How To Tell If Hubs Are Locked On F250

Are you wondering how to identify if the hubs are locked on your F250? What does locking the hubs do? Don't worry! We've researched the answers to your questions.

In F250, the hubs will lock when you turn them clockwise. There's also a label in the dashboard that tells you when hubs are on MANUAL or on AUTO mode, which MANUAL means locked while AUTO means unlocked.

You may notice the front wheels rotating independently, indicating that the hubs are unlocked from the axles.

This article will teach us the mechanism of locking the hubs on an F250. Then, we'll learn more about F250 features related to our topic. There's a lot to learn today. So, let's continue reading!

How to Tell if Hubs Are Locked on F250

The hubs in F250 are located on the wheels. Their primary purpose is to let the wheels spin along with the rotation of the axles when locked while allowing the wheels to turn by themselves when unlocked.

Turning the hubs clockwise will lock them and counterclockwise to unlock them. You can simply turn the hubs to figure out if they're locked.

Hubs have no effect on the differential. They are considered "manual" when locked but "auto" when set to operate with "Electronic shift on the fly" [ESOF] vehicles. When you activate 4WD, a switch in the dashboard triggers a vacuum system that locks the hubs automatically.

How to Lock the Hubs on F250

Ford EcoSport is a subcompact crossover SUV.

You'll want to lock the hubs when in 4WD or four-wheel drive mode. This is to keep the wheels secured, as well as to ensure the safety of driving.

Simply follow the steps on how to lock the hubs:

  1. Rotate the hubs from FREE to LOCK.
  2. Switch the lever from 2H to 4H or two-wheel high and four-wheel high drive respectively.
  3. Make sure you stop the car or slow it down to 3mph while you switch from one driving mode to another.

Should You Always Lock the Hubs?

It's not good to lock the hubs at all times, as it may cause damage to the gear system. Consider locking the hubs when driving in areas with low traction where there is snow, rain, or sand. Also, as mentioned earlier, lock the hubs when in 4WD.

Do Hubs Need Replacement?

Brake disk and detail of a wheel hub

Continuous and regular use of cars can result to wear and tear of the parts, specifically the hubs. So, we're giving you some signs the hubs might need replacement. Refer to these signs below.

Cranky Noise 

When you drive and hear something like metal grinding against the wheels, the hubs may be displaced or broken. You should not ignore such a noise, as the wheels may collapse or dislocate during your drive on the road.

However, other car components may also sound cranky. You'll want to check other metallic parts like axles or rods.

Poor Control 

Another sign of bad hubs is poor control over the steering wheel whenever you turn to change direction. Similar to this is when it's too difficult or slow to stop the car, especially on a downward slope.

Uneven Tires 

Faulty hubs can result in uneven tires. You'll notice that one side of the car has more weight than the other simply because dislocated hubs can shift the angle of the wheels. It's quite dangerous to drive with uneven tires.

How to Replace the Locking Hubs on F250

It's good to know how to replace the locking hubs on F250 by yourself. However, always seek help from a car mechanic for proper assessment. Refer to the steps below:

  1. Lift the car with a metal jack.
  2. Use a pry bar to detach the hub cap from the wheel.
  3. Pull the tire out.
  4. Use pliers to remove the ring.
  5. Apply a lubricant around the hub where you removed the ring. This is to reduce rust and to have a smoother surface.
  6. Use a rubber mallet to loosen up the hub.
  7. Pull the hub's lock, then clean the interior of the hub with a brush.
  8. Apply some compressed air into the hub.
  9. Now, insert the new hub's lock and twist it to secure it.
  10. Thump the hub's lock with a rubber mallet, then attach the ring.
  11. You can now put the tire and the cap back.
  12. Remove the metal jack, then perform a driving test.

You can watch a video here for a demonstration:

How Much is Hub Replacement Service for F250?

Close up of a vehicle rim in a car service

Depending on the service contractor, expect to spend $95 for the labor and around $390 for the parts. Some factors may change the price, such as location, car's condition, and other assessments by the service contractor.

One disadvantage of replacement service is the cost you have to pay to complete the task. But one advantage of this is the assurance that a professional will do the replacement. So, you'll want to allow a professional mechanic if you lack knowledge on replacing the hubs.

What Is a Hub Oil?

During the regular use of your F250, the hubs may become too dry and hard to lock or unlock. This is because of poor lubrication, which you can fix with hub oil.

Unlike regular lubricants, hub oil is formulated to boost the performance of the hubs, axles, and the wheels' rotation, as well as to prevent leakages.

See this hub oil on Amazon.

So to apply the hub oil, just follow the steps below:

  1. Park in a safe spot. Ensure that the fill plug is not facing sideways.
  2. Take the fill plug cap off.
  3. To see if the hub is full, use a flashlight.
  4. Point the end of the hub oil into the plug.
  5. Squeeze the hub oil to fill the plug until it becomes full. Do not overfill.

Are Hubs Part of the Warranty?

Mechanic working on a vehicle in a car service

Ford generally offers a warranty ranging from three to eight years, depending on the model and the agreement between you and the manufacturer. The warranty covers manufacturing defects on parts and other faults caused by workmanship.

The parts warranted most likely cover the hubs and other parts nearby the wheels. However, it's best to read the warranty information.

Look at Ford's extended warranty below to get an idea of other privileges you can enjoy. Simply talk to the manufacturer to upgrade the warranty.


It covers over a thousand components, such as the air conditioner and other advanced features. Such components have protection from unintentional damages and factory defects.


This warranty can protect up to 113 parts. It's good for models with fewer features and older technology.


Important components such as the engine, transmission, as well as air conditioning, and electrical systems are covered with the BaseCARE warranty.


This warranty protects some basic powertrain for the engine, transmission, front-wheel drive, and rear-wheel drive. From the word "power," PowertrainCare promotes safer driving performance.

Signs of Wheel Misalignment

Ford F-250 Platinum 6.7 Powerstroke Diesel - New Release 2021 Twin Cities Auto Show. - How To Tell If Hubs Are Locked On F250

In case you're concerned with the wheels getting dislocated or misaligned with each other, we prepared a list of signs to look for. This is important, so you don't blame the hubs when misalignment occurs. See the list below.

Tilted Tires

Look at the tires on both sides, then compare how they're angled. If one tire is tilted sidewards while the other is not, there's a misalignment. The misalignment may not be related to the hubs but to other car components instead.


When you feel a vibration coming from beneath the car, it's possible that one tire is slowly dislocating. You'll want to check if there are some objects like small rocks or sand around the wheels that may cause the vibration. Otherwise, it can be a sign of misalignment.

Incorrect Tire Size

Using tires of the recommended size is essential, as incorrect tire size will lead to unequal weight on both sides. However, it can also be due to insufficient air in one tire. You'll want to assess further to see if the tires need to be replaced.


In this helpful article, we learned how to know if the hubs are locked on your F-250. We also discussed some relevant topics, such as hub replacement and warranty. Remember to read the manual for your guide.

Are you looking for more to read? You can find more here:

How Do You Reset The Computer On A Ford F250?

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