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Old     (big_xstar)      Join Date: Nov 2004       08-31-2007, 1:54 PM Reply   
So most suv's and truck's nowaday's have a "tow mode".
How many of you use that feature?
I personally dont like how it changes my shift patterns when towing and how high the engine
revs when braking.
Curious what others do.
BTW.. out tow vehicle is a 04 F 250 Diesel.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       08-31-2007, 2:36 PM Reply
Old     (blastmaster)      Join Date: Aug 2001       08-31-2007, 2:37 PM Reply   
I'm Curious to see responses also. I have 06 SD 250. and dont usually use it towing the boat. It locks out the torque converter out of overdrive and raises the rpms. It is supposed to make towing easier.
Old     (dadthedriver)      Join Date: Jul 2004       08-31-2007, 2:48 PM Reply   
Love Tow mode. 06 F350 diesel. I use it in town and getting up to speed when entering a freeway once I get to speed I turn it off so that I get to cruise in overdrive. I also like how it uses the engine compression to help slow the truck instead of wearing out the brakes.
Old     (rio_sanger)      Join Date: Apr 2007       08-31-2007, 2:49 PM Reply   
The whole purpose of tow mode is to increase the towing performance and lessen strain on the engine, why would you NOT use it?
I love it, no "hunting" for gears on grades, and not shifting way too soon off the line or in stop and go traffic.
I even use it in the hills when not towing.
(2500 big block 4x4 Suburban)
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       08-31-2007, 3:45 PM Reply   
Tow mode is great. In addition to increasing the shift points for better pulling performance, it increases the line pressure in the tranny for crisper shifts. Crisp shifts are good for your transmission - they wear the clutch packs less and thus build up less heat. I personally hate the feel of a soft shift. Tow mode in most newer diesels also engine brakes, that's what you're feeling when it's revving high. That is to assist with braking under heavy load.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       08-31-2007, 3:46 PM Reply   
Note: "engine brakes" is a verb.
Old     (darinmg)      Join Date: Jul 2006       08-31-2007, 4:04 PM Reply   
If you pull in even small hills, watch your trans temp in regular mode and then in tow mode. You will be suprised at the difference. I keep my trans temp lower by 30-50 degrees in tow mode depending on how hot it is outside. I never tow without the tow mode enabled. Temp is what kills a trans. I have a 2006 2500HD diesel.
Old     (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       08-31-2007, 4:35 PM Reply   
I love the tow mode on my Silverado mostly because of the help in braking. Obviously, the lower shift points are going to make it easier to get up to speed with a big load, but to me the big advantage is the way I hardly need to use the brakes with a big load because the tranny seems to know when to downshift to help me reduce speed. If I had known you could get that much help out of a transmission, I would have signed up more than just a year ago!!
Old     (bp22)      Join Date: Oct 2006       09-03-2007, 1:32 PM Reply   
We have it on our 04 Excursion with the PSD. I use it every time I tow, great feature.
Old     (bradenb12)      Join Date: Jul 2005       09-04-2007, 8:14 AM Reply   
Use tow mode, that is what it's for.
Old     (bremsen)      Join Date: Aug 2005       09-04-2007, 8:52 AM Reply   
Have anyone checked their owners manual? Mine says not to engage tow mode until 75% of the tow capacity is met or surpassed.
Old     (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       09-05-2007, 12:49 AM Reply   
Ryan that is what I was thinking. Seems most posters up top short of Dave are using trucks capable of 12000 + lbs. I use it all the time on my 96 v8 exploder. At least on realativly flat terrain, mountains or hills Im sure it would make sense.

(Message edited by bob on September 05, 2007)
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       09-05-2007, 7:29 AM Reply   
I can't think of any good reason for that recommendation. It's most likely for "driving comfort" (same theory behind the slow / slippy / '72 Caddy shifts), or to prevent people from hassling their dealer with the same complaints as this original post.
Old     (zo1)      Join Date: Aug 2002       09-05-2007, 7:55 AM Reply   
I ALWAYS use it. Cousin is a mechanic for 30+ years now and his reco is to always use it if for no other reason that is basically turns off overdrive.

not good towing in Overdrive...
Old     (kraig)      Join Date: Dec 2002       09-05-2007, 4:25 PM Reply   
Just as everyone else is suggesting, Use it! That's what's it's there for. That's like asking what the 'D' is for on an automatic transmission when it works great in 3rd. There is a reason for it, as everyone has enlightened you, so use it. Everyone has pointed out the obvious advantages, but I'm sure there are many many more adv's for the engine and trans that we don't experience.
Old     (peterc4)      Join Date: Aug 2005       09-05-2007, 4:31 PM Reply   
I use it. It locks up the converter so keeps the trans temps down. Uses the engine to help with braking, and just seems to do a better job overall towing. Maybe the people that don't use the tow mode are smarter than all those engineers that work for car manufacturers.
Old     (mastercraft1995)      Join Date: Nov 2002       09-06-2007, 10:13 AM Reply   
Use Tow/Haul you'll save your transmission. The motor isn't what slows the speed while going down hill it's the transmission. The transmission slows the truck which then increases the motor RPM.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       09-06-2007, 10:29 AM Reply   
Technically I would say that it is the motor that slows you down; it's a combination of compression, vacuum, and lack of fuel. Turbodiesels can also close the wastegate to add a lot more resistance. The tranny just connects the motor to the road. The motor revs because the energy from slowing the truck down has nowhere else to go.

Anyway, use tow mode.
Old     (flux)      Join Date: Jun 2003       09-06-2007, 10:48 AM Reply   
I use mine almost constantly while pulling with my F250. Better takeoff, hill climbing, hill descending (much safer too, saves your brakes). Only time I have turned it off is when it won't upshift into OD on flats at moderate speeds. This is a rare occurrence, usually on a very windy flat road when I am forced to drive around 50-55 mph it will not drop into OD, I then find that it's hard to maintain speed, only drawback I have found with the T/H. Usually while cruising on flats, any need for increased power is taken up by the turbo instead of downshifting, love that aspect.

Descending steep grades is amazing in T/H, pretty awesome holding 55 down the north side of the grapevine without braking constantly, just little taps to adjust speed. Makes me feel much better, just in case an 18 wheeler comes into my lane I have nice cool brakes ready to go.

The 6.0l Fords have no wastegate.
Old     (mastercraft1995)      Join Date: Nov 2002       09-06-2007, 2:31 PM Reply   
The transmission is the brains of it and slows the vehicle. The 6.0 motor doesn't have a braking system on it. You should always you T/H when towing even on flat ground. T/H changes the shift points when starting out but once you get up to cruising speed it will run at the same RPM and if in O/D.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       09-07-2007, 4:50 AM Reply   
This is going off topic, but there is no "braking system" in a transmission, either. The PCM is actually the brains of it, and all it does is tell the tranny to stay in a gear, and the torque converter to lock up. There isn't some big disk brake inside the tranny that's being engaged - it's the resistance in the motor that slows you down.


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