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farmboy 08-27-2009 08:19 AM

Tow/haul mode
I read in several post about `IN TOW HAUL MODE' and I don't know how to inturpt the meaning of the statement. My owers manual does not refer to in or out of tow haul mode, only the push tow/haul button if trans. shifts in or out of overdrive several times. I always tow in overdrive unless above occures. So what is meant by `IN TOW/HAUL MODE?

Art-n-Marge 08-27-2009 08:40 AM

On the transmission shifter the button on the end of a shift knob which was used for disabling Overdrive is now called Tow/Haul on newer model trucks. It is different from the old use in that it controls the transmission far more than just disabling the overdrive gear. It changes the trans for higher RPMs on upshifts and senses speed to enable downshifting when slowing down or stopping.

When one is "in tow/haul mode" this means the button has been enabled and there is usually an indication on your dash denoting this. For my Ford F-250, there is an Amber light on the dash that says "Tow/Haul".

Your description implies it only prevents Overdrive from being used (which is the recommended operation when towing).

Glenn and Lorraine 08-27-2009 09:09 AM

I have no idea of how a Dodge, or a Ford for that matter, operates in or out of Tow/Haul and so I won't go there.

But on a GM the button is on the end of the gear shift and the button serves 2 purposes.
1- Press the button quickly and it shifts into or out of Overdrive
2- Press and hold and it shifts into or out of Tow/Haul mode.

The only time I have it in Tow/Haul is decending a mountain. I also will engage Tow/Haul when approaching the exit ramp that I will be using. I will occasionally use Tow/Haul to assist in braking in cases where I maybe on a highway traveling at speed and notice a traffic light up ahead that I will possibly need to stop for.

With the exception of some upgrades I always tow in Overdrive.

Bill-N-Donna 08-27-2009 09:21 AM

I canít really answer your question. There are too many variables between trucks these days. I can address how it worked for me. When I had the 1996 Dodge Ram 1-ton dually, all I could do was disengage the overdrive. It would sometimes kick in and out of OD a lot if I didnít use it while towing. This is what that switch was for on the Dodge I had.

In the Tow/Haul Mode with the 2004 F-350, I always use it when towing. It really helps hold back on hills and distributes the power as needed for climbing hills. I donít have a concern about it shifting in or out of O/D. It really isnít noticeable as it was with my previous truck. I just set it and leave it on when towing, it finds the gear and power it needs; itís a great feature but Iím not certain just how yours is set up.

hookman 08-27-2009 09:23 AM

The tow/haul mode changes your shift points for hauling heavy loads and the shifts are more positive.

Tom S. 08-27-2009 11:09 AM

On the Dodge, it's called the Tow 4 Overhaul mode.

Sorry - I worked for GM...... [}:)]

farmboy 08-27-2009 02:51 PM

Thanks for all your fine responses. I know how to used the tow/haul sw. and do as nessary as said by many. I was just somewhat confused as to what others meant by `IN TOW/HAUL MODE'. I now have a better understanding of your posts. Thanks much.

sreigle 08-28-2009 09:20 AM

Just to add a point, on the Dodges with tow/haul, turning tow/haul on does not lock out overdrive. It does change the shift pattern and apparently the program used by the transmission to improve performance and protect the engine and transmission, as others noted. I always use tow/haul when towing, with only rare exception.

skypilot 08-28-2009 10:57 AM

On the newer Dodges (07.5 and newer), the Tow/Haul (as Steve mentioned) does not lock out the overdrive but actually changes the shift points, makes the converter lock in much more forcefully (some have complained about hard shifts both up and downshifting), and, as I just mentioned, introduced a forceful downshift that makes the Variable Vaned Turbo much more effective as an exhaust brake. Much like the Allison tranny in GM products, we can now come to an almost complete stop without touching the brakes using just the tow/haul mode and VVT.. super and very nice savings on the brakes.

sreigle 08-28-2009 11:07 AM

Skypilot, add the exhaust brake to that and it's fantastic. My 2005 F250 also didn't lock out overdrive and did a good job.

Joeagrant 08-29-2009 03:51 AM

On my 2007.5 Silverado, I find it better to pull in the tow haul mode, and then shift into manual. I set the gear at 5. The transmission will shift down if need be, but will not go into 6th. I get better mileage by not driving in 6th, because the engine doesn't lug as much and waste fuel in hilly country. I can also manually shift down a gear if I see that my EGT's are getting a little too high when going up a grade. Maybe 6th would be good in Kansas where everything is flat.

sreigle 08-29-2009 06:58 AM

That's one thing I like about the Cummins in my Dodge. Its peak torque is at 1500 rpm. Sixth gear works well in many situations and the transmission is smart enough to know when to downshift. I figure it's smarter than me so I just let it do the work.

By the way, some of the steeper hills we've climbed are in northeast Kansas. Several states have far more flat land. Kansas gets a bum rap. But there definitely are some flat lands in the state.

skypilot 08-30-2009 06:41 PM

Not to steal the thread but very true about Kansas not being flat -- we go from roughly 700 ft MSL to over 4000 ft MSL in this state. Of course when driving almost 400 miles from east to west (or the opposite) it doesn't see that much of a climb :).... The highest is a mountain peak in Western Kansas fairly close to Oakley (I-70) as I recall.

Regardless, back on topic -- I've been towing with my Dodge in Tow/Haul mode and just let the system pick the gear. Has worked well for me so far.

RADHAZJOE 09-02-2009 04:33 PM

Just ran comparative mileage test on our 2007 Silverado 2500 Diesel over 150 miles on flat roadway at constant speed, alternating each 10 miles between tow/noe-tow mode. An initial analysis shows a .22% better mileage in tow mode on flat terrian at constant 60mph. This is probably within experimental error so doesn't matter so I will just continue to tow in tow mode.

BB_TX 09-03-2009 04:12 AM

In flat to slightly hilly highway driving, mine stays in OD most of the time while in tow/haul mode, so I don't think mpg would be much different in or out of T/H.
If I am in cruise, towing, and see a hill coming up, I will sometimes ease down on the throttle to gain 2-3 mph over the cruise setting before reaching the hill. This often prevents the transmission from dropping down a gear.

richfaa 09-03-2009 04:51 AM

I am cautious on using T/H and CC. On fairly level ground I don't think it makes any difference and it works ok on moderate grades. However on step grades if the CC is set at say 65MPH....T/H on... the CC will keep it at 65 mph which can result in some very high RPM's , Boost and EGT's. We run by our guages(after market) and I do not like high boost and EGT's so We will back off till we are in a acceptable range. On the down hill side it is a different story and T/H is great in keeping the speed under control.

Trailer Trash 2 09-03-2009 08:15 AM

On my 96 Ford 7.3 PSD I used to take it off of OD when pulling a good hill, regardless of what Ford said, I had better control of the ET and boost, But on the new truck they say I dont need to take it off Tow-Haul it will downshift when needed, I still take it off auto-(D) Tow-Haul and shift it manually on Tow-Haul with the selector switch, I can judge the sound of the motor quicker then the computer can keeping the Boost and coolant temps down, it seems to run smoother and doesn't sound like, "should I shift or not" for the computer.
But going down hill I will leave it on auto but I still have the option of splitting the gears with the selector switch.

richfaa 09-03-2009 09:21 AM

"But on the new truck they say I dont need to take it off Tow-Haul it will downshift when needed," I don't think I agree with Ford on that Statement" Yes it will downshift but the CC if left on will maintain the set speed. When I say steep grades I mean 6% or better. We had no problem going up Fancy Gap ..6% 8 miles. TH and CC engaged and EGT Boost and xmittion temps were within acceptable range. Experiment the next time you are out.

farmboy 09-03-2009 01:37 PM

Ok folks, to many of you have gotten off original topic so lets just stop posting on it now . Please. To much advice from none Dodge owners or not same year as mine. I dodn't need advive just ask a general question.

Trailer Trash 2 09-03-2009 02:01 PM


quote:Originally posted by farmboy

Ok folks, to many of you have gotten off original topic so lets just stop posting on it now . Please. To much advice from none Dodge owners or not same year as mine. I dodn't need advive just ask a general question.
Mine is a Dodge, not the same year, but most of the replys will relate to any model, weather it be Ford with Tow Command, Dodge with Tow Haul, and for GM products, sorry I dont know what they call it , but pulling a hill is just about the same for all of them.

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