How To Disengage Four-Wheel Drive?

Four-wheel drive is the conqueror of complex terrains like bumpy, muddy roads. Suppose you’ve already got yourself one but have no idea about its functionality. Don’t worry. We will be your companion to optimize its usage.

Even though you are a frequent driver, now and then, you might face some typical situations where you can’t find the answer. Therefore, this article will help you learn how to disengage four-wheel drive. There is also some additional information to get rid of some common difficulties. Let’s get started.

How Do I Get my Four-Wheel Drive to Disengage?

Considering each brand has its design and configuration, you must read the manual before anything else to get a well-rounded picture of your car. More importantly, you’re not confused by other types to narrow down what you need.

Step 1:

Once you read through the specification of your car, you will know whether your front hubs are automatic or not. If you still don’t know, you should probably check it initially. If the front hubs are manual, you have to entirely stop your car and make sure the hubs are in “free” mode.

Step 2:

It would be better if you put your car into 4H mode. From this part, depending on how sophisticated your vehicle is, it might get some differences. The basic 4WD system can be manually switched. However, the new feature of a top-notch 4WD system will make your life easier. You press the electronic push button on the fly, and it will automatically switch for you. Beyond any expectation, there are full-automatic 4WD systems that are even more wonderful. Thanks to the detection system, they can automatically engage and disengage whenever needed.

Step 3:

Nevertheless, if you have automatic hubs, you need to place your car in reverse for a proper distance. Ideally between 10–20 feet, and then back up the same length. The “clunk” sound is the most noticeable signal for you to know when the hubs are disengaged. Make sure to concentrate on that sound, especially if you’re a newbie.

According to some drivers, you can skip out the backing step if your car is old-fashioned and has manual hubs. Just disengage the hubs, and everything is ready to go.

Know Also: Difference Between 4 Wheel Drive And All-Wheel Drive

What Do You Do if Your Truck is Stuck?

If you’re stuck in a four-wheel driveline, the first thing to do is simply follow the previous steps above about how to disengage the four-wheel drive. After that, you probably should stop the vehicle one more time and shift to two-wheel drive. Finally, driving backward and forward again in 10–20 feet. This action will allow the loosened shims to disengage.What Do You Do if Your Truck is Stuck

Another thing you can do is check the solenoid. Perhaps it could be the primary factor because of the relatively long usage period. With a few bucks, you can replace a whole new one. Usually, a solenoid and pipes go in pairs when sold. You need to make sure to keep the pipes in the correct way. Otherwise, it will be a mess up.

If you have any chance, you can probably check the actuator. It can be dirty and block the pressure, so you’d better wedge thoroughly to discard any dirt. If it’s terrible quality, you should substitute it with the new actuator. It’s available on any shopping platform and is very cheap.

Those are just some recommendations to fix your car at home if possible. Nothing is way better than treating your vehicle with regular maintenance to find out the root of the problem. It’s always better to have an expert examine.

Read Also: A Complete Beginners Guide To Car Detailing

Can a Four-Wheel Drive be Turned Off?

For all four-wheel drive cars, you can definitely turn it off. Most of the high-end 4WD system allows you to shift from four-wheel to two-wheel while driving directly. Just make sure to keep the speed below 60mph to guarantee the level of safety. Conversely, the older generations ask for a complete stop to disengage the four-wheel drive. Unless you can’t turn it off, you should check the cause.Can a Four-Wheel Drive be Turned Off

Can I Change 4WD to 2WD?

The answer is yes. Nowadays, the new four-wheel-drive system makes it more convenient to change. Thus, you can feel free to switch between modes while driving but within limited speed. The older system enforces you to park your car and then switch. However, it’d be better to spend a little time on both options. The top priority is your safety.


While driving a 4WD, you might get into some trouble because of its technicalities or a long-time usage. You can get any advice through forums or tutorials on YouTube. However, be careful, don’t try too hard to fix something that’s out of your league. You need to get your car to a mechanic for better maintenance and to avoid unwanted costs.