Ford How-To: Ford F-150® 4x4 and Drive Modes

Ford How-To: Ford F-150® 4x4 and Drive Modes

Posted at Thu, May 25, 2023 11:45 AM

Your four-by-four vehicle either has an available electronic shift on the fly or ESOF system, or an available two-speed automatic four-wheel drive system that allows you to select different four-by-four modes depending on your driving conditions. ESOF offers two high mode, which helps provide a smooth ride for normal on-road driving and helps maximize fuel economy when four-wheel drive isn't needed. Four high mode, which should only be used in off-road or slippery winter conditions like snow, ice, and shallow sand, and four low mode, which gives you extra power at reduced speed for climbing hills, driving in or going through deep sand or rock crawling. The two-speed automatic four-wheel drive system also gives you two high, four high and four low modes, and adds a four automatic mode, which determines the driving conditions and provides appropriate power to the front and rear tires as needed to help maximize traction and control. It's good for everyday driving and is especially useful on wet surfaces, snow or gravel.

Regardless of which system you have, you can change four-by-four modes by pressing these buttons on your center stack. Your vehicle may also have a feature called electronic locking differential. This is a device housed in the rear axle that helps provide additional traction and is designed for use in off-road situations like when you're driving in mud, sand, or on rocks and need maximum traction. Just push the electronic locking differential control button to turn it on and off manually. It will engage and disengage based on your vehicle's speed. In most drive modes, it is available when driving below 20 miles per hour and will disengage automatically and be in standby mode when driving over 25 miles per hour. You can tell the electronic locking differential is in standby mode when this icon is gray. When your vehicle slows down and ELD reengages, the icon will turn amber indicating that the rear differential is locked.

Next, let's go over your drive modes, which are settings you can select to help your vehicle adjust to various on or off-road driving conditions by optimizing steering stability, throttle response, transmission shifting, and drive line behavior. They're controlled by rotating this knob. Your four-wheel drive mode and drive mode are shown here in the display. For vehicles equipped with four-by-four, you have normal, eco, sport, slippery, deep snow/sand, mud ruts, tow hall modes, and available rock crawl mode. For a sporty driving feel, choose sport mode. You'll experience increased accelerator pedal response as the powertrain system holds onto the lower gears longer helping your vehicle accelerate faster. Eco-mode is designed to maximize efficiency. It helps to increase driving range and reduce fuel consumption. Tow haul mode tunes the steering and suspension to help improve driving comfort when towing a trailer or a heavy load. Normal mode is for everyday driving and provides a balance of excitement, comfort, and convenience. Your vehicle will default to normal mode after each ignition cycle. At startup, you'll see a prompt that gives you the option to return to the previously used drive mode. Select yes to do so.

If you select no, the vehicle will remain in normal mode, switch to too high and disengage the electronic locking differential. If you do nothing, the vehicle will remain in normal mode and maintain the four-by-four and electronic locking differential settings. Slippery mode can be used for crossing terrain where a firm surface is covered with loose, wet, or slippery material like ice or snow. Slippery mode softens throttle response and optimizes shifting. For off-road driving on soft, dry sand or deep snow, you have deep snow/sand mode. This mode optimizes accelerator pedal response to help maintain forward momentum. If your vehicle gets in a tight situation, this mode can help. To enhance your truck's performance on muddy, rutted, or uneven terrains, use mud ruts mode. Rock crawl mode is for off-road driving and optimum rock climbing. It engages the electronic locking differential, optimizes throttle response, and adjusts transmission shift points to provide additional control.

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