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Old 12-10-2016, 08:07 PM   #1
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Braking & slowing down habits

I just want to make sure I'm not putting any unnecessary stress on my MH's drive train so I want to just run this by you guys to see if these driving habits are ok.

1) So say driving on the freeway and then exiting on a ramp I would anticipate I need to be slowing down soon so I let off the gas 1st, coast a bit and then hit the tow mode button as I apply a little braking and the engine will down shift, 4, 3, 2, 1 assisting me to a total stop so I'm not using all brakes.

2) Driving in town to the storage garage, or going through a small town or whatever. You're in typical town traffic running in "Drive" 25, 35, 40 MPH and then you see a light turn red ahead. Again, let off gas, coast a bit, hit tow mode and let the engine/tranny downshifting do most of the work to slow you down. Once at a complete stop, hit the tow mode to off position, and then start moving again in "Drive".

Question:
Is using the Tow mode to assist in braking in these type of situations as a daily driving practice "a good practice"? Does it pose any hard labor or unfriendly functions of the engine/tranny?
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:28 PM   #2
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Never heard of tow mode, that said, your brake shoes are a lot cheaper to replace than transmission work.
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:41 PM   #3
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I had tow mode on my, recently traded, Ram 3500 dually. Had a 6.7L Cummings in it. It had two buttons for when towing, a tow and an engine brake. The tow button adjusted the transmission shifting and shift points so the shifting was very smooth while under load. Of course, the engine brake was what slowed it down using less brakes and mostly engine. They must have been tied into the ECM because as it slowed, under load, it would also downshift to keep slowing you down. Never saw a tow button in a MH, but I'm fairly new to the MH field.
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Old 12-10-2016, 09:27 PM   #4
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Using tow/haul for every stop can be done but as stated brakes are cheaper than transmission work. When you turn on tow haul the pcm shifts to a different program changing shift points rpm ranges and upshifts/downshifts are affected. The transmission itself turns on the coast clutch which aids in giving the trans more engine braking capability coasting down. I would use it sparingly to decrease trans wear. If you ever start towing a vehicle the toad or tow dolly will be using its brakes to assist you in stopping by using the tow/haul in this case you would loose that braking power. Or you could choose to run it all the time for the increase in towing ability but may experience lower fuel economy.
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Old 12-10-2016, 09:47 PM   #5
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Hopefully someone who is educated on this subject chimes in. I just got my 2016 f 53 computer updated so now the tow haul mode works like it should. Downshifts when the brake is applied.


In traffic situations I probably wouldn't use the tow haul. Just slow down and brake as needed always anticipating the traffic the best you can. When getting off the freeway I would do the same Just slow down. I don't think you will wear out the brakes doing this.


Now when going down hills or mountains YES use the tow haul and let the tranny slow you down. Use it as it was designed for.


Best of luck


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Old 12-10-2016, 11:30 PM   #6
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On my 2004 Dodge Ram 3500 I would just drive in the off position in town. When on the highway or any other road when approaching a hill I would engage the tow haul mode. I would also use it down hill as well.
My understanding of how it works is it locks up the torque converter to reduce slippage and heat build up.
When town driving I don't see why you could not just leave it in tow haul mode as really that is what it is there for.
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Old 12-11-2016, 12:22 AM   #7
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Use of the Tow/Haul Mode is perfectly OK. I do believe yours is the same as mine and is actually a Hill Descent Mode, in other words what it does is change the shift pattern to hold gears longer and also will down shift automatically after topping a hill if you let off the brakes and or tap the brakes or even hold your foot on the brakes to assist in descending a hill ( Hill Descent Mode).
It will not hurt to drive it in Tow/Haul mode all the time as I do even around town because I like the added feature of using the engine and transmission to help slow you down. It is designed to be used that way.
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Old 12-11-2016, 04:21 AM   #8
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The Ford "Tow/Haul" mode is the the default setting in Uhaul trucks. It's always on, when you start the engine.

They are not going to use a mode that burns up transmissions. They sure don't want their customers overheating the trucks brakes and crashing.

If you read your owners manual, you will see that it is OK to use it whenever it seems to help control your vehicle.

With proper maintenance, your looking at 250,000 to 300,000 miles of service, out of your transmission, weather you use Tow/Haul or not.

There is no "Coast Clutch". The Mode simply reprograms the shift points, to a little sooner or latter, that funtion all of the time while driving, in the transmission.
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Old 12-11-2016, 04:34 AM   #9
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Tow mode on my ford does down shift as you are slowing down, but it also senses increases in speed when going down hill. Example; you are traveling on freeway and start down hill. If you let off accelerator and start to coast, the system will sense any increase in speed and downshift truck. Allows you to retain better control, much like an exhaust brake on some coaches.
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Old 12-11-2016, 04:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperGewl View Post
It will not hurt to drive it in Tow/Haul mode all the time as I do even around town because I like the added feature of using the engine and transmission to help slow you down. It is designed to be used that way.
Yes, mine is exactly like yours.

Yeah I like that added feature too. It really helps slowing down and not having to use all brakes. It's a huge difference and a pleasure to slow down this way. But I noticed you said, "I drive in Tow/Haul (TH) mode all the time as I do even around town". So in town you use (TH) mode all the time. Now I see you have a Toad. We don't. Yet. We might later, we're talking about options there. Maybe we will, maybe we won't. But you are towing a toad. So is this why you use TH mode in town because of the extra weight load and lower end torque ability? What about Freeway driving? Do you use TH mode or are you in Drive. I understand the climbing & desending hills/mountains thing using TH mode, but I'm talking about just flat freeway cruising. What do you do there? And one last question, in TH mode, it only use 4 gears right? It will only go into 5th gear if you're NOT using TH mode. Is that right?
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Old 12-11-2016, 04:50 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
If you read your owners manual, you will see that it is OK to use it whenever it seems to help control your vehicle.

With proper maintenance, your looking at 250,000 to 300,000 miles of service, out of your transmission, weather you use Tow/Haul or not.
I have read my manual and I know it's perfectly fine to use TH mode but that's why I specified using it the way I did. In a nutshell, what I was saying was, is it a —good habit and safe to use—TH mode frequently to assist in braking. That's a lot different than using TH mode to help control your vehicle.

BTW...I'm very meticulous about maintenance in everything I do.

Would like your additional thoughts.
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Old 12-11-2016, 04:58 AM   #12
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I drive using the Tow/Haul feature all the time when I have my toad attached. If I am driving locally and the road is flat I don't use it if I do not have my toad attached.
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Old 12-11-2016, 05:38 AM   #13
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3x. Drive / stop / the same way. It's built fir that type of application.


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Old 12-11-2016, 05:49 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by marjoa View Post
And one last question, in TH mode, it only use 4 gears right? It will only go into 5th gear if you're NOT using TH mode. Is that right?
It will use all 5 gears.

You may be thinking about the older 4 speed trans with the "O/D Off" button. In that mode it did shut off 4th ( overdrive ) gear.

The Tow/Haul is a much better system.
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