Having 4-wheel drive on your vehicle ensures that when you go off-road adventure driving and come across muddy road conditions or other road conditions that prevent a 2-wheel drive vehicle from crossing, your vehicle will be able to make it through. A Jeep Wrangler needs must be 4WD because these vehicles are designed to go to places other vehicles cannot.
A four-wheel drive vehicle does not stay in 4-wheel drive all of the time. You drive in 2-wheel drive under normal road conditions, and only put the vehicle into the four-wheel drive when it is needed. If you are unfamiliar with the actions required to transform your vehicle from a 2WD to a 4WD, the following advice and tips may help you.
How to Switch to 4WD in a Jeep (3 Steps)
Before you shift the vehicle into 4-wheel drive for improved traction you need to ascertain whether you want to shift it into 4-wheel drive high, or 4-wheel drive low. To choose the best setting of low to high remember that in the high setting the vehicle is capable of traveling over slippery roadways, and handling loose road conditions like gravel or sand.
The low setting allows you to get a greater amount of traction and should be chosen if the roadway is really slippery or the sand or gravel is really loose. The low setting will help you out of really tough situations but you should never travel at a speed greater than 25 MPH when you are in the low setting.
Typically, people would think that low should be the first choice and high should be the last, but with 4-wheel drive settings, this is not the case. Choose the high setting for minor road imperfections like slippery areas covered with damp grass, or slightly muddy roads. Choose low when you really need to get some traction because the roadway is very muddy or even icy.
1. Shifting over to 4 Wheel Drive High
You want to stop the jeep Wrangler and place your gear shifter into the neutral position. Be sure to keep your foot on the brake pedal and keep the pedal depressed. Grasp the 4WD shifter and pull it straight down to take the vehicle out of 2WD and lock in the 4WD. Keep your foot on the brake and move your gear shifter to the drive setting. Now take your foot off of the brake and apply slight pressure to the accelerator to start the vehicle rolling again.
2. Shifting Over to 4WD Low
To take the Jeep on to the low setting you need to apply the brakes and put the gear shifter back into the neutral position. Take your foot off of the brake and allow the vehicle to coast along reaching speeds between 2 and 3 MPH. Do NOT use the accelerator at this point. Switch over to the low setting. Apply the brake and switch the gear shifter back to drive.
3. Shifting without Going into Neutral
It is possible to switch from the high to low setting without taking your vehicle back to the neutral setting. While you are driving you can engage the 4WD shifter and change from high to low, or low to high while the vehicle is in motion.
When you choose to do this, you must make sure that your speed does not exceed 25 miles per hour. The ideal speeds to shift into 4WD from high to low are between 7 MPH and 25 MPH. The action of not stopping the vehicle is crucial in some tough situations where stopping your forward momentum to shift into neutral might cause you to become mired in the mud.
It is also better to shift from high to low without stopping when you are climbing a steep grade or incline because when you stop you can lose momentum and the vehicle could slide backwards.
It is a good idea to practice shifting your Jeep Wrangler from 2-Wheel Drive to 4-Wheel Drive so you can be confident in doing this when you are driving in a situation that requires it. Once you have switched over a couple of times you will be able to do so easily without really thinking about what you are doing.