When the Tow Haul light flashes, it indicates a fault in the transmission.
When these lights are flashing, there are two different things that can happen:
The transmission will not change gears or will constantly upshift. In this situation, the transmission control module (TCM) has detected a problem in the transmission and has gone into tow/haul mode to protect itself from further damage.
The transmission will not change gears or shift properly but the tow/haul light is NOT flashing. In this situation, there is no problem with the TCM and you should have your transmission checked out right away by a qualified technician.
There are two different indicators of a problem with the transmission. One is in the dashboard, and one is on the transmission itself.
Flashing Tow/Haul light on dashboard: If you see the Tow/Haul indicator light flashing, it means that there’s a problem with one of the transmission’s systems. It will stay on for about 3 seconds and then go off.
The transmission’s computer (TCM) monitors many things including fluid level and temperature.
There are other things besides fluid level and temperature that can cause this light to flash. For example, a bad solenoid or an electrical circuit in the transmission can cause this indicator light to flash.
What does tow haul light mean?
If you see this light flashing, contact your mechanic before your next trip.
Flashing Tow/Haul light on transmission: This is called a “Tow/Haul” indicator or a “Tow-Haul” warning and is located above the 4WD lever where the 4WD button would be on vehicles without a 4WD option.
It has five small LEDs that display a variety of messages depending upon what they are doing at any given moment.
The normal display should be steady, but if you are pushing your vehicle beyond its limits, it could be flashing at you in red letters.
When the Tow/Haul button is pushed and the light flashes, the transmission is in tow/haul mode and the engine responds with more power and slower deceleration.
The Tow/Haul button also works when towing a trailer with a weight of up to 3,500 pounds. If the Tow/Haul button is not pressed while towing, you can use it to limit engine braking on steep descents.
The Tow/Haul button controls both of these functions.
How to use tow truck in flashing lights?
If your vehicle is equipped with a manual shift transmission (5R110W) and you are operating it in tow/haul mode, shifting into 4th gear will cause the transmission to downshift into 3rd gear automatically.
This allows for a lower gear ratio for better engine braking on steep descents. Shifting into 5th gear does not change the transmission’s position in tow/haul mode or change its configuration for better engine braking on steep descents.
The Tow/Haul feature is engaged only if it has been enabled in your vehicle’s computer system. You can have your vehicle’s computer system checked by an authorized dealer to determine if Tow/Haul operation is available on your vehicle.”
Many people are confused about what the tow haul light means. The most common question is: does it mean I have a transmission problem?
The answer is yes, it does. This indicator comes on when the transmission control module (TCM) detects a problem with the transmission and enters what’s called “tow haul mode”.
The TCM is a computer that controls your transmission and engine.
When tow haul is activated, your vehicle will have better acceleration in lower gears and stronger engine braking in higher gears. It can also create a harsh shift from first to second gear.
What exactly does this mean?
The TCM has detected a problem with the transmission and for safety reasons has placed the vehicle into tow/haul mode.
Tow/haul mode helps to prevent drivability problems caused by the transmission shifting abruptly, which could cause loss of vehicle control.
Most transmission problems that activate tow/haul mode are serious, but there are some minor issues that can trigger this indicator light too.
Common issues that can cause tow/haul mode include:
Ist reason Low or no fluid – A low or empty fluid level will trigger tow /haul mode because it prevents the transmission from operating properly.
And 2nd Transmission overheating.
Ford f250 tow haul light flashing
Why do tow trucks have flashing lights?
The Tow/Haul mode is designed to keep the truck in gear under certain conditions.
For example, if you are going down a hill and want to shift into a lower gear to brake, the Tow/Haul mode will not allow you to do this.
This is an important feature that protects you from shifting into a gear that would be too high for the current driving condition. The Tow/Haul indicator light flashes when Tow/Haul mode is active.
What does it mean when the tow/haul light flashes?
Light flashing on the dash means that there is a problem with your transmission and the TCM is storing it. The transmission will have to be diagnosed to determine what the problem is.
If this light begins flashing, DO NOT drive your vehicle further than absolutely necessary. If you do, transmission damage could result. Have the vehicle towed to a shop as soon as possible for diagnosis.
What does it mean when the towhaul light comes on?
There are two main reasons why this light might come on:
- Defective Transmission Serial Data Communications Link (TSDLC). The TSDLC is the wire harness that connects your transmission to your engine’s powertrain control module (PCM).
When this wire harness develops even a small problem, it can cause intermittent problems with shifting or engine response.
The symptoms of this problem are:
- Light comes on after car has been parked for several hours –
- Light comes on when you shift from Park to Drive or Reverse –
- Light flashes briefly during an automatic transmission shift –
- Car seems to hesitate between shifts –
- Engine revs up when you put it in Drive or Reverse, then shifts normally