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"Tow Haul" vs "S" Button

 
Old 01-23-2015, 01:23 PM
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Default "Tow Haul" vs "S" Button

I can't find anything about the TOw Haul button.

I assume the Tow Haul button changes the shift points, etc., for heavy trailers.

What does the "S" setting do?

This is on a new Ford F-150 2015.
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Old 01-23-2015, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by johnnabholz View Post
I can't find anything about the TOw Haul button.

I assume the Tow Haul button changes the shift points, etc., for heavy trailers.

What does the "S" setting do?

This is on a new Ford F-150 2015.
Right in the manual. If you haven't yet bought an F-150, all manuals are online, just Google.

Page 177 of your manual:

Tow/Haul Mode
E161509
To activate tow/haul, press the
button on the gearshift lever
once. The TOW HAUL indicator
light will illuminate in the instrument
cluster.
The tow/haul feature:
• Delays upshifts to reduce the frequency
of transmission shifting.
• Provides engine braking in all forward
gears, which will slow your vehicle and
assist you in controlling your vehicle
when descending a grade.
• Depending on driving conditions and
load conditions, may downshift the
transmission, slow your vehicle and
control your vehicle speed when
descending a hill, without pressing the
accelerator pedal. The amount of
downshift braking provided will vary
based upon the amount the brake
pedal is pressed.
The tow/haul feature improves
transmission operation when towing a
trailer or a heavy load. All transmission
gear ranges are available when using
tow/haul.
To deactivate the tow/haul feature and
return to normal driving mode, press the
button on the gearshift lever twice. The
TOW HAUL light will deactivate. Tow/haul
will also deactivate when you power down
your vehicle.
WAR

S setting is on page 177 also:
Sport Mode
E176099
To activate Sport Mode, press
the button on the gearshift lever
twice. The SPORT or S indicator
light will illuminate in the instrument
display
177
F-150 (), enUSA, First Printing
TransmissionThe sport mode feature:
• Provides additional grade (engine)
braking and extends lower gear
operation to enhance performance for
uphill climbs, hilly terrain or
mountainous areas. This will increase
engine RPM during engine braking.
• Provides additional lower gear
operation through the automatic
transmission shift strategy.
• Selects gears more quickly and at
higher engine speeds.
To deactivate the sport mode feature and
return to normal driving mode, press the
button on the gearshift lever once. The
SPORT or S indicator light will deactivate.
The sport mode feature will also
deactivate when your vehicle is powered
down.
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Old 01-24-2015, 08:09 AM
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What the manual doesn't mention is that the tranny spends a lot less time with the torque converter unlocked when in Tow/Haul mode. That means there's less heat generated, a good thing.

You don't want to be towing a heavy trailer up a long steep incline with an unlocked torque converter.
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by brulaz View Post
What the manual doesn't mention is that the tranny spends a lot less time with the torque converter unlocked when in Tow/Haul mode. That means there's less heat generated, a good thing.

You don't want to be towing a heavy trailer up a long steep incline with an unlocked torque converter.
Why is that? Would you not want it the other way around?
I thought the torque converter could only be locked at highway speeds (when the engine and transmission are turning at roughly the same speed)?
Towing a trailer, chugging up a steep incline the engine would be turning at a much higher rpm than the tranny.

I'm by no means a mechanical genius so I'm genuinely curious.
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Old 01-26-2015, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by schmenke View Post
Why is that? Would you not want it the other way around?
I thought the torque converter could only be locked at highway speeds (when the engine and transmission are turning at roughly the same speed)?
Towing a trailer, chugging up a steep incline the engine would be turning at a much higher rpm than the tranny.

I'm by no means a mechanical genius so I'm genuinely curious.
Well I wasn't thinking of a very slow "chugging" up a steep incline, and for sure the TC has to unlock when the vehicle comes to a stop. And traditionally I guess the lock-up has only been used at cruising speeds to improve mileage.

In fact that's where I first noticed the tow/haul difference. On a local hill, withOUT tow/haul engaged, I can see the rpm shift higher but the gear display remains at 6. When I do the same hill at the same speed WITH tow/haul engaged, the rpm also shifts higher, a bit more high in fact, but the also the gear display drops to 5. I interpret this to mean that the TC is locked in both 5th and 6th gears when in tow/haul. I have not checked the lower gears.

But I did a little google search and came up with this:
With a lockup clutch in the torque converter, engineers can use an impeller and turbine with slightly less fluid-coupling between them, allowing more slip, more torque multiplication and, as an unintended side effect, more heat. Turbulence in the torque converter is almost the only heat source in an automatic transmission, other than the momentary temperature buildup as the clutches engage and disengage.
As a result, a number of automatic transmissions and transaxles will engage the torque converter lockup in manually selected lower gears to keep the transmission from overheating during extended steep hill climbs or while towing. Some control systems will engage the lockup clutch in most gears above a certain speed if the transmission gets too hot.
That's what I think most modern truck trannys with Tow/haul modes are doing.

Here's the whole link: http://www.motor.com/article.asp?article_ID=176#body
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Old 01-26-2015, 04:13 PM
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Thanks brulaz. That's a very informative article.
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:17 PM
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I was pulling my 8k + Springdale TT from AZ to San Diego. Set the tow/haul mode on....started hitting some steep terrain, long grades and it was over 100. Noticed the tranny creaping up...switched off the tow mode and went the the rest of the way without.....and the temp actually went down. Now I don't use tow haul and the truck runs great!
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Old 01-17-2017, 11:25 AM
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Interesting stuff. I'll be towing a small utility trailer (10x7 + 3' v-front with my 2016 2.7 ecoboost. I want to know when I should and should not use the 'tow/haul' mode when towing, and why.
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Old 01-17-2017, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Danmark View Post
I want to know when I should and should not use the 'tow/haul' mode when towing, and why.

In a nutshell, if towing more than a rowboat, use tow/haul mode any time the trailer is connected. Because whether going up or down a grade, the engine and tranny is better controlled for towing. And even on "flat" land or plains, you're going to be going up or down often.


I wish mine would automagically switch to tow/haul mode any time a trailer was connected. But I have to be awake enough to mash that button to turn it on.

Last edited by smokeywren; 01-17-2017 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 01-18-2017, 01:22 PM
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I only use the tow/haul with our travel trailer when driving in the mountains or extremely hilly areas with steep hills. Outside of those types of areas I don't need it as the transmission doesn't do any excessive hunting for gears and I get a couple of more miles per gallon. With a small utility trailer I don't think it will make much difference one way or the other. If you find the transmission is hunting for gears while towing turn it on. Otherwise I would just leave it off.
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