How to enable Tow Haul mode on Ford F-150 – What’s its purpose?

Tow Haul is a driving mode available on Ford F-150 trucks which improves the transmission operation for maximum pulling power. This tutorial will show you how to enable this feature on your vehicle as well as explain how it improves trailer towing or hauling a heavy load.

Ford F-150 13th Generation, 2015-2020 – (photo by Ford)

How Tow Haul mode works?

When you enable Tow Haul on your F-150, you’ll notice that the system holds lower gears longer when you accelerate or decelerate. This is particularly useful on mountainous roads when it keeps the truck in a lower gear to give maximum hauling power when climbing and to use engine braking while descending hills, this prevents the brakes from burning up quickly.

Step 1: Press Drive Mode button

F-150 with Column Shifter

In case your truck has a column shifter, press the button at the end of the stick to bring up Drive Mode menu on the instrument cluster screen.

Column Shifter Drive Mode button location

F-150 with Console Shifter

In case your truck has a console shifter, then press the DM button at the left side of the shifter to bring up Drive Mode menu on the instrument cluster screen.

Console Shifter Drive Mode button location

Step 2: Select Tow Haul Mode

On the Drive Mode pop-up selection menu on your instrument cluster screen, you will see that its currently set to Normal, which is its default position: meaning whenever you restart your F-150 truck, your selected mode will reset to Normal mode. As of this writing, it is not possible to permanently turn on any other mode than Normal.

Using the arrow keys on your steering wheel, move the selection to Tow Haul icon on the pop-up menu and press OK button.

Selecting Tow Haul icon

Tow Haul icon will appear next to PRNDM, indicating that the mode has been successfully activated.

Tow Haul mode activation confirmation

If the mode does not activate and automatically goes back to Normal, then move your shifter from Drive (D) to Park (P) and try again. If the problem persists, then there is some fault with the system which needs to be checked by a specialist.

More F-150 Drive Modes

Author: Nabeel K

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5 months ago

I have a 2005 f150 lariat towing a 5×8 uhaul trailer

Gail Frazier
Gail Frazier
2 years ago

My F150 Lariat does not have a button located on my console shifter. This console does fold down to make a desktop. Do you have any idea where I can locate my tow mode?

2 years ago
Reply to  Gail Frazier

You have newer 14th gen F-150. The Drive Mode rotary knob is located on the left side of climate control buttons.
See this article:

Joe abell
Joe abell
2 years ago
Reply to  Stevie

And none of the selections is “tow/haul”. I have the newest f150 king ranch available and cannot figure out how to keep it in tow/haul mode. If it ever “magically” turns on, you better not turn your truck off or it’ll deactivate and you’ll never get it back on.