Blog Car Care Advice 4 Irksome Ford Intelligent 4WD Problems and Their Fixes
Car Care Advice

4 Irksome Ford Intelligent 4WD Problems and Their Fixes

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Is your Ford facing issues like a stuck 4WD mode or clicking noise from the drivetrain? 

Whether you drive a Ford F150, Ford Bronco, or a Ford Edge, these problems are serious enough to cut your adventure short.

But not if you spot, diagnose, and fix them early.
To make things easier, let’s explore some potential Ford Intelligent 4WD problems you could face along with their fixes.

This Article Contains:

Let’s beat the muddy trails!

Warning Lights On: How to Diagnose Ford Intelligent 4WD Problems?

If you notice any warning lights or your vehicle shows signs of trouble, hook up a compatible OBD-II scan tool to the Data Link Connector (DLC) port to check for trouble codes. You can start by checking and correcting the codes in the Powertrain Module (PCM), Transmission Control Module (TCM), and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

Once done, access the Differential Electronic Module (DEM) or the 4WD control module and look for codes to find out which part is acting up.

Here are some of the codes that can show up:

You’ll need good technical knowledge to diagnose these issues, so it’s best to get a mechanic’s help.

In addition to the above codes, let’s explore certain problems common to Ford Intelligent 4WD models.

4 Potential Ford Intelligent 4WD Problems You May Encounter

Here are a few 4WD problems and their possible fixes you should know:

1. Ford Shows ‘4WD Fault Service Required’

This means your four-wheel drive system isn’t operating properly, and the powertrain fault indicator can also illuminate to indicate an issue.

The most common culprit is your gears shifting incompletely. Other issues include electrical and sensor problems or a malfunctioning transfer case. 

To fix the incomplete gear shifting, always switch your gears when your car is not in motion. This will give you a smooth transition and prevent wheel slip and damage to your Ford. But if the warning stays lit or comes on shortly after restarting your vehicle, contact a mechanic immediately.

2. Ford Stuck in 4WD

The transfer case distributes power from the engine to the front and rear axles. Driving on dry roads and pavements may overwork the transfer case and lock it up, preventing the 4WD from disengaging. 

How to fix it?
Usually, stopping your vehicle and reversing for a few feet should relieve the pressure and unlock the transfer case. But if your Ford continues to get stuck in 4WD, even on off-roads or snow, you might need a mechanic’s help. 

Note: Your Ford can also get stuck due to a broken 4WD mode switch, a malfunctioning transfer case motor, or vacuum leaks.

3. Cracked Chassis

Driving in rough road conditions, suspension issues, and rust due to moisture can crack the chassis. These cracks can increase the risk of accidents and damage vital car components, like the engine. 

So, it’s essential that you clean the rust and fix the cracked area as soon as you spot it. You can also use rubberizing solutions to prevent such issues.

4. A Strange Noise From the Driveline 

Do you hear a howling or clicking noise from your transfer case at high speeds?
If your transfer case fluid is low or dirty, replacing it should stop the noise. But, if you spot any internal damage on your transfer case, you may have to replace it. 

You should also look for other bad transfer case signs like difficulty in shifting gears, illuminated 4WD warning lights, or trouble staying in 4WD. 

Have more questions?
Let’s get them next.

3 FAQs on Ford Vehicles

Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers about the Ford Intelligent 4WD system: 

1. How to Prevent Ford 4WD Problems?

Whether you drive a new Ford Explorer or a Bronco Sport from the Ford Motor Company, some ways to ensure a smooth ride on your 4WD are:

2. Is AWD the Same as 4WD?

The all-wheel drive (AWD system) operates automatically without you shifting modes. The AWD system helps improve traction control in light snow, rain, or mild off-road conditions. It uses a center differential that allows the front and rear tires to spin at different speeds, helping you navigate on-road driving and cornering smoothly.

On the other hand, a four-wheel drive (4WD) requires you to choose between a two-wheel drive (2WD) and a four-wheel drive. 4WD uses a transfer case instead of a differential, which locks the front and rear wheels together and provides better traction control for off-road driving. 

It also has a 4Hi mode in 4WD, which offers enhanced traction control for everyday driving conditions at normal speeds. You can opt for 4Lo for maximum torque in extreme off-road conditions.

Quick Fact: Ford Motor Company vehicles also come equipped with the Terrain Management System that helps navigate challenging driving conditions.

3. What Other Problems Can My Ford Escape Potentially Have?    

Here are some issues commonly found on Ford Escape models:

Keep Your Ford 4WD Running Smooth With AutoNation Mobile Service

Although Ford’s 4WD system is engineered for robust performance, anything from simple tire wear to more serious transfer case issues can spell trouble for you.

Fortunately, following the general service details and timely maintenance and fixes from experts like AutoNation Mobile Service can help keep your Ford on adventure trails. We’re a mobile auto repair service available seven days a week. We offer upfront pricing, convenient online booking, and a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty on all repairs.

Just get in touch with us, and we’ll come and fix any 4WD problem right in your driveway.