How To Switch From 2h To 4h Jeep Wrangler Automatic? Unleash The Power!

How to switch from 2h to 4h Jeep Wrangler automatic?

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How to switch from 2h to 4h Jeep Wrangler automatic? Image source: J D Power Blog


The Jeep Wrangler stands out as one of the most easily identifiable vehicles both on and off the road.

Because of its reputation as a rugged off-roader, it’s unsurprising that it boasts four-wheel-drive capabilities. How can you switch from 2h to 4h on your Jeep Wrangler?


How to switch from 2h to 4h Jeep Wrangler automatic?


To transition from 2H to 4H on a Jeep Wrangler, follow these straightforward steps.

Ensure the vehicle is stationary and on level ground. Shift the transmission into neutral.

Depress the clutch and move the transfer case shifter into 4H. Release the clutch and gently apply the accelerator to engage all four wheels.

You’ll hear a slight clicking sound as it locks into place.

Afterwards, release the brake pedal gradually and reengage the transmission to drive in the new 4-wheel drive mode.

Lastly, confirm that all four tires rotate together by manually turning one while observing for any unusual vibrations or noises.

If none are present, you’ve successfully switched from 2H to 4H on your Jeep Wrangler.


How to Switch from 4H to 2H Jeep Wrangler Automatic?


Switching between 4H and 2H driving modes in a Jeep Wrangler with an automatic transmission is a straightforward process.

Ensure the vehicle is completely stationary and in park.

Depress the brake pedal and shift the gear selector to 4L to engage four-wheel drive (4H).

To return to two-wheel drive (2H), press the brake pedal again and shift the gear selector to 2H.

It’s essential to hold your foot on the brake for a few seconds when switching between modes to ensure proper engagement.


Is My Jeep Supposed to Be in 2H Or 4H?


The choice between 2H (2-wheel drive) and 4H (4-wheel drive) depends on the terrain and traction requirements.

On flat, dry surfaces like pavement or gravel, 2H is generally the better choice for improved fuel efficiency due to lower wheel resistance compared to 4H.

However, in rougher terrains like mud, snow, ice, or sand, 4H offers enhanced traction and stability, making it the preferred option in such conditions.

It’s crucial to maintain a lower speed when using 4H to maintain better control over the vehicle.


Can I Switch from 2H to 4H While Driving?


Switching from 2H to 4H while driving is not possible.

Attempting to do so could result in significant damage to your vehicle’s drivetrain and diminish its performance.

If you require additional traction for off-road or slippery conditions, it’s advisable to come to a complete stop in a safe location and then shift into 4H before continuing.

Furthermore, when transitioning between 2 or 4-wheel drive modes, ensure that the transfer case is in the neutral position to prevent power from being transmitted to the wheels during the gear change.


What is Part-Time 4-Wheel Drive on a Jeep?



Jeep’s standard Wrangler and Gladiator models utilize a part-time 4WD system, which allows drivers to switch between 2WD and 4WD as needed.

This system locks both the front and rear-wheel driveshafts and should primarily be used off-road or in challenging road conditions.

Overusing it can lead to binding, potentially overheating the engine and placing excessive stress on mechanical components.

Some Wranglers and Gladiators are equipped with a five-position transfer case.

In addition to the standard 4H setting, these models offer 4H Auto and 4H PT settings.

The 4H PT setting functions similarly to the standard 4H, while the 4H Auto setting defaults to 2H but engages four-wheel drive when it detects a loss of traction.

Jeep’s all-time four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive systems employ clutch or centre differentials, enabling the front and rear driveshafts to rotate at varying speeds.

These systems are suitable for use in various driving conditions.

However, Jeep’s all-wheel-drive system lacks a low range, making it less suitable for challenging off-road terrains compared to the four-wheel-drive system.


How to switch to 4 wheel drive Jeep Wrangler?


In a Jeep Wrangler, perform the following actions to engage four wheel drive:


  1. Ensure your Jeep is completely stopped and in the park.
  2. Locate the transfer case lever, typically found on the left side of the centre console.
  3. Shift the transfer case lever into the 4H (4-wheel high) position.
  4. Begin driving slowly.
  5. If you encounter snowy, muddy, or sandy conditions, you can shift to 4L (4-wheel low) for enhanced traction. However, do not exceed 25 mph while in 4L.


To return to the 2-wheel drive (2H), simply shift the transfer case lever back to the 2H position.


Here are some additional tips for using 4-wheel drive on a Jeep Wrangler:


  • Avoid using 4-wheel drive on dry pavement, as this can damage your drivetrain.
  • If you find yourself stuck in mud or snow, refrain from spinning your tires, as it can worsen the situation. Instead, rock your Jeep back and forth to gain traction.
  • When driving through deep water, do not engage 4L, as it can potentially lead to hydrolock. Instead, use 2H and drive at a slow pace.



Frequently Asked Questions


When should you use 4H in a Jeep?


4 Hi (4H) is the setting you use for normal speed driving when you require additional traction, such as on dirt roads, hard-packed sand, or slippery, snowy, and icy roads.

Engaging 4H allows your front wheels and tires to contribute traction, enhancing your vehicle’s stability on loose or low-traction surfaces.


Does 4H use more fuel?


Regrettably, operating a vehicle in 4WD consumes more fuel compared to 2WD.

This is primarily due to the increased usage of components within the 4WD system.

The additional components require more fuel to power the drivetrain, resulting in higher gas consumption.




In conclusion, switching from 2H to 4H on a Jeep Wrangler with an automatic transmission is a straightforward process.

Ensure your vehicle is stationary and in park, locate the transfer case lever, shift it to 4H, and start driving slowly.

If you encounter challenging conditions, you can shift to 4L for added traction but avoid exceeding 25 mph in this mode.

To return to 2H, simply shift the lever back.

Remember not to use 4WD on dry pavement to avoid damage, and if stuck in mud or snow, rock your Jeep for traction.

Also, don’t engage 4L when driving through deep water.

While 4WD can provide extra traction, it consumes more fuel than 2WD.

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