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What Does the Tow Haul Button Do: 5 Key Responsibilities

Updated: Jun 5

What Does the Tow Haul Button Do

You're driving down the highway, towing a trailer behind your vehicle. The engine is roaring, and the transmission struggles to keep up with the added weight. That's when you notice a button on your dashboard labeled 'Tow Haul.' What does it do?

This handy feature is designed to make your towing experience smoother and more efficient. When activated, it adjusts shift points and downshifts when needed for better engine braking, provides increased throttle response, and enhances traction control and stability.

In short, it helps you maintain better control over your vehicle while hauling heavy loads or driving on steep inclines.

Here, we'll dive into what exactly the Tow Haul button does, when to use it, and whether or not it saves gas. So buckle up and get ready to discover this handy little button that can make all the difference on your next towing adventure.

What Does the Tow Haul Button Do: Brief Explanations

Tow Haul Button Do

The tow/haul button is a feature commonly found in modern vehicles, especially trucks and SUVs equipped with automatic transmissions. The tow/haul mode optimizes the transmission's shift patterns and other parameters during towing or hauling.

Here's what the tow/haul button typically does:

No 01: Shift Points

No 02: Downshifting

No 03: Engine Braking

No 04: Increased Throttle Response

No 05: Traction Control and Stability

No 01: Shift Points

The tow/haul mode adjusts the transmission shift points, allowing the engine to operate more efficiently and provide greater power for heavy loads.

With this mode, the vehicle's electronic control module changes the transmission control module's shift points, putting more time between gear shifts.

This means that when you accelerate in tow/haul mode, your engine will rev higher before upshifting, giving you more power to move the load. During trailer or payload hauling, these shift points are adjusted to keep the engine operating at its optimal RPM range.

If the engine is allowed to shift too early or too often, it can wear out both the engine and transmission.

No 02: Downshifting

By activating the tow/haul mode, the transmission downshifts more aggressively, improving engine braking and reducing brake wear.

This is because when you are towing a heavy load or descending steep grades, your regular brakes can get overheated and become less effective. Using engine braking, the vehicle is slowed using engine resistance, which reduces the load on the regular brakes.

The aggressive downshifting also provides better control while towing downhill. When going downhill, it's easy for your speed to increase uncontrollably due to gravity.

Tow/haul mode allows for an easier time controlling your vehicle's speed by using the resistance of the engine, as mentioned before.

No 03: Engine Braking

In tow/haul mode, the engine braking feature lets you maintain your speed while descending hills and prevents your transmission from overheating. When you release the accelerator pedal, this feature engages the engine's braking system to provide additional deceleration.

Instead of relying solely on your brakes, which can overheat and wear out quickly if used excessively, the engine helps slow the vehicle down. The engine braking feature is especially useful when towing heavy loads or traversing steep terrain.

Using your brakes constantly to control your speed can wear them out and cause them to overheat and lose effectiveness. Using tow/haul mode with engine braking, you can ensure a smoother ride and better vehicle handling.

No 04: Increased Throttle Response

Tow/haul mode gives your vehicle an extra boost of power, making it easier to accelerate and handle tough terrain. This is because the increased throttle response allows for improved acceleration, especially when hauling heavy loads.

When you press down on the accelerator pedal, the engine delivers power more readily than in normal driving mode. This enhanced throttle response is particularly useful when towing a trailer or carrying a heavy load uphill or over rough terrain.

With more power at your disposal, you can maintain speed and control over your vehicle even when facing challenging conditions.

No 05: Traction Control and Stability

Imagine your vehicle as a skilled athlete, ready to tackle any challenge with grace and precision. When used in tow/haul mode, the vehicle's traction control and stability systems work seamlessly, giving you confidence and control.

These systems are designed to prevent wheel spin and improve stability while towing or hauling heavy loads. Also, traction control will detect any loss of traction at each wheel independently and apply brakes or reduce engine power if necessary.

Stability control will also apply brakes selectively to certain wheels if it detects any instability in a vehicle's motion or reduced engine power if necessary.

You should note that the specific functionalities of the tow/haul mode may vary depending on the vehicle's make, model, and year.

So, it's always recommended to consult the vehicle's owner's manual for detailed information about the tow/haul mode and its features in your specific vehicle. You can also contact a reputable towing service or mechanic for further assistance.

Is it OK to drive in tow haul mode?

Is it OK to drive in tow haul mode

Driving in tow haul mode is perfectly fine and can even improve your towing experience and make it safer. Engaging the tow haul button changes the transmission's shift points, allowing it to stay in lower gears for longer periods.

This feature will provide better acceleration when towing heavier loads, making merging onto highways or passing other vehicles easier.

Also tow haul mode also helps preserve your vehicle's brakes by using engine braking instead of regular brakes when slowing down.

By utilizing engine braking, you're using the engine's resistance to slow down instead of relying on your brake pads. This saves wear and tear on your brakes and keeps them cooler during extended downhill descents.

When not to use tow haul mode?

You shouldn't use tow haul mode in icy or slippery conditions, as it can increase engine braking and potentially cause your rear wheels to slide, which could lead to a dangerous situation.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 21% of accidents occur each year due to weather-related conditions. This means that using tow haul mode during such conditions presents a high risk of injury.

Apart from ice and slippery roads, you should also avoid using tow haul mode when driving downhill for extended periods of time. The increased engine braking can cause the brakes to overheat and wear out faster than usual.

Also, if you frequently stop and go or drive on hills with many turns and stops, tow haul is unnecessary as it can only tow heavy loads and trailers. Use your discretion when deciding whether or not to use this feature based on road conditions and your vehicle's capabilities.

Does tow haul mode save gas?

Using tow/haul mode isn't the most fuel-efficient option for everyday driving, but it can provide extra power when towing or plowing.

When you activate this mode, the vehicle's transmission system changes gears differently to optimize torque and horsepower output. This means that more fuel is used to generate the extra power needed for heavier loads.

Using tow/haul mode during normal driving or consistent highway driving reduces your vehicle's normal fuel economy. By reducing strain and overheating caused by heavy loads when towing a trailer or plowing snow, this mode can help prevent damage to your engine.

Maximize Your Towing Experience with Tow Haul Button

Maximize Your Towing Experience with Tow Haul Button

Utilizing the tow haul button can significantly enhance your driving experience when towing heavy loads or navigating challenging terrain. This feature promotes smoother shifting, improved engine braking, and controlled acceleration.

But, it's essential to exercise caution and avoid engaging in tow haul mode when driving on flat terrain at high speeds or in stop-and-go traffic. As it may negatively impact fuel efficiency and cause unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle

You can optimize your driving performance, safety, and comfort by understanding when and how to use the tow haul button. So, the next time you hit the road with a heavy load, remember to engage this beneficial feature and enjoy a smoother, more effortless ride.

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