Originally Posted by J Mac
So... In my 2010 Ford Ranger 4L 4x4 with the factory installed tow package, I should tow my 17b with the OD turned off on up hill slopes but engage the OD on the flat?
From the Ford 2010 Ranger Towing Guide:
"DRIVING WITH AN AUTOMATIC
With certain automatic overdrive transmissions,
towing – especially in hilly areas – may cause
excessive shifting between overdrive and the next
• To eliminate this condition and achieve steadier
performance, overdrive can be locked out (see
vehicle Owner Guide)
• If excessive shifting does not occur, use overdrive
to optimize fuel economy
• Overdrive may also be locked out to obtain engine
braking on downgrades
• When available, select Tow/Haul mode to
automatically eliminate unwanted gear search and
help control vehicle speed when going downhill"
Dave McCrae was totally right, its the shifting that causes the heat in an automatic transmission. Another problem I've seen is the fear of bringing your engine up to its optimum RPM to obtain torque/horsepower. If the the vehicle is lugging (I define that as the inability to accelerate when you punch the gas while maintaining the same gear) then the engine is running inefficiently and will overheat and transfer that heat to the transmission. Everything cooks
The solution to lugging is to shift down and let the engine wind up a bit. Running at a higher RPM is less damaging than lugging. Those with smaller vehicles should also shift to a lower gear before the hills and let it scream a little bit. This is particularly apt for standards since the process of shifting on the hill will drop your speed substantially. The increased noise you hear from your vehicle is the pleasant growl (or whine) of an engine released to do what it was designed to do.8) Of course it will burn more fuel, but that's the trade off for selecting a smaller vehicle for towing.
My Dodge Cummins would burble along at 1800 RPM with any kind of load, I used to run my bike at 9000+ RPM, and I've towed a travel trailer at 5000 RPM with a Chev V-6. As Donna would say, YMMV. Everyone needs to become familiar with the limits of their particular TV.
BTW the 4.0 Ranger should be more than adequate for towing an Escape