10 Hidden Features of the F-150 You Can Find When You Buy a CPO

February 11th, 2022 by

Construction workers are shown loading supplies into the bed of red 2020 Ford F-150.

If you are considering a Certified Pre-Owned Ford F-150 as your next vehicle, you may already know about a lot of features that make the F-150 a best-selling truck. It’s no secret that the F-150 was the number one truck in the US for over 40 years in a row, and Americans love the many features available throughout the trim levels. Aside from its sturdy capability as a towing and hauling machine, the F-150 has a number of hidden features we thought you might enjoy when you visit your Certified Pre-Owned Ford dealer to purchase your CPO Ford F-150.

1. Dead Fob? No Prob!

It’s every car owner’s nightmare to have the key fob die, especially if you’re far from home. Key fobs are the only means of entry and operation for many newer vehicles today, and the F-150 is no different. Without the key fob, you’re not going anywhere. Then again, maybe you still can. You see, car manufacturers know this is bound to happen, so they give you a backup plan.

Inside your key fob is a hidden metal key. Pull it out of the fob, and you can use it to pop the rear portion of the driver’s door handle off to reveal the lock into which you can insert the metal key. This unlocks the door. Once you get inside, every F-150 has a secret spot to place your dead fob so you can still operate the truck. In models since 2017, this location is found at the bottom of the cup holder in the center console closest to the center stack. Pop open this small chamber below the cup holder and place the fob inside. Now you can press the ignition button, and your F-150 should start up even with a dead fob!

2. Turn Down the Loud Navigator

No one likes a back seat driver, but a loud navigator can be just as annoying. If you have tried and failed to turn down the sound on your navigation system, only to have the sound system volume get quieter while your navigation is still blaring, you’re not alone. A surprisingly simple fix can solve this issue. Wait until the navigation system is giving a direction. While it’s speaking, use the sound system volume knob to turn it down. If you use the volume knob while the system is actually speaking, you can turn it to any volume you like.

A man is shown doing paperwork in the front seat of a 2021 Ford F-150.

3. Entertainment Without Power

You might think you need the key fob to be able to enjoy using the infotainment system in your F-150, but with recent models, you have the option of operating the system with no keys at all. This trick is great if you happen to be stuck sitting in the truck while the driver is off shopping or running an errand and forgot to leave you the key. No matter how long the truck has been sitting, you can always hit the power button on the infotainment system to bring the touchscreen to life. Any apps or settings you want to access are all right there, so you can listen to the radio while you wait for the driver to return.

4. Flat Tire and No Jack?

If you owned an F-150 before 2015, you probably know the jack for lifting the truck to repair a flat tire is located under the rear seat. Models after that year changed the location of the jack, so it’s no longer under the seat but behind it. A tiny loop of black nylon can be found on the passenger side rear seat along the edge of the seatback. Tug that loop, and the seatback will fold forward to reveal a secret storage space. In that space, you will find the jack, along with a handy funnel to use for filling your gas tank in the off chance you ever run out and need to use a gas can to get to the next station.

5. Armed and Ready With Windows Open

F-150 models from 2019 and up, starting with the Lariat trim level, have a feature that can secure your truck even with the windows open. When you turn off the power to your truck, the option to select “perimeter” or “all” for the sensors will show in the driver’s instrument cluster. To select one of the options, use the steering wheel controls to move up or down to highlight the choices, and then press the center button to choose the option you want. Selecting “all” is best if you don’t plan to leave anyone in the truck, as any motion inside the truck will set off the alarm. If anyone plans to sit in the vehicle and you want to leave the windows open, select “perimeter.” Once the alarm is set, if anyone approaches your truck without a key fob and attempts to reach inside the vehicle, the alarm sensors will detect movement and set off the alarm. This system will also detect glass breaking or attempts to unlock the vehicle from the outside.

6. Retrieve Your Lost Door Code

Lost the factory door code and don’t know where to find it? There is an easy way Ford provides to retrieve this code. First, locate that handy slot under the cup holder where your dead fob can be used to operate your truck. You will need both fobs for this to work. Place the first fob in the slot and press the ignition button without pressing any pedals or other operating features. Once the truck turns on, hit the button again to turn it off. Get the second fob and repeat. After the second fob has been placed in the slot and the power is turned on, the factory code to open the door should appear in the driver’s instrument cluster in the center of the display.

A black 2021 Ford F-150 Limited Hybrid is shown towing a boat after leaving a certified pre-owned Ford dealer.

7. Lock Your Doors Using the Keypad

F-150 models with a keypad can lock the doors from the outside without using the fob. It’s as easy as pressing two buttons! The bottom two buttons on the keypad can be pressed at the same time, and they will lock the truck, so you don’t have to open the door or find your fob. Easy.

8. Revive and Reset a Black Screen

Infotainment screens are no different than a computer, and sometimes they misbehave. If your infotainment screen ever goes black, there is no need to panic or shut down the vehicle to get it to work again. Easily reset the system to reboot by pressing the infotainment system power button and the right arrow button below the screen at the same time. Hold the two buttons down for a few seconds to shut down the system. After it shuts down, a few more seconds should bring up the start-up animation screen, which should reset the system so it will work properly again.

9. New Use for Paddle Shifters

Truck models with paddle shifters can use the paddles for more than changing gears. When your truck is in automatic mode, you can use the paddle shifters to change the number of gears the truck uses. Ford F-150 models have had ten-speed transmissions for many years, so if you want the truck to stick with using low gearing, you can tap the right paddle shifter to reveal the gear the truck is currently using. This will appear on the left side of the instrument cluster. With the gears revealed, use the left paddle shifter to remove gears all the way down to a single gear. Add them back by pressing the right paddle shifter while the menu is visible.

10. Hidden Storage

Some Ford F-150 models have hidden storage spaces in the center console. Where you see a rubber mat at the base of a storage bin, you may be able to lift it to reveal the hidden storage space below. Not all of these mats act as a false floor, but some do. You could discover a molded spot to place a key fob or just an extra little spot for hiding something you want to keep out of sight, like a wallet or extra key.