Stuck in 4WD, how do I get it out?

Tiny
HELP ME 79
  • MEMBER
  • 1 POST
  • 1998 FORD EXPLORER
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 100,400 MILES

My ford explorer 98 eddie bauer is stuck in 4wd, how do I get it out? I PLAY WITH THE SWITCH AND NOTHING. What could be wrong with it?

please help!

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Sunday, February 13th, 2011 AT 10:13 PM

27 Replies

Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
  • 13,789 POSTS

Hello,

This is a common problem when the transfer case shift actuator jams up and needs to be replaced. Here is a diagram and instructions on how to replace the actuator. You might need to raise the car up.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/jack-up-and-lift-your-car-safely

Check out the diagrams (Below)

Please let us know what happens.

Cheers, Ken

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:29 PM
Tiny
ELMCLEOD
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  • 1 POST
  • 1998 FORD EXPLORER

Other Category problem
1998 Ford Explorer 6 cyl Four Wheel Drive Automatic 160000 miles

I recently noticed that after someone drove my Explorer, that the 4wd low light was on. When I noticed this, I looked at the switch, and it was in auto (the 4wd was turned off). Now the light is off and it still feels as if it is still engaged. A friend had me try to powerbrake it for another problem and it would not even budge the tires. Plus my gas milage went down about 100 miles per tank. There is also a big loss of power when accellorating. I've been told many things that "could" be wrong with it, but, no for sure answers. HELPPPP!

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
  • 11,666 POSTS

Have it scanned for codes. There will be a trouble code stored int he PCM pertaining to the 4wd system ifit isnt working properly. Get back with the codes. Sen quite a few of the motors on the t-case go bad, but get it scanned and we will go from there

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
PARIDGERUNNER
  • MEMBER
  • 5 POSTS

You might just losen the shift motor on transfer case and wiggle it and see if it will come out of low range. Do NOT pull it out, just wiggle it back and forth. Because there is a problem getting it back in. I had same problem with my 98. This worked for me, and no more problems with it for last 3 years. Seems something will stick inside motor and this will free it up.

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
2CARPROS-ARCHIVES
  • MEMBER
  • 4,315 POSTS
  • 1998 FORD EXPLORER
  • 167,845 MILES

After pulling my stepdaughter out of a ditch the 4 wheel drive seems to be stuck and o/d light on dash is flashing when I try to drive it Can it be reset or do I need to repair a broken part?

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:30 PM (Merged)
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
  • 26,331 POSTS

Od light is a trans fault. We need the code to further help. Do not re set as it does nothing but wipe out info the tech needs to see what failed and when

Roy

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:30 PM (Merged)
Tiny
2CARPROS-ARCHIVES
  • MEMBER
  • 4,315 POSTS
  • 1998 FORD EXPLORER
  • 16,000 MILES

I can hear the shift motor shift from low to high but not back to auto/ neutral, I had to take front drive shaft out to be able to drive it what could be the problem? Its stuck in 4 wheel drive.

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:30 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
  • 68,498 POSTS

Check the actuator on the transfer case for operation. It is somewhat common for them to go bad.

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:30 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MAMALATTE24
  • MEMBER
  • 1 POST
  • 2000 FORD EXPLORER

Computer problem
2000 Ford Explorer 6 cyl Four Wheel Drive Automatic 179, 00 miles

Hello! I have a 2000 Ford Explorer and the four wheel drive I believe is stuck on. It wont switch to auto and it flashes 4x4 on high and low on dash. Whats this mean? Also would that make the car suck gas, and vibrate on bottom of car? Thanks

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:30 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
  • 68,498 POSTS

Hi:
It sounds like it's in 4wd. Yes it would cause more gas use and could cause a vibration. It sound like the actuator is bad. It's on the transfer case. Unplug it and see if you get power to wiring. If you do, replace the actuator.

Joe
NOTE: Using 4wd on a dry surface will cause damage to the system.

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:30 PM (Merged)
Tiny
PENNEY
  • MEMBER
  • 3 POSTS
  • 2000 FORD EXPLORERFORD EXPLORER

I have a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport 4WD with automatic transmission. It has 58,000 miles. This car has been great and I have had no issues with it whatsoever. Last winter I needed to use the 4wd to get to work. Since then, however, the car has great difficulty with turns. (It used to literally turn on a dime.) There are no strange engine sounds, but the tires do squeal sometimes when I am turning as the wheels seem to be locked. Can it be stuck in 4wd? If so, is there anything I can do about it or do I need to take it to my Ford dealer? Thanks!

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:30 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
  • 17,509 POSTS

Did you try shifting the lever? Is the 4X4 light lit?
And I read a TSB in wich the size of the tires all around must be equal. If the rears or fronts are different sizes resolve that first!

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:30 PM (Merged)
Tiny
PENNEY
  • MEMBER
  • 3 POSTS

There is no lever. It is knob that turns from 2wd to 4wd low to 4wd high. (There is no light.) Even though I turned the knob back to 2wd, it is like it is still in 4wd. The tires are all the same, but I could probably use some new ones by the end of this summer.

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:30 PM (Merged)
Tiny
PENNEY
  • MEMBER
  • 3 POSTS

Thank you so much! I checked the fuses and could not see that they had blown. I do have to admit that I wasn't real sure what a blown fuse would look like, though. I did disconnect the wires you spoke of and there has been a major improvement. There is still some minor wheel locking and tire squealing, but nothing like before. Any other suggestions are most welcome. And, thanks again so very, very much.

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:30 PM (Merged)
Tiny
COLIN BENNETT
  • MEMBER
  • 1 POST
  • 2001 FORD EXPLORER

Electrical problem
2001 Ford Explorer 6 cyl Four Wheel Drive Automatic 150000 miles

my explorer seems to be stuck in 4wd when I pull the transfer motor and have someone turn the switch it will switch from high over to low and back again but when you go from high back to auto nothing is there a relay or other control module or something inthat circuit please help

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:30 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
  • 68,498 POSTS

Do you get power to the actuator when that happens? If so, replace the actuator.

Let me know what you find.

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:30 PM (Merged)
Tiny
LPOTTER
  • MEMBER
  • 1 POST
  • 2001 FORD EXPLORERFORD EXPLORER

I have a 1998 Ford Explorer with ca 160,000 miles on it. It is a 6 cylinder automatic. My husband put it in 4 wheel drive to pull an empty 8 x 16 trailer up a hill for about 1/8 mile, dry road conditions. Now we can't get it back out of 4 wheel drive. We didn't notice any unusual noises or behavior, but it just won't come out of 4 wheel drive. Any suggestions what might have caused this?

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:30 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KATEE13084
  • MEMBER
  • 4 POSTS

I have a 2000 Ford Explorer with the same problem. I was wondering if you have found a solution. Please let me know. Thanks

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:30 PM (Merged)
Tiny
LINKMILL77
  • MEMBER
  • 1 POST
  • 2001 FORD EXPLORER

Transmission problem
2001 Ford Explorer 6 cyl Four Wheel Drive Automatic 214500 miles

i used my four wheel HI this winter and now it wont shift back into 2 wheel drive. I replaced the tranfer motor and that didnt work I replaced the switch and the modulare behind the radio and that didnt do it either. It will go in to 4 low and 4 hi but dont 2 wheel. What else could be the problem?

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:30 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
  • 68,498 POSTS

When you shift to 2wd, are you getting power to the actuator? If so, there must be internal wear that is causing it not to release.

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Monday, December 18th, 2017 AT 3:30 PM (Merged)

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