It’s America’s most popular pickup, and yet there exists hidden details inside of the Ford F-Series owners don’t know about. Same goes for the Ranger, which just made its comeback last year.
For an automaker like Ford that's always under scrutiny for its hotly-anticipated vehicles such as the Bronco, it's surprising they managed to slip these details into their best-selling pickups without owners noticing.
Many of the features are unique to the Ford F-Series, others are tech features you can access on most Ford vehicles today – what they all have in common is that they're not widely known.
Get the most out of the Ford F-Series or Ranger with these cool and actually useful features they don’t always advertise at the time of purchase.
15. Digital Speedometer
A slight cheat here, as it’s technically part of the hidden diagnostic menu detailed elsewhere on the list, but it's one of the coolest options in there. For those who want to spice up their dashboard, owners can switch over to a digital speedometer by pushing and holding the OK button on the steering wheel. To tap into one's inner speed freak, this is a must-have.
14. Cargo Lights Bed Switch
Ever had to unload something from the bed of the truck when it’s dark outside? There’s a cool feature to help with this, but it’s not always advertised. The Ford F-150 has cargo lights and owners can turn them on with a simple push of a button in the bed. It’s not easy to see, however, unless you already know it’s there.
13. Disable The Seat Belt Alarm Chime
via YouTube channel Automotive Authority LLC
Ever found that seatbelt chime to be a nuisance? There’s an easy trick to silence this pesky alert once and for all. Turn the truck into the RUN position and wait for the seatbelt light on the dash to turn off. Once it goes off, buckle and unbuckle the seatbelt three times in a row. When the light appears once more, do it again. That’s all there is to it.
12. Sliding Insert For Bigger Cupholders
via Kelley Blue Book
The cupholder design for Ford pickups is pretty ingenious. There are four spaces for drivers to hold their drinks, but what about for those really big drinks? There’s an easy fix for that. Just simply slide the left insert over, which overlays nicely on the right side while opening up larger slots for bigger drinks.
11. Sport Mode
The sport mode arrived in 2015 on all Ford F-150 models and according to Ford “reduces the frequency of having to step on the gas pedal to reach peak torque.” Push the tow/haul mode button twice to activate the feature. Just make sure there’s an S visible on the dash to know it’s good to go.
10. Speaker Walk-Around Test
Looking to make sure the audio quality experience is up to par in the Ford F-Series? The manual details this “secret” test. Be sure the radio is on, then press and hold preset buttons 3 and 6 for about 3 seconds. Sound issues from each speaker to ensure they’re all working properly.
9. F-150 Logo on Vent
Not really useful but it’s still a cool visual Easter egg worth pointing out. Just above the vent on the side, there’s an F-150 logo that’s only visible whenever the door opens. It’s little details like this that boost owner appreciation for the vehicle they’re driving.
8. AdvanceTrac Sport Mode
via Ford Car Enthusiasts
Here’s another “secret” mode to play around with. Owners may have used traction control before, maybe even AdvanceTrac, but what about AdvanceTrac Sport mode? There’s some differing opinions about what it does exactly, but the general consensus seems to be that it disables traction control and most of the vehicle’s stability control, so drivers should watch their rear when it’s on. Just double tap the traction control button to activate.
Even though it’s a selling point for Ford vehicles, many don’t know about the MyKey feature. It lets owners put restrictions on the vehicle’s top speed, require fastened seatbelts to operate, and even block radio stations. While no one wants to limit the driving experience, this feature comes in handy for parents of teen drivers.
6. Red ambient lighting on door
Keep in mind that ambient lighting has to already be on for this feature to work. Whenever a door is ajar, a soft red light emits near the handle. Less for setting the mood and more for practical purposes, it’s a nice visual cue that tells your brain the door is still open.
5. Key Fob Holder
Nestled underneath the radio/stereo, where the USB ports are, there’s a little key fob-shaped imprint. It’s a handy little space to store a spare key fob or program it. Plus, putting a key fob in there won’t let the truck honk if drivers leave the truck with out.
4. Diagnostic Test Hidden Menu
via Engine Parts Diagram
There’s a way to adjust settings on Ford trucks that owners didn’t even know they could. To make changes to the truck’s light levels, check engine RPMs, and more, drivers can access the truck's diagnostic menu in the dashboard. For the F-Series, press and hold the OK button on steering wheel, turn the ignition to ON without starting engine, and release OK when TEST option appears.
3. Crank truck without starting it
This is useful for those who want to troubleshoot a potential issue without starting their pickup. Also dubbed cranking, owners can hold the gas pedal down to enable a system that prevents the vehicle from starting. Otherwise, for those who aren’t as old school, be sure to avoid doing this!
2. EcoDrive Mode
via Clegg Auto Sales
Ford trucks have different driving modes for various occasions. For those looking to make their truck as fuel efficient as can be, the EcoDrive mode is the best option to go with. Be forewarned, however, that there's a trade-off. While it improves fuel economy, it puts a damper on the vehicle's performance.
1. Massaging Seats
via YouTube channel Sherwood Ford
Yes, higher trims of the Ford F-150 do in fact have massaging seats. Dubbed Multicontour seats with Active Motion, owners can activate this feature one of two different ways depending on what kind of truck they own. Some models use buttons next to the power controls on the seat, others utilize the touchscreen.
Sources: enginepartsdiagram.com, herbchambersfordofwestborough.com, YouTube channel River City Ford Sales Ltd, YouTube channel Automotive Authority LLC, Ford.com, tap.fremontmotors.com, Car Life Nation