How do I disable the ‘fuel-saving’ feature on my Ford F-150?

Ford F-150s at a Ford dealership in Weatherford, Texas, Feb. 28, 2018.
Ford F-150s at a Ford dealership in Weatherford, Texas, Feb. 28, 2018. –JENNIFER BOOMER

The truck has a “fuel-saving” auto shutoff feature, which ruins the overall driving experience. Is there a way to disable it?

Q. I love my new Ford F-150 except for one feature. The truck has a “fuel-saving” auto shutoff feature, and the constant shutting off and restarting ruins the overall driving experience. When I went to the dealership and asked about turning this feature off, I was told it couldn’t be done. Is that true?

A. Ford doesn’t have a permanent override switch for this feature. Unlike some other vehicles, you need to switch it off on each restart. I looked online and found a “cheat” to override the idle stop feature. You can purchase a trailer wiring tester and plug it into the factory trailer plug. The tester causes the truck’s computer into thinking you are towing a trailer, which disables the auto-stop.

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John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master technician. Email your car question to jpaul@aaanortheast.com.

 

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly characterized the Ford F-150 override switch. Boston.com regrets the error, and the text has been updated for accuracy.