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Final generation of the North American Volvo 200 series.

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Overdrive indicator light won't go off

I'm not sure if the button is stuck or if there is an overdrive issue

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Typically if you did not hit the button at one point or another and the light just suddenly came on, It indicates that there is an issue with the transmission that isn't allowing it to switch gears beyond whatever the top, non overdrive gear is. It is basically a limp mode. Have you noticed the engine running at higher revolutions per minute (RPM) at highway speeds? If so, the issue is likely as I described.

Assuming this is an Automatic transmission we are talking about I would check the easiest things first. Such as is there enough transmission fluid in the system. The way to check this is dependant on vehicle manufacturer. Pull your Transmission's dipstick and assuming it is a flat metal style, it will likely have proper instructions for checking the transmission fluid. Typically though, unless Honda or Hyundai, it's Start the engine, get the car warmed up and stop somewhere flat. With the engine running and the transmission in Park, get under the hood and check the transmission fluid the way you would if you were checking your oil. the color should be Red or close to red. Make sure that the level is to the proper point indicating full hot. If it is not you will want to get some transmission fluid that matches what the car is set for.

However I did find something else while searching the web a little...

Most common problem with the overdrive is due to the shift knob accidentally being pulled off of the shift lever (while trying to engage reverse), which results in the OD button wires being disconnected from the switch. Next is failure of the OD wires just below the shifter, where they simply fail from being flexed back and forth thousands of times. The switch in the gear shift knob can also go bad and don’t forget to check the wiring where it connects to the solenoid on the driver side of the transmission as the wires often get disconnected by accident. Last on the list are the solenoid and the overdrive themselves. The overdrive works off of hydraulic pressure and as they age, they begin to lose pressure and engagement will become unreliable. Often replacing the lightweight Type F auto trans fluid used in them with a 30-50 weight will provide a few more years of service.


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Even more common reason: the overdrive relay has failed. It's easy to replace and decent aftermarket versions are about $20. Remove the glove compartment and reach behind the dash, sort of behind the Air Vents and radio to find the relay and swap it. This is the most common reason for the OD light to stay on.


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Overdrive solenoid bypass kit from IPD is one permanent solution.

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