There are so many types of vehicles out there, but for those of us that like taking the road less traveled, jeeps are some of the best options. More specifically, a Jeep Wrangler can help you navigate some of the most difficult terrain. That being said, it is not in a position to do so at all times. You need to put it in 4 wheel drive to capture all of its capabilities. Here I will try to answer the question of how to put a Jeep Wrangler in 4 wheel drive.

How to put a Jeep Wrangler in 4WD

A Jeep Wrangler is a classic sport utility vehicle. Most people know it for its off-road capabilities. Most Jeep Wranglers are equipped with 4 wheel drive, but that does not mean your vehicle is always in that mode.

Most of the time your Jeep Wrangler will be in 2 wheel drive mode, and you will need to switch when you need additional traction.

It is important that you are familiar with the shifting process before you give it an attempt.

Step #1: Determine the 4WD mode

Before you get started, it is important to know that there are two different 4 wheel drive modes, 4H and 4L. 4H is great for minorly slippery and loose road conditions. Conversely, 4L is used for excessively slippery or loose road conditions.

4L provides more traction, but you should not use it if you are traveling faster than 25 miles per hour. You will need to determine for yourself which mode is better for the situation you are in.

Step #2: Move shift selector to 4H

Bring your Jeep Wrangler to a complete stop and put your gear shift controller in Neutral. Make sure that you keep your foot on the brake pedal. You can then move the 4 wheel drive shift selector straight down to 4H. Once this is done, you are free to move the gear selector back to Drive and continue driving.

Step #3: Getting it in 4L

If you would prefer to switch to 4L, apple the brake pedal and move the gear shift to Neutral like you did in step 2. However, this time you will release the brake pedal and allow your vehicle to coast at low speed without applying the brake pedal.

Quickly change the 4 wheel drive selector from 4H to 4L. Do not pause in the Neutral position while switching between the two gears. You can then move the gear selector back to Drive and continue driving. You should not apply excessive pressure on the gas pedal in this mode. Avoid exceeding 25 miles per hour.

Advantages of 4WD

Now that you know how to put a Jeep Wrangler in 4 wheel drive, you probably want to know what 4 wheel drive is for. Most of you probably have a general idea, but I would like to cover the advantages all the same.

The main benefits of switching to 4 wheel drive are increased traction and power. If you are off-road and you are climbing steep hills, you will need the increased power to get over them. That is especially true when there are obstacles in the way.

The traction you get from 4 wheel drive is extremely valuable when you are driving in dangerous conditions. Notably, when there are rocks, snow, or ice on the ground, 4 wheel drive will help you avoid a crash. The extra grip typically comes from extra weight.

Disadvantages of 4WD

The main disadvantage of a vehicle like a Jeep Wrangler with 4 wheel drive is the increased price. Those of you that already own a Jeep Wrangler obviously do not need to worry about this. However, the base price of the vehicle is not the only thing that is expensive.

Vehicles that use 4 wheel drive require more maintenance and fuel. They need extra maintenance because of the conditions in which they are driving.

Additionally, they burn more fuel because of the difficult terrain that they navigate, as well as the excess weight of the vehicle.

Tips for people new to 4WD

While the concept of a Jeep Wrangler with 4 wheel drive is not complex, there are a few tips you can learn to help you stay safe. A big issue many people run into is that the increased traction that comes with 4 wheel drive leads to overconfidence.

Many people have gotten stuck because they got themselves in a situation they could not get out of even with 4 wheel drive.

Keep in mind that 4 wheel drive will not get you out of every situation. It provides increased traction and power, but you still need to be smart about where you drive.

Furthermore, the added weight helps with traction and control, but it also increases the braking distances required to come to a complete stop. Keep that in mind when you are driving on busier roads.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is that Jeep Wranglers work best when they are used regularly. If you only use your jeep in the summer, the seals will dry out. So, even if you do not plan on using it outside of the Summer, you should start it once every few months to keep the system lubricated.

Finally, you should only use 4 wheel drive when you need it. If you leave it on at all times, you can do damage to your front axles, differential gears, and other parts of the vehicle. Make sure you are in 2 wheel drive when driving on pavement and in dry conditions.

Final thoughts

A Jeep Wrangler is a good option for anyone that is planning off-road trips in the near future.

Its off-road capabilities, thanks to 4 wheel drive, allow it to bring you places that you would be unable to in a regular vehicle.

That being said, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the step by step process of how to enter and exit 4 wheel drive before you start your trip.

I also recommend that you write down some of the tips and tricks that I mentioned above. They can be very helpful, and you never know when you might need them.

You might also be interested in knowing how to lift a Jeep Wrangler to improve its off road capabilities? Here’s an article on how much it costs 🙂