Driving Hints Ford F150

Off-Road Driving
Driving Through Water
Snow Plowing
Floor Mats


Your fuel economy is affected by several things, such as how you drive, the conditions you drive under, and how you maintain your vehicle.

You may improve your fuel economy by keeping these things in mind:
• Accelerate and slow down in a smooth, moderate fashion.
• Drive at steady speeds without stopping.
• Anticipate stops; slowing down may eliminate the need to stop.
• Combine errands and minimize stop-and-go driving.
• Close the windows for high-speed driving.
• Drive at reasonable speeds (traveling at 55 mph [88 km/h] uses 15% less fuel than traveling at 65 mph [105 km/h]).
• Keep the tires properly inflated and use only the recommended size.
• Use the recommended engine oil.
• Perform all regularly scheduled maintenance.

Avoid these actions; they reduce your fuel economy:

• Sudden accelerations or hard accelerations.
• Revving the engine before turning it off.
• Idle for periods longer than one minute.
• Warm up your vehicle on cold mornings.
• Use the air conditioner or front defroster.
• Use the speed control in hilly terrain.
• Rest your foot on the brake pedal while driving.
• Drive a heavily loaded vehicle or tow a trailer.
• Carry unnecessary weight (approximately 1 mpg [0.4 km/L] is lost for every 400 lb [180 kilogram] of weight carried).
• Driving with the wheels out of alignment.


• Heavily loading a vehicle or towing a trailer may reduce fuel economy at any speed.
• Adding certain accessories to your vehicle (for example bug deflectors, rollbars, light bars, running boards, ski racks or luggage racks) may reduce fuel economy.
• To maximize the fuel economy, drive with the tonneau cover installed (if equipped).
• Using fuel blended with alcohol may lower fuel economy.
• Fuel economy may decrease with lower temperatures during the first 5–10 mi (12–16 km) of driving.
• Driving on flat terrain offers improved fuel economy as compared to driving on hilly terrain.
• Transmissions give their best fuel economy when operated in the top cruise gear and with steady pressure on the gas pedal.
• Four-wheel-drive operation (if equipped) is less fuel efficient than two-wheel-drive operation.


In addition to providing an excellent on-road driving experience, your vehicle excels at all types of off-road driving. The truck has been designed and equipped to allow you to explore those places where the road doesn’t take you whether it’s a

forest trail or the open desert. Before going off-roading, consult with your local governmental agencies to determine designated off-road trails and recreation areas. Also, be sure to understand any off-road vehicle registration requirements for the area in which you plan on driving.

Tread Lightly is an educational program designed to increase public awareness of land-use regulations and responsibilities in our nation’s wilderness areas. Ford joins the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in encouraging you to help preserve our national forest and other public and private lands by treading lightly.

Before taking your vehicle off-roading, a basic vehicle inspection should be done to make sure that the vehicle is in top working condition.

It is always recommended that at least two vehicles are used while off-roading.

The buddy system helps make sure that help is close at hand should a vehicle become stuck or damaged. It is also wise to take supplies such as a first aid kit, supply of water, tow strap, cell or satellite phone with you any time an off-road excursion is planned.

Basic Off-road Driving Techniques

• Grip the steering wheel with thumbs on the outside of the rim. This will reduce the risk of injury due to abrupt steering wheel motions that occur when negotiating rough terrain. Do not grip the steering wheel with thumbs inside the rim.
• Throttle, brake and steering inputs should be made in a smooth and controlled manner. Sudden inputs to the controls can cause loss of traction or upset the vehicle, especially while on sloped terrain or while crossing obstacles such as rocks or logs.
• Look ahead on your route noting upcoming obstacles, surface texture or color changes or any other factors which may indicate a change in available traction, and adjust the vehicle speed and route accordingly.
During pre-run, mark obstacles with GPS markers to make sure appropriate speeds are used to avoid potential vehicle damage.
• When driving off-road, if the front or rear suspension is bottoming out and/or excessive contact with the skid-plates is encountered, reduce vehicle speed to avoid potential damage to the vehicle.
• When running with other vehicles, it is recommended that communication is used, and the lead vehicle notify other vehicles of obstacles that could cause potential vehicle damage.
• Always keep available ground clearance in mind and pick a route that minimizes the risk of catching the underside of the vehicle on an obstacle.
• When negotiating low speed obstacles, applying light brake pressure in conjunction with the throttle will help prevent the vehicle from jerking and will allow you to negotiate the obstacle in a more controlled manner. Using 4L will also help with this.
• Use and equip supplemental safety equipment as discussed later in this chapter.
• Please consult your local off-road group for other helpful tips.
• Off-roading requires a high degree of concentration. Even if your local law does not prohibit alcohol use while driving off-road, Ford strongly recommends against drinking if you plan to off-road.

Crossing Obstacles

• Review the path ahead before attempting to cross any obstacle. It is best if the obstacle is reviewed from outside the vehicle so that there is a good understanding of terrain condition both in front of and behind the obstacle.
• Approach obstacles slowly and slowly inch the vehicle over.
• If a large obstacle such as a rock cannot be avoided, choose a path that places the rock directly under the tire rather than the undercarriage of the vehicle. This will help prevent damage to the vehicle.
• Ditches and washouts should be crossed at a 45 degree angle, allowing each wheel to independently cross the obstacle.

Hill Climbing

WARNING: Extreme care should be used when steering the vehicle in reverse down a slope so as not to cause the vehicle to swerve out of control.

• Always attempt to climb a steep hill along the fall line of the slope and not diagonally.
• If the vehicle is unable to make it up the hill, DO NOT attempt to turn back down the slope. Place the vehicle in low range and slowly back down in reverse.
• When descending a steep slope, select low gear and engage hill descent control. Use the throttle and brake pedals to control your descent speed as described earlier in this section using hill descent control. Note that hill descent control is functional in reverse and should be used in this situation.


You need to break in new tires for approximately 300 mi (480 km). During this time, your vehicle may exhibit some unusual driving characteristics.

Avoid driving too fast during the first 1,000 mi (1,600 km). Vary your speed frequently and change up through the gears early. Do not labor the engine.

Do not tow during the first 1,000 mi (1,600 km).


WARNING: Do not drive through flowing or deep water as you may lose control of your vehicle.

Note: Driving through standing water can cause vehicle damage.

Note: Engine damage can occur if water enters the air filter.

Before driving through standing water, check the depth. Never drive through water that is higher than the bottom of the wheel hubs.


When driving through standing water, drive very slowly and do not stop your vehicle.
Your brake performance and traction may be limited. After driving through water and as soon as it is safe to do so:

• Lightly press the brake pedal to dry the brakes and to check that they work.
• Check that the horn works.
• Check that the exterior lights work.
• Turn the steering wheel to check that the steering power assist works.


We recommend the four-wheel drive F-150 in XL, XLT or Lariat trim levels with the 5.0L engine and snowplow option for residential snowplowing only. We do not recommend the F-150 with the automatic four-wheel drive system for snowplowing.

Do not use F-150 vehicles equipped with the 2.7L, 3.0L, 3.3L or 3.5L engines for snowplowing.

Installing the Snowplow

Weight limits and guidelines for selecting and installing the snowplow are in the Ford Truck Body Builders Layout Book, snowplow section, found at www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas.

A typical installation affects the following:

• Certification to government safety laws such as occupant protection and airbag deployment, braking, and lighting. Look for an Alterer’s Label on your vehicle from the snowplow installer certifying that the installation meets all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS).
• The Front Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) is on the upper left side of the vehicle’s Safety Compliance Certification Label. This is the total weight that front axle supports, which includes the vehicle weight plus any auxiliary equipment such as snowplow frame-mounted hardware that can be added to the vehicle and satisfy Ford compliance certification to FMVSS. Do not exceed FGAWR or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).
• Rear ballast weight behind the rear axle may be required to prevent exceeding the FGAWR, and provide front-to-rear weight balance for proper braking and steering.
• Front wheel toe may require re-adjustment to prevent premature uneven tire wear. Specifications are in the Ford Workshop Manual.
• Headlight aim may require adjustment.
• The tire air pressures recommended for general driving are on the vehicle’s Safety Certification Label. The maximum cold inflation pressure for the tire and associated load rating are on the tire sidewall. Tire air pressure may require re-adjustment within these pressure limits to accommodate the additional weight of the snowplow installation.
• Federal and some local regulations require additional exterior lamps for snowplow-equipped vehicles. Contact an authorized dealer for additional information.

Snowplow Mode (If Equipped)

Press the snowplow button on the instrument panel to switch on snowplow mode. The button illuminates when in snowplow mode. A message appears in the information display indicating that features are turned off when in snowplow mode.

The following features are disabled when in snowplow mode:

• 110V inverter.
• Fog lamps.
• Heated steering wheel.
• Heated front and rear seats.
• Massaging seats.

The body module also activates the snowplow relay that provides power to aftermarket snowplow controls.

Switch off snowplow mode by pressing the snowplow button or switching off the ignition. The snowplow button is no longer illuminated and features are turned on.

Note: The electrical system is designed to support the addition of a residential snowplow (up to 60 Amps continuous) and snowplow lights (up to 20 Amps continuous) using snowplow mode. The system is not designed to support snowplow usage with additional electrical aftermarket accessories.

Operating the Vehicle with the Snowplow Attached

Note: Drive the vehicle at least 500 mi (800 km) before using your vehicle for snow removal.

We recommend vehicle speed does not exceed 45 mph (72 km/h) when snowplowing.

The attached snowplow blade restricts airflow to the radiator, and may cause the engine to run at a higher temperature.

Attention to engine temperature is especially important when outside temperatures are above freezing. Angle the blade to maximize airflow to the radiator and monitor engine temperature to determine whether a left or right angle provides the best performance.

Follow the severe duty schedule in your Scheduled Maintenance information for engine oil and transmission fluid change intervals.

Snowplowing with your Airbag Equipped Vehicle

WARNING: Do not attempt to service, repair, or modify the airbag supplemental restraint systems or its fuses on a vehicle containing air bags as you could be seriously injured or killed.

Contact your authorized dealer as soon as possible.

WARNING: All occupants of your vehicle, including the driver, should always properly wear their seatbelts, even when an airbag supplemental restraint system is provided. Failure to properly wear your seatbelt could seriously increase the risk of injury or death.

WARNING: Modifying or adding equipment to the front end of your vehicle (including hood, bumper system, frame, front end body structure, tow hooks and hood pins) may affect the performance of the airbag system, increasing the risk of injury. Do not modify or add equipment to the front end of your vehicle.

Note: Please refer to the Body Builders Layout Book for instructions about the appropriate installation of additional equipment.

Your vehicle is equipped with a driver and passenger airbag supplemental restraint system. The supplemental restraint system activates in certain frontal and offset frontal collisions when the vehicle sustains sufficient longitudinal deceleration.

Careless or high speed driving while snowplowing, which results in significant vehicle decelerations, can deploy the airbag. Such driving also increases the risk of accidents.

Never remove or defeat the tripping mechanisms designed into the snow removal equipment by its manufacturer.

Doing so may cause damage to the vehicle and the snow removal equipment as well as possible airbag deployment.

Engine Temperature while Plowing

Your engine may run at a higher temperature than normal because the attached snowplow blade restricts airflow to the radiator:

• If you are driving more than 15 mi (24 km) at temperatures above freezing, angle the plow blade either full left or full right to provide maximum airflow to the radiator.
• If you are driving less than 15 mi (24 km) at speeds up to 45 mph (72 km/h) in cold weather, you do not need to worry about blade position to provide maximum airflow.

Transmission Operation while Plowing

WARNING: Do not spin the wheels at over 34 mph (55 km/h). The tires may fail and injure a passenger or bystander.

• Shift transfer case to 4L (4WD Low) when plowing in small areas at speeds below 5 mph (8 km/h).
• Shift transfer case to 4H (4WD High) when plowing larger areas or light snow at higher speeds. Do not exceed 15 mph (24 km/h).
• Do not shift the transmission from a forward gear to R (Reverse) until the engine is at idle and the wheels have stopped.

Outside Air Temperature While Plowing

While plowing with your vehicle, the plow blade can block the sensor airflow and cause the outside air temperature reading to be inaccurate.

A Ford wiring kit is available to relocate the Outside Air Temperature sensor to the plow blade frame to provide more accurate outside air temperature readings.
Contact an authorized dealer for more information.


WARNING: Use a floor mat designed to fit the footwell of your vehicle that does not obstruct the pedal area. Failure to follow this instruction could result in the loss of control of your vehicle, personal injury or death.

WARNING: Pedals that cannot move freely can cause loss of vehicle control and increase the risk of serious personal injury.

WARNING: Secure the floor mat to both retention devices so that it cannot slip out of position and interfere with the pedals. Failure to follow this instruction could result in the loss of control of your vehicle, personal injury or death.

WARNING: Do not place additional floor mats or any other covering on top of the original floor mats. This could result in the floor mat interfering with the operation of the pedals. Failure to follow this instruction could result in the loss of control of your vehicle, personal injury or death.

WARNING: Always make sure that objects cannot fall into the driver foot well while your vehicle is moving. Objects that are loose can become trapped under the pedals causing a loss of vehicle control.


To install the floor mats, position the floor mat eyelet over the retention post and press down to lock in position.

To remove the floor mat, reverse the installation procedure.

Note: Regularly check the floor mats to make sure they are secure.

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