Owner’s Log: 2011 Ford F-150 Lariat (7/2015 – 10/2015)

OwnersLog2Happy Holidays to all!  Another quarter has gone by, and the F-150 continues humming merrily along.  Some new accessories have been added, and it’s even got some new shoes (tires) for the winter.  Continue reading for more details and plenty of pictures!

Stats:

Time Period: 7/19/2015 – 10/18/2015
Miles Driven: 1,628 / 35,101 (this update / total) (1,620 in last update)
Average MPG: 16.9 mpg (reported by on-board computer)

Avg MPG for Year: 15.8 (hand-calculated)

Costs:

Maintenance Costs: $45.66
Repairs: $0
Total Cost (non-fuel): $762.13

Services Performed:

  • 11/6/2015 – Oil change / tire rotation
  • 11/12/2015 – New Toyo Open Country ATII tires installed (275/65/18 size)
  • 12/11/2015 – New Michelin LTX M/S2 tires installed (275/65/18 size)*

Summary:

2011 Ford F-150 New WheelsIn July, I finally found a set of gently-used Ford chrome wheels.  They were a $995 option when the truck was new, and I’ve been looking for a set for under $1,000 since I bought the truck.  Finally, a set popped up on CraigsList, so the missus and I went for a drive.  Inspecting them found few flaws, and the set even came with the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensors, and Pirelli Scorpion ATR tires installed.  The only downside: the tires were from mid-2009, and were going to need replacement soon.

Myself and a friend swapped the chrome wheels onto the truck that evening, and boy did it make a difference!  The larger-diameter wheels combine with shorter sidewalls on the tires for sharper handling, and the look has gotten plenty of compliments!  It was soon apparent, however, that my earlier assessment of the tires was spot-on.  On the first rainy day in October, I almost ran into a guardrail because of poor traction, so the truck was parked while I figured out what to do about the tires.

2011 Ford F-150 Toyo Open Country ATII tiresOn October 12th, I went to a local tire shop, Radial Tire, and had a set of Toyo Open Country ATII tires installed.  They were the least-aggressive and quietest all-terrain tire I could find, and came with a 45-day/500-mile money-back guarantee.  They look the part, and were fairly quiet.  Due to a hearing issue I have, the tires caused headaches, and I had to invoke Toyo’s guarantee.  The Open Countrys were replaced by a set of Michelin LTX M/S2 all-season tires.

Radial Tire shop - Ford F-150The employees there even welcomed my help, as I wanted to swap out the 20″ chrome wheels for the stock 18″ wheels for the winter, to prevent the chrome from being damaged by salt and sand on the roads.  I got to load and unload the wheels, and it was interesting to see the inside of their shop and how it works.

All of this is not to knock the Toyos – they were great tires.  Excellent braking traction, good acceleration and cornering, and the weight penalty wasn’t bad (each tire weighs about 13lbs more than a stock tire).  If not for the headaches, I definitely would’ve kept them on the truck, as they’re highly rated for snow and foul weather.

2011 Ford F-150 Michelin LTX M:S2 tiresWith the new Michelins, though, I am confident they’ll do OK in the snow, but more importantly, they’re excellent everywhere else that I’ve driven them.  Grass and gravel traction is much improved over stock, the grip on the road, at any speed, is outstanding, and they’re almost unstoppable in the rain.  I’ll report back when and if we get any snow in the mid-atlantic region this winter.

I’d like to give a shout-out to the folks at Radial Tire, as they worked with me and were quite friendly throughout the whole ordeal.  If you’ve got tinnitus or any kind of inner/middle ear issue, please let me know!

2011 Ford F-150 Weather Tech Floor MatsAfter the tire swap, I was perusing CraigsList again, and found a set of WeatherTech floor mats which looked almost new, and for a very good price.  I snapped those up, so now I’m truly ready for the snow to fall! (which means it probably won’t).  The draw of the WeatherTech floor mats is that they fit the exact floor pan of your vehicle, and in the case of the F-150, they have tall sides on them to hold in snow, slush, sand, etc., as well as a drain on the outside, so any accumulated liquid will fall out when you open your door.  Since they’re fitted to the vehicle, there’s no need for retention clips, which makes them quite easy to remove for cleaning.  Again, something I’ll be reporting on in the future, if and when we get some snow!  As of now, I’ve only driven the truck in a few rain storms, and haven’t noticed any accumulation whatsoever in the floor mats.  The real test will be the salt/sand/snow combination during winter.

Dated Notes:

  • none

General Observations:

  • none

by John Suit

*Note: This was included because it follows the narrative explained in the article, even though it happened outside of the timeframe of the Owner’s Log report.

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