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SUBJECT: # 11920: What exactly does the tow/haul mode do?

Submitted by Wayne ( from KANSAS on 5/2/2006 7:50:00 AM

Does it just shift from overdrive to drive for you or is there another funtion it performs?

  1. 5/2/2006 8:11:00 AM Submitted by Riverfisher ( from KY says tow/haul
    It changes the shift points in the transmission to make the transmission stay in the lower gear for a longer time. For Example (these are made up numbers) with it off your tranmission may shift from 1st to 2nd at 10mph then to 3rd at 25mph then to 4th at 40mph. With it on it would shift from 1st to 2nd at 20mph then to 3rd at 45mph then to 4th at 55mph.

  2. 5/2/2006 8:13:00 AM Submitted by Heartland Tackle Service from KS says GM Tow/Haul Mode
    I've been told by a very good mechanic who worked for a Chevy dealer for years that Tow/Haul mode simply raises the RPM at which the transmission shifts for a given accelerator position, thereby giving better acceleration. It does not stop the tranny from going into Overdrive and does not stop the torque converter from locking up. This is borne out by my own observations on my '04 Tahoe. If you want to drive in 3 (Drive) then you've got to shift there manually. That's how I've driven my trucks ('84 Bronco, '90 & '91 F-150s, '99 Suburban, and my '04 Tahoe) for years and I've yet to have any transmission problems with any of them.
    Jim Johns, ReelDoc/KS
    Heartland Tackle Service
    (316) 250-9349

    Heartland Tackle Service

  3. 5/2/2006 9:13:00 AM Submitted by beartrap from GA says truth be known,probaly not a lot
    lenghtens your shift points out as mentioned above and locks mine out of overdrive until you get to about 64 mph then it will shift into overdrive unless you have shift lever in 3rd.......uses your engine a little more as braking when driving in city because it downshifts quicker(higher rpm)...I have towed in 3rd on my last three GM pickups and so far(knock on wood) no problems....

  4. 5/2/2006 10:20:00 AM Submitted by Chevymon ( from OH says So far....
    My 04' Sierra has preformed well in Tow/Haul on the highway but, I do shift into 3rd when on two lanes and running less than takes hills better in 3rd vs. tow/haul and is easier on your tranny :)

  5. 5/2/2006 11:49:00 AM Submitted by Wayne ( from KS says So Tow/Haul doesn't work when your in 3rd only Overdrive

  6. 5/2/2006 1:12:00 PM Submitted by RedAllison ( from TN says T/H does work in Drive (3rd)...
    As was said it's simply a computer switch that changes the shiftpoints so that you can rev the engine higher which also reduces slippage (heat build up) in the tranny. Originally the T/H Mode was designed for use primarily when you were towing/hauling a load that was 3/4 or more of the rated capacity of the truck, but I think alot of people think that ANYTIME they have a trailer on they should use the T/H.

    I have had my Avalanche for 4 years and it took me a few months to figure out what worked best for it (Z71 with 3.73:1 gears). When towing light trailers like my Allison, Harley or my golfcart I don't bother with the T/H mode unless I am in hilly terrain (for the most part it's flat as a pancake here in west TN). When I tow something too my dads over in Hot Springs, AR then once I hit Little Rock the hills require the T/H and I also shift out of OD. Yet when I tow my 22'long 8'6" wide deckboat I ALWAYS use the T/H mode and OD isn't even an option on that big load.

    As a sidenote, my wifes 04 Expedition (5.4 w/ 3.73:1 rearend) flatout just out tows my Avalanche. Obviously it has no such tow haul mode and I turn the OD off when towing the deckboat, but that motor and gear combination simply has much more "umph" below 4K rpm than my Avie does. I can pull the same hills with it while towing the deckboat and the engine stays below 3K rpm yet when done with the Avalanche (with our without the T/H turned on) it wants to jump down in gears and the engine screams yet speeds at the top of the hill are lower than when using the Exped.

    Don't get me wrong, the Avie is a GREAT tow truck. I just feel the Exped is that much better! RA

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