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"4x4 Temporarily Disabled"

Old 01-14-2019, 10:45 AM
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2016 F150 Lariat FX4. During this last snow storm I was using the 4x4 for the first time. I put it in 4H and it seemed to work OK for a couple seconds but when I actually needed the extra front traction it would disengage and a message would rear "4x4 temporarily disabled" and it would never re-engage untill I turn the 4x4 off. Then it would read "4x4 restored." the manual says it will disable itself when it overheats but there's no way it is overheated because it disables the second i need it. It also seems to work OK while driving with traction but as soon as I start spinning it disables. I can not find anything about this on Google or the forums. If anybody has had experience with this I would appreciate some feedback on what it could possibly be.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:53 AM
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I don't have an answer but will state that all owners of 4x4 should engage it every once in a while so as to keep the parts moving that engages the system.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by dannofx4 View Post
I don't have an answer but will state that all owners of 4x4 should engage it every once in a while so as to keep the parts moving that engages the system.
Thanks, I agree but I just bought this truck about 1 month ago. So I don't know what kind of hell it has been through, it's been nothing but problems so far.
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:49 PM
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Could be that the shift motor is frozen in the transfer case. See if you can here it shift while someone else moves the selector.

Best way to put it in 4wd is to let up on the gas while it is shifting if you are going into 4H and befow 50 while moving. 4L you pretty much need to be almost stopped and in neutral.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by blue2010xlt View Post
Could be that the shift motor is frozen in the transfer case. See if you can here it shift while someone else moves the selector.

Best way to put it in 4wd is to let up on the gas while it is shifting if you are going into 4H and befow 50 while moving. 4L you pretty much need to be almost stopped and in neutral.
Thanks I'll try that, the used car dealership but a new transfer case in it after I bought it under a 30 day warranty due to bad shuddering and sounds during acceleration. I'm sure it is a remanned unit. On my dash it has the feature where it shows a live graph or reading of which tires the power is being divided to at any given time, and it does show that my front wheels are getting power. But I'm sure that's not a reliable way of telling. There were 2 times yesterday where I shifted to 4h on the fly at maybe 5mpg and NOT accelerating, when it shifted it made a real loud bang under my seat. After that the 4x4 worked for a few minutes but then disengaged
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:09 PM
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Another thing is after I bought the truck I noticed mud crammed inside the frame like it's been sunken in mud at one point. So I'm afraid water and junk got inside the front diff vent. It also had a front axle leak. So, if the gear oil is either dirty/watered down or low from leaking could that be what is causing it to "overheat" so quickly and trip the warning light for "4x4 Temporarily Disabled" ? Or is that just wishful thinking for an easy fix. I thought I was getting a good deal on this truck because the body, inside and engine looks wonderful but I think whoever owned this thing beat the **** out of it and did not worry about any maintenance.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:14 PM
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Always try to be moving forward when shifting into 4H mode.


Last edited by KYSport; 01-14-2019 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by KYSport View Post
Always try to be moving forward when shifting into 4H mode.

https://youtu.be/ny1S5y7QnIM
OK thanks, I did not know that. Although I do get the 4x4 temporarily disabled message weather Im in 4h 4l or 4 auto. Crazy thing is that I cannot find one other person on the Internet with an f150 who has gotten the same message. The only thing online is can find is someone with an escape getting the same message but noone had any solution or ideas.

Again, to remind everyone when I shift into 4x4 it seems to work fine until I get to an icy patch and as soon as tires start spinning is when it disables itself.

Last edited by Fritz400; 01-14-2019 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Fritz400 View Post
Another thing is after I bought the truck I noticed mud crammed inside the frame like it's been sunken in mud at one point. So I'm afraid water and junk got inside the front diff vent. It also had a front axle leak. So, if the gear oil is either dirty/watered down or low from leaking could that be what is causing it to "overheat" so quickly and trip the warning light for "4x4 Temporarily Disabled" ? Or is that just wishful thinking for an easy fix. I thought I was getting a good deal on this truck because the body, inside and engine looks wonderful but I think whoever owned this thing beat the **** out of it and did not worry about any maintenance.
Yes, if you are seeing signs like mud that high, Id definitely take a look at the front and rear diff fluids. May even change them regardless.

If you think they didnt do any maintenance, Id look up what the truck needs for maintenance at the current mileage and start doing them.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Fritz400 View Post
OK thanks, I did not know that. Although I do get the 4x4 temporarily disabled message weather Im in 4h 4l or 4 auto. Crazy thing is that I cannot find one other person on the Internet with an f150 who has gotten the same message. The only thing online is can find is someone with an escape getting the same message but noone had any solution or ideas.

Again, to remind everyone when I shift into 4x4 it seems to work fine until I get to an icy patch and as soon as tires start spinning is when it disables itself.
To emphasize what I said above with this tidbit of info about hitting ice, definitely get the front diff looked at for fluids and change.
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