Can someone explain this adaptive steering


Tremor Fanatic
Founding Member
May 18, 2021
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Lawton, Oklahoma
Retired Army
Current Ride
2021 F250 Platinum Tremor
I supposedly have adaptive steering in the truck but I really don't feel a difference between any other vehicle. I have watched the ford videos on adaptive steering and how to access it on the main screen but I don't see those options available on my screens. Is it something you can turn on, turn off etc.? The amount of revolutions to make turns seems the same to me at slow and faster speeds. Where is the Gear box/motor for the adaptive steering?
The goal is for it to feel seamless. I don’t think you can turn it off. You might be looking at videos for adaptive cruise control or lane departure warning. The adaptive steering module is in the steering column just behind the airbag. Here is a screen shot.
I don't have it in my truck, but in my other vehicles it is imperceptible. I wouldn't know I had it, but might if you took it away.

I've read others here saying they only really notice it when they're backing up a trailer.
I have it on my truck and notice that there is more resistance in the steering wheel when following a curve on a highway than turning a corner at low speed. I've never driven a super duty without it so I couldn't tell you the difference. The actuator is apparently inside the steering wheel from what I've read.

If I remember correctly, its also a low speed item. So at low speed less turning of the wheel around for maneuvering, pulling into parking and backing up. I like it, at Hwy speeds its a firm wheel feel.

From Ford's SD selection web site,

Adaptive steering adjusts the steering ratio in response to vehicle speed. It adapts automatically to the driving situation, whether you’re doing a low-speed maneuver like parking or backing up a trailer, or traveling at cruising speed on the highway. At lower speeds, the steering ratio decreases, requiring fewer turns of the steering wheel — and less steering effort. At higher speeds, the steering ratio gradually increases, producing a steering feel that is firmer and more controlled.
That's the part that really baffles me. It is my understanding that the gearing activates to require less turning of the wheel at slow speeds to make turns and firms up the wheel at highway speeds and towing. However, I am still turning the wheel at least a full revolution at slow speeds which isn't any different than my last truck that did not have it.
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Just another wear point/electronic sensor in the steering system that in my opinion is not needed and a gimmick. I must say my Tremor without it is one of the easy driving/maneuvering super dutys I have owned.
I didn't have it in my 2020 and do in my 2021. Adaptive steering is perceptible, particularly at slow speeds. Driving them back-to-back, there's no denying that the adaptive truck's steering feels quicker and more car-like. You can whip the truck into spots and throw it around like a sedan.

My wife didn't really like driving the old truck, so she wasn't expecting much on her first outing in the new one. She immediately asked what I ordered on the truck that made it different mechanically from the previous one. It was that dramatic for her.

I don't know what coding magic Ford has done to make the Adaptive Steering in the wheel work with whatever electric bits they added to the steering for MY20 that enabled Pro Trailer to become an option, but they did a fantastic job with the steering as a whole.
On the blue oval forum there is a thread that this option may cause you a longer wait for your truck due to a shortage.
This is true! I received a voicemail yesterday, from my dealer, asking if I wanted to drop the Adaptive Steering from my build. Their reasoning is that Ford is not picking up orders with this option and cannot predict when they will!
I have it on my 6.7 and not on my 7.3 Its great in the parking lots( easier to turn the wheel and maneuver ). On the highway you get better road feel!

Is it worth the cost????? Is it worth the wait????? probably not.
doubt you will get much on the resale end either.
Just Ford trying to compensate for the solid front axle to compete with GM on steering/handling attributes.

I've always driven pickup trucks, so it doesn't bother me that it drives like one. YMMV.
Best I can figure, it doesn't change the gear ratio, only the effort to turn the wheel. That is not how Ford describes it, but it seems to be the way it works.
Just Ford trying to compensate for the solid front axle to compete with GM on steering/handling attributes.

I've always driven pickup trucks, so it doesn't bother me that it drives like one. YMMV.
I like a solid front axle. Its a truck. I like the adaptive steering too but just not sure its worth the extra money and its something else to possibly fix down the road. If I had one on order and got the call to wait or not wait and drop it. I would drop it in a heartbeat. But if things were back to normal with regular wait times due to the cost of the truck I would order it.