Ford Explorer not wanting to turn in 4 WD


#1

been noticing lately this vehicle grinds-or roars a bit if you will- when I put it into 4 WD. Main thing of concern is when I go to make a turn while in 4WD it’s feels like its sliding on ice, wants to keep going forward and not wanting to turn, doesn’t do this when I take it out of 4 WD.

What could be the problem here?


#2

Are you trying your turn on dry pavement? Is the condition the same in the dirt,where the tires can slip?


#3

Yes, does it on dirt and dry pavement. Thanks for getting back to me.


#4

NEVER EVER EVER USE 4WD ON DRY PAVEMENT!!! The 4WD system in this truck does not have a differential to allow the front wheels to rotate at different speeds than the rear wheels, and will bind up the drive system on dry pavement. THIS WILL CAUSE SERIOUS DAMAGE TO THE DRIVETRAIN!!!

NEVER EVER EVER DO IT AGAIN!!!


#5

BTW, if you have been doing this over a period of time, the system probably is already damaged. See a good 4WD mechanic, and take your check book. Be prepared to fill out loan papers.


#6

I’ll bet it feels like four flat tires. Only use 4WD in slippery conditions.


#7

ok, well it does it on wet pavement and in mud too, I first noticed it then.
Yeah, I forget every now and then to take it outta 4 WD once I hit dry pavement but I first noticed it while in mud and rocky terrain and
also while ON WET PAVEMENT. All this started not long after the front end dropped outta it and had to have ball joints replaced, etc. a little over a year ago. Reckon the mech. could’ve screwed something up, possibly ?

Thanks for you wise scolding but I don’t think I’m the cause of this problem here, really. :<)


#8

Are your 4 tires the same size/make/model/wear level. If not this will be very stressful in normal traction situations with 4wd and somewhat stressful in the slippery stuff when using 4wd.


#9

Andrew, tires are in great shape and all the same, etc. Thanks to all you for answering.


#10

Okay, I’m not quite sure you get the concept here. On a four-wheel drive vehicle, when you’re in 4wd the front and rear driveshafts turn at the same speed so the front axle and rear axle MUST turn at the same speed. In order to turn, however, one axle has to turn faster. As a result, the ONLY tiime you can use four wheel drive is if you’re on something slippery enough that the wheels can slip, allowing the vehicle to turn while keeping the axles at the same speed. If all four tires have traction, you can’t turn and the transfer case internals are what tries to slip instead, which can cause the severe damage the other posters are warning you about. AWD, on the other hand like what a Subaru has, has a center differential that allows the axles to spin at different rates which allows the system to be used full-time and on the road, although it isn’t quite as good in really rough off-road conditions.

Wet pavement won’t slip nearly enough to allow (or require) use of four wheel drive. Even a gravel road, unless it’s extremely steep and/or wet, doesn’t either. I live out in Montana and the ONLY time I even can/need to engage the 4wd on my truck is in deep snow or once in a blue moon on a really steep jeep track with loose gravel on it. In areas of the country that are wetter, you might sometimes need to use it on very slick mud or something, but for the most part you shouldn’t use it. This is also why some gravel roads get severe washboarding in the turns-- people leave their 4wd on when they don’t need it and the washboards are caused by the wheels slipping and making little divots in the road.


#11

ok, I think I get it now-thanks for the explanation. Hey-that’s why I came here in the first place cause I know you guys know what you’re talking about .
However, the thought of
hydroplaning scares me to no end since I’ve had a bad wreck due to the such in the past . Personally, I’m just not comfortable with this vehicle since it seems to have very little forgivness when it comes to the driver even slightly over-correcting.
I’m assuming I should go ahead and get this thing in the shop for a good looking over now but in the meantime-as long as I keep it outta 4 WD-is it safe to drive. Whats the worst case scenario here and what would I be looking at for repair cost if I’ve totally screwed this vehicle up ?