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Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 43928
Experience:  16 years experience
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2000 Ford Explorer: four wheel drive..selector..the dash lights..4X4

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My 2000 Ford Explorer feels like it is stuck in four wheel drive. The selector is pointed at auto but a few days ago I was driving on snow and ice on the hwy and had it in 4hi. How do I get it out of four wheel drive when the dash lights say it is out, but you can still feel the hubs and 4X4 working when driving on the road and making turns? thanks, Chris

Hello Dracorian , I'm Chris, a current Ford Lincoln Mercury employee.


Thanks for visiting Just Answer. I will do my very best to help you resolve your concerns.


Describe how it feels and when you notice it most, does it occur only under 15mph while makeing tight turns resulting a grinding or moaning noise but no osciallation of the steering wheel.

Are all the tires the same brand and size and tread depth?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
tires are all new and the same size, 25570R16, happens at all speeds but does "groan " more as I turn corners. steering wheel also kind of fights you as you turn. the car will literally come to a stop if you are idling and turn the wheel in either a fwd or reverse direction as you idle.

OK this in fact does mean its stuck in high range. The front hubs and axle are automatic so its always lock in up front. Since your dash light is not saying its in 4 high then you have a concern where the transfer case has a failure where the ball ramp is stuck or the cam is broken and it cant disengage. It can also be a wheel speed or transfer case speed sensor issue where it is locking in automatically thinking it needs to. You need to monitor speed sensors with a scan tool and then see if the clutch in the transfer case is being commanded on. Then you have to look into concerns inside the transfer case or with the shift motor.

Since it binds up to a halt this pretty much rules out rear axle limited slip clutches grabbing to much.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
is there any way to get it out of four wheel drive for now? I have a 300 mile trip i need to make on Sunday and I am concerned that I might cause more harm to the car before I can get it into a shop to get it fixed.
First off you can crawl under the vehicle and just unplug the transfer case shift motor and road test it to see if it still has the same concern. If it does then you need to remove the front driveshaft and take 4x4 out of the question. This is a little more difficult and time consuming but it will definelty disable 4x4 and not harm a thing till repaired.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Since I purchased the vehicle in 2002, (it only had 25,000 miles on it) I rarely have put it inXXXXX It automatically goes into 4wd based on weather conditions and when it does and no longer calls for 4wd, I drive the car to some gravel and put it into reverse then drive , doing this several times it disengages the 4wd mechanism. This has always worked in the past. However, this time it is not working.
I am still leaning towards it being a shift motor being faulty or internal parts inside the transfer case.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

being new here how do i leave positive feed back after i hit the accept button?


You can post it right here and I can move it or once you hit accept it will ask if you choose to leave feedback.
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