For important information regarding the safe operation of this type of vehicle, see General Information in the Wheels and Tires chapter.
Do not use 4H or 4L mode on dry, hard surfaced roads. Doing so can produce excessive noise, increase tire wear and may damage drive components. 4X4 mode is only intended for consistently slippery or loose surfaces. Use of 4L mode on these surfaces may produce some noise (such as occasional clunks), but will not damage drive components.
If 4X4 low is selected while the vehicle is moving above
3 mph (5 km/h), the 4WD system will not perform a shift. This is normal and should be no reason for concern. Refer to Shifting to or from 4L (4X4 Low) for proper operation.
You can switch on and switch off the electronic locking differential by pulling the 4WD control (4WD vehicles) or turning the electronic locking differential control (2WD vehicles). See
Electronic Locking Differential.
Manual Shift On Stop (MSOS) 4WD system (If Equipped)
The vehicle should not be driven in 4X4 High or 4X4 Low modes with the hub locks set to FREE as this condition may damage driveline system components.
The 4WD system is engaged or disengaged by rotating the control for both front wheel hub locks from the FREE or LOCK position, then manually engaging or disengaging the transfer case with the floor-mounted shifter. For increased fuel economy in 2WD, rotate both hub locks to the FREE position.
Electronic Shift-On-the-Fly (ESOF) 4WD system (If Equipped)
If 4X4 Low is selected while the vehicle is moving above
3 mph (5 km/h), the 4WD system will not perform a shift. This is normal and should be no reason for concern. Refer to Shifting to or from 4L (4X4 Low) for proper system operation.
Auto-manual hub locks can be manually overridden by rotating the hub lock control from AUTO to LOCK.
For proper operation, make sure that each hub is fully engaged and that both hub locks are set to the same position (both set to LOCK or both set to AUTO). To engage LOCK, turn the hub locks completely clockwise; to engage AUTO, turn the hub locks completely counterclockwise.
The ESOF 4WD system:
- provides 4x4 High engagement and disengagement while the vehicle is moving.
- is operated by a rotary control located on the instrument panel that allows you select 4x2, 4x4 High or 4x4 Low operation.
- uses auto-manual hub locks that can be engaged and disengaged automatically based on the 4x4 mode selected.
- will increase fuel economy when used in the hub lock's recommended AUTO mode.
4WD Indicator Lights
When a 4X4 system fault is present, the system will typically remain in whichever 4X4 mode was selected prior to the fault condition occurring. It will not default to 4X2 in all circumstances. When this warning is displayed, have your vehicle serviced by an authorized dealer.
Momentarily illuminates when 2H is selected.|
Continuously illuminates when 4H is selected.|
Continuously illuminates when 4L is selected.|
Displays when a 4X4 fault is present.|
Using a Manual Shift On Stop (MSOS) 4WD system (If Equipped)
High shift efforts may be encountered when attempting to shift into and out of 4x4 modes. It is recommended to allow the vehicle to roll at a speed below
3 mph (5 km/h) when shifting between modes.
For general on-road driving. Sends power to the rear wheels only and should be used for street and highway driving. Provides optimal smoothness and fuel economy at high speeds
4H (4X4 High)
Used for extra traction such as in snow or icy roads or in off road situations. This mode is not intended for use on dry pavement.
Only used when towing the vehicle. No power to front or rear wheels.
4L (4X4 Low)
Uses extra gearing to provide maximum power to all four wheels at reduced speeds. Intended only for off road applications such as deep sand, steep grades or pulling heavy objects.
Shifting between system modes
Do not perform these operations if the rear wheels are slipping or when applying the accelerator pedal.
Some noise may be heard as the 4x4 system shifts or engages. This is normal. In order to reduce engagement noise, it is recommended that all shifts be performed at speeds below3 mph (5 km/h).
The vehicle should not be driven in 4X4 High with the hub locks disengaged as this condition may damage driveline system components.
Engage the locking hubs by rotating the hub lock control from FREE to LOCK, then move the transfer case lever from 2H to 4H at a stop or a vehicle speed below
3 mph (5 km/h).
Move the transfer case lever from 4H to 2H at a stop or a vehicle speed below
3 mph (5 km/h), then disengage the locking hubs (optional) by rotating the hub lock control from LOCK to FREE.
For proper operation, make sure that both hubs are set to either FREE or LOCK.
Shifting to or from 4L (4X4 Low)
- Bring the vehicle to a stop or a speed below
3 mph (5 km/h).
- Place the transmission in N (Neutral).
- Move the transfer case shift lever through N (Neutral) directly to the desired position.
- If the transfer case does not, or only partially moves to the desired position, perform a shift with the transmission in N (Neutral) and the vehicle rolling at a speed below
3 mph (5 km/h).
- If shifting to 2H with the vehicle at a complete stop, disengage the locking hubs (optional) by rotating the hub lock control from LOCK to FREE.
Using the N (Neutral) position
Always set the parking brake and leave your vehicle with the transmission in park (P).|
The transfer case neutral position overrides the transmission and puts the vehicle in neutral regardless of transmission gearshift lever position. The vehicle can move forward or backwards.
This position should only be used when towing the vehicle.
Using the Electronic Shift on the Fly 4WD system (If Equipped)
For general on-road driving. Sends power to the rear wheels only and should be used for street and highway driving. Provides optimal smoothness and fuel economy at high speeds.
4H (4X4 HIGH)
Provides mechanically locked four-wheel drive power to both the front and rear wheels for use in off-road or winter conditions such as deep snow, sand or mud. This mode is not for use on dry pavement.
4L (4X4 LOW)
Provides mechanically locked four-wheel drive power to both the front and rear wheels for use on low traction surfaces, but does so with additional gearing for increased torque multiplication. Intended only for off-road applications such as deep sand, steep grades, or pulling heavy objects. 4L (4X4 low) will not engage while your vehicle is moving above
3 mph (5 km/h); this is normal and should be no reason for concern. Refer to Shifting to or from 4L (4X4 low) for proper operation.
Shifting between system modes
Momentarily releasing the accelerator pedal when a shift in progress message displays improves engagement or disengagement performance.
Do not perform this operation if the rear wheels are slipping or when applying the accelerator pedal.
Some noise may be heard as the system shifts or engages; this is normal.
4X4 high mode is not intended for use on dry pavement.
You can move the control from 2H or 4H at a stop or while driving. The information display may display a message indicating a 4X4 shift is in progress. Once the shift is complete the message center will then display the system mode selected.
Shifting to or from 4L (4X4 low)
Some noise may be heard as the system shifts or engages; this is normal.
4x4 low mode is not intended for use on dry pavement.
- Bring the vehicle to a speed of
3 mph (5 km/h) or less.
- Place the transmission in N (Neutral).
- Move the 4WD control to the desired position.
The information display will display a message indicating a 4X4 shift is in progress. The information display will then display the system mode selected. If any of the above shift conditions are not met, the shift will not occur and the information display will display information guiding the driver through the proper shifting procedures.
If Shift Delayed Pull Forward appears in the information display, transfer case gear tooth blockage is present. To alleviate this condition, place the transmission in a forward gear, move the vehicle forward approximately
5 ft (1.5 m), and shift the transmission back to neutral to allow the transfer case to complete the range shift.
How Your Vehicle Differs From Other Vehicles
Vehicles with a higher center of gravity (utility and four-wheel drive vehicles) handle differently than vehicles with a lower center of gravity (passenger cars). Avoid sharp turns, excessive speed and abrupt steering in these vehicles. Failure to drive cautiously increases the risk of losing control of your vehicle, vehicle rollover, personal injury and death.|
Truck and utility vehicles can differ from some other vehicles. Your vehicle may be higher to allow it to travel over rough terrain without getting hung up or damaging underbody components.
The differences that make your vehicle so versatile also make it handle differently than an ordinary passenger car.
Maintain steering wheel control at all times, especially in rough terrain. Since sudden changes in terrain can result in abrupt steering wheel motion, make sure you grip the steering wheel from the outside. Do not grip the spokes.
Drive cautiously to avoid vehicle damage from concealed objects such as rocks and stumps.
You should either know the terrain or examine maps of the area before driving. Map out your route before driving in the area. To maintain steering and braking control of your vehicle, you must have all four wheels on the ground and they must be rolling, not sliding or spinning.
Driving Off-Road With Truck and Utility Vehicles
On some models, the initial shift from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive while the vehicle is moving can cause some momentary clunk and ratcheting sounds. This is the front drivetrain coming up to speed and the automatic locking hubs engaging and is not cause for concern.
Your vehicle may be equipped with a front air dam that can become damaged (due to reduced ground clearance) when taking your vehicle off-road. This air dam can be taken off by removing 15 bolts.
Four-wheel drive vehicles are specially equipped for driving on sand, snow, mud and rough terrain and have operating characteristics that are somewhat different from conventional vehicles, both on and off the road.
Power is supplied to all four wheels through a transfer case. On four-wheel drive vehicles, the transfer case allows you to select 4WD when necessary. Information on transfer case operation and shifting procedures can be found in this chapter. Information on transfer case maintenance can be found in the Maintenance chapter. You should become thoroughly familiar with this information before you operate your vehicle.
Four-wheel drive (when you select a 4WD mode) uses all four wheels to power the vehicle. This increases traction, enabling you to drive over terrain and road conditions that a conventional two-wheel drive vehicle cannot.
Basic Operating Principles
- Drive slower in strong crosswinds which can affect the normal steering characteristics of your vehicle.
- When driving your vehicle on surfaces made slippery by loose sand, water, gravel, snow or ice proceed with care.
- Do not use 4H or 4L on dry, hard surfaced roads. Doing so will produce excessive noise, increase tire wear and may damage drive components. 4H or 4L modes are only intended for consistently slippery or loose surfaces.
If Your Vehicle leaves the Road
If your vehicle leaves the road, reduce your vehicle speed and avoid severe braking. When your vehicle speed has been reduced ease your vehicle back onto the road. Do not turn the steering wheel sharply while returning your vehicle to the road.
It may be safer to stay on the shoulder of the road and slow down gradually before returning to the road. You may lose control if you do not slow down or if you turn the steering wheel too sharply or abruptly.
It may be less risky to strike small objects, such as freeway reflectors, with minor damage to your vehicle rather than attempt a sudden return to the road which could cause your vehicle to slide sideways out of control or roll over. Remember, your safety and the safety of others should be your primary concern.
In an unavoidable emergency situation where a sudden sharp turn must be made, remember to avoid over-driving your vehicle (i.e. turn the steering wheel only as rapidly and as far as required to avoid the emergency). Excessive steering can result in loss of vehicle control. Apply smooth pressure to the accelerator pedal or brake pedal when changes in vehicle speed are required. Avoid abrupt steering, acceleration and braking. This could result in an increased risk of vehicle roll over, loss of vehicle control and personal injury. Use all available road surface to bring your vehicle to a safe direction of travel.
In the event of an emergency stop, avoid skidding the tires and do not attempt any sharp steering wheel movements.
If your vehicle goes from one type of surface to another (i.e. from concrete to gravel) there will be a change in the way your vehicle responds to a maneuver (i.e. steering, acceleration or braking).
When driving over sand, try to keep all four wheels on the most solid area of the trail. Avoid reducing the tire pressures but shift to a lower gear and drive steadily through the terrain. Apply the accelerator slowly and avoid excessive wheel slip.
When driving at slow speeds in deep sand under high outside temperatures, use a low gear when possible. Low gear operation will maximize the engine and transmission cooling capability.
Avoid driving at excessive speeds, this causes vehicle momentum to work against you and your vehicle could become stuck to the point that assistance may be required from another vehicle. Remember, you may be able to back out the way you came if you proceed with caution.
Mud and Water
Be cautious of sudden changes in vehicle speed or direction when you are driving in mud. Even four-wheel drive vehicles can lose traction in slick mud. If your vehicle does slide, steer in the direction of the slide until you regain control of your vehicle.
After driving through mud, clean off residue stuck to rotating driveshafts and tires. Excess mud stuck on tires and rotating driveshafts can cause an imbalance that could damage drive components.
If you must drive through high water, drive slowly. Traction or brake capability may be limited.
When driving through water, determine the depth and avoid water higher than the bottom of the hubs. If the ignition system gets wet, your vehicle may stall.
Once through water, always try the brakes. Wet brakes do not stop your vehicle as effectively as dry brakes. Drying can be improved by applying light pressure to the brake pedal while moving slowly.
Driving through deep water may damage the transmission. If the front or rear axle is submerged in water, the axle lubricant and power transfer unit lubricant should be checked and changed if necessary.
Driving on Hilly or Sloping Terrain
Although natural obstacles may make it necessary to travel diagonally up or down a hill or steep incline, you should always try to drive straight up or straight down.
Avoid turning on steep slopes or hills. A danger lies in losing traction, slipping sideways and possible vehicle roll over. Whenever driving on a hill, determine beforehand the route you will use. Do not drive over the crest of a hill without seeing what conditions are on the other side. Do not drive in reverse over a hill without the aid of an observer.
When climbing a steep slope or hill, start in a lower gear rather than downshifting to a lower gear from a higher gear once the ascent has started. This reduces strain on the engine and the possibility of stalling.
If your vehicle stalls, do not try to turn around because this could cause vehicle roll over. It is better to reverse back to a safe location.
Apply just enough power to the wheels to climb the hill. Too much power will cause the tires to slip, spin or lose traction, resulting in loss of vehicle control.
Descend a hill in the same gear you would use to climb up the hill to avoid excessive brake application and brake overheating. Do not descend in neutral. Disengage overdrive or move the transmission selector lever to a lower gear. When descending a steep hill, avoid sudden hard braking as you could lose control. The front wheels have to be turning in order to steer your vehicle.
If your vehicle has anti-lock brakes, apply the brakes steadily. Do not pump the brakes.
Driving on Snow and Ice
If you are driving in slippery conditions that require tire chains or cables, then it is critical that you drive cautiously. Keep speeds down, allow for longer stopping distances and avoid aggressive steering to reduce the chances of a loss of vehicle control which can lead to serious injury or death. If the rear end of your vehicle slides while cornering, steer in the direction of the slide until you regain control of your vehicle.|
Excessive tire slippage can cause transmission damage.
Four-wheel drive vehicles have advantages over two-wheel drive vehicles in snow and ice but can skid like any other vehicle. Should you start to slide while driving on snowy or icy roads, turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide until you regain control.
Avoid sudden applications of power and quick changes of direction on snow and ice. Apply the accelerator slowly and steadily when starting from a full stop.
Avoid sudden braking. Although a four-wheel drive vehicle may accelerate better than a two-wheel drive vehicle in snow and ice, it will not stop any faster as braking occurs at all four wheels. Do not become overconfident as to road conditions.
Make sure you allow sufficient distance between you and other vehicles for stopping. Drive slower than usual and consider using one of the lower gears. In emergency stopping situations, apply the brake steadily. Do not pump the brake pedal. See
Hints on Driving With Anti-Lock Brakes
If Your Vehicle Gets Stuck In Mud or Snow
Do not spin the wheels at over
34 mph (55 km/h). The tires may fail and injure a passenger or bystander.|
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 your vehicle if the engine is not at normal operating temperature, damage to the transmission may occur.
Do not rock your vehicle for more than a minute, damage to the transmission and tires may occur or the engine may overheat.
If the parking brake is fully released, but the brake warning lamp remains illuminated, the brakes may not be working properly. Have your vehicle checked as soon as possible.|
Always set the parking brake and leave your vehicle with the transmission in park (P).
On some four-wheel drive vehicles, when the transfer case is in the N (Neutral) position, the engine and transmission are disconnected from the rest of the driveline. Therefore, the vehicle is free to roll even if the automatic transmission is in P (Park) or the manual transmission is in gear. Do not leave the vehicle unattended with the transfer case in the N (Neutral) position. Always set the parking brake fully and turn off the ignition when leaving the vehicle.
Maintenance and Modifications
The suspension and steering systems on your vehicle have been designed and tested to provide predictable performance whether loaded or empty. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you do not make modifications such as adding or removing parts (i.e. lift kits or stabilizer bars) or by using replacement parts not equivalent to the original factory equipment.
We recommend that you use caution when your vehicle has either a high load or device (i.e. ladder or luggage racks). Any modifications to your vehicle that raise the center of gravity may cause your vehicle to roll over when there is a loss of vehicle control.
Failure to maintain your vehicle correctly may void the warranty, increase your repair cost, reduce vehicle performance and operational capabilities and adversely affect you and your passenger's safety. We recommend you frequently inspect your vehicle's chassis components when your vehicle is subject to off road usage.