The 4WD light on a Jeep tends to keep flashing, especially if it senses your vehicle is not safe to drive. For your safety and functioning of vehicle components, you need to clear the service 4WD light on the Jeep.
To clear the flashing service 4WD light on your Jeep, you can reset it mainly by replacing the blown-out fuse or fixing the faulty units. It may be a faulty sensor, axle, wrong gear shifting, etc. Depending on the cause, you need to follow the workaround.
Some of the issues have DIY hacks, whereas others need professional attention. So, how do you detect which one is doable on your own? We are here to get you covered, along with the 4WD light-clearing instructions!
What Does the Service 4WD Light Mean in Jeep?
Jeep manufacturers have configured the service 4WD light to make your drive smoother and safer. What we mean is that the light helps to determine whether the 4-wheel drive system of your vehicle is in good condition or not. It illuminates to indicate that one or more components of the vehicle are malfunctioning.
The light stays on to remind you to fix the issues as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will not be able to enjoy a smooth ride. In most cases, when the sensor, computer program, axles, or vehicle wiring get faulty, the light comes on.
Do All Jeep Models Experience the 4WD Light Issue?
All Jeep models do not have the service 4WD light. Because not all of their lineups offer a 4-wheel drive option. Only the models that have engines that distribute equal power to the four wheels have the light installed.
Also, most of the Jeep models that offer off-road features come with 4WD.. It means the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, Renegade, Liberty, Compass, and Gladiator models have this light. So, only these models can have trouble with the 4WD light if the vehicle acts up.
What Causes the Service 4WD Light to Stay On in a Jeep?
The service 4WD warning light stays on or blinks if there is any internal or external damage or glitch in your Jeep. And here, we have listed the most common problems or factors that cause the light to flash or stay on –
Faulty Fuse and Wiring
Basically, fuses supply power to the 4WD light. If the fuses are loose or faulty, they fail to maintain a flow of power or electricity that helps the light function properly. So, even if there is nothing wrong with your four-wheeler, the light blinks due to the inactive fuse.
Also, the wires behind the dashboard and engine compartment can have an impact on the light, especially if the wires are not connected properly. It can lead to short circuits that may eventually prevent the 4WD light from turning off.
Malfunctioning Transfer Case
The transfer case delivers power from the Jeep transmission to the axles so that you can drive the vehicle at different speeds and positions. But an overaged or overheated transfer case loses its functionality to maintain the power distribution.
As a result, you will struggle to set the gear stick at different levers or positions. If we illustrate, the vehicle will not speed up with the engine. Due to all of these performance failures, the 4WD light will appear to warn you about the potential risk.
Incomplete Gear Shifting
Changing the 2WD drive mode to the 4WD mode at the wrong time refers to incomplete gear shifting. The wrong time to transfer to 4WD mode is when the car is moving or you are driving.
And such improper shifting in gears triggers the 4WD light to be active. To eliminate such probability, always change the driving mode while the car is in standby mode.
Bad Wheel Sensor
The wheel sensor ensures that the tires are functioning or rotating at the proper speed. But if, due to any electrical or internal damage, the sensor stops detecting the wheel speed, we fear that the service 4WD light will flash.
Also, this faulty sensor can affect the performance of the braking system. So, to warn you while driving, the blinking 4WD light will appear on the dashboard.
How to Clear the Service 4WD Light on a Jeep?
As the service 4WD light can be on for several reasons or internal issues, the methods to clear the light are also multiple. Based on the cause of the problem, we advise you to work around these fixes below –
Reset the 4WD Light
One of the quickest ways to get rid of the flashing 4WD light is to reset it. It mainly works well if the light is malfunctioning due to a glitch or poor fuse. This is how you reset and clear it:
- Slow down your Jeep to disengage the light. Then, shift the gear to the neutral position.
- Slide the transfer case at 4 HIGH. And once the Jeep is in gear, set the transfer case lever at 2 HIGH.
- Now turn the engine off and park your vehicle on a flat surface. Let the engine cool down for a few minutes.
- With the help of the owner’s manual, find the Fuse Box near the engine compartment.
- Carefully pull out the faulty or damaged fuse with needle-nose pliers.
- If the fuse seems okay, you can re-insert it into its socket after waiting for ten seconds.
- To install a new fuse, make sure it has the same amperage rating recommended by the Jeep manufacturer. You can find the amperage rate on the old fuse’s body.
Do not forget to turn the engine on and engage it. The reset should clear the light. But if it does not work, try the other methods given below.
Fix the Transfer Case
To stop or clear the emergence of the 4WD light, you should inspect the transfer case. If it seems to overheat or act up, you can cool it down or fix it with the following DIY hacks that we described:
- Step 1: Clean the Case
Debris and dirt around the case gasket can raise its temperature. So, using a soft brush, remove the grease right away. Use a dry cloth to rub out the dirt or rust.
- Step 2: Add Fluid
If your vehicle is low on lubrication or fluid, the compartments, including the case, tend to overheat. In order to troubleshoot, we have seen experts recommend adding heat-resistant oil.
Also, make sure the fluid does not burn due to overuse. Or else, burned oil can increase the temperature. To prevent that, refill the transmission or engine oil every 3000 to 5000 miles.
- Step 3: Replace the Case
As much as a dirty or overheated case is easy to fix, its replacement is not a no-brainer. So, we highly discourage you from doing it on your own. If the case is clean and cool, yet the 4WD light blinks, contact a professional and install a new case. It might cost you more than $3800.
Replace the Wheel Sensor
It is better to contact an automotive technician to replace a faulty wheel sensor and disengage the service light. But if you want to do it at home, follow these steps:
- Park your vehicle on a flat surface and lift it up with a jack lift. Place a jack stand to hold the Jeep in its position.
- Detects which wheel sensor is not functioning properly.
- With a lug wrench, detach the wheel from the vehicle.
- Gently detach the electrical connector from the sensor.
- Loosen the screws or bolts around the sensor to remove it.
- Install the new sensor in the mounting position.
- Carefully attach the connector.
- Reinstall the wheel and lower the Jeep.
Now if you take a test drive, the light should not bother you anymore!
Is It Okay to Drive with Service 4WD Light On?
As per our research, automotive experts do not recommend driving when the 4WD light illuminates. Just because the car is driveable in 4WD mode does not mean you should.
Because delaying fixing the issue that causes the light to appear can damage different compartments of the vehicle,
It means that if you drive the car with the light stuck, you are putting your life and the vehicle’s functionality at risk. So, as soon as the light activates, detect the issue or take your Jeep to a repair center.
If you are new to the Jeep 4WD model, the queries seem never-ending when the 4WD light comes on. Whether you can fix it or not, get a general idea from the queries below –
Does the owner’s manual have instructions to clear the service 4WD light?
Most Jeep manuals contain troubleshooting instructions to get rid of the flashing warning lights. And it includes the 4WD light reset or clearing methods. We guess you need to go through the manual’s warning indicator section to find the fixes.
What happens if you drive with the service 4WD light on?
If the light appears on account of a software issue or slightly loose wires, you can drive the Jeep without any major issues. But if the complex unit, such as the sensor or wheels, is faulty, you should not drive with the light on.
Should you fix the service 4WD light issues on your own?
It depends on the 4WD issue and your skills. Generally, you can fix some broken wires and damaged fuses by following some tutorials. But if the bigger or more complex unit requires technical know-how or replacement, contact the service center right away.
Not all vehicles have the 4WD light configured. So, every Jeep owner is familiar with its technicalities and errors, which make them confused about clearing service 4WD light on their Jeep.
If you are in the same spot, we’d highly advise you to detect the reason behind the blinking light. This makes it easier to apply specific troubleshooting techniques that work.