What Does Service 4WD Light Mean In Jeep? [Explained]

You’re driving your car, and suddenly a light pops up on your car’s dashboard. Or, it might also happen that the light stays on from when you start your Jeep and says ‘4WD!’ Annoying, right?

But what does service 4WD light mean in Jeep? The light means there’s something wrong with the 4WD service, which needs to be checked and resolved. But what causes the light to come on, and what should you do in order to get rid of this light? There’s more to cover.

Keep reading! 

What Does Service 4WD Light Mean In Jeep?

There is a system installed in your Jeep that ensures smoother drives on the most challenging roads. Yes, you’ve guessed it right. A 4WD service system or ‘Four Wheel Drive’ service is always essential when you want to get the most out of your Jeep.

But, unfortunately, the system can malfunction for several reasons (we’ll come back to these). And when a malfunction occurs, the 4WD warning light illuminates the dashboard of your Jeep. 

There are characters like ‘SERV 4WD’ or ‘4WD’ on the dashboard, but you can’t see them until the light reflects through the characters.

Issues with crucial systems in your Jeep, like its 4WD system, are not favorable for your Jeep. And that’s why your Jeep computer system lets you know it’s time to think about the drivetrain and fix if there any issues as early as possible. 

In most cases, the 4WD light can also illuminate if there is an incomplete shift in gears. And in this case, you will probably see the 4WD service light flashing rather than staying on.

But before that, you should know the root cause of the service light.

Read Also: Can Security System Drain Your Jeep Battery?Know the Truth!

What Causes Service 4WD Light to Turn On in Your Jeep?

As you already know, quite a few essential components of your Jeep are associated with the 4WD service. And, if a significant component malfunctions, the 4WD service light pops up.

Possible CausesSolutions
Bad FuseCheck and replace the defective fuse.
Transfer Case FailureCheck and then repair or replace the transfer case. 
Faulty Speed Sensors and switchesCheck and replace the speed sensors and switches.
Faulty 4WD actuatorReplace the actuator.
Failing Drive ShaftsCheck and then repair or replace the drive shafts. 

Defective Fuse

According to many Jeep owners, fixing the issue of a defective fuse helps eliminate the 4WD warning light problem. So, before checking any other components regarding the 4WD service light, make sure you inspect the fuse first. 

The 4WD service fuses can become blown or damaged. And due to this, the 4WD system on your jeep starts to malfunction, and the warning light pops up. 

Malfunctioning  Transfer Case

The transfer case of your Jeep is crucial in delivering power from the transmission to all four wheels simultaneously through the front and rear drive shafts. Excessive off-road driving, however, may damage the transfer case. 

Additionally, it might also happen that too much slack takes place in the transfer case, and the transfer case becomes overheated. Or the shift lever becomes loose, which results in a malfunctioning shift motor. 

And when this happens, there will be less power to the wheel, or the power distribution won’t be equal. Consequently, it causes the 4WD service to malfunction.

Faulty Speed Sensor

If the speed sensors of your Jeep start malfunctioning, there will be a wrong reading of the wheel speeds. Or there is also a chance that the information on the wheel speed of all four wheels needs to be revised. 

And if this happens, the 4WD service system won’t get accurate information from the speed sensor, which ultimately causes the 4WD service light to occur. The same thing will happen in the case of transmission speed. 

Faulty 4WD Actuator

The actuator plays a decent role in ensuring the 4WD service engages and disengages properly. Unfortunately, if the actuator breaks down or is defective, you will find difficulty engaging and disengaging the gear when switching to 4WD mode. And this is another indication of the 4WD service system malfunctioning.

Failing Drive Shafts

There is no alternative to having a properly functioning drive shaft to ensure the 4WD system works fine in your Jeep.

If the drive shafts of your Jeep become faulty, there is less or no power from the engine to the wheels.

In most cases, the drive shafts might become broken or damaged, resulting in the 4WD warning light turning on.

Fault on Computer Programme

There is less chance of a faulty computer program causing the 4WD light to pop up. However, you should check whether there is a problem with the computer program.

Sometimes, there might be mechanical or electrical issues with the computer, and you need to address them.

Read Also: How To Turn Off Jeep Lights When Doors Are Open? [Fixed]


Sometimes, it might happen that you don’t use the 4WD service for a long time. In this case, the 4WD light might appear on your Jeep’s dashboard. But, once you continue driving your Jeep a bit, the light might be supposed to turn off. 

Additionally, experts don’t recommend driving a Jeep for long unless you resolve the issue of the 4WD warning light. Besides, it is always better to check your Jeep with a technician who can address and fix the problem. You might never want to bear the high repair costs of damaging your Jeep. 

Scroll to Top