• Frozen Door Latches, Air Suspension Problems and Best Tires for Towing? (Ask TFLtruck)

    Welcome to today’s Ask TFLtruck! We have two problems and a question to tackle this time around. First up: an issue with frozen door latches on current generation 2015 – 2018 Ford F-150s, as evidenced by a post on F-150 Forums:

    Ford F-150 frozen door latch issue – Eric:

    I really like what you do on your Youtube channel, I’m following you since 2013, the year I bought my first F150 that I loved a lot
    I changed it for a 2016 Lariat, what i huge mistake I did, I live on the north and like almost every 2015+ F150, I have the frozen doors
    problems, is it possible with all the contacts you have to know the truth about this problem, because even with the 2018 production
    they still have the frozen doors problem
    I don’t know if you know this forum:
    Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Eric! Perhaps some of you out there in the TFLtruck community have experienced this problem as well. According to the poll on the F-150 forums, Ford is aware of the issue and working to fix it, although not everyone has gotten the notice or had their issue resolved.
    The next issue comes from a Ram Rebel owner who has been having issues with his air suspension in the frigid Canadian Arctic.

    2016 mopar ram rebel

    “Dude, I HATE My Ride”: 2016 Ram 1500 Rebel air suspension issues – Steve

    Hello TFL,

    I currently HATE my ride.  I have a 2016 Ram 1500 Rebel with the Air Ride suspension and I had my hesitations about the Air Ride system before buying, but I was assured that the system would be fine in cold weather and the dealership even shipped the truck to me in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada which is only accessible by plane.  They sold me the 7 years of extended warranty and assured me that the mechanics in town would be able to cover all issues with my truck.  

    However, my Air Ride suspension has not been working for 5 months now and stays in entry/exit mode and is riding on the frame.  It’s been 5 months of diagnostics and still nothing has been fixed.  I’m now looking at spending an extra $2500 to ship it back to Ottawa and have a 2018 Ram Powerwagon shipped up to me.  However, until this happens, I HATE My Ride and would never recommend anyone to buy a Ram Rebel for use in Canada because the Air Ride suspension does not work and if you don’t have a dealership immediately accessible, no one else can fix it for you even though FCA will tell you that they can to sell you an extended warranty.  If you more information, or a video, or pictures, please send me a message.


    That’s definitely unfortunate – sorry to hear about the problem with your truck. Perhaps one of you out there in the TFL community have some more insight as to cause of Steve’s air suspension problems?

    Finally, we have a question from Don – which is the best set of tires for towing with a Ford F-150?

    What are the best tires for towing on a long trip? 

    I have a 2016 Ford F-150 with the 3.5 liter Ecoboost. I am looking to put on a new set of tires for a 20,000+ mile road trip from North Carolina to Alaska (and back). I have the factory installed Goodyear Wranglers on it now (275 65R20). While the wear on these has been good and I still have decent tread (I have 41,000 miles on the truck), I want new rubber all around for this trip (and future trips).  I have towed my RV with the factory installed tires and they have performed well. My RV is a 21’ Lance with a weight of about 5,000#’s. 

    I am interested in a good, All Terrain tire that is more designed for towing than the factory installed tires. I have gotten some feedback on the Nitto Grappler, the BFG KO2 and the Falken Wildpeak. 

    I am very much interested in your opinion. I will be using the vehicle for pleasure/passenger travel when here at home and then for towing the RV when on the road. I am not necessarily over concerned about the  smoothness of the ride per se, but more in the safety, endurance and dependability when towing and on off road conditions.

    Your feedback would be appreciated. Thanks. Don

    Hi Don!

    We answered a similar question last year, and Andre recommended BFG KO2s, as they’re reasonably quiet and give good performance both off-road and in snow and ice. Since you’re traveling up north and back, I’d personally agree with his recommendation. However, they’re not the best full-time towing tire, since they’re more off-road biased. They certainly won’t last as long as a more road-biased all-season would.

    Of the choices you mentioned, the Nitto Terra Grapplers would probably offer the best all-around performance for towing conditions. I have some experience with those tires, and they do offer a fairly quiet ride and good, long-lasting performance. If you lean more toward off-roading, then the Wildpeaks or KO2s are good ways to go, particularly if your budget can stretch to the latter.

    Send in your questions and issues to ask@tfltruck.com! Thanks guys, and keep the messages coming!

    Zach Butler
    Zach Butler is the Managing Editor for TFLcar.

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    80 thoughts on “Frozen Door Latches, Air Suspension Problems and Best Tires for Towing? (Ask TFLtruck)

    1. The door latch was a two fold problem. A cable may have be kinked and also water may get on latch in colder weather causing a freeze. When you take your truck in for the recall, a water shield is put over the latch and they check the cable for any kinks. If there is any, the cable is replaced as well. Hope that helps.

      1. 1. Take your Ford with frozen latches to the Chevy dealership. They are the only ones who truly know how to fix the whole problem you have. Trade it in.

        2. Air ride systems on pickups are all year-round Christmas presents for mechanics and dealerships. Avoid them like the plague.

        3. For tires. Take your girley alloy rims off and put your new tires on cheap steel rims all around. All non steel rims should be boy[cotted.

            1. Kinda weird Hal, I’ve seen 3 GM engines replaced in trucks this month and 0 Fords. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

            2. Hardly a scientific study on the subject.

              Because people actually use their Chevys for work. The Ford owners just go to the grocery store.

            3. Doubt that Fred. If it were that easy to fix an ignition switch all those lives would not of been lost. GM just didn’t give a crap. Still don’t.

            4. Hey Fred,johnny doe,sierra,Hal,all the others you go by, please just stick with PUTC. And your little short bus.

            5. “GM just didn’t give a crap. Still don’t.”

              And Ford does? The company famous for cruise control fires that they dragged their feet on for over a decade. Or how about the Ford Bronco II and Explorer’s with a shoddy suspension that made them particularly prone to deadly rollovers (even their own engineers had pushed to fix the suspension to prevent the rollovers). Ford blamed Firestone, yet the evidence ultimately showed that Ford’s decision to not fix the suspension and instead lower the tire inflation pressures to dangerously low levels was the biggest cause of the rollovers. Heck, Ford even had their own ignition switch safety defect coverup in the 80’s.

            6. “Kinda weird Hal, I’ve seen 3 GM engines replaced in trucks this month and 0 Fords. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.”

              Funny, just saw 2 crate engines delivered at the local Ford dealer (a small Ford dealer at that). Both Ecoboosts. The one engine getting replaced had timing chain sprocket fracture, the other had a valve break off and gouge the cylinder wall. There was a 2016 Coyote Mustang with rod knock too.

      2. 2018 F150, Built OCT 2017- Frozen Locks.
        Dealer told me yesterday there is NO working solution yet. They had 6 trucks all in a line for the same issue. They kept truck for week to replicate issue since it’s now freezing for the next few days. Disappointed with Ford response on this safety issue. Heard through forum that Amsoil HD Metal Protector works on the problem as a winter work around.

        1. Not surprised. Ford still hasn’t fixed the sudden brake loss issue affecting Ecoboost F-150’s. I was hoping Ford would at least redesign the system with the new 2015 trucks but nope, brake failures are still shockingly common.

      3. My dealer replicated the frozen locks on both doors for my 2018 F150. Now they are awaiting instructions from Ford Engineering as to how they want them to dissect the problem and capture images etc.

    2. Item 1: Wasn’t there a recall for this a while back?

      Item 2: I have heard of this on some of the Ram forums. Unfortunate. This and the fact that air ride equipped trucks will log in the PCM if you ever go over your payload (i think the limit is set higher than the rating) is why i would try to avoid this system. Good that they made it optional on 2019 Rebels.

      Item 3: I have been very happy with the Cooper Discoverer AT3s in 285/55R20 on my truck. Load range E and have lasted very long considering use case (gravel roads, some corn stalks and bean stubble). Have almost 30k and are not yet below 50%. Only rotated once. Great in rain, snow, mud. I’ve never gotten stuck. Falken Wildpeak AT3W will be my next tire though.

      1. To add on the tires. I’ve watched family member’s hankook dynapro ATM chip/disintegrate due to gravel.

        Our farm truck did well with Cooper Discoverer STmaxx but they wore down too quick.

        Now on Firestone Transforce and seem OK but look bad IMO. They are better on highway with less traction offroad as you’d expect.

        BFG KO2 are too expensive, i’d go with General Grabbers if you prefer that look.

        I’ve heard and seen Terra Grapplers wear fast.

            1. Compared to what, Michelins? If you want a good all terrain tire than the AT2’s are the best, wear well, and do well in the rain and snow. If you want the quietest tire than go with an OEM style tire but they are typically weaker and less capable.

            1. They wear well but yes, absolutely worthless on wet roads. The tread is also very noisy once they’re broken in.

      2. I’d add Dynapros to the tire list. Just check out the reviews they say it all.

        The Dynapros also come in a heavier duty series for some tire sizes with a 10-ply sidewall if you will be pushing the f-150’s payload or towing limits id take the small hit to the ride quality for the added capacity.

      3. “Item 1: Wasn’t there a recall for this a while back?”

        There was. Unfortunately TFLT didn’t report on it, despite reporting on smaller recalls from other manufacturers just weeks earlier. I would have thought a recall involving 1.3 million trucks would have made the news here.

    3. Terra Grapplers did not last long on gravel roads, and consistently leaked air in cold weather.
      Hankook Dynapros are decent, but the Toyo A/T seems to outlast everything else.
      Regardless, make sure you pack several spares, especially for your trailer. Pack a lightweight floorjack and a 2×10 block of wood.
      Ask me how I know…

    4. I had Terra Grapplers and probably got 40k out of them. I ran Maxxis Bighorn mud tires but by 25-30k they had all developed balls of various sizes and had to be junked before i’d worn through 60% of the rather substantial tread they come with (Solid inch or better tread depth).
      I used to run KOs and wasn’t very impressed with them. KO2s are supposed to be much better.
      I’ve been running Super Swampers for the past few years on my pickup, and while I love them, they truly are terrible tires for anything pavement related.

    5. I have heard some good things about the wildpeak AT3W. I have 265/70R16 Duratracs on my Jeep right now but thinking I may go to the wild peaks in a 265/75R16 next. They were only $124 a tire when I checked at the Walmart the other day.

      1. There is a very active forum on Tacomaworld dedicated to the Falked – very, very good tire. This tire performs very well for any tire, but certainly for the money.

    6. The best tires can be quite subjective depending on what your application is. If you want the best riding tires, with the best uniformity (lack of vibration) you need to stick with the OEM tire. The tires from the factory are actually the best tires you’ll ever have on your vehicle for vibration since they are pre-sorted and meet uniformity specifications set forth by the OEM. They will also be the best for ride since the shocks on the vehicle were tuned for that tire. I’d stay away from anything Toyo/Nitto (same company) as their wet traction performance is severely lacking. You want snow traction and performance? Your best bet is a tire with the three-mountain snowflake symbol, as it’s severe snow rated. Since the question was regarding trailer towing, changing tires to anything other than the OE tire means your vehicle will no longer be certified to the trailer weight it was tested to in accordance with the J2807 trailer tow test for handling acceptance criteria. In short, the OE tires your vehicle comes with are designed and certified for the trailer tow rating of your vehicle. Just because tires are round and black doesn’t mean they’re all the same.

      1. I agree not all tires are the same. I disagree with sticking with OEM just because they’re OEM. Goodyear wrangler SRAs are crappy tires, as are many of the high volume OEM street tires or P rated tires sold on the common new truck. They are much more prone to punctures, have worse traction than many all-terrains, and are barely rated to support the trucks rating. I’d MUCH rather get a better quality load range E rated all-terrain and sacrifice a little with a firmer ride and slightly worse MPG than deal with punctures on the road or getting stuck offroad in the middle of a project.

        1. That’s been my opinion on tires lately too. I just pulled a nail out of my Toyo AT2 LR-E’s a few months ago. No leaks, no problems. Can’t say that about the P-metric tires many half-tons come with these days.

          1. On my F150, I went from what was effectively an oversized Bridgestone sedan tire(stock) you might find on a Nissan Altima to a Wrangler Duratrac. Other than the Duratrac liking to run at 40 psi for the same stiffness because its slightly taller, there is zero downside. Road noise is the same, traction is 1000x better in the snow and offroad, and it looks better. OEM tires suck generally. A well built off-road tire will perform better in nearly all aspects.

      1. Then you get bigger steel wheels rated for your application. Alloy wheels can’t handle emergency or trama situations. They warp, they leak, they break, etc. et. etc.
        alloy wheels are just a problem waiting to happen.

            1. ARe you a mechanic that makes a lot of money selling unsuspecting people expensive and fancy rims that just end up not lasting?
              Oh, yes, by your own admission. You are.

            2. Um, for the last two decades, 90%+ of all personal use vehicles have come equipped with aluminum alloy wheels. Your saying there’s an automotive conspiracy between all automakers across the globe?

            3. Actually Hal, I’ve had to replace MORE steel rims for people because they were bent slightly and wouldnt hold air or wouldn’t balance. Once again an uneducated FAK NEWS statement by you just because for some stupis reason you decided to not like something.

    7. My recommendation for tires would be Michelin ATX tires. They are great towing tires, and even though they are not very aggressive, they perform well for some off-roading. Hope you enjoy the trip.

    8. Oh terrific! And now they use the same cab and door locks on the super duty trucks as they use on the f150. Also what was wrong with the leaf springs that ram use to use: nothing! Then ram went to a coil spring setup, tellsing us they rode better and they did but payloads were pathetic! So instead of going back to leafs, they next tell us the answer is their new air suspension. Wrong again! The moral here is simple and everyone knows it: If it ain’t broke don’t fix it

      1. Leaf springs
        Pros: simple, what everyone else does
        Cons: friction

        Coil springs
        Pros: better ride, supposedly lighter than equivalent leaf spring system
        Con: squat on 1500s
        Answer: variable rate springs available on 2019 Ram – we’ll see, but payloads are all up near or above 2017 F150 (havent been able to find the 2018 F150 charts yet?)

        Pros: adjustable, self-leveling
        Cons: another thing to break

        I don’t think there is anything wrong with a leaf or a coil setup. both can be executed properly. The Ram air system has been more reliable than other passenger vehicle air systems in my research, but is not without its faults.

        1. Progressive rate springs have been available for decades upon decades. This isn’t something new Ram developed or came up with. Why they didn’t use them before is baffling. I wouldn’t expect miracles using them either.

          1. Never said it was new tech. It is new as standard on the 2019 Ram, which will decrease their squat problem and has alleviated their payload problem that Dan commented on.

        2. RustyDodge – – –

          I like your “springs” summary. Here are some more views from “Four Wheeler”:

          Perhaps I can offer some other possible advantages of each – – –

          LEAF SPRINGS:
          1) Simple
          2) Rugged
          3) Inexpensive
          4) Traditional
          5) Strongly progressive (not mildly)
          6) Axle-locating (minimizes linkages)
          7) Helper or auxiliary spring-adaptable
          8) Easily replaceable at home

          COIl SPRINGS:
          1) Better ride
          2) Allows better articulation

          AIR SPRINGS:
          1) Much better ride (supposedly!)**
          2) Load-leveling
          3) Allows instantaneous sway/leveling adjustment during use (e.g., McLaren 12C).

          * Before I got my 2017 Ram 2500, I test drove the following vehicles with a sound meter to measure impact noise upon pothole engagement, which I was willing to assume was proportional to energy transfer to the chassis, i.e. that was not handled by the spring system:
          1) 2017 Ram 2500 with Coil Springs
          2) 2017 Ram 2500 with Air Springs
          3) 2017 Ram 3500 with Leaf Springs

          CONCLUSION: Not exactly an amazing difference among the three, but the air springs did not have as much travel and rode more poorly unloaded. Leaf springs had a sharper onset of the jolt, but the peak of the energy curve was ~ the same as coils. I got the “Coils ” truck, and avoided the “Air” truck, but almost went with the “Leaf” truck, except it wouldn’t fit in my garage!


          1. The air on the 2500 is more of a helper bag as i understand it that is near the center of the axle, and is not equivalent to the air in the 1500s, which was what my comment was geared toward. I have driven a 2014 Ram 3500 (leafs) which is rated at 4k lbs of payload and did not think that was overly stiff. I can only imaging the 2500 (3kish payload) would be slightly less stiff and perform better over washboard/rough roads. I don’t particularly care about max articulation.

            1. Rustydodge – – –

              RD: “The air on the 2500 is more of a helper bag as i understand it that is near the center of the axle…”

              Thanks. That may explain its meager benefit increase, and it short travel.

              RD: “I have driven a 2014 Ram 3500 (leafs) which is rated at 4k lbs of payload and did not think that was overly stiff.”

              Agree. Perfectly acceptable, which is why I almost went for it.

              RD: ” I don’t particularly care about max articulation.”

              Really need for intense O.R. use; otherwise, having 13 inches of wheel travel is not my top priority! (^_^)..


          2. Great link Bernie. Ranger Raptor has a Watt’s linkage for a reason. I am sure, that many would ditch the regular Raptor if Ford would bring it with 2.7 turbo gasoline.
            That’s why I think it’s not going to happen. Maybe regular Raptor will ditch leafs to get a better grip and control finally.

    9. 1. Sticky door latches…..I don’t know what to do.
      2. You bought a truck with air suspension…..lesson learned, get a PW.
      3. Goodyear wrangler duratrac tires are the cats ass when it comes to everything in life.

      1. Even though the wranglers have the three peaks for snow, I didn’t find they performed all that well in snow or ice, at least not even remotely close to blizzaks.

        The ride and performance off road was great however and the Kevlar made me feel all warm and fuzzy in Rocky situations where I would have worried about other tires getting punctured.

        Price is a bit steep but with tires you often get what you pay for.

    10. Eric, 3-in-One makes a product called “Lock Dry Lube” that is intended to help with your problem. We had this problem years ago and the dealer told us to try it. It worked!

    11. As the owner of a 2017 Ram Laramie with air ride we did have a problem with the air ride when it hit -30 C here. Truck was towed to the dealer. Apparently not enough nitrogen was in the system and no leaks were present. They refilled the Nitrogen and there has been no problems since. But the owner of our dealer did say there were bad air bags in 2016 Rebels and older models of the Rebel. I do love the air ride other than that one issue.
      As for tires I put on BFG KO2’s on my truck. Had them on my 2012 and they tow fine. Had DuraTracs before. Good tire as well but rougher rise and worse fuel economy. Tirerack.com has all the feedback you can think of for tires.

    12. Yes the air suspension does not like the cold. They still have not fixed that problem. What a shame. German cars use it as well and they know the cold but not sure how Mercedes and Land Rover do it.

      1. I wonder if Ram just needs a few iterations to get their relatively new air-ride system dialed-in. Air-ride suspensions are certainly not new in the world, but air suspensions are new to Ram’s engineers.

        The vast majority of Class-8 highway tractors have had air suspension on their rear axles for decades (I don’t know about their front axles), and the vast majority of semi-trailers have had air-ride suspension for at least several years as well. So it can obviously be a very strong, reliable system, and also obviously well-suited to towing heavy loads, or you would not see them on Class-8 semis.

        I really feel the pain for the original questioner in Canada that has a 2016 Rebel that is effectively inoperable – Ram certainly should make good on that problem (but we all know Ram won’t).

        All that said, I believe that air suspension in pickup trucks is a good idea, and eventually they will get them dialed-in to where they are as reliable as any other system on a vehicle.

    13. Your F150 has 275/60R20 stock size tires the 65 would be the 1” taller size that superduty gets on stock 20s. However, you can fit 275/65R20. I put that same size on my Ram 1500 and love it. I run Falken AT3w on my truck in that size. They are a good tire. I have 37” Ko2 on my Jeep and those are nice tires as well but most often more expensive than Falken and Nitto. Ran Nitto terra grapplers on my 2011 F150 and liked those tires a lot as well. Toyo AT2 is a good tire too just avoid the extreme tread variant unless you want the more aggressive tread. The P rated and most E rated in the AT2 are still plenty aggressive tread wise and have better road manners than the more aggressive “extreme” labeled AT2. 275/65R20 isn’t offered in extreme anyways. Probably the best AT tire for the money is the Cooper AT3. All of these tires I named are great just pick the one that fits your budget and visually appeals to you.

      1. I’m not impressed with the Toyo AT2’s. The compound the tires are made of is extremely slippery in wet conditions. Falken’s are great and Cooper’s AT tires are good too. Nittos seem to have balancing issies too often for me.

    14. Yeah, my buddy in San Diego just has is 2015 Laramie Ram Ecodiesel 4×4 Crewcab in for random stumbling issue. Super nice truck by the way!

      Guess what happened next?

      They reflashed his ECU – mandatory in CA they said, and told him his warranty was void for anything to do with his air ride suspension because he had overloaded it!

      They read his computer before the reflash. His payload sticker was only 811lbs -I showed it to him and he almost fell over in disbelief!

      He said technically he overloaded it the first time his family of 5 where in it!

      1. The Ram 1500 air ride system is nice until it fails. Then it’s a shitty drive to the dealer. My coworker’s 2016 Ram had the air ride system fail in -10F weather. The back end was stuck at max height while the front was stuck at its lowest setting. It toom the dealer over a week to fix it: new compressor, air lines, and bags. Question now is how long until it fails again? It’s a surprisingly common issue.

        1. It needs probably good inline air dryer and dry, non lubricated, teflon larger size electrovalves. Much more money than FCA wanted to spend, but they have to, if they want to continue with this feature.
          I would replace them by myself to bulletproof it.
          And disconnect air pressure gauge,so won’t go to the limp mode ,when overloaded.

      2. Wow! They voided the warranty on his air suspention because his family of 5 took a ride in their full size diesel pickup? That’s so wrong. So now they lost another family of future customers and probably hundreds more that read your post today!

      1. I’d Agree on the Yoko G015. In the 275/55 R20 is an Extra Load tire. Just had them installed on an Expedition EL towing a 30′ Travel Trailer. You can air them up to 50#, no side wall sway. Great in all weather. 60K mileage warranty.

    15. And since he had the work performed at his ram dealer. I bet the voiding of his warranty shows up on the trucks permanent record and will show up when he tries to sell or trade in the vehicle. Your buddy loses again!q q

      1. Yeah, its a bum deal all the way around!

        The air system records the payloads and if it goes over max it saves it!

        I think the way it works is it has ride height sensors at all four wheels, and if the system cannot maintain a set ride height it knows it’s been overloaded.

        I wonder if it actually records by how much???

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