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2018 Ford F-150 Powerstroke diesel King Ranch
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I put my 2018 F-150 Powerstroke in Eco mode 99.9% of the time. The slower starts don't bother me, and I like to try to maximize my mileage. Tow mode seems to keep it in higher gears and downshift more. Rain/snow mode just seems to really reduce torque to the wheels at take off. I can feel the difference in sport mode, but again rarely use or need it. Anyone have any other patterns or reasons for selecting a different mode?
 

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I also prefer Eco mode, not for the fuel economy (I haven't really noticed any significant difference between the modes) but because it seems to be more optimized for the Powerstroke engine this way- it holds gears better and makes use of the low end diesel torque by not revving out the motor as much. These have been my experiences with the different driving modes:

  • Normal: seems to want to rush through the gears to get to 10th as quickly as possible. Likes to downshift for more engine rpm, like when pulling hills.
  • Tow/Haul: stays in each gear longer and revs out more. Used every gear and not likely to skip-shift. Very eager to downshift, especially when braking- almost too eager downshifting when braking. Example: the truck will downshift to 2nd at 35-45mph and then try to hold back the truck with the motor.
  • Snow/Rain: very sluggish throttle response, takes it's sweet time getting going and shifting. Not in a hurry to do anything (I understand that's to limit slipping in low traction situations, but it's borderline ridiculous).
  • Eco: slower off the line than Normal mode, but not in as much of a rush to get to 10th like Normal, either. Shifts earlier, and will hold gears at lower engine rpm using the diesel's low end torque rather than downshifting for more revs. Watching the instant fuel economy display, it seems the truck picks gears based on what is most efficient for the current speed and engine load which, contrary to popular belief, isn't always the top gear.
  • Sport: quicker off the line, more sensitive to throttle inputs. Holding the throttle steady and changing to Sport the truck will accelerate. Doesn't skip-shift like other modes. Typically runs 1-2 gears lower than other modes at below highway speeds. I've heard people say they get better mpg using sport mode, but I don't see how when the truck is typically running more rpm for a given speed and sending more fuel for a given throttle input.
This is also a 'learning' transmission, and I've noticed it will adapt each mode individually to your driving style. Shifting modes makes it relearn and adapt the newly selected driving mode, and seems to throw it off each time you change modes temporarily until it adapts again.
 
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