How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Robert R Your Own Question
Robert R
Robert R, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 4407
Experience:  ASE Master Certified, Jeep Certified
Type Your Jeep Question Here...
Robert R is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a 2009 Wrangler Unlimited X. When the 4WD is engaged

Customer Question

I have a 2009 Wrangler Unlimited X. When the 4WD is engaged and I try to turn it jerks and lurches. Otherwise it drives fine when the 4WD is engaged.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Jeep
Expert:  Robert R replied 1 year ago.

Hello, welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is*****'m a Certified Auto Technician with 28+ years experience. I will do my best to assist you. please keep in mind that I may need to ask questions of you before I can answer. When you reply please feel free to add as much detailed information as possible pertaining to your concern.

Is this condition occurring on dry pavement? Does it also occur when turning during off road driving?

How many miles on the vehicle? How many times have you used 4wd on your Wrangler?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The road surface doesn't matter: pavement, gravel, dirt, etc. Conditions don't matter wet, dry, icy.
I just turned 170,000 miles. I bought it used with about 145,000 on it. I'm a rural mail carrier and this is my work vehicle.
With the recent snow in Iowa, I have it in 4wd almost everyday.
Expert:  Robert R replied 1 year ago.

Due to the design of a 4wd as opposed to an AWD vehicle, it is Normal for it to jerk and lurch when turning corners. This is especially true on dry pavement. Using 4wd on dry pavement is DEFINITELY not recommended. Using 4wd on dry pavement can cause accelerated wear and/or breakage of 4wd components. 4wd is ONLY recommended for slippery conditions such as gravel, snow and wet driving conditions. These conditions allow for the normal slippage that will occur with the wheels when turning corners.

The reason this happens is because on corners the wheels are trying to go the same speed and of course this is impossible because the inner wheels are rotating slower than the outer wheels since you are in 4wd, the transfer case is attempting to drive all 4 wheels at the same speed.

On an AWD vehicle on the other hand, there is a center differential and or a Viscous Coupling that will allow the necessary slippage between the wheels which in turn stops the jerking and lurching. A regular 4WD vehicle does not include a center differential to stop this from happening....


If you need additional information, don't hesitate to ask, I am happy to help as long as necessary to help solve your concern. Remember, a "Positive" Rating will not close this question, You can post a reply here whenever you want, even after rating my answer!

Thank you!


I also need to let you know that my responses may be delayed because I may be helping another customer, or I may be temporarily offline. Your understanding is greatly appreciated.