serv 4wd light jeep

Serv 4WD Light Jeep: Troubleshooting!

There are times when your car’s flashing lights can scare you. Serve 4WD light is one of them. If you see continuous flashing service 4WD light, that means there’s something wrong. 

So, to get over the situation, you’re asking why a serv 4WD light jeep appears.

Serv 4WD light comes in Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee due to having loose fuses and faulty transfer motor. Faulty fuses or wiring problems can cause the 4WD system to malfunction and trigger the service light. Moreover, damaged differential axles, faulty sensors, and actuators can cause the service light to come on.   

Keep on reading the article if a serv 4WD light is coming from your dash. 

Serv 4WD Light Jeep: Reasons & Solutions

Serv 4WD Light Jeep

Jeep Cherokee, Grand Cherokee,  Jeep wrangler, jeep renegade, jeep liberty, jeep compass, and Jeep Gladiator have 4wd drivetrains. In layman’s terms, when the car is running, the engine sends power to every wheel simultaneously. 

However, sometimes you can see a service 4WD warning light in your jeep.  If you encounter this problem with your Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Renegade, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Gladiator, you will need to know what triggers the service 4WD light.

Now, let’s focus on the actual reasons why the service 4WD light turns on. Before discussing them in-depth, let’s take a brief look at them first.   

Reason SolutionModels 
Problem with front and rear axle Replace damaged partsJeep Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Commander, Jeep Renegade
Wheel speed Sensor issues Replace wheel speed sensorJeep  Wrangler, Jeep Patriot, Jeep Compass
Loose fuses Reset the fusesJeep Gladiator, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler
Faulty transfer case motor Replace transfer case motorGrand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Patriot
Incomplete shift in gears Avoid shifting while in motionJeep Gladiator, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Renegade
Malfunctionality in 4WD system Take the car to the dealershipJeep Commander, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Gladiator

Reason 1: Problem with Front And Rear Axle

The leading reason for flashing your car’s 4WD Service light is the differentials. A malfunctioning differential can cause the “Serv 4WD” light to illuminate. The differential or axles distribute power to the wheels. 

A defective front and rear axle can result in abnormal tire wear, noise, vibration, and steering and handling issues. Rear differential leaking is a common problem faced by drivers. So, You’ll hear a rattling kind of noise when you activate the 4WD system. 


You must look for any visible damage like wear and tear, loose connection, or other visible damage. If any parts of the axle are worn or damaged, they need to be replaced.

This can include things like CV joints, bearings, and seals. The whole thing should be inspected and replaced by a professional. 

Reason 2: Bad Wheel Sensor

Wheel sensor monitors the speed of the wheels and sends signals to the vehicle’s computer to ensure they’re rotating at the correct speed. They are an integrated part of your vehicle’s braking system.

These sensor malfunctions can cause the 4WD light to come on.  Faulty wheel speed sensors can also trigger the check brake system.


The wheel speed sensor has to be replaced. The replacement process should be done by a professional mechanic. You can also do it if you have the required tools and proper technical knowledge. You can take help from this in-depth tutorial. 

Reason 3: Loose Fuses

Having a loose or blown-out fuse is a significant reason for seeing serv 4WD light on the dash of your Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Gladiator, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler. It is possible for the fuses to not make proper contact if they are loose, since they control the power supply to the 4WD system. 

Also, if the fuses are loose, they can also cause an electrical short in the system, which can also trigger the service light.


Use the manual of your car to locate the fuses responsible for the four-wheel drive system of your car. Unplug and plug it in tightly to solve the issue. You need to replace the fuse if it’s blown. 

Do this for every fuse to be on the safe side. You can check the following video if you have a Jeep Grand Cherokee

Reason 4: Faulty Transfer Case Motor

Overheated or damaged transfer case motors are a common reason for the emergence of the warning light. It helps send power to the axles and also allows gear shifting. The transfer case housing is made of soft metal magnesium. 

The bearings and gaskets of the case are also prone to damage. Too much heat also destroys the internal components of the motor. 


Since it’s a vital component of your 4WD system, you need to solve this issue immediately. Repairing a broken motor is too complex, so replacement is the only solution. 

Head out to your local automotive technician and get the motor replaced. The average cost of this job for a Jeep Wrangler will be around $3800.

Reason 5: Incomplete Shift in Gears

Incomplete shift simply means switching 2WD to the 4WD transmission while driving. This is considered a bad practice and can also cause a “serv 4wd” light to appear.


It is always important to switch gears while the car is in a stale state, not in motion. This will prevent the warning light and also avert further damage to your transmission system.

Reason 6: Malfunctionality in the 4WD System

If you find your Jeep Compass serv 4WD light on, it is an indication of failure of the electric system.  There are many wires and connections involved in the 4WD system. It is possible for the service 4WD light to come on if the system malfunctions.

On the other hand, the actuator motor failure can cause the service 4WD light to come on since 4WD is engaged and disengaged by the actuator motor.


Take your vehicle to the nearest official dealership store. They will run some tests and acquire diagnostic error codes

These codes can pinpoint the actual problem with the 4WD system. So, the experts will troubleshoot according to these diagnoses.

How to Reset Jeep Serv 4WD light

How to Reset Jeep Serv 4WD light

If you face the flashing light from your 4WD, it’s a serious issue. The message will appear on the instrument cluster of your vehicle. The service 4WD light can be reset as a solution.

Step 1: Deactivate 4WD and Turn Off the Engine

At first you need to deactivate the 4wd system before you shift to reverse by slowing the vehicle. Then, set 4 HIGH which is on the transfer case lever. Now put your Jeep in reverse and turn the transfer case to 2HIGH. At this point, you must turn off the engine of your Jeep Grand Cherokee.   

Step 2: Take Off the Fuse

After successfully turning off the engine, it is necessary to locate the fuse box. Usually, fuses are located inside the engine compartment. If you don’t find the fuse, you can find it by reviewing the manual. Now remove the fuse box. 

Step 3: Replace the Fuse & Start the Engine

Now you need to replace the faulty fuse. You should wait for 10 seconds before reinstalling the fuse if it is fine.  Then, verify the engine by starting and engaging the vehicle. If the 4WD system still shows light, it’s strongly recommended to take expert support 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Can I drive with a 4WD light on?

You can drive your car if the 4WD light is on. But it’s not risk-free because it can stress the car and damage it ultimately. If you don’t want your car to get damaged, you must stop your car immediately after seeing the light. If the garage is nearby, take the car there and get Action.

How to tell if your 4WD has a problem?

There may be no immediate indication that your vehicle’s 4WD is having problems. You can notice that the front tires are worn. Then, fuel consumption may increase if 4WD has a problem. Then, you can hear a rattling sound when you turn on the 4WD. In order to follow the appropriate diagnostic procedures, you can use the wiTech scan tool.

What happens when you drive 4WD low?

You can drive with 4WD low, it provides benefits. It is particularly useful in slippery or off-road conditions when 4WD Low distributes power to all four wheels. Also, 4WD Low can increase the amount of torque available to the wheels, which can be helpful when climbing steep inclines or pulling heavy loads.


Hope this article helps you to understand and fix the serv 4WD light jeep and how to perfectly reset it.

Maintaining your vehicle regularly can prevent most of the issues responsible for service light showing. Your jeep’s performance requires routine check-ups, even if they are expensive. The service 4WD light can appear on your Jeep if you don’t maintain it.

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