F-150 4x4 not working?


Old 12-30-15, 11:44 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 258
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
F-150 4x4 not working?

F-150 2000 4x4. we received approx. 3-4" of snow 2 days ago. My truck is parked in the driveway which has not been plowed. I put it into 4x4 high and could not get out.

I then put it in low 4x4 and still nothing. I put 250# of feed in the bed and still no go. When I put it in low, I did feel a clunk/thunk like it was going in as normal. The light on the dash said it was in low as well as when I only had it in high range. Everything looked and felt normal but still, I don't think the front end went into 4x4 at all. I say this based on the way it responded by not going more than 1-2' and getting stuck. I dug it out but only to find it didn't want to go forward, grrrrr.

Anyways, I had this problem with the first snow this winter but the thaw came the next day so forgot about it.

I'm laid-off for the winter but have to go into the village for mail/groceries. Dr. appt. next week.

I know a person who does work out of his garage after hours/weekends but before I call him, I'm wondering about what the problem may be, cost especially to have it fixed.

Sponsored Links
Old 12-30-15, 01:22 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,537
Received 170 Votes on 151 Posts
Does it have manual, automatic or full time hubs? Can you jack up the front end to get a better idea of what is going on?
Old 12-30-15, 02:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,606
Received 7 Votes on 7 Posts

Did you see signs that the front wheels were spinning? What condition are your tires? 4x4's will get stuck in certain conditions. I know from experience.
Old 12-30-15, 03:05 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 258
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
They are all-season tires with approx. 20k miles on them so in very good condition. It's an automatic with a knob I turn to go from 2x to 4x high to (must put it into N to go to 4x low).

I've lived here 25 yrs and have had this truck for 9+ yrs. The driveway is circular and is up a hill. The one leg I don't use or have plowed during the winter bc it's too steep with a 90 deg. turn at the top. The other leg is not as steep, more a slope but does have a tight curve at the top. I've never had trouble with this truck on that part of the driveway. Even when the tires were old I could come up this driveway with 4-5 inches of snow on it with no problems.

Once up, the driveway is flat for 150' to the house which is where the truck is parked. Since we've had hardly any snow this winter and what is on the ground is 3" deep at the moment, I was surprised I couldn't go furthur than 2' before I was stuck and had to dig out. Made it back to the house and finally was able to back down the steep part of the drive (phew, tough going) and make it out to the road.

So, auto., no lock-in hubs but a knob inside on the dash. Like I said, all the lights were lite up saying it was in 4x4, then, low 4x4. But I think it wasn't so considering I got stuck in 3" of snow.
Old 12-30-15, 03:11 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 258
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Opps, no, I cannot jack it up to get a better look at it.
Old 12-30-15, 04:02 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 18,026
Received 41 Votes on 36 Posts
4 wheel drive with a knob or button have a worm gear that engages the transfer case. This is one thing to check.. ( I have a shift lever so a motor in the transfer case is not needed like yours)

This motors and plastic work gears often fail..

There is also a module under the hood that activates the motor in the transfer case. This also could go bad..

Last after the tranfer case goes in there is a vacuum switch that activates and creates a vacuum through a hose to an actuator. This switch can be bad too. ( I replace mine as well as a few rotted vacuum hoses under the hood that went to these items off the emissions canister)

Last the actuator activated by the vacuum ( usually under the battery tray fail from leaky acid.) The actuator when activated by the vacuum pulls a cable that runs to the front differential. This in turn pulls a fork inside to lock the CV joints , or front wheels..

All these items will need to be check systematically to find your issue..

And FYI unless you have g 80or electrically activated locking differentials a 4x4 truck is really a 2 wheel drive truck. One in the back and one in the front. Usually the right side with open rears...

educational vid here


Last edited by lawrosa; 12-31-15 at 12:41 PM. Reason: spelling
Old 12-31-15, 08:04 AM
daswede's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: massachusetts
Posts: 2,218
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
My GMC would act that way frequently in cold weather. After I let it warm
up it was fine

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: