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Old 11-19-2019, 09:47 AM   #1
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Tow haul switch

I drive a new to me 2016 GMC Canyon equipped with a tow package including the tow haul switch. Can I tow without engaging the tow haul? When do I need to engage it? Will I get better MPG with it or without it? Thanks for your all's help
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:49 AM   #2
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On a pickup towing a trailer I'd always use the TH switch. It's not mandatory or anything just a good idea.

Tow Haul mode changes the way your transmissions shifts and holds gears. On some trucks it activates a transmission oil cooler function, too. MPG "might" be a hair better on the Hwy without TH engaged. But don't count on it saving you more than a few pennies.

Importantly, TH mode gives you downshifting control on your transmission that activates every time you tap the brakes. On steep downhills this not only saves your brakes, but can save your life by using engine braking that can help prevent your truck/trailer brakes from overheating.

When we towed a TT with out Ford Expedition we always used TH and felt it helped make the drive better and safer. I now drive a 38' motorhome and use the TH mode only when driving in mountains or large hills. But I know other's like me that use it all the time.

I think you'll find most people will recommend that you use it anytime you are towing.
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Old 11-19-2019, 11:12 AM   #3
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It normally changes the shifting points in the transmission for the additional loads. I know Toyota Tundras had a issue if you leave it in tow haul as a employee had this and Toyota told us it was bad to leave it in tow haul. Check your owners manual if you have it or order a replacement.
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Old 11-22-2019, 03:11 PM   #4
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So it will tell you in the manual it’s not Needed unless your exceeding 1/2 your gvwr, and it has zero affect after you are up to highway speeds(But it will not so anything negative if you always left it on towing or not). The best thing about it is the downshifting to slow you as you brake. It also kicks you down over drive gears faster regardless of what the manual says. It has its pluses and minuses the down shifting I wish was a little smarter when you just want to bump the brakes and it drops 2 gears gets annoying but I still use it with our trailers but it shines when your towing something without trailer brakes.
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Old 11-23-2019, 06:55 AM   #5
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Thanks for your help
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Old 11-24-2019, 05:49 PM   #6
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Yes you can and I drive without it ALL of the time. I know better than the switch-enabled electronics when to shift up or down and use the gas pedal to get the transmission to shift when I want it to. I tried the switch when I first started driving the rig and it really did a poor job of shifting, especially going downhill. I manually downshift on steep downgrades, when necessary, to help keep the brakes from overheating. I can not recommend what I do for everyone as not everyone has extensive driving knowledge. If you are not sure of what you need to do during various driving conditions, then by all means use the tow switch. It won't hurt anything and it may be better than doing nothing.

As for getting better gas mileage, I use a OBDII code scanner with active readout of four functions which enables me to "read" what's going on and adjust my driving accordingly. In general, I average about 60 mph (on the interstate), 55 uphill and 65 downhill on small to medium hills. There isn't much you can do on long steep grades, up or down. Once you lose your momentum uphill, all you have left is downshifting and you don't need to put the pedal to the metal, although it will be close. Downhill, well, use your best judgement on braking and keep it below the speed limit. Happy motoring.
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Old 11-24-2019, 09:02 PM   #7
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Living in Central Florida, I did not use it on flatland but it comes in real handy in the hills and mountains. It is absolutely great for keeping you in a lower gear when descending a mountain to keep you from burning up your brakes.
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Old 11-25-2019, 09:58 AM   #8
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Tow Haul Switch

I have a 2012 Cambria 30 C. I usually always engage my tow haul switch when towing my car. It eases my transmission especially when dealing with hills. Plus it acts like an engine brake when going down hills.
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Old 11-26-2019, 12:11 AM   #9
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Tow/Haul

Generally, Tow/Haul engagement locks the torque convertor so when under load the transmission is not "hunting' up and down under part throttle for the suitable gear. It affects fuel mileage somewhat, but saves a lot of wear and tear on the gearbox. I drove a Ram work truck back in the day before I knew whatT/H was, pulling a loaded lrailer, and discovered it used a lot more fuel continually shifting up and down over every overpass rise on the interstate. Once I figured it out, both of us were much happier.
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Old 11-28-2019, 09:26 AM   #10
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I figure the button is there for a reason and I use it almost every time I'm pulling the camper. I think the manual does state that its best used when pulling a heavy trailer. It seems like the truck just goes easier with the trailer mode engaged.
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:00 PM   #11
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tow haul mode

I pull my 2018 micro minnie w/a 2015 Tundra 5.7Li w/tow package. At least on the Tundra, tow haul modifies engine electronic ignition and valve operation. As the truck/trailer enter an uphill stretch or high elevation operation. you can hear and feel the engine horse-power increase/surge ahead, initially without downshifting. At a point, the transmission will downshift to a lower gear for more torque, and the engine RPM will increase. Don't use cruise control with tow haul mode, unless on relatively flat terrain. i do think tow haul is less fuel efficient; however, less wear and tear on engine and transmission, as the engine does not lug down, but rather turns at higher RPM.
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