Economic Mode, shortened to Eco Mode, is the most fuel-efficient drive mode in the Ford F-150.
It works by limiting power usage to system functions relying heavily on the engine, including acceleration and air conditioning.
The benefits are clear, but you can’t set Eco Mode as the default drive mode on the F-150. For that, you’ll need a few tricks up your sleeve.
To keep your Ford F-150 in Eco Mode, you must install a drive-mode memory module. The installation is technical and requires basic automotive knowledge; however, the outcome is a plug-and-play system that allows you to select and lock Eco Mode for as long as you see fit.
Steps to Keeping a Ford F-150 in Eco Mode
To keep a Ford F-150 in Eco Mode, you’ll need to install a drive mode memory module.
Installing a drive mode memory module requires careful handling of the vehicle’s interior and about half an hour of your time.
For a successful installation, you’ll need the following tools:
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Phillips or pointed edge screwdriver
- Double-sided tape
- Zip ties
- A pair of nippers.
Additionally, you’ll need to ensure the memory module is compatible with your F-150.
Ford changes the location of specific parts from time to time, so, for example, if you own a 2017 F-150, double-check that the module is suitable for trucks from that year.
Unless stated otherwise, you should also not install the instrument in an F-150 with a remote start.
If you’re patient and follow the instructions, you’ll have your module installed in no time.
Remove the Gear Shift Cover
Installing the drive mode memory module requires access to the wires transmitting power to the gear shift. To get to them, you must remove the plastic casing.
Set your flat-head screwdriver between the cover’s trim and base, and use your hands to pull the left side out. Do the same on the right.
Follow through by grabbing the front with both hands and yanking off the entire cover.
You might need to move your gear shift for easy removal. Start your engine, reposition the gear to where you see fit, and turn off the car.
Though the procedure relies on force, don’t be too aggressive to avoid breaking the plastic.
Set aside the cover and proceed with the next step.
Remove the Screws
Removing the plastic cover exposes yet another structure, and taking it out uncovers the shifter’s connector.
Two torque screws hold the shifter connector housing in place, and you’ll need your Phillips screwdriver to remove these screws.
Align the screwdriver’s pointed edge with the screw’s cavity and rotate counterclockwise to remove the screw.
Do this for both screws and keep them in a safe place.
Grab the left side of the housing with both hands and pull it out. Do the same on the right side.
The shifter’s connector is directly underneath the casing, so be careful during this process.
Plug In the Memory Module
Attach the double-sided tape to your drive mode memory module and stick it to the back of the shifter rod.
Next, pull out the shifter’s connector and secure a zip tie around the module. Close the zip tie and trim excess material with a pair of nippers.
Once your module is secure, hook it up to the shifter’s connector by attaching the respective terminals.
Attach the remaining module terminal to the port previously holding the gear shifter to complete the circuit. Power going to the gear shifter will now pass through the drive mode memory module.
Hold the exposed wires in place using your other zip tie and trim off the excess material.
Re-Install the Parts
Put back the shifter’s housing and use your Phillips screwdriver to install the screws.
Finally, return the plastic cover and confirm it’s secure.
To know if the installation is successful:
- Turn on the engine
- Set your F-150 to Eco Mode
- Turn off the engine
- Restart it
- Confirm the vehicle’s default drive mode is Eco Mode.
Putting a Ford F-150 in Eco Mode
Turning on Eco Mode in the F-150 varies depending on the model.
If your truck has a column shifter, press it to reveal the different drive mode options.
If it has a console shifter, press the DM (Drive Mode) button on the left side.
Scroll through the different modes and click “ECO.”
The word “ECO” will display on the screen to indicate activation.
You don’t need to park your car to turn on Eco Mode and can do it while driving.
Can You Keep Eco Mode On All the Time?
Yes. Keeping Eco Mode on all the time has no adverse effects on your vehicle.
The F-150 is designed to run on Eco Mode, so you don’t need to worry about engine damage, wear and tear, or any other issues.
Anyone concerned about fuel efficiency can use Eco Mode for as long as they wish. Just know that Eco Mode limits power, so the vehicle will be slower than usual.
Is Eco Mode Fuel-Efficient?
The short answer is yes. Eco Mode is fuel efficient.
The long answer is: it depends.
Eco Mode restricts the vehicle’s throttle response, thus reducing acceleration (i.e., how quickly the truck can reach top speed).
Some drivers react to this change by pressing harder on the accelerator, which doesn’t entirely negate the benefits of Eco Mode but reduces them significantly.
Still, turning on Eco Mode is a way to see a difference if you’re looking for general fuel efficiency.
For optimal fuel efficiency, there are additional strategies to consider alongside Eco Mode:
- Frequently check your tire pressure
- Turn off the vehicle if idling for more than a minute
- Apply lightfoot driving
- Go for regular engine check-ups
- Remove excess cargo.
What Are the Downsides of Eco Mode?
Two cons of driving in Eco Mode are reduced power and reduced torque.
Quick acceleration is vital for various aspects of driving, including passing and moving through traffic.
Eco Mode reduces engine power, making you slower and harder to execute either.
Torque is essential for most trucks, including the Ford F-150. More torque equals a greater ability to tow or haul.
Eco Mode reduces torque and hampers the truck’s capacity for towing or hauling heavy loads.
When Should You Use Eco Mode?
In theory, you should use Eco Mode whenever you feel like it.
In practice, however, you should consider changes in your vehicle’s performance before making the switch.
For example, reduced acceleration isn’t ideal for highway driving and may actually be unsafe if you need to pass other vehicles.
Eco Mode is generally more effective in cities where traffic is expected.
You may even see a visible improvement in fuel efficiency since heavy traffic equals more idling, which can lead to excessive fuel consumption.
Utilizing Eco Mode is generally situational and partially related to road conditions. It’s good practice to consider the circumstances to avoid inconveniencing yourself and other drivers.
Eco Mode on the F-150 is useful in various situations, especially if you live in an area with heavy traffic.
That said, you can benefit from Eco Mode if you turn it on at the right time (that is, whenever you’re confident with the truck having less power).
If you prefer leaving it on at all times, you can do so without worrying about potential damage to your vehicle.
Still, don’t rely on Eco Mode alone for optimal fuel efficiency. Use it alongside other fuel-saving techniques to get the most out of your gas mileage.
Table of Contents
- Steps to Keeping a Ford F-150 in Eco Mode
- Putting a Ford F-150 in Eco Mode
- Can You Keep Eco Mode On All the Time?
- Is Eco Mode Fuel-Efficient?
- What Are the Downsides of Eco Mode?
- When Should You Use Eco Mode?