Accidentally Drove in 4 Wheel Drive (What Should I Do?)

Accidentally Drove in 4 Wheel Drive

A four-wheel drive vehicle can provide and supply power for all the wheels of the vehicle at the same time compared to other vehicles that can only spin two wheels at once.

Driving in a 4-wheel drive is a way to help you get through difficult terrain. If you’ve ever driven on snow, ice, or dirt roads, then you know the feeling of driving in a 4-wheel drive.

However, what if I accidentally drove in 4 wheel drive, what will happen and what should I do?

If you accidentally drove in 4 wheel drive, more gears and shafts will be engaged and your car won’t brake as it should. Also, ensure to check your vehicle’s transaxle bearings for alignment, the hubs front axles, differential case, and cv joints for cracks and leaks, and ensure there is no noise coming from the car.

What Does it Mean to Drive in a 4-Wheel Drive?

When you drive in 4-wheel drive, it gives you more traction. The extra wheels help you pull yourself along on slick surfaces and steep grades, which can make it easier to stop or turn the car.

You may have more speed, but don’t expect to go any faster than if your car was just 2-wheel drive (also called “unlimited” or “low”) the extra weight from all of those extra wheels will slow down the vehicle’s acceleration and top speed.

Most vehicles come with a transfer case that allows the vehicle to swap from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive and back with ease.

If you’re driving in a four-wheel drive, it’s important to know how to use this feature. Four-wheel drive can improve traction, but only if you’re driving on slippery surfaces.

The best way to use your four-wheel drive is by turning it on and off as needed when navigating through snow or other slippery conditions.

To turn off four-wheel drive:

  • Press the button labeled “4wd” at the top of your key fob until it flashes orange twice (this will also happen if you have partial or full 4wd engaged).
  • Press again until all three bars appear on screen again (the first bar indicates that there is no fault code present).

Driving in the four-wheel drive is useful for several situations, but the most common are off-roading and getting out of the mud.

When you have four-wheel drive (4WD) on your vehicle, you can drive through deep snow or sand with ease. You also won’t have to worry about getting stuck in the ice as much if you have four-wheel drive on your vehicle.

If you’re looking for a way to get around quickly without worrying about being stuck somewhere or having trouble getting up an incline, then it might be time to learn how to drive a four-wheel drive.

Accidentally Drove in 4-Wheel Drive What Should I Do?

If you accidentally drive in a four-wheel drive, you should turn the vehicle off and shift it back into a two-wheel drive. If you cannot shift the vehicle back into two-wheel drive, call a tow truck to take you to a service center.

If your car’s light is on (and there are no other warning lights present), then it’s safe for someone else to drive that vehicle until it can be fixed at an auto repair shop or dealership.

Check your vehicle owner’s manual for steps on how to remove the gear from the transmission and then put it back in place.

If the gear was accidentally left in 4-wheel drive mode, it will be difficult or impossible for you to get out without help from others who can unlock your wheels so that they may turn freely again.

If this is not possible because of locked wheels, call an auto repair shop or tow truck company right away.

They will be able to assist with removing these locks so that they may be replaced by professionals who know what they’re doing and aren’t afraid of getting dirty.

What Happens if You Accidentally Drive in 4-Wheel Drive?

When you drive your vehicle in four-wheel drive, it doesn’t allow your vehicle to brake as well as it would when it’s not in four-wheel drive mode so it is advisable to slow down when you’re trying to enter corners and also apply the brakes sooner.

Four-wheel drive is used in rainy or snowy conditions but it doesn’t make the handling of the vehicle better on slick ice and it’s easier for the vehicle to flip or roll when it is being driven faster than the condition of the road allows.

When your vehicle is in four-wheel drive there are a lot more gears and shafts that are being engaged to provide enough horsepower to make sure that all the four wheels of your vehicle keep spinning. This process of providing more horsepower consumes more fuel than the vehicle would use up normally.

Also when the four-wheel drive is being engaged accidentally when it’s not needed, there’s excess pressure that is being put on the drivetrain and the gears.

These parts are quite expensive to replace and it’s best to avoid this by always being very careful and alert while driving the four-wheel drive mode should be used when required only.

When you accidentally drive your vehicle in a four-wheel drive, it doesn’t immediately damage your car but when the four-wheel drive has been engaged for a long period, it can cause some damage to several important parts of the drivetrain.

Some cars can trigger and switch into four-wheel drive when the vehicle detects that it’s best to drive in the four-wheel drive mode.

There are three different settings that the four-wheel drive mode can have. For cars that have a manual switch, they’ll either have a 4H (Four High) or a 4L (Four Low).

This mode helps you to drive your vehicle at the normal speed you’ll drive whilst providing extra traction for your tires.

While the Four Low mode keeps the speed of the vehicle low and also provides more torque to the grip of the tires.

The Automatic Four Wheel Drive allows the vehicle to monitor and control the switching into and out of the four-wheel drive mode whenever the vehicle detects that there’s a need to.

However, if your vehicle has a manual switch or gear for the 4H or 4L modes of the four-wheel drive and you didn’t turn it off after the last time you used it.

When this happens, several important parts of the drivetrain can get damaged as a result of driving in the four-wheel drive mode for too long.


If you accidentally drove in a 4-wheel drive, you must know what to do next. First, make sure your vehicle is not damaged at all and has no mechanical issues.

The second thing you should do is to turn off your tires’ traction control system so they don’t try to spin out of control again.

Ultimately, drivers should be careful enough to always disengage the four-wheel drive mode once it is no longer required and the car is already on a better road.