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How To Use 4X4 On Toyota Tacoma

Knowing your Toyota Tacoma has a 4-wheel-drive can be a lifesaver in a tough situation. First, however, you need to know how to properly engage it when the time comes. We have laid out the steps to engage both 4wd low and 4wd high below. 

To engage your 4wd high in your Toyota Tacoma, follow these steps:

  1. First, with the truck started, put it into drive.
  2. Next, turn your 4wd knob to the "4H" setting.
  3. You will see your dash settings signify that the vehicle is now 4wd high.
  4. Turn off 4wd high, turn the switch back to the 2wd setting. You can do this while driving.

Next, to put your Tacoma into 4wd Low, follow these steps:

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  1. First, put your truck into neutral gear.
  2. Next, turn your 4wd knob to the 4L setting.
  3. Your dash will signify that the truck is now in 4L.
  4. To turn the 4wd Low off, you will need to stop the truck, put it back into neutral, and switch it back to 2wd.

4-wheel-drive is handy when you need it. In this article, we will talk about how to engage your 4wd high and low and when to use it. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about the Toyota Tacoma, so read on!

Toyota Tacoma with a tent at a forest camp, How To Use 4X4 On Toyota Tacoma

How To Use 4X4 On Toyota Tacoma

Photo of a red Toyota Tacoma in a parking lot

The Toyota Tacoma is a top-rated pick-up truck for many reasons. One reason is its off-road capabilities with a 4-wheel-drive. However, since the vehicle has two settings for 4wd, it can be tricky to explain how to use it in detail.

In addition, there are other common questions that we will go over in this article. Understanding what you can do with your 4wd high and low is essential for driving the truck well. So, let's get right into it!

First of all, why would someone want to use their Toyota Tacoma's 4-wheel-drive system? Well, there are many reasons for wanting an increased grip on your tires. If you live in an area with bad weather, such as on dirt roads or on-road, you will likely want to use your 4wd system.

You will want to engage the 4wd high when you are going at high speeds [max 60 mph] when the roads are icy or wet. You can engage it by simply having the truck in drive and turning the 4wd knob to the 4H setting. This can be turned on and off while the vehicle is in motion.

Engaging 4wd low and when to use it is different than 4wd high. First off, you will use 4wd Low in deep snow or deep mud-terrain at low speeds [below ten mph]. To engage it, you will need to be at a complete stop, in neutral gear, and switch the 4wd knob to the 4L setting.

When should I use 4x4 high?

4x4 high can be used in two different ways. The first way is to use it on the road covered in ice or wet. The second way is to engage your 4wd high at high speeds, around 50-60 mph, when driving through rugged terrains such as deep mud or sand.

When driving normally on a paved road, you should always switch your 4wd high to 2wd. You can drive faster in this mode and also get better gas mileage.

What is the fastest you should drive in 4x4?

2017 Toyota Tacoma

To get the most out of using 4x4 high, you should engage it when your speed reaches around 50 mph. Then, of course, you can engage it at a lower speed, but you should wait until you reach a higher driving speed since you will have less control over the vehicle.

Do not exceed 60 mph in four-wheel-drive high, or you can damage your transmission.

Can you switch out of 4WD while driving?

Typically, you can only switch out of 4WD while driving in 4WD high. If you are in 4WD Low, switching out of it is usually not recommended while moving.

For most vehicles, you will need to be stopped entirely and have the vehicle into neutral to change out of 4wd Low. The exact steps for doing this can vary depending on the make and model of your truck.

Should I turn off traction control in 4WD?

While using 4WD high, turning off traction control is not recommended as the vehicle will be more likely to slip.

However, when using 4WD low and engaging it on slippery surfaces such as deep snow or mud, ensure you turn off the traction control system. This will allow for better grip and help prevent your tires from slipping on the snow or mud.

Toyota Tacoma riding on the 4x4 Offroad Trails

Does 4x4 use more gas?

Typically, you will get better gas mileage when driving in 2WD than 4WD, although this depends on your engine type and whether or not it is steep terrain.

The reason being is that 4wd is using more components to move. As a result, it is using more fuel to power those components.

This is why if you are planning to take your Tacoma or any other 4wd into snowy or muddy terrain, make sure you have a full tank and extra fuel just in case.

What is 4x4 Low used for?

Black Toyota Tacoma quick ride on a offroad

4x4 Low is used for situations where you are either in bad weather or off-roading. When it is snowing, make sure to switch your 4wd knob to the 4L setting [low] and engage the transfer case. This will help your Tacoma get through any mud or deep snow without getting stuck.

How fast can you drive in 4x4 Low?

You cannot drive faster than 10 mph when in 4WD Low. This is primarily because your tires will have better traction allowing you to accelerate more quickly under controlled conditions.

However, you should always make sure that the roads are flat and free of any obstructions before attempting to go past 20 mph, or you can damage your transmission.

4wd isn't working- what could be wrong?

If your 4wd doesn't engage, then it could be due to the following:

Bad Transfer Case

The transfer case is the part of the car that uses gears to distribute power between your two axles. If you have problems getting your 4wd system to work, it may be due to a bad transfer case that needs replacing.

Blown Fuse/Electrical Issue

If your Tacoma's 4wd system isn't working, it may be due to a blown fuse or an electrical issue. If your transfer case is electronically operated [most modern vehicles], this could be why you are experiencing problems with activating the 4wd system.

Low Fluid Levels

The transfer case contains gear oil that needs to be changed at regular intervals. If the fluid level is low, you will have inadequate lubrication for your gears to engage, leading to problems with activating your 4wd system.

Bad Transmission

If you are still having problems after changing the blown fuse or checking your system for electrical issues, it may be an internal transmission issue. You should take your Tacoma to a mechanic to get it checked out as soon as possible.

Bad Bearings

The bearings play a significant role in the function of your 4WD system. They help to keep everything properly lubricated and functioning smoothly. If you have a bad bearing, it can cause many transmission and 4WD system problems. Therefore, it is important to get them checked out and replaced if necessary.

Faulty Shift Mechanism

The shift mechanism is responsible for changing the gears in your car. If it is not working correctly, it can cause problems with your 4WD system.

Bad Differential

Differentials are responsible for transferring power from the transmission to the wheels. If it is not working correctly, your 4WD system will have problems engaging. t

Faulty Driveshaft

The driveshaft delivers power from the transmission to the front and rear differential. If it is not working correctly, your 4WD system won't engage.

Bad Transfer Case Switch

Most vehicles equipped with 4WD will have a switch that tells your car's computer that you are using 4wd versus 2wd. When this switch malfunctions or stops working, your 4WD system won't engage.

Bad Axles

If the axle assemblies are not engaging correctly, you will have problems with your 4WD system. This is usually due to a bad axle that needs to be replaced.

Final Thoughts

 Toyota Tacoma quick ride on a offroad stylish tuning

Getting the most out of your 4wd system is important for getting around in tough situations. You can increase traction by engaging a 4-wheel-drive low or high, making it easier to get through serious conditions or drive on icy highways.

You can also get more power to both your front and rear wheels, helping you with any situation.

For more articles like this, follow our website:

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