When you’re driving a truck as a capable as the Ford F150, every minor flaw can be magnified. If you’re sat in traffic, you might become more aware of your idle RPMs, and this in turn may raise some questions as to whether your F150’s idle RPM is running at the normal rate or whether to be concerned.
This explains the ranges and factors that can affect the average idle RPM in a Ford F150 and how to check it, and why it might be a higher idle RPM than usual.
The short answer is below… but bear in mind that this could be different on your as it’s quite a generic ford f150 idle rpm figure that is average for all models and years.
What RPM should my f150 idle at? An average or normal RPM for a Ford F150 will be 600 once it’s warmed up. If it’s a cold day, you might see an initial idle RPM that ranges from 1,000 to 1,100 RPM.
Normal idle RPM Ford f150 – average ranges
There are two types of idle RPMs: idle and cruise. Idle RPM is the RPM at which your F150 engine idles when you’re not revving it. Cruise RPM is the RPM that your F150’s engine will run at when you’re driving it.
In other words, cruise RPM is the speed that your truck runs at when it’s moving forward in traffic or on a highway.
The normal idle RPM for a Ford F150 is different from most vehicle’s normal idle RPM when starting up on a cold day… it can reach 1500 idle RPM in this case. Most modern cars will run at around 600 to 1,000 RPM at their idles.
However, once warmed up, a Ford F150 should idle at a far lower RPM, perhaps in the 600 to 700 RPM range.
Handy Hint: Here are step by step instructions for how you can manually adjust the idle on a Ford F150 truck in 5 to 10 minutes.
How to check engine idle speed on an F150
The easiest way to check your normal idle RPM on an F150 is check the tachometer on your vehicle dash. You can also buy digital tachometers on Amazon. Just plug it in, turn it on, and show you precisely what your normal idle RPM is.
Why does my F150 idle high when I start it?
In simple term, if your Ford F150’s idle RPM is higher than normal when starting, it’s because it needs to warm up the engine with higher revs. This is particular true in cold weather so is totally normal.
But, in technical terms, it’s not actually running a high idle RPM to warm up the F150’s engine but is running high to stop your truck from stalling.
When you start a truck’s engine in the cold, it “runs rich” so it can get good combustion. I read a great quote on a Ford F150 fan forum which explains it better than I can:
“Because it’s running rich, this affects the combustion since too much fuel can make an engine run rough from wetting the spark plug or even stall. The engine compensates for this by raising the RPM. This is also why your exhaust can smell like gas when you’re starting up in cold temperatures. Once the engine warms, it leans out the mixture and can lower the RPM’s again since there’s good combustion.”
During this “warming up” period your F150 engine will use more fuel, compared to only letting it warm up for a short while, and then driving it.
Occasionally you might even see that your F150’s idle RPMs fluctuate wildly and go up and down. This is a symptom of a possible problem with the engine. I’ve published notes on idle up and down problems elsewhere on the blog.
Other reasons for high (but normal) idle RPMs in Ford F150s are:
“Normal idle RPMs are usually higher than ideal because if fuel is injected into the engine at low RPMs, less fuel will be available when it’s needed. Most electronic fuel-injected vehicles have a higher normal idle RPM than older mechanical fuel-injected cars. In addition, most newer cars with Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVTs) automatically change their transmission gears independently without driver involvement. They operate more efficiently at all speeds, which affects normal idle RPM.“
How much horsepower does a ford F150 have?
Well, that all depends on the year, model, and engine. For example, the 2018 Ford F150 Raptor has a horsepower rating of 573. The Raptor gets about 10 MPG in the city and 15 MPG on the highway.
As another example, the 2019 Ford F250 Super Duty has a horsepower rating of 603, which is also pretty good for a truck of this size. The Super Duty gets about 13 MPG in the city and 17 MPG on the highway.
What you might be interested in though, is this guide on how to reduce your truck’s MPG with some useful hacks and tips.
How much torque does a Ford F150 have?
Again, these are just examples.
The 2018 Ford F150 Raptor has torque ratings at 477 pound-feet, or 38 foot-pounds, while the 2019 Super Duty has torque ratings at 516 pound-feet or 43 foot-pounds.
Both the Raptor and Super Duty have plenty of torque to take off from stoplights and get up to speed quickly with their large engines. The Raptor can get up to 60 miles per hour in about 6 seconds, and the Super Duty can get up to 70 miles per hour in about 4 seconds.
The Ford F150 is one of the most capable trucks you can buy. It’s bold, muscular, and ready to tackle anything.
But, if you’ve ever driven one, you might have noticed how the normal idle RPMs can be higher occasionally than you might expect. Often this will be due to the temperature.