If your car has a four-wheel-drive system, you will notice a 4wd indicator on the dashboard. It can indicate the gear’s incomplete shift and other issues when it lights up. That is why it is important to fix the problem. Now, do you know how to clear service 4wd light?
To clear service 4wd light, first take away the dash bezel and knee bolster, and then pull on the switch assembly. Unplug the wires from the gray box and start your vehicle to see if the light is still on. If it is still on, you can remove the battery’s negative cable and keep it that way for an hour or so to clear the light.
Having the service 4wd light blinking is not an uncommon issue. But it is better to know how to fix the problem so that you don’t have to panic if it happens. I will discuss more on the Service 4wd light in this article.
So, I urge you to go ahead and check it out to get some in-depth ideas about it.
What Is Service 4wd Light, And What Does It Indicate?
The full form of 4wd is Four Wheel Drive. Now, what is a four-wheel drive? Let me explain more clearly. Each car you see falls into one of the three drivetrain categories:
- Front-wheel drive
- Rear-wheel drive
- Four-wheel or all-wheel drive.
The drivetrain explains how the wheel power is distributed in a car. So if it is a four-wheel-drive car, it means the car’s engine distributes power to all four wheels when driving. And the 4wd is the most common drivetrain in most vehicles.
The four-wheel drivetrain is not the most fuel-efficient option as it requires more fuel to power up all the wheels. However, most drivers prefer it as it allows them to drive through any weather condition and off-terrain.
As for the 4wd alert light, it can come up suddenly and make you panic. If you notice the service 4wd light blinking on your dashboard, it can mean there is an incomplete shift in the car gear. If that is the reason, it can also indicate the engine is at a damaging risk.
Usually, shifting into gear solves the issue. However, it will not be fixed like that if the problem is in the transmission.
How To Clear Service 4wd Light?
Clearing the service 4wd light means turning it off or resetting it. Here is a step-by-step guideline on how to clear service 4wd light.
Step 1: Inspect The Service Light
Before taking things apart, make sure something is going on with the service light. You can start by checking on the light. How do you know if the light is on?
Look at your vehicle’s dashboard, and you will see a light that reads Serv 4wd or Service 4wd. The light can appear in various ways. Sometimes it blinks, while other times it just appears in red. Whatever it does, once you spot the light, you can move to the following step.
Step 2: Knee Bolster & Dash Bezel Removal
Now that you are sure you need to clear the Service 4wd light, the next step is removing the dash bezel and the knee bolster. Removing the dash bezel requires the simplest effort. You only have to snap it out.
However, to remove the knee bolster, you’ll need a screwdriver. You need to unscrew the bottom screws to remove them.
Step 3: Pull-On The Switch Assembly
After removing the dash bezel and the knee bolster, you need to remove the switch assembly. This is a pretty simple step, but you need to be a little careful here.
It is best to pull on the switch assembly from all four sides evenly. If not, there is a possibility that the switch assembly will break.
Step 4: Pull Apart Transfer Case Control Module
Once you remove the switch assembly, you will see the transfer case control module. Then look at the two wires that lead to a compact gray box. Your task here is to unplug the wires.
After this part, start your car and check if the 4wd light is still ON. Usually, this entire process clears the light because whenever the Serv 4wd light shows up, the issue lies with the TCCM or Transfer Case Control Module.
Step 5: Take Off The Battery’s Negative Cable
What if unplugging the TCCM does not work? In that case, you can try one more thing. And to do that, you need to find your car’s battery. You can use the vehicle instruction manual to find it quickly.
Once you spot the battery, remove the negative cable from it. Then let your vehicle rest for at least an hour while the cable is still loose. After that, reconnect the negative cable and start your car. This should do the trick even if the previous step doesn’t.
However, you should still be prepared to be disappointed because this trick sometimes fails. As I mentioned, the reason why the Service 4wd light comes up can be many. So if the problem is not solved, contact your customer service for help.
How To Check 4wd System By Yourself?
The 4wd system can be a little tricky sometimes. Even if you see everything looking normal, you might realize that the front wheels are not working. That is why knowing how to diagnose the system on your own is handy.
Step 1: Park The Car
The best way to check if there is any problem with the 4wd system is to park the car. You can choose a parking lot for this small DIY test.
Step 2: Engage 4wd System
Keep your vehicle neutral at first. But then switch to the 4wd system. When the system engages, you will hear a noise. Then drive your car around 10 to 12 feet forward from its previous position. It will allow the front hub to engage.
Step 3: Turn The Wheels And Check For Resistance
After that, turn the wheels towards one side (any side will do) and drive forward again. Instead of smooth driving, you are likely to feel resistance, indicating that the 4wd system is good. But if you do not feel the resistance, there is an issue.
Signs Of 4wd System Problem
Other than the DIY way, there are a few more ways to know that there is something wrong with the 4wd system. You can know that if you notice the following signs.
- You hear a rattling noise when the 4wd system engages
- The vehicle loses grip in mud and snow
- You have trouble disengaging the 4wd system
- The Service 4wd light keeps popping up or just stays there without blinking
- Your car requires more fuel
- The front tire suffers from wear frequently
- The wheels are not getting enough power
What Else You Need To Know
That is pretty much all you need to know about how to clear service 4wd light and recognize the problems. But lest you rely too much on these, here are a few more things you need to remember.
- The Service 4wd light does not always indicate the same problem for all vehicles.
- The solution might also not fix the service light problem in all cars.
- It is essential to contact a professional if you cannot fix it.
- It is best to resolve the issues at their initial stage before they cause more problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How much do I need to pay for servicing 4wd?
The cost of servicing 4wd depends on your car model and the company servicing it. And then there is labor cost. The average cost for the service is usually between $800 to $1300. And you should take your car for 4wd servicing after every 30,000 miles.
Q. What is done when servicing a 4wd?
If you take the car for a 4wd servicing, the mechanic will do three things. He will drain and change the Transfer Case, Front Differential, and Rear Differential with fresh and clean fluid.
Q. Why is my vehicle’s 4wd system not working?
The four-wheel-drive often malfunctions if there is an issue with the electronic system. Faulty 4wd switch or corroded wires can be why it’s not working. Other than these, the 4wd system may also not work if there is poor lubrication, a leak in the vacuum hoses, or if there is a faulty transfer case module.
Q. Can I drive with the 4wd light on?
Generally, when the 4wd light comes on, it means a malfunction in the system. So if you notice the 4wd alert light is blinking continuously, it is safer to park the car somewhere safer. But if the light goes off after some time, it is okay to keep driving.
If you know your vehicle well, you can quickly understand how to clear service 4wd light with the method mentioned above. As I have said a few times throughout the article, the service light does not always indicate the same thing. So the fixing process might not work for all.
If you are too worried, you can always ask an expert or take your car to a professional mechanic. But before you take it to a professional, trying to clear the light yourself can be a money-saving option.