DOWN, but for overdrive, it actually gears UP to save gas at cruising speeds.
All 'Treps have overdrive, which reduces rpm's at beltway speeds to 1. reduce noise
2. save gas 3. reduce wear/tear on components.
The 'Treps are always in overdrive unless you shift out of 'D' - when in 'D' - overdrive - when in 3 out of overdrive. You get more performance and better breaking without overdrive (giving up some economy) and should not use 'D' in snow/slick weather.
So why can't I deselect it like on the ES's. Most cars with overdrive either have a button you press or a separate drive selection (ie: a D with a circle around it). Is 4th the overdrive or is overdrive a separate gear? Also, the dodge website showed the base model as having a 4spd auto and the es and r/t's having a 4spd WITH overdrive. Why wouldn't they want to advertise the base model as having overdrive since it's a good selling point?
Either way, for the longest time (dodge changed their website and it doesn't say it anymore) the ES's and R/T's were advertised to have a 4 speed automatic transmission "with overdrive". The base model didn't say that, so one would assume that it didn't really have overdrive. But if mine does actually have overdrive, there must be something different in the ES's and R/T's. If 4th gear is the overdrive gear, why would they say "4 speed with overdrive" on the upscale models and just "4 speed" on the base? Looking at the gear ratios, 4th being at .69 looks like overdrive... so why the confusion in the advertising? Doesn't make sense to me.
Also, moparman, the "3" on the shifter isn't a normal "drive without overdrive" like cars that have a seperate drive selection with a circle around the "D". Shifting into "3" changes the shift times for all gears, not just keeping it from going into 4th. If you're in 4th gear, put it into the "3" selection, it will shift into third, if you're in third, then put it in "3", it will usually go into second, and so on. Low will do the same except go another gear down, or pretty much stay in each gear until the max rpms in each gear is reached... ie: 1st up to ~40, 2nd up to ~75. I'm sure you already know this, but just to put my 2 cents in, "3" isn't the same as the "D" without a circle around it on those types of cars that have the extra drive selection.
Bart ,we have two transaxles in the plant ,one for 2.7 one for 3.5. They all have OD. The ES used to get A/Stick ,but for 2002 you cant get it . A/Stick only comes on R/T and 300M.That's why they changed the wording this year. Also the 2.7 transaxle is the one they put in the 300 special , that's what gives it the better off the line pull because of the taller gear used .So it must have O/D.
OK, well 4th is definitely an overdrive... and I guess ES's and R/T's actually mentioned overdrive because you have more control over it with the autostick... and the SE didn't mention it because if you don't want it to go into overdrive, you end up changing the shift pattern for all the gears. Makes more sense now, I just wish they would make things a little more clearer on the dodge website. Anyhow, Nokio definitely got his question answered.