Owner’s Log: 2011 Ford F-150 Lariat (4/2012 – 7/2012)

Once again, I haven’t put a lot of miles on my F-150 in the last quarter, but what miles I have put on it, have been exciting, especially on an 850-mile road trip and the subsequent firewood hauls.  As usual, see the review I wrote on my 2011 Ford F-150 for a refresher, if you’d like.  Click past the jump to see some pictures and read about my experiences with my truck.


Time Period: 4/19/2012 – 7/18/2011
Miles Driven: 2,310 / 8,287 (this update / total) (2,376 in the last update)
Average MPG: 18.1 mpg (reported by on-board computer)


Maintenance Costs: $60.00
Total Cost (non-fuel): $60.00

Services Performed:

6/22/2012 – 6,922 miles – Oil change, tire rotation.  The oil life monitor in the truck reported that I had 19% oil left, but I was leaving soon for an 850 mile road trip, so I thought it best to have an oil change and tire rotation done.  A Motorcraft FL-500-S filter was used, which is different than the one that came on the truck, since specifications have changed.  Motorcraft 5W-30 Synthetic Blend oil was used.


Roll-X Tonneau Cover Installed

Well, the past quarter was shaping up to be ho-hum in the experiences department concerning my 2011 F-150.  All that changed in June, however.  Not only did I get to experience one of the worst storms I’d ever seen, I got to drive on the highway in it!  Winds of up to 80mph, hail, and sheets of rain so thick that traffic slowed to a crawl.  Luckily, I had installed my new Roll-X tonneau cover, so all my luggage stayed dry.  With the over 6,000 lbs (including passengers and cargo), the F-150 performed admirable in the wind and rain, and there was no hail damage, either.

The fuel mileage on the road trip was outstanding, at 20.6 overall.  I hit a peak of 21.5, and a low of 19.4.  The average fuel economy shown on the dash was as high as 18.5 when I pulled into my driveway after the road trip, but in the last two weeks, has dipped to 18.1.  I can attribute this increase in fuel economy to several things, the most important being engine break-in.  In my experience with 2005-and-newer vehicles, the engines take up to 15,000 miles to fully break in, giving optimal performance and fuel economy.

The other factors include the tonneau cover changing the truck’s aerodynamics and premium fuel.  Ford specifies regular 87 octane unleaded fuel for the EcoBoost engine in the F-150, but also states that in hot climates and when towing heavy loads, to use premium unleaded (91+ octane) for the best performance.  As a test, I switched to premium in late April, and have been quite happy since then with the performance and fuel economy of the F-150.

Back to the storm I drove through; while I was busy navigating wet highways, my friends and neighbors back home were dealing with quite a bit of devastation, including power outages, downed trees, closed and blocked roads, accidents, and general mayhem caused by high winds and tons of rain.  Upon returning from my July 4th road trip, I found CraigsList to be full of free firewood ads, so I loaded up the truck’s bed three times in one week, bringing home quite a bit of fresh firewood, which will of course have to be seasoned before it’s burned, but it was free, and I could take a lot of it because I had a truck!

Dated Notes:

  • 07.02.2012 – Almost 500 miles to a tank of gas.  Impressive for such a heavy vehicle with a relatively small 26-gallon gas tank.
  • 07.12.2012 – Around 700 lbs of fresh firewood in the bed – can’t even feel it from behind the wheel.  Impressive.

General Observations:

  • none

by John Suit



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