Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

If you experience loading issues with the login/register form, please completely disable ad blocker or use an incognito or in-private window to log in.

Ford Explorer AWD 4WD Questions



  • We just purchased a 2004 Ford Explorer, just checking things out and also abit apprehensive about all I have read about the trannys. Any way this question is on the Low light for 4x4 and when pushed should it stay on when engaged and if it only blinks whats wrong? The high switch worked great and stayed lit up both places.
  • The 4 Wheel Drive High and 4 Wheel Drive Low lights on my panel blink intermittently. Does this indicate low fluid or something more serious?


  • Just bought 2002 Ford Exp. When pushing 4X4 Auto,Low or High buttons, I don't feel anything engaging and no indicators lightup on instrument panel. Any ideas; could it be something as simple as a fuse??? Thanks!!
  • I have the same problem with mine. mines an 05 though. when i push the 4x4 low button. it flashes and it doesnt go into low 4x4 and the light on the dash doesnt come on, like the high does. i was told its the motor on the transfer case. they run like 125 to $150 . You might want to check your 4x4 module to pinpoint the problem. that flashing light is just letting you know its not working. the dealership should tell you if its that or not.i dont know how much they will charge to make sure thats the problem though. thats what im worried about right now. I just bought mine two weeks ago from a dealership as is, no warranty. so im pretty pissed off at the moment. good luck though.
  • Samsawyer - Don't know if this will help you or not. I have a 2006 Explorer and going to 4x4 high is just a button. 4x4 low, I have to put the transmission in neutral then push 4x4 low. It engages and will stay that way until I put in back in neutral and hit high or auto.
    My owners manual says the tranny has to be in neutral before low can be engaged.
    Hope this works for you.
  • Have a 2002 Explorer just out of repair shop (my bad...icy bridge) & just prior, the dash 4XHi &4XLo indicators would flash 3 times every few minutes. Also noticed 4wd wasn't engaging. Turns out, as I was investigating earlier, was confirmed that the 4WD control module was out to lunch, which leaves whole system INOP. Was told about $450 would get a module replaced, THEN could test the shift servo & other componemts. I'm web-shopping for the module, will figure out how to plug it in & see where I'm at. Dealership seems 'hesitant' to confess to a recurring & predictable failure on these, but forums as these tell a different story. By the way, got about 71K miles on her...Good luck.
  • teiscoteisco Posts: 1
    I am looking into buying a 2004 explorer and I don't understand the 4wd system. It has the 4wd auto, 4wd high, and 4wd low buttons. Does it constantly run in 4wd auto? Or is there a way to switch to 2wd? If so, how do you shift it from 4wd auto to 2wd? Thanks.
  • dbmasondbmason Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 explorer. When ever it's cold and I don't let the car warm up I have problems with the FWD. I have 88,000 miles on it. It starts by clicking nioses from under the dashboard. Then it will drop out of gear into neutral and it grinds gears if I try to put it into park. If I let sit for a while it will eventually go into four low by itself. When its messing up the other FWD wont work. I have already taken it to the dealership a bunch of times the only time they did anything was right before summer they said it was a short in the motor in the transfer case and replaced it. This worked for a while but now that its getting colder at night it's been doing all these same things again. So what would cause the motor to keep going bad or what else could be the problem. It only seems to mess up when its cold.
  • Been reading about the recurring blinking 4x4 light problems. Last night I started to have the same thing happen. Also last night when I pushed the unlock button, the lights did not come on and the seat did not automatically adjust when I put the key in the ignition. Are all of these related? Sounds like the 4x4 blinking light issue may be a bad control module?
  • Hi, I have a 2003 EB Ford Explorer and am experiencing the intermittant flashing lights (3 times every 2 minutes). But I also have a problem with no dome lights, the seat doesn't automatically adjust, the automatic locks don't engage, and 4x4 is not operating. Did you have these problems or similar problems as well?
  • fillr68fillr68 Posts: 22
    what lights are flashing? all the power locks will not lock? have you checked any fuses for the dome lights ? 4x4 maybe a shift motor issue..
  • nbcctnbcct Posts: 3
    Hi, I have a 2003 EB Edition explorer, with about 160,000 miles on it. I just replaced the left rear wheel bearing and both rear brakes and rotors. Since then my ABS light and traction control light comes on and stays on also then while Im driving down the highway my 4x4 high light will flash on and off. Occasionally after I have been parked for awhile and start it back up to take off it will sputter like one of my wheels are dragging after stopping and trying to go a couple of feet at a time, it will take right off and run fine minus the lights. Could this be caused by a bad rear wheel sensor? or something else? Also is there something I may be able to disengage temporarily until the problem is resolved?
  • Did you ever get the answer? I have the same thing going on and when my wheels are turned significantly the whole front end sounds like it is going to break. Popping and jumping and feeling like a drag on the power.
  • Nope not yet, still waiting. I ordered the part thinking it may be that when it comes in and I get it put on I will let you know if it fixes the problem. For right now I pulled the fuse for the abs which disables the abs and it has not sputtered yet (knock on wood) and that was two weeks ago. So I am thinking it has something to do with it. I fouund the part for $35.00 on the web so we will see. ;)
  • lai642lai642 Posts: 1
    I'm having the same issue...i am so frustrated with this vehicle. I even changed the rear wheel speed sensor and now it seems to have gotten worse. :( I am beginning to hate this ride. If its not one thing its another. And the stealership is just guessing anyway and hoping i just say fix it so they can charge me an arm and leg. They were actually going to charge me 2.5 hrs of labor at 100+ an hour for a job that takes 15 minutes ...sad indeed. Please post if you find or have found a resolution
  • nbcctnbcct Posts: 3
    Since my post I have changed my rear wheel sensor and put the fuse back in all of which took me maybe 10 minutes to do myself. All my lights are out and my 4x4 high doesnt seem to be kicking in. Yeah :D Approx 2 months ago I replaced my hub also. Everything was on the rear drivers side that got replaced. The ford dealership should be able to hook it up to a computer and give you the exact diagnosis especially to which side it is on because there are two sensors on the back one for each wheel. I hope this helps (knock on wood, it worked for me). ;)

    I know what you mean by hating the ride I love my explorer but when one thing goes it seems to all go at once especially after you have paid the vehicle off. In time hopefully it will all come together.
  • Shortly after I bought this truck new in 2003 the 4x4 low engage button stopped working. 4X4 High still works. Since I rarely use 4 wheel in daily commute unless it snows, I never took it in to have it looked at.

    Any simple things to check that might cause this, (fuse, linkage plug, pin...?)
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,674
    tell us about what you expect to happen.
    are you moving/stopped, etc...
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • i own a sport trac with 120 000 kms our friend is a mechanic and has been a big help. the 4x4 will not engage at all . There is power to the switch, module, and motor on transfer case. He has tested all of these parts seperately on his ford ranger and they all work fine. He's traced all the wiring and is coming up empty handed. could you please send any help to [email protected] Any help would be appreciated thanx.
  • I went out this A.M. to go for coffee and my truck was in 4 low, the switch is in 2wd where it stays unless bad weather. tried puttin truck in nuetral and switch to 4 low. drove forward about 100 yards then put truck in nuetral switch to 2wd and then drove forward truck will not disengage. Any suggestions will be of great help im stuck 2 hours from home and really dont want to make that trip in 4 low. :confuse:
    By the way it is a 95 with the 4.0. motor has 43k and trans the same
  • my boyfriend has a 96 explorer and the lights keep flashing and the 4wd isn't working, he knows its a electrical problem but how do we fix it from there?
  • Not sure about this particular set up for 4WD, but these systems used to always require you to back up a few yards to disengage the 4WD system. I have an Isuzu Trooper with 4WD. It also stated you only had to disengage the system and no back up required. As that vehicle has gotten older and more miles (96 with 95,000 miles), I have notice the 4WD doesn't seem to want to disengage as quickly when moving forward. If I stop, put it back into 2WD, then back up a few yards the system will disengage right away. Although this sounds silly, all 4WD systems used to require a back up to disengage. Hope this helps your SportTrac.

    Bel Air Car Guy
  • i have a 2002 sport trac 4x4 when i turn the switch to 4 hi or 4 low i get nothing at all no light or anything all the fuses are good that are of any concern to the 4x4 system the switch ohms out corectly but it appears i have no power at the switch . does the control module feed power to the swich? can anyone help me out here? these parts are to expensive for doing process of elimination. thanks if you want to e mail me its [email protected] thanx again.
  • I was having problems with my 2002 ford explorer. It would engage and not engage in 4x4 high at inappropriate times. Sometimes it would get tought to steer into a corner turn and at other times it would feel as if I hit something when going into reverse. The 4x4 light would blink intermittently. After reading this forum I decided to take a chance, purchased a 4x4 control module, followed the excellent instructions provided and I got an instantaneous resolution to the problem. The part cost about $180 from tasca ford online parts. The same dealership was going to charge me $360 for the same part if I walked into their parts department and requested the part on site. Thanks to all who provided their input.
  • I am also have a problem with my 4x4 light flashing on my 2002 ford explorer 4.0 v-6 automatic and sometimes while driving down the road it feels like the 4x4 high is trying to kick on and it does this at all speeds on dry pavement....I am getting very frustrated. I tested the actuator by turning on the key an putting in neutral to hear the actuator..i can here it engaging. Any ideas what it might be??
  • My Ford Explorer tries to engage into 4x4 while driving down the road at all speeds. We had the actuator checked and it is working. Sometimes it does it sometimes it doesnt. When driving it acts up and the 4x4 light flashes also. The transmission itself was serviced and fluids and filter changed, This truck only has 124,000 miles on it. It is something up front, you can hear it when it acts up. Its like a shutter type feeling also feels like tranny is slipping but it isnt. Any ideas on what this could be...I dont want to take it to Ford because I know that they will guess and charge me too much money. Any inut would be greatly appreciated, Thank you
  • fillr68fillr68 Posts: 22
    I had a problem like that with my 99 Explorer..found that my front tires were out of balance the vibration which was very mild caused the 4 wheel drive to engage at any speed..hope this helps..
  • fillr68fillr68 Posts: 22
    I had a problem like that with my 99 Explorer..found that my front tires were out of balance the vibration which was very mild caused the 4 wheel drive to engage at any speed..hope this may want to check the wheel bearing hubs driver side goes up around 100.000 miles they can be noisey....
  • Thank you...would the wheel hub cause it to want to try engaging into 4x4?? We just bought the truck last week and it has 2 matching tires on back but 2 different tread designs up front...all the same size though, the 235/70/16's all the way around. So you think its the tires or could still be the wheel hub. Now we do have a noise on the driver side, sounds like a rotor rubbing, would that be a wheel hub?? or jsut the tires you think?? I am willing to try anything before taking it to a dealer because i have been reading horror stories on here all you so much!!
  • ok i just bought brand new tires all the way around and mytruck still making noice up front. You turn it to the left and it makes a rubbing type noice ( wawawawa) you go straight or to the right it doesnt make the noice...any ideas??
Sign In or Register to comment.