Unlocking the Power How to Disable the Ford F-150 Speed Limiter

Unlocking the Power: How to Disable the Ford F-150 Speed Limiter

While Ford has made the likes of the Mustang pony car and the LeMans-winning GT supercar, not everything stamped with the blue oval logo is a speed demon, much less a behemoth like the F-150.

But as we’ve learned to realize, nothing is impossible in the need for speed, even if it’s just a little bit more than what your F-150’s speed limiter allows.

So for the curious bunch who want to unleash their truck’s true top-end performance without breaking the bank, that speed limiter has to go, and we’re here to show you several ways to do it!

How the Ford F-150 Speed Limiter Works

The Ford F-150’s speed limiter is a safety feature that limits the speed of the truck to a set maximum speed by the user.

The speed limiter operates using a sensor to detect the current speed and then activates to prevent the vehicle from going any faster once the set speed limit has been reached.

Speed limiters or speed governors work just about how their name suggests them to work, even in one of the most popular American pickup trucks, the Ford F-150.

But for starters, speed limiters are electronic devices that rely on a vehicle speed sensor to tell them when to start keeping the car from going any faster than the maximum speed set.

As for setting the speed limit on the F-150, in particular, it depends on what type of speed limiter you have on your truck.

If your F-150 has an intelligent speed limiter, it can automatically adjust and limit your speed depending on what the Traffic Sign Recognition System detects the speed limit to be on the current road you’re driving on.

For that to work, it uses a camera to detect any road sign that posts the legal speed limit in the area. Afterward, it will tell the system to adjust the speed limit according to what has been detected.

In comparison, if your Ford F-150 only comes with the more traditional adjustment controls on the steering wheel, then you will need to manually set the speed limit yourself using the buttons.

The speed limiter adjustment controls can usually be found on one of the stalks on the steering wheel, marked by labels such as “LIM”, “SET +” (increase), “SET -” (decrease), “RES” (resume), and “CNCL” (cancel).

Any input that you make on the adjustment controls will show up on the info display screen where you can select and set your desired speed limit.

How do you disable the speed limiter on a Ford F-150?

There are several ways to disable a Ford F-150 speed limiter, such as using a FORScan tool, an application track software (ATS), aftermarket tuner chips, ECM reprogramming, the MyKey settings, and pressing the “LIM” button on the stalk.

How do you disable the speed limiter on a Ford F-150

When you want to get just a bit more top speed out of your Ford F-150 for whatever reason, then you can consider disabling or bypassing its factory speed limiter or “governor”.

In general, speed limiters are equipped on vehicles primarily as an electronic safety feature, so there are quite a few ways to go about disabling or at least setting it higher, especially in a more modern F-150 model.

One of the most common methods to disable the speed limiter is to use the popular FORScan tool, a program used to modify all sorts of parameters in the modules of Ford vehicles with compatible OBD2 ports.

Another software that can achieve this is an application track software (ATS). Similar to the FORScan, it can grant you access to the ECM’s settings and alter the speed limiter that way.

Speaking of ECM, you can also directly reprogram the module itself if you are familiar with working on it. Either that or you can purchase an aftermarket chip to remove the limiter as well as tune the truck’s performance.

On more modern F-150 trucks that have the MyKey feature, you’ll have to ask for help from a professional mechanic who already has all the tools and programs needed to change the settings and bypass the speed limiter.

You may be able to deactivate the speed limiter on certain F-150 models by simply pressing the “LIM” button located on the stalk attached to the steering wheel.

As a reminder, if your particular Ford F-150 model’s speed limiter can only be disabled via altering the ECM settings or using any third-party program, then we recommend having it performed by a trusted mechanic knowledgeable in the process.

FORScan Software Tool

FORScan Software Tool

Whenever anything needs a bit of changing or tweaking in the performance of a Ford F-150, like its speed limiter, owners often turn to the third-party software tool called “FORScan”.

The FORScan software can connect to your F-150’s engine control module (ECM), which stores many different parameters for the engine that you can make changes to. Naturally, this means you’ll need a laptop or a phone to install the software.

Because of the nature of FORScan, you’ll also be able to run your truck’s OBD (On-Board Diagnostics), which monitors and regulates the engine’s performance in real-time.

By scrolling through the different settings in the FORScan software tool, you will eventually come across a value for the current speed limit. You can then proceed to set this limit according to what you desire.

After you have set your settings on the speed limiter, you need to step on the accelerator pedal to calibrate it to the new speed limit that you’ve set.

But while FORScan is a pretty versatile program, it still has its own “limits” in terms of how fast it can let your truck go. 

According to different F-150 owners that have used FORScan to achieve a higher top speed, using the software doesn’t necessarily “remove” the limiter from the ECM, but only enables your truck to go just a bit faster until it hits the actual hard limiter.

This limiter is around 110 mph only, though it can also depend on the F-150 model and setup. This is because the change that you do doesn’t allow the factory limit in the module itself to be surpassed, but rather the limit on the gauge cluster only.

Application Tracking Software (ATS)

An alternative to the FORScan software is the application tracking software (ATS), which works pretty similar to the former since it also grants you access to many different processes that control the engine’s performance, like the speed limiter.

Once you install ATS on your computer or phone, you’ll have to go to the settings, choose “server options”, and then scroll until you find the “speed limiter”.

From there, you’ll be able to edit whatever factory speed limit value has been set. But again, as with the FORScan tool, this won’t instantly turn your truck into a speed demon, but only allows you to marginally raise the top speed at best.

If you really want the factory limiter to be completely bypassed and reach even higher top speeds, you’ll have to consider getting an aftermarking chip as well as tuning assistance from a dedicated mechanic.

Aftermarket Tuner Chips

Aftermarket Tuner Chips

For those looking to get more performance and “unlock” even higher top speeds on their F-150 trucks, installing an aftermarket tuner chip is the way to go.

An aftermarket tuner chip connects to your truck’s OBD2 port, which will then give you access to the ECM and its stored data/parameters. 

The difference this time, however, is that you’ll be able to bypass and customize your F-150’s factory performance settings a lot more when using an aftermarket chip, which means you can even ignore the speed limiter itself.

Do take note that you need to be knowledgeable in doing a custom or aftermarket tune on your vehicle to make sure that you don’t get any performance issues with the speed limiter removed or set higher.

Thus, be sure to have your truck properly tuned by a reputable tuner or mechanic if you plan on installing an aftermarket chip to remove the limiter.

While you’re at it, you should also consider swapping out the stock tires and driveshaft on your Ford F-150 for better aftermarket ones, as they’re not rated for the higher speeds that you’ll be potentially reaching with the new tune.

ECM Reprogramming

Another way of disabling or bypassing the speed limiter on your Ford F-150 is to directly reprogram the engine control module (ECM), the brain of the truck that stores data regarding the limiter.

But of course, reprogramming the ECM isn’t as simple as connecting a laptop and changing a single number. It requires a lot of technical knowledge and expertise that only a dedicated professional with the right tools can do right.

Since the ECM handles many different functions for the engine, even one hiccup in the programming process can cause a cascade of issues with how your engine runs.

In addition, bear in mind that if your Ford F-150 is still covered under warranty, then reprogramming the ECM will also void it. 

It’s also generally considered illegal to reprogram an ECM to get around OEM regulations for your vehicle.

MyKey Menu Settings

Some models of the Ford F-150 that have what is called a “MyKey” feature utilize a more modern system that allows you to control multiple electronics and change their settings with ease. 

The “intelligent” speed limiter is one such electronic feature that’s also controlled by the MyKey system, and it can also be deactivated by following the steps below:

How to Disable Ford F-150 Speed Limiter with MyKey

1. Turn the ignition on and wait for the truck’s computer to boot up.
2. Using the menu controls on the steering wheel, navigate the menu and select “setting”.
3. Select the “MyKey” option.
4. Select “Clear MyKey”.
5. Push and hold the “OK” button until you get the notification message “All MyKey Cleared”.
6. Doing this will clear all previous settings for all features controlled by MyKey, including the speed limiter.

On certain Ford vehicles that have higher GVM (gross vehicle mass) ratings, such as the Ford F-250, you will need to have them tuned by a professional mechanic to disable the speed limiter. 

LIM Button (ON/OFF Button)

LIM Button (ONOFF Button)

One of the simpler ways to turn off the speed limiter on your Ford is to check if it has a “LIM” button on the steering wheel and press it until it switches the limiter off. 

But just a disclaimer that this is different from actually removing the factory limiter within the ECM. This is just meant to turn off and reset the currently set limiter to the maximum allowable speed for the vehicle’s factory settings.

While not all models have this feature, those that do will have it mounted on one of the steering wheel’s stalks (usually the left one), and it’ll also come with other buttons such as SET + (increase), SET – (decrease), RES (resume), and CNCL (cancel).

Pressing the LIM button the first time would initially leave the system on standby and allow you to set a desired speed limit while pressing it again will then turn the system off and remove the limiter.

On other models, there may just be an “ON/OFF” button in place of the “LIM” button that will obviously do the same thing.

What are the kinds of speed limiters for a Ford F-150?

There are two types of Ford F-150 speed limiters, an intelligent speed limiter and an adjustable speed limiter.

Intelligent speed limiters run on the MyKey feature and adjust the speed limit automatically, while adjustable speed limiters are adjusted manually using buttons on the steering wheel.

What are the kinds of speed limiters for a Ford F-150

Intelligent Speed Limiter

Ford F-150 models that come with the “MyKey” feature often come with intelligent speed limiters that can adjust their speed limit automatically on the fly.

The intelligent speed limiter works by using the camera from the Traffic Sign Recognition System, which as its name suggests, can detect posted speed limit signs on the road you’re driving on.

Once a particular speed limit has been detected, data is sent back to the intelligent speed limiter to adjust the speed limit of the vehicle accordingly. 

Adjustable Speed Limiter

Adjustable speed limiters are the more traditional and “hands-on” limiters that you can find on an F-150 truck, as they will come with buttons on the steering wheel to manually set the speed limit.

Since you’re not relying on a camera to detect speed limits, you’ll have to manually change it via the adjustment controls on the steering wheel every time you enter areas or roads with a different posted speed limit.

Is it safe to disable your Ford F150’s speed limiter?

It’s generally not safe to disable the Ford F150 speed limiter since it acts as a safety feature for both your driving and the vehicle components themselves.

The F150’s speed limiter is also set according to the speed rating for the tires and the driveshaft, so disabling it can wear them out faster.

Is it safe to disable your Ford F150’s speed limiter

Keep in mind that the factory speed limiter is there not just as a general safety feature, but it’s also because the truck tires and the driveshaft are commonly rated for whatever speed limit has been set.

For instance, if your speed limiter has been set to 100 mph by the manufacturer, then the tires and driveshaft are not intended to go at speeds over that. Hence, it’s recommended to swap them out if you’re planning to disable the limiter.

Why should you disable your F-150’s speed limiter?

The two main reasons why you might consider disabling your F-150’s speed limiter are because it gives you a higher top speed and also improves your gas mileage when traveling over longer distances.

It’s quite easy to think of a reason why anyone would want to disable or bypass the factory speed limiter on their vehicle, and one such reason is to simply increase its performance in the top end.

Assuming your Ford F-150 is already way past its warranty period anyway, you may be interested in how fast it can go once you get rid of the speed limiter set by the manufacturer itself.

According to several owners of different F-150 models, they are typically limited to just over 100 mph at most with the factory speed limiter. But of course, it can be even lower than that if you set it yourself.

But aside from the more obvious benefit of having a higher top speed, you can also get better mileage as long as you’re traveling over longer distances at higher speeds you wouldn’t normally be able to achieve.

Hence, removing the speed limiter will prove to be more beneficial if you frequent miles and miles of interstate highways as opposed to just driving in city traffic.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it legal to disable the speed limiter in my Ford F-150?

Whether it is legal or not to disable the speed limiter on your Ford F-150 depends on your area. Certain countries, such as the US, legally require the installation of speed limiters on various vehicles as a safety feature. 

Can I disable the speed limiter without affecting other vehicle functions?

Depending on how fast your vehicle can go after disabling the speed limiter, it may start to affect certain components that are not rated to go faster than the factory speed limit.

For instance, if a truck’s tires and driveshaft are rated only for its factory-set 100 mph speed limit, then raising or completely removing the limiter may cause extra wear on the parts when going over that speed, compromising safety in the process.

What tools or equipment do I need to disable the speed limiter?

Some vehicles can turn off their speed limiter by simply pressing the “LIM” button (or similar) in the adjustment controls on the steering wheel, like in the case of the Ford F-150.

Other models may require an aftermarket tuner chip or third-party software to gain access to the ECM (engine control module) and then disable the speed limiter option from there.

Will disabling the speed limiter void my vehicle warranty?

Disabling the speed limiter can potentially void your Ford F-150’s warranty depending on how it is performed.

If the ECM has been reprogrammed or altered in any similar way to remove the actual factory speed limiter, then it voids the powertrain warranty of the F-150. This includes installing aftermarket tuner chips and using third-party software.

However, if you simply turn it off using its controls or reset it in the MyKey settings, then it doesn’t void the warranty since you’re still keeping the speed limiter data inside the ECM untouched.

Can I re-enable the speed limiter if needed?

If you temporarily turned off the speed limiter using the adjustment controls or the MyKey settings, then it can be re-enabled again by accessing the same options.

If any third-party software or aftermarket tuner chips have been used, then it’s recommended to ask a professional mechanic to revert the speed limiter settings to default to enable it again.

Are there any alternative methods to increase the speed of my Ford F-150?

To increase the top speed of your Ford F-150, you’ll need to have a custom or aftermarket tune for it to remove the speed limiter as well as increase its performance a little bit more from its factory tune.

You should also consider replacing both the tires and the driveshaft of your F-150 with aftermarket performance versions, as they will not be safe to run at speeds higher than the speed limit originally set for your truck.