Driving Ford 2006-Mustang

Driving the 2006 Ford Mustang is an exhilarating experience that combines raw power with timeless style. From the moment you settle into the driver’s seat, you can feel the iconic American muscle car heritage coursing through your veins. The throaty roar of the V8 engine instantly commands attention, and as you accelerate, you’re propelled forward with impressive force.

The Mustang’s agile handling and responsive steering make every twist and turn of the road a thrill, while its sleek and muscular design turns heads wherever you go. Whether you’re cruising down the highway or conquering a winding mountain road, the 2006 Mustang delivers an unmatched driving experience that captures the essence of true automotive passion.


Positions of the ignition
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  1. OFF/LOCK, locks the steering wheel, automatic transmission gearshift lever and allows key removal.

Note: The ignition key cannot be removed from the ignition unless the gearshift lever is securely latched in P (Park).

  1. ACCESSORY, allows the electrical accessories such as the radio to operate while the engine is not running.
  2. ON, all electrical circuits operational. Warning lights illuminated. Key position when driving.
  3. START, cranks the engine. Release the key as soon as the engine star

Preparing to start your vehicle

Engine starting is controlled by the powertrain control system. This system meets all Canadian Interference Causing Equipment standard requirements regulating the impulse electrical field strength of radio noise. When starting a fuel-injected engine, don’t press the accelerator before or during starting. Only use the accelerator when you have difficulty starting the engine. For more information on starting the vehicle, refer to Starting the engine in this chapter.

⚠ Extended idling at high engine speeds can produce very high temperatures in the engine and exhaust system, creating the risk of fire or other damage.

⚠ Do not park, idle, or drive your vehicle in dry grass or other dry ground cover. The emission system heats up the engine compartment and exhaust system, which can start a fire.

⚠ Do not start your vehicle in a closed garage or in other enclosed areas. Exhaust fumes can be toxic. Always open the garage door before you start the engine. See Guarding against exhaust fumes in this chapter for more instructions.

⚠ If you smell exhaust fumes inside your vehicle, have your dealer inspect your vehicle immediately. Do not drive if you smell exhaust fumes.

Important safety precautions

A computer system controls the engine’s idle revolutions per minute (RPM). When the engine starts, the idle RPM runs higher than normal in order to warm the engine. If the engine idle speed does not slow down automatically, have the vehicle checked. Do not allow the vehicle to idle for more than 10 minutes at the higher engine RPM. Before starting the vehicle:

  1. Make sure all vehicle occupants have buckled their safety belts. For more information on safety belts and their proper usage, refer to the Seating and Safety Restraints chapter.
  2. Make sure the headlamps and vehicle accessories are off.

If starting a vehicle with an automatic transmission:

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  • Make sure the gearshift is in P (Park).
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  • Make sure the parking brake is set.
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If starting a vehicle with a manual transmission:

  • Make sure the parking brake is set.
  • Push the clutch pedal to the floor
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  1. Turn the key to 3 (ON) without turning the key to 4 (START).

Some warning lights will briefly illuminate. See Warning lights and chimes in the Instrument Cluster chapter for more information regarding the warning lights.

Starting the engine

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  1. Turn the key to 3 (ON) without turning the key to 4 (START). If there is difficulty in turning the key, rotate the steering wheel until the key turns freely.
  2. Turn the key to 4 (START), then release the key as soon as the engine starts.

Note: If the engine does not start within five seconds on the first try, turn the key to OFF, wait 10 seconds and try again. If the engine still fails to start, press and hold the accelerator to the floor and try again; this will allow the engine to crank with the fuel shut off in case the engine is flooded with fuel.

Guarding against exhaust fumes

Carbon monoxide is present in exhaust fumes. Take precautions to avoid its dangerous effects.

⚠ If you smell exhaust fumes inside your vehicle, have your dealer inspect your vehicle immediately. Do not drive if you smell exhaust fumes.

Important ventilating information

If the engine is idling while the vehicle is stopped for a long period of time, open the windows at least one inch (2.5 cm) or adjust the heating or air conditioning to bring in fresh air.


An engine block heater warms the engine coolant which aids in starting and heater/defroster performance. Use of an engine block heater is strongly recommended if you live in a region where temperatures reach -10°F (-23°C) or below. For best results, plug the heater in at least three hours before starting the vehicle. The heater can be plugged in the night before starting the vehicle.

⚠ To reduce the risk of electrical shock, do not use your heater with ungrounded electrical systems or two-pronged (cheater) adapters.


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Occasional brake noise is normal. If a metal-to-metal, continuous grinding or continuous squeal sound is present, the brake linings may be worn-out and should be inspected by an authorized dealer. If the vehicle has continuous vibration or shudder in the steering wheel while braking, the vehicle should be inspected by an authorized dealer.

Refer to Brake system warning light in the Instrument Cluster chapter for information on the brake system warning light.

Four-wheel anti-lock brake system (ABS) (if equipped)

Your vehicle may be equipped with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). This system helps you maintain steering control during emergency stops by keeping the brakes from locking. Noise from the ABS pump motor and brake pedal pulsation may be observed during ABS braking; any pulsation or mechanical noise you may feel or hear is normal.

ABS warning lamp

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The ABS lamp in the instrument cluster momentarily illuminates when the ignition is turned on. If the light does not illuminate during start up, remains on or flashes, the ABS may be disabled and may need to be serviced.

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Even when the ABS is disabled, normal braking is still effective. (If your BRAKE warning lamp illuminates with the parking brake released, have your brake system serviced immediately.)

Using ABS

When hard braking is required, apply continuous force on the brake pedal; do not pump the brake pedal since this will reduce the effectiveness of the ABS and will increase your vehicle’s stopping distance. The ABS will be activated immediately, allowing you to retain full steering control during hard braking and on slippery surfaces. However, the ABS does not decrease stopping distance.

Parking brake

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The BRAKE warning lamp will illuminate and will remain illuminated until the parking brake is released.

To release, press and hold the button (2), pull the handle up slightly, then push the handle down.

⚠ Always set the parking brake fully and make sure that the gearshift is securely latched in P (Park) (automatic transmission) or in 1 (First) (manual transmission).

⚠ If the parking brake is fully released, but the brake warning lamp remains illuminated, the brakes may not be working properly. See your authorized dealer as soon as possible.


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Your vehicle may be equipped with a Traction Control system. This system helps you maintain the stability and steerability of your vehicle, especially on slippery road surfaces such as snow- or ice-covered roads and gravel roads. The system operates by detecting and controlling wheel spin. The system borrows many of the electronic and mechanical elements already present in the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).

Wheel-speed sensors allow excess rear wheel spin to be detected by the Traction Control portion of the ABS computer. Any excessive wheel spin is controlled by automatically applying and releasing the rear brakes in conjunction with engine torque reductions.

During Traction Control operation, the traction control active light will illuminate. If your vehicle is equipped with a message center, a message will display during Traction Control operation. You may hear an electric motor type of sound coming from the engine compartment and the engine will not “rev-up” when you push further on the accelerator. This is normal system behavior and should be no reason for concern.

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The Traction Control switch, located above the radio, illuminates when the system is off. The Traction Control system will automatically turn on every time the ignition is turned OFF and ON.

If you should become stuck in snow or ice or on a very slippery road surface, try switching the Traction Control system off. This may allow excess wheel spin to “dig” the vehicle out and enable a successful “rocking” maneuver.

The traction control on/off status is shown by an indicator lamp on the traction control switch. If the system is off, the indicator will be illuminated. If a system fault is detected, the traction control active light will illuminate, the Traction Control button will also illuminate and will not turn the system on or off and your vehicle should be serviced by an authorized dealer.

⚠ Aggressive driving in any road conditions can cause you to lose control of your vehicle increasing the risk of severe personal injury or property damage. The occurrence of a Traction Control event is an indication that at least some of the tires have exceeded their ability to grip the road; this may lead to an increased risk of loss of vehicle control, vehicle rollover, personal injury and death. If you experience a severe road event, SLOW DOWN.


To help prevent damage to the power steering system:

  • Never hold the steering wheel at its furthest turning points (until it stops) for more than a few seconds when the engine is running.
  • Do not operate the vehicle with a low power steering pump reservoir fluid level (below the MIN mark on the reservoir).

If the power steering system breaks down (or if the engine is turned off), you can steer the vehicle manually, but it takes more effort.

If the steering wanders or pulls, check for:

  • an improperly inflated tire
  • uneven tire wear
  • loose or worn suspension components
  • loose or worn steering components
  • improper steering alignment

A high crown in the road or high crosswinds may also make the steering seem to wander/pull.


This axle provides added traction on slippery surfaces, particularly when one wheel is on a poor traction surface. Under normal conditions, the Traction-Lok axle functions like a standard rear axle. Extended use of other than the manufacturer’s specified size tires on a Traction-Lok rear axle could result in a permanent reduction in
effectiveness. This loss of effectiveness does not affect normal driving and should not be noticeable to the driver.


Brake-shift interlock

This vehicle is equipped with a brake-shift interlock feature that prevents the gearshift lever from being moved from P (Park) when the ignition is in the ON position unless the brake pedal is depressed. If you cannot move the gearshift lever out of P (Park) with ignition in the ON position and the brake pedal depressed:

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  1. Apply the parking brake, turn ignition key to LOCK, then remove the key.
  2. Using a flat head screwdriver, remove the plastic cover.
  3. Insert the ignition key and push it straight down to release the interlock.
  4. Apply the parking brake, then shift to N (Neutral).
  5. Start the vehicle.

If it is necessary to use the above procedure to move the gearshift lever, it is possible that a fuse has blown or the vehicle’s brakelamps are not operating properly. Refer to Fuses and relays in the Roadside Emergencies chapter.

⚠ Do not drive your vehicle until you verify that the brakelamps are working.

⚠ Always set the parking brake fully and make sure the gearshift is latched in P (Park). Turn the ignition to the LOCK position and remove the key whenever you leave your vehicle.

⚠ If the parking brake is fully released, but the brake warning lamp remains illuminated, the brakes may not be working properly. See your authorized dealer.

Understanding the gearshift positions of the 5–speed automatic transmission

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This vehicle is equipped with an Adaptive Transmission Control Strategy. This Adaptive Transmission Control Strategy offers the optimal transmission operation and shift quality. When the vehicle’s battery has been disconnected for any type of service or repair, the transmission will need to relearn the normal shift strategy parameters, much like having to reset your radio stations when your vehicle battery has been disconnected. The Adaptive Transmission Control Strategy allows the transmission to relearn these operating parameters. This learning process could take several transmission upshifts and downshifts; during this learning process, slightly firmer shifts may occur. After this learning process, normal shift feel and shift scheduling will resume.

P (Park)

This position locks the transmission and prevents the rear wheels from turning.

To put your vehicle in gear:

  • Start the engine
  • Depress the brake pedal
  • Move the gearshift lever into the desired gear

To put your vehicle in P (Park):

  • Come to a complete stop
  • Move the gearshift lever and securely latch it in P (Park)

⚠ Always set the parking brake fully and make sure the gearshift is latched in P (Park). Turn the ignition to the LOCK position and remove the key whenever you leave your vehicle.

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R (Reverse)

With the gearshift lever in R (Reverse), the vehicle will move backward. Always come to a complete stop before shifting into and out of R (Reverse).

N (Neutral)

With the gearshift lever in N (Neutral), the vehicle can be started and is free to roll. Hold the brake pedal down while in this position.

D (Drive) with Overdrive

The normal driving position for the best fuel economy. Transmission operates in gears one through five.

D (Drive) without Overdrive

D (Drive) with Overdrive can be deactivated by pressing the transmission control switch on the right side of the shift handle.

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  • This position allows for all forward gears except Overdrive.
  • O/D OFF lamp is illuminated.
  • Provides engine braking.
  • Use when driving conditions cause excessive shifting from O/D to other gears. Examples: city traffic, hilly terrain, heavy loads, trailer towing and when engine braking is required.
  • To return to Overdrive mode, press the transmission control switch. The O/D OFF lamp will not be illuminated.
  • Overdrive mode is automatically returned each time the key is turned off

3 (Third)

This position allows for third gear only.

  • Provides engine braking.
  • To return to D (Drive) without Overdrive, move the transmission shift lever into the D (Drive) position.
  • Selecting 3 (Third) at higher speeds will cause the transmission to downshift to third gear at the appropriate vehicle speed.

2 (Second)

This position allows for second gear only.

  • Provides engine braking.
  • Use to start-up on slippery roads.
  • To return to D (Drive) without Overdrive or 3 (Third), move the transmission shift lever into the D (Drive) or 3 (Third) position.
  • Selecting 2 (Second) at higher speeds will cause the transmission to downshift to second gear at the appropriate vehicle speed.

1 (First)

This position allows for first gear only.

  • Provides maximum engine braking.
  • Will not downshift into first gear at high speeds; will cause the transmission to downshift to a lower gear, then allows for first gear when the vehicle reaches slower speeds.

Forced downshifts

  • Allowed in Overdrive or Drive.
  • Depress the accelerator to the floor.
  • Allows transmission to select an appropriate gear

If your vehicle gets stuck in mud or snow

If your vehicle gets stuck in mud or snow, it may be rocked out by shifting between forward and reverse gears, stopping between shifts in a steady pattern. Press lightly on the accelerator in each gear.

Do not rock the vehicle if the engine is not at normal operating temperature or damage to the transmission may occur.

Do not rock the vehicle for more than a minute or damage to the transmission and tires may occur, or the engine may overheat.


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Using the clutch

The manual transmission has a starter interlock that prevents cranking the engine unless the clutch pedal is fully depressed. To start the vehicle:

  1. Make sure the parking brake is fully set.
  2. Press the clutch pedal to the floor, then put the gearshift lever in the neutral position.
  3. Start the engine, then press the brake pedal and release the parking brake.
  4. Move the gearshift lever to 1st gear, then slowly release the clutch pedal while slowly pressing on the accelerator.

During each shift, the clutch pedal must be fully depressed to the floor. Failure to fully depress the clutch pedal to the floor may cause increased shift efforts, prematurely wear transmission components or damage the transmission. Make sure the floor mat is properly positioned so it doesn’t interfere with the full extension of the clutch pedal.

Do not drive with your foot resting on the clutch pedal or use the clutch pedal to hold your vehicle at a standstill while waiting on a hill. These actions will reduce the life of the clutch.

Recommended shift speeds

Do not downshift into 1 (First) when your vehicle is moving faster than 15 mph (24 km/h). This will damage the clutch.

Upshift according to the following chart:

Upshifts when accelerating (recommended for best fuel economy)

  • 1 – 2
    • 11 mph (18 km/h)
  • 2 – 3
    • 19 mph (31 km/h)
  • 3 – 4
    • 30 mph (48 km/h)
  • 4 – 5
    • 40 mph (64 km/h)



  1. Make sure that your vehicle is at a complete stop before you shift into R (Reverse). Failure to do so may damage the transmission.
  2. Move the gearshift lever into the neutral position and wait at least three seconds before shifting into R (Reverse).
    • The gearshift lever can only be moved into R (Reverse) by moving it from left of 3 (Third) and 4 (Fourth) before shifting into R (Reverse). This is a lockout feature that protects the transmission from
      accidentally being shifted into R (Reverse) from 5 (Overdrive).

Parking your vehicle

  1. Apply the brake and shift into the neutral position.
  2. Fully apply the parking brake, then shift into 1 (First).
  3. Turn the ignition off.

⚠ Do not park your vehicle in Neutral, it may move unexpectedly and injure someone. Use 1 (First) gear and set the parking brake fully.


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If driving through deep or standing water is unavoidable, proceed very slowly especially when the depth is
not known. Never drive through water that is higher than the bottom of the wheel rims (for cars) or the bottom of the hubs (for trucks).

When driving through water, traction or brake capability may be limited. Also, water may enter your engine’s air intake and severely damage your engine or your vehicle may stall.

Driving through deep water where the transmission vent tube is submerged may allow water into the transmission and cause internal transmission damage Once through the water, always dry the brakes by moving your vehicle slowly while applying light pressure on the brake pedal. Wet brakes do not stop the vehicle as quickly as dry brakes.