2021 Ford Ranger Owners Manual - Driving Hints

Driving Hints

You need to break in new tires for approximately 300 mi (480 km). During this time, your vehicle may exhibit some unusual driving characteristics.

Avoid driving too fast during the first 1,000 mi (1,600 km). Vary your speed frequently and change up through the gears early. Do not labor the engine.

Do not tow during the first 1,000 mi (1,600 km).

Your fuel economy is affected by several things, such as how you drive, the conditions you drive under, and how you maintain your vehicle.

You may improve your fuel economy by keeping these things in mind:

• Accelerate and slow down in a smooth, moderate fashion.

• Drive at steady speeds without stopping.

• Anticipate stops; slowing down may eliminate the need to stop.

• Combine errands and minimize stop-and-go driving.

• Close the windows for high-speed driving.

• Drive at reasonable speeds (traveling at 55 mph [88 km/h] uses 15% less fuel than traveling at 65 mph [105 km/h]).

• Keep the tires properly inflated and use only the recommended size.

• Use the recommended engine oil.

• Perform all regularly scheduled maintenance.

Avoid these actions; they reduce your fuel economy:

• Sudden accelerations or hard accelerations.

• Revving the engine before turning it off.

• Idle for periods longer than one minute.

• Warm up your vehicle on cold mornings.

• Use the air conditioner or front defroster.

• Use the speed control in hilly terrain.

• Rest your foot on the brake pedal while driving.

• Drive a heavily loaded vehicle or tow a trailer.

• Carry unnecessary weight (approximately 1 mpg [0.4 km/L] is lost for every 400 lb [180 kilogram] of weight carried).

• Driving with the wheels out of alignment.


• Heavily loading a vehicle or towing a trailer may reduce fuel economy at any speed.

• Adding certain accessories to your vehicle (for example bug deflectors, rollbars, light bars, running boards, ski racks or luggage racks) may reduce fuel economy.

• To maximize the fuel economy, drive with the tonneau cover installed (if equipped).

• Using fuel blended with alcohol may lower fuel economy.

• Fuel economy may decrease with lower temperatures during the first 5–10 mi (12–16 km) of driving.

• Driving on flat terrain offers improved fuel economy as compared to driving on hilly terrain.


    Transmissions give their best fuel economy when operated in the top cruise gear and with steady pressure on the gas pedal.
    Four-wheel-drive operation (if equipped) is less fuel efficient than two-wheel-drive operation.

The functional operation of some components and systems can be affected at temperatures below approximately

-13°F (-25°C).

Before going off-roading, consult with your local governmental agencies to determine designated off-road trails and recreation areas. Also, be sure to understand any

off-road vehicle registration requirements for the area in which you plan on driving.

Before taking your vehicle off-roading, a basic vehicle inspection should be done to make sure that the vehicle is in top working condition.

    Grip the steering wheel with thumbs on the outside of the rim. This reduces the risk of injury due to abrupt steering wheel motions that occur when negotiating rough terrain. Do not grip the steering wheel with thumbs inside the rim.
    Look ahead on your route noting upcoming obstacles, surface texture or color changes or any other factors which may indicate a change in available traction, and adjust the vehicle speed and route accordingly.
    Always keep available ground clearance in mind and pick a route that minimizes the risk of catching the underside of the vehicle on an obstacle.
    When negotiating low speed obstacles, applying light brake pressure in conjunction with the throttle helps prevent the vehicle from jerking and allows you to negotiate the obstacle in a more controlled manner. Using 4L also helps with this.
    Review the path ahead before attempting to cross any obstacle. It is best if the obstacle is reviewed from outside the vehicle so that there is a good understanding of terrain condition both in front of and behind the obstacle.
    If a large obstacle such as a rock cannot be avoided, choose a path that places the rock directly under the tire rather than the undercarriage of the vehicle. This helps prevent damage to your vehicle.

WARNING: Extreme care should be used when steering the vehicle in reverse down a slope so as not to cause the vehicle to swerve out of control.


• Always attempt to climb a steep hill along the fall line of the slope and not diagonally.

• If the vehicle is unable to make it up the hill, DO NOT attempt to turn back down the slope. Place the vehicle in low range and slowly back down in reverse.

• When descending a steep slope, select low gear and activate hill descent control. Use the throttle and brake pedals to control your descent speed as described earlier in this section using hill descent control. Hill descent control is functional in reverse (R) and should be used in this situation.

It is important to complete a full vehicle inspection after off-road driving. Some items to check include:

• Check the wheels and undercarriage for a buildup of mud or debris, which can cause vehicle vibration.

• Make sure that the grille and radiator are clear of any obstructions that may affect cooling.

• Make sure that the brakes are in proper working order and free of any mud, stones and debris, which can become trapped around the brake rotor, backing plate and caliper.

• Check that the air filter is clean and dry.

• Inspect for torn or punctured boots on ball joints, half shafts, steering gears.

• Inspect exhaust system for damage or looseness.

• Inspect undercarriage fasteners. If any are loose or damaged, tighten or replace and make sure that you use the proper torque specification.

• Inspect the wheels for dents, cracks, or other damage.

• Clear any debris from the exhaust components. For example, grass or hay.

WARNING: Do not drive through flowing or deep water as you may lose control of your vehicle.

Note: Driving through standing water can cause vehicle damage.

Note: Engine damage can occur if water enters the air filter.

Before driving through standing water, check the depth. Never drive through water that is higher than the bottom of the wheel hubs.


When driving through standing water, drive very slowly and do not stop your vehicle. Your brake performance and traction may be limited. After driving through water and as soon as it is safe to do so:

• Lightly press the brake pedal to dry the brakes and to check that they work.

• Check that the horn works.


    Check that the exterior lights work.
    Turn the steering wheel to check that the steering power assist works.

WARNING: Use a floor mat designed to fit the footwell of your vehicle that does not obstruct the pedal area. Failure to follow this instruction could result in the loss of control of your vehicle, personal injury or death.

WARNING: Pedals that cannot move freely can cause loss of vehicle control and increase the risk of serious personal injury.

WARNING: Secure the floor mat to both retention devices so that it cannot slip out of position and interfere with the pedals. Failure to follow this instruction could result in the loss of control of your vehicle, personal injury or death.

WARNING: Do not place additional floor mats or any other covering on top of the original floor mats. This could result in the floor mat interfering with the operation of the pedals. Failure to follow this instruction could result in the loss of control of your vehicle, personal injury or death.

WARNING: Always make sure that objects cannot fall into the driver foot well while your vehicle is moving. Objects that are loose can become trapped under the pedals causing a loss of vehicle control.


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