How to Use 4×4 on Toyota Tacoma (Explained)

How to Use 4x4 on Toyota Tacoma

4×4 is a wheel drive option in most trucks and SUVs. Trucks are designed for the outdoors, hauling, etc., and therefore require increased traction to carry out all activities effectively.

To engage 4×4 in trucks when necessary, the vehicle’s speed must be reduced while bearing in mind that engaging 4×4 on Toyota Tacoma shouldn’t be done on some driving surfaces such as cement and tarmac.

What is 4×4 On Cars?

4×4 is also known as 4WD i.e. Four-wheel drive. 4×4 on cars simply means the car has a drivetrain system where the engine powers both the front and rear wheels evenly. It also means there is twice as much traction.

The engine power provided in this case is called ‘Torque’ which is linked through a transfer case that provides an extra output drive shaft.

Trucks and other vehicles designed for off-road will have the 4×4 option because it enables the ease of driving on rough terrains and snowy scenarios. You also have the option to change between wheels when necessary.

When 4×4 is enabled in a truck, all 4-wheels are powered simultaneously which makes hauling and towing very easy. Although 4×4 is beneficial to a car when driving under situations, you shouldn’t drive in 4×4 all the time. It should be engaged only when necessary.

In some trucks, you are able to switch between wheels while driving but for others, it is quite different as you have to either put the truck in neutral or stop before switching.

The major difference between 4×4 and other wheel drives is the traction.

Can You Use 4×4 on Toyota Tacoma?

Yes, you can use 4×4 on Toyota Tacoma. Toyota Tacoma is a pickup truck that is widely known for its toughness, hauling abilities, and resale value.

Aftermarket customization is also possible because most buyers will want to add accessories that can enhance performance and protect them while still maintaining their street credibility.

Due to the design of the Toyota Tacoma as a Compact and Mid- size Pickup Truck, it will be used for some off-roading and slightly heavy-duty work.

To carry out all of these activities and move on rough terrains, you need to have power channeled to all 4 wheels in the vehicle.

Toyota Tacoma already comes with a 4×4 wheel system all you need to do is switch to it when and where necessary. You should also follow the required speed before enabling 4×4.

How to Use 4×4 on Toyota Tacoma?

Enabling and using 4×4 may come easy for some drivers while others may be left confused not knowing what to do. Therefore, we will take a look at an easy way to enable 4×4 high on the Toyota Tacoma.

  • The first step will be to put the truck in drive while it started
  • Then proceed to turn the 4WD knob to ‘4H’ settings
  • On the dash settings, there will be an indicator that the vehicle is now in 4×4 mode
  • Once it has been indicated you are good to keep driving

Although switching drive while driving is possible in Toyota Tacoma, other vehicles require that the vehicle be stopped to switch to 4×4.

Just as the Toyota Tacoma can be used in 4×4 high, it can also be used in 4×4 low. To do this, you can use the following steps;

  • The first step is putting the truck in neutral gear
  • Then proceed to turn the 4WD knob to the ‘4L’ setting.
  • As in the case of changing to 4H, the 4WD indicator will also come on the dashboard
  • If you want to change from this mode, you should stop the truck, then return it to neutral.

Can you Switch to 4H while Driving Tacoma?

Yes, you can switch to 4H while driving Tacoma, however, this shouldn’t be done when driving at a high speed.

Engaging and using 4×4 in your Toyota Tacoma can be done while driving, however, before switching wheels be sure to first reduce the speed at which you are driving. Under no circumstance should you be driving fast when changing the drive.

Not sure how fast you should be going? You can always check the owner’s manual. An adequate speed should be between 50mph and 62mph.

If you maintain a high speed while enabling 4H whether intentionally or by mistake, you will only damage some parts of the engine.

After the switch has been done, you will almost instantly feel and hear the change in the system. There will be an increase in traction and driving will be smoother and better.

Although you can switch to 4H while driving, it shouldn’t be done under certain conditions such as when driving on the tarmac.

If you are driving with 4H engaged on a surface like a tarmac you should over time expect a drive train buildup or binding.

Due to the increase in traction that happens when 4H is engaged, driving on the tarmac may cause the vehicle’s tire to chip and break off. It will increase the rate at which the tire’s tread wears out. It is better to engage 4H on slippery surfaces.

How Do I Change my Toyota Tacoma to 4H?

Changing the Toyota Tacoma to 4H from H2 is quite easy and can be done in the following steps;

  • First, reduce the vehicle’s speed. The speed should be reduced to less than 62mph.
  • Proceed to turn the 4WD control switch in a clockwise direction—2H to 4H.
  • There will be a 4WD indicator on the dashboard
  • You should drive ahead while accelerating or decelerating if the 4WD indicator keeps blinking.
  • If you accelerated to a very high speed you should reduce it to below 62mph if you hear the buzzer.
  • The switch can be turned again until the light indicator goes off

It is important to note that once you are no longer driving off-road there should be a switch back to 2H. This is because no good will come out of driving the Tacoma in 4H all the time an exception may be if you frequently drive off-road.


Driving on tarmac or cement surfaces with 4H engaged will cause the part of the vehicle touching the ground which are the tires to wear out. The hard surface of the tarmac causes a big chunk of the tire to chip off and eventually break off over time as it glides on it.