Troubleshooting Frequent Push-Button 4X4 Transmission Issues

Having the ability to switch between four-wheel-drive low and high or regular two-wheel traction with the push of a button can be an incredibly convenient feature to have in your vehicle. However, the implementation of the push-button four-wheel-drive design meant that the operation and function of the traction controlling features of an automobile became much more complex. As the owner of a vehicle with a push-button system, this means that there are even more opportunities for something to go wrong. Here are a few of the most common problems that can come up with the push-button four-wheel-drive system.

Problem: The button fails to respond when you try to change the traction control. 

Cause and Solution: This is one of the most common problems with the push-button four-wheel-drive system and is usually an indicator that the control panel itself has failed, which means repair will be as simple as having a transmission mechanic replace the control buttons. However, this can also be an issue if you have a blown fuse to the four-wheel-drive itself or the control panel. 

Problem: The vehicle is stuck in either low or high-range four-wheel-drive. 

Cause and Solution: The push-button four-wheel-drive system has a transfer case control module that responds to your commands and relays the command to the transfer case control motor that is attached to your transmission. If the vehicle is stuck in either low or high-range four-wheel-drive, it is likely due to problems with the control module. The control module in most vehicles is just under the kick plate on the passenger side. Manually inspect the unit to look for signs of corrosion that has built up around the connecting wires, and if no signs are present, it may mean that the whole unit will have to be replaced. 

Problem: You hear the transmission trying to kick into four-wheel-drive even though you did not touch the controls. 

Cause and Solution: The transfer case motor attached to the transmission is a simple mechanism that holds a cog that controls the traction position of the drive train. If you hear the motor trying to kick into a gear that you did not manually try to reach, it is most likely a problem with the motor or the cog that supports the motor being stripped. You should have the transfer case motor checked by a transmission repair professional. 

You may enjoy your vehicle's push-button four-wheel-drive, but when something goes wrong, there is no doubt it can be a hassle. If you are having issues with your four-wheel-drive, talk to a transmission mechanic at Aamco Transmissions & Auto Repair for advice.