Edmunds Answers



  • MrShift@Edmunds 05/14/10 5:16 pm PST

    3000 rpm sounds about right. Overdrive is a cruising gear only, meant for level roads with little load or wind resistance. Running overdrive at too low an RPM is never a good thing---you can overheat the transmission and really strain an engine. This is why there are computer shift controls to downshift under load.

    You could easily "count the shifts". You start in Drive, which is 1st gear, so that's "one" even before the car moves, then it shifts to 2nd (so that's "two"), etc etc. and you should count "four".

  • morin2 05/15/10 10:12 am PST

    You can test this yourself. If there is an o/d shutoff switch, you could turn off the o/d and see what the rpms are at the same speed in 3rd gear. Or, lacking an o/d shutoff switch, you could just shift into 3rd and take it up to 65 and see the rpms.

    I suspect that the shift into o/d is so smooth that you are not feeling it. Check it with the radio and a/c fan off.

    Tire size can affect speed and rpms, so verify that you have the correct tire size for the car.

    Mr. Shiftright is right - lugging an engine at too low rpms is not good. You don't want a transmission to shift into gear on its own (auto) too soon - at too low rpms. That's why I like the new auto transmissions that can be used manually or have "sport" modes and shift at higher rpms.

  • autoboy16 05/23/10 7:37 am PST

    That i perfectly normal for that car. Nothing to worry about.

    I have a Vw 1.8T with a 5 speed and at 80mph, its revving near 4,000rpms. Its just the normal operation for Vws. That puts the car right in the peak of powerband so the car doesn't need to downshift for power when you step on the gas.

  • MrShift@Edmunds 05/23/10 11:42 am PST

    autoboy is quite right here. The last thing you want is a small displacement car with a high ratio overdrive gearing, giving you very low RPM at highway speeds. This will cause the transmission to "hunt" (look constantly for a lower gear, then rev up, then drop into overdrive, then downshift, then rev up, on and on) and it will drive you crazy, trust me.

    A high-torque engine (torque is related to cylinder displacement but not the # of cylinders necessarily) can handle a higher ratio OD, such as say a 3.5 liter V6 or a 4.0 and up V8.

    Some automakers, in the quest to advertise higher MPG, have made this compromise, making their cars very annoying drive on the highway. Fortunately, VW knows better apparently.


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