Monday, November 16, 2015

15 Things I Hate About My 'Ford F-150'


Last year, after driving the same truck for 20 years, I bought a new Ford F-150. Boy have things changed over the years. And some of those are fairly frustrating.

DISCLAIMER: I love my Ford F-150. Always will. But here are some constructive observations to be aware of if you're going to find yourself buying a new vehicle, for whatever reason.

SO remember, these observations are from a base-package truck.
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#1: When going to buy a vehicle from a dealership be prepared ahead of time in knowing exactly what you want and what you don't need or want. It's too easy to get talked into wanting more stuff on the list of things you're getting. But one thing leads to another and another... etc. 

#2: When you buy the minimum package, it almost feels like some of the products in the truck, radio, dash, other functions, HAD to have cost more to dumb down than to leave them with all the bells and whistles. Sheesh. 

#3: The '911 Assist' annoyance: When I first had my truck, I'd turn it on and then the radio. About 15 to 30 seconds later whatever was playing on the radio would get interrupted with my truck telling me I have not set up the '911 assist' yet. Would you like to do it now? Apparently it can't read my middle finger.

But then I figured out how to disable this alert. But my definition of disable is VERY different from Ford's.


When I 'disabled' it, instead of hearing the words, the radio interruption was still occurring, but only in the way of the radio going silent during the time my truck would talk to me.  All I did was mute the words. The interruption was still there. 

#4: Be prepared to lose your odometer and such when you are due for an oil change. The space where my odometer goes becomes a "reminder" that you need to change your oil. You can send this reminder away by hitting the 'reset' button on your steering wheel. But it comes back the next time you restart/reboot your truck. And it gets slowly more aggressive the more miles and time you let slip.

I also learned that Jiffy Lube is severely under prepared to change your oil, so for twice the money, I'd go with the dealership... for now. 

#5: When your 'low tire pressure' alert goes off and takes the place of your odometer, don't freak.

You still have around 20lbs of air pressure and your life is not in danger. Though the first time you see the warning, you might freak and dive off the freeway instantly.
I'm, um, just saying.

#6: MS SYNC ain't your friend in your new vehicle.

If you have the base model, SYNC is trying to work with a minimum package deal and not the snazzy digital interface console you might get when you spend more money on a new vehicle. It's basics are fine, but good luck getting it to play music from a USB stick. And once you do, good luck asking it to find something on that stick. And good luck for playing songs in any kind of order.  Just... good luck!

#7: You can 'sync' your phone up to the blue tooth interface. That's nice for 'hands free' driving. But SYNC has lost my connection a few times with the phone. Sigh.

#8: Even though having buttons on your steering wheel is a great convenience, it's still a bit of a hazard trying to use them.

#9: The 'hands free' mode for using your phone is awesome and you do not need to yell at the microphones in the truck to be heard.  OK, that might not be a hate item.

#10: SiriusXM Satellite folks can be raging idiots. I thought I had set up my truck's Sirius receiver but at the end of the trial period, it still went belly up and quit on me. When I called them, explaining I am in motion on the freeway, the guy on the other end, at one point in the conversation, asked me to look at the VIN on the end of the door. You will need to open the door to find the sticker.  HELLO? Moving at 70+mph here moron!!!

#11: The radio interface for SiriusXM is non-intuitive. If you want to change what the radio is displaying, the 'text' button changes that.

That seems simple enough looking back, but if you don't know and you're looking for some kind of 'display' button, it ain't.

#12: Can't change the Clock?

When we do that useless time change twice a year, I discovered that another non-intuitive moment exists when you push the button 'clock,' on the dash. The clock goes blank, waits a while, then gives up on you.

The dials no longer change the clock time.

To change the time on the Ford F-150, turns out, with my base model, I have real buttons numbering '1-0' under my radio. When you push the 'clock' button, use those numbers to punch in the time you want.

#13: Ford's Traction Control SUCKS.

I'm an old-school 'wheel-man,' meaning I learned how to counter-steer into slides, how to accelerate around corners balancing out the pitch of the truck with my gas pedal and what not.

My motto, though it sounds extreme, is 'When in doubt, gas it.' Trust me, I learned how to avoid obstacles when my vehicle is sliding sideways.

But the traction control on my truck takes over and effectively "hits the brakes" for you by cutting power to your gas. And even though there are two modes for turning off your traction control

(There's a short button push, and a longer one that does more disabling), it still comes on when you go over 25 or 35 mph. WTF?

And no, after about a thousand miles of testing, you do not get better gas mileage with traction control turned off. Which is odd, but there's that.

#14: There's no gas cap. It's just a lid that pops open.

If you live in a questionable neighborhood, you may want to plan ahead and get one or buy one with the truck. 

#15: The passenger's 'Oh Sh*!' handle is in the way and blocks your view of the side-view mirror with their arm when your passenger uses it. At least in my truck.

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Out of all the things in the truck, that is only 15 items. Overall it is a pretty awesome, spacious vehicle. It feels huge in the lane on the road, it's pretty quiet inside and the gas mileage is not optimal, but not horrible. (I've hit 19mpg a few times on the highway with this big, bad 8-cylinder.) I had to vent about my few annoyances that I've been focused on over the last year.

Thanks for reading.

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1 comment:

  1. I hate the Air Vents; oversized, less mobility / function than those on the previous model. The size & position of the driver's side makes it difficult to find the headlight knob (a real necessity, unlike the gargantuan vents); & forget about deciphering the little symbols, they are impossible to see while driving. Heaven forbid the passenger vent directed slightly towards the passenger window while on air conditioning; the window will fog up on the outside, hindering view of the mirror.

    I give the INFERIOR DESIGNER and those that approved it a BIG FAT 0, ZERO out of 100. No fore thought, less function than the previous model, obstructs visibility of safety related knobs, and unnecessarily over sized.

    ReplyDelete

Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce