How to put Jeep Cherokee in 4 Wheel Drive (4WD Basics)

Jeep Cherokees are popular sport utility vehicles (SUVs) that offer the option of four-wheel drive (4WD). If you frequently go off-road or in bad weather, you’ll appreciate this feature. If you’ve never driven a four-wheel-drive vehicle before, but would like to learn how to convert your Jeep Cherokee into 4WD, this article will get you started.

The good news is that Grand Cherokees can handle any road condition with ease. For one thing, their dependable 4WD is equipped with a potent engine.

How to put the Grand Cherokee into 4WD is a common question among new owners. After all, you need to know how to switch to 4-wheel drive in order to make full use of the Grand Cherokee’s strength, which makes it one of the most potent off-roaders available.

How to put Jeep Cherokee in 4 Wheel Drive

How Does Jeep Cherokee’s 4-Wheel-Drive System Work?

The Grand Cherokee is equipped with four different 4×4 systems to handle any terrain or climate. These technologies improve grip traction and performance on a variety of surfaces, including ice, snow, and rocks.

These 4×4 systems are:

Quadra-Drive 2 4WD System

With this 4WD setup, you may enjoy off-roading thanks to the rear electric limited-slip differential. Quadra-Drive 2 is an all-wheel drive system that constantly sends all available torque to the wheel that requires it most.

Additionally, it has five distinct driving modes to accommodate a variety of conditions. Rock, sand/mud, snow, sport, and auto are the available settings. Additional capabilities include:

  • Fully auto high range
  • Active electronic-transfer case
  • Neutral-mode capability

Quadra-Trac 1 4WD System

There are many vehicles, including certain Grand Cherokees, that utilise this system for permanent all-wheel drive. That’s because it constantly operates in its highest transmission mode. The driver of a vehicle equipped with Quadra-Trac 1 does not have to make any adjustments to the vehicle’s traction distribution when travelling on any road surface. The power is distributed between the rear and front wheels via a central differential.

Quadra-Trac 2 System

Brake-traction control system and brake lock differential are both supported by the Quadra-Trac 2. When more grip is needed, this system can help. It accomplishes its goal by routing driving force to the axle that is most underpowered.

Quadra-Trac SRT System

There is a large mechanical wet clutch and an electric limited-slip differential at the back. Approximately one hundred percent of the vehicle’s torque can be sent to the rear wheels thanks to the Quadra-Trac SRT. This setup includes:

  • Select-Track system with six driving modes including custom, tow, snow, auto, sport, and track.
  • Brake lock differential
  • Single-speed transfer case

How to Put Jeep Grand Cherokee in 4WD

Transfer cases in Jeeps equipped with Quadra-Trac 1 systems are high-range and single-speed only. These devices make it possible to enjoy all-wheel-drive convenience without ever having to touch a button. With this setup, you’ll never have to engage 4WD manually again.

Incorporating both traction control and normal ABS, this technology is known as brake-traction control (BTC). The BTC works by distributing torque to the other wheels while providing resistance to the wheels that have less traction. Your vehicle will be able to navigate smoothly through slick areas now.

How to Put Jeep Grand Cherokee in 4WD

Grand Cherokee Quadra-Trac 2 – How to Shift 4WD Mode

Vehicles with Quadra-Trac 2 systems have an entirely automatic 4WD mode. The 4WD low gear is engaged when additional traction is required. Only use the 4WD low setting on slick or loose surfaces.

Keep in mind that the driveline components and tyres will suffer more wear and tear if the 4WD low setting is used on hard and dry conditions. In this setting, your jeep’s top speed is limited to 40 kilometres per hour (about 25 miles per hour).

When the shift lever is in neutral, neither driveshaft is connected to the engine. When flat towing behind another vehicle, put the 4WD into the low gear.

Reduce your vehicle’s speed to less than 3 mph (or 5 km/h) before making the adjustment from 4WD high to low. Turn the transmission from drive (D) to neutral (N) with the engine running or the ignition on, and then push the 4WD-low button. As soon as you hit the button, the 4WD-low light will begin blinking and stay on until you’ve completed the change. When you’re done shifting, put the car back in drive and keep going.

Grand Cherokee Quadra-Trac 2 – How to Shift 4WD Mode

How to Turn Off the Four-Wheel Drive?

You shouldn’t just know how to put your car in 4WD; you also need to know how to take it out of 4WD. In order to disengage 4WD, you must come to a complete stop before shifting the Jeep into neutral. Shift the 4WD’s gear selection to 4H while keeping your foot on the brake. The next step is to switch the transmission from neutral to drive.


Putting your Jeep Cherokee into 4 Wheel Drive is an important skill to have whether you drive in snowy climates or enjoy going off-road. It’s not hard at all, and after a few tries, it’ll feel like second nature. If you follow the advice in this article, you’ll be ready for everything Mother Nature can throw at you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Jeep Cherokee 4WD work?

The 4×4 system features a massive mechanical wet clutch and electronic limited slip differential in the rear, which allows 100% of the drive torque to be sent to one rear wheel.

How fast can I drive my Jeep in 4WD?

It is not recommended to use the low-range setting for everyday driving. Therefore, if you wish to activate or deactivate low-range mode, you must do it between zero and three miles per hour. Overall, 4WD slow-range cannot go faster than 25 mph.

Is it OK to drive in 4×4 on the highway?

Yes, technically you can use 4WD on the highway, but if you do, make sure it’s 4H four-wheel drive. Using 4H, you’ll get all the traction you need so you can safely reach your destination at a reasonable speed. Do not ever use 4L four-wheel drive while driving at highway speeds.

Do you have to be in park to switch to 4WD in a Jeep?

To put them into 4 Wheel Drive High you need to be drive around 7 – 30mph and pull down the lever from 2H to 4H. If you need to put them into 4 Wheel Drive Low you need to be Parked and then shift into Neutral.

Andrea Barbuti
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