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How to Disengage 4 Wheel Drive Jeep

how to disengage 4 wheel drive jeep

There are many reasons why a lot of people like the Jeep Wrangler as their vehicle. Apart from the different features and functionalities it offers, its off-road capability is second to none. With this off-road capability, one feature that stands out is its ability to engage in a 4-wheel drive which gives additional traction to the vehicle when driving off the road or other difficult road conditions.

But the biggest issue about 4-wheel drive is some people are not familiar with it, particularly in engaging and disengaging in the vehicle. So, how to disengage 4 wheel drive? This question will be answered in this article along with other information related to the 4 wheel drive function of your Jeep Wrangler.

How to Engage 4 Wheel Drive Jeep Wrangler

The 4 wheel drive function of the Jeep will provide an excellent boost when driving on the road, particularly in providing greater traction to slippery roads and other challenging road conditions. In fact, many Jeep owners and enthusiasts do not even know anything about the proper shifting of a 4 wheel drive.

So, before we learn how to disengage a 4 wheel drive on your Jeep, it will be better to learn everything about the 4 wheel drive, including how to engage it in your vehicle.
Please note that every Jeep model has a 4 wheel drive functionality, but they have different 4 wheel drive systems. The best thing that you can do is refer to your vehicle’s manual to learn the basics of doing it.

The Benefits of a 4 wheel drive

When it comes to using a 4 wheel drive, it does not really mean that you will need to use the 4 wheel drive mode all the time. The 4 wheel drive of your Jeep Wrangler was built to improve your vehicle’s traction when navigating in dangerous driving conditions. I am talking about road conditions that include snow, rocks, and ice, making driving difficult for you.

Also, the 4 wheel drive will also give additional weight to the vehicle, which in turn contributes to the better grip on the road. In addition, a vehicle with a 4 wheel drive is also percent when doing off-road driving activities. These features are the reason why different models of Jeep Wrangler are popular when it comes to off-roading activities, and the 4 wheel drive function is basically the main reason for it.

Using the 4 Wheel Drive on Jeep Wrangler

When using the 4 wheel drive, you will need to be familiar with the shifting positions of the 4 wheel drive system. Please find below the different gear options of your 4 wheel drive located on the 4 wheel drive knob.

2 Hi or 2H

This shifting position is used when driving in normal conditions. You are navigating on normal street or highway conditions, hard surfaces, and pavement.

4 Hi or 4H

This shift position will lock the front wheel shots together, forcing the front and rear wheels to rotate at the same time. This gear position provides additional traction for slippery roads. However, it is not advised to use this feature in normal driving conditions. This gear position is for snowing out, raining out, sandy. When driving in this shiting position, the 4 wheel drive will illuminate in your dashboard.

When shifting from 2H to 4H, you will need to be in park, or you could be in drive. You can be driving up to 45 miles an hour, and then you can shift it to the 4H position.


This shifting position will only be used when your vehicle is being towed, or you need to push it for whatever reason that it is not starting.

4 Lo or 4L

This shiting position is similar to the 4H in that it locks the front shots together, forcing the front wheel to rotate at the same time. The difference is that it provides additional traction in maximum full power for slippery roads. So, we will only recommend this shifting position if you are stuck in the mud and snow where you cannot get out. Also, you should not use 4L more than 25 miles an hour because this gear option is for extreme circumstances only.

how to engage 4 wheel drive jeep wrangler

Disengaging 4 Wheel Drive on Jeep Wrangler

When it comes to gear shifting on a Jeep Wrangler, always remember that 4H is only suitable for slick and slippery roads and other similar driving conditions at a driving speed of about 25-44 miles an hour. Also, you do not need to move directly from 2H to 2L and vice versa. You will need to move from 2H to 4H, then neutral, then proceed to 4L. You will also need to avoid a speed of more than 25 miles an hour when you are in a 4L shifting position.

Now, to disengage from 4 wheel drive, you will need to slow down the vehicle at first. Then, proceed to go to neutral. While you are rolling, push the lever to 4H. After that, you will need to put the Jeep Wrangler back in gear while pushing the lever from 4H to 2H. To ensure that you are doing it right, please refer to the user’s manual to properly engage and disengage the 4 wheel drive system.

Disengaging a Stuck 4 Wheel Drive

If the 4 wheel drive is stuck in your vehicle, you can still disengage it manually. First, go and check the manual hub and see if they are in free mode. Then, you will need to put your Jeep into a four-wheel high mode. After that, you will need to drive for a quarter of a mile then stop the vehicle while shifting from four-wheel to 2 wheel drive. Lastly, place the vehicle in reverse and drive backward from 15 to 20 feet.


A 4 wheel drive system in your Jep is an excellent functionality that will be helpful when driving in challenging road conditions. The problem is, many Jeep enthusiasts are not aware of using the 4 wheel drive system correctly. Also, learning how to disengage 4 wheel drive Jeep is essential learn if you have a Jeep Wrangler in your garage.


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