Ford f150 4 Wheel Drive not Engaging (Problems Solved!)


ford f150 4 wheel drive problems

If you are wondering why your Ford 4 wheel drive is not engaging, then you will want to read this article. I talk about all the possible causes and dig deeper into finding the reason they exist as well as look into how to fix them.

If you want great performance off-road with your Ford truck, 4 wheel drive capability is a definite necessity for this. However, sometimes you will fail to engage 4 wheel drive from 2 wheel drive. What could be the possible reason for this?

Reasons why Ford f150 4 wheel drive won’t engage

Your Ford vehicle may fail to switch into 4 wheel drive mode due to several factors. These include Vacuum hose leak, Faulty dial switch, Corroded wires, Faulty Differential, Shift motor issue, Faulty vacuum hose.

A single one of these issues or a combination of any of them can lead to you having trouble engaging 4 wheel drive. We will now dig a little further into these causes, how to diagnose them and the remedies.

The 4WD mechanism on a Ford truck is a combination of different components working together to produce the desired result. An issue anywhere along the chain can lead to a failure of the whole system. Let’s look at these issues individually.

Vacuum hose leak

A vacuum hose can become cracked and begin to leak. When this happens, the suction required cannot be achieved leading to insufficient power transfer.

Your vehicle will not be able to engage 4WD under such circumstances. Replacing the cracked hose will get rid of the problem. If you are unable to completely replace it in an emergency situation, sealing the crack with silicon or rubber-based sealant will give you a temporary solution.

Faulty dial switch

The dial switch where you switch from one mode to another may be the reason why you may be failing to engage in 4WD. In such a situation, you may need to have an expert look at it to ascertain if it is indeed the case.

If you possess the necessary mechanical ability, you can replace the switch by yourself after testing to see if it is the cause of the problem.

Corroded Wires

With time, the wires in your vehicle’s 4WD system may become corroded. When this goes on for long enough, the wires can eventually break or lose conductivity. The result of this is that the communication within the 4WD system is cut off resulting in failure to engage 4WD.

Faulty Differential

When there is poor lubrication in the differential, it may lead to a seized differential. This problem will lead to your 4WD not engaging in the way it is supposed to. You will most likely need an experienced mechanic to identify this particular issue.

Transfer Case Shift motor issue

Electronically shifted 4WD utilizes the transfer case control module to move between the different modes. When you chose a setting, the module communicates this to the shift motor that then engages the right mode according to your selection.

When this motor is faulty, your F150 will fail to engage the right gear all the way. In such a case, the shift motor needs to be replaced with a new one.

Transfer Case Control Module

As the name states, this is what controls the transfer case and the engagement of the relevant moving parts. The module can lose its programming and in such cases, a reset will oftentimes fix the issue.

To reset your control module, you will have to remove the Transfer Case Control Module fuse. This is located in the fuse right at the bottom. Wait for a minimum of 30 minutes or more.

Put the fuse back into its position. Turn your ignition key to run. When the 4×4 light blinks, turn the key off. Repeat this process 5 more times. On the 6th attempt, start the truck. This should fix the issue right away.

How to Identify a 4 Wheel Drive Problem in your F150

How can you tell whether you have a 4WD problem? There are several ways in which you can do this and here they are. A common sign is a clanking or rattling sound. It is a commonly reported issue that may precede your vehicle failing to engage 4WD.

You may also notice excessive fuel consumption as well as increased tire wear. These 2 issues are primarily caused by 4WD failing to disengage. You may also notice that you begin to lose traction in snow or mud.

This is probably one of the most explicit signs you can expect to get. You may also experience a lack of power while driving or a “Service 4WD” light.

Conclusion on ford f150 4×4 troubleshooting

I hope that this article has helped you better understand the possible reasons behind your 4WD not engaging on a Ford F150. Fortunately, the process of troubleshooting and fixing this issue is pretty simple and can be carried out by just about anyone with the basic aptitude.

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