What is the Front Axle Engagement Switch all about?
The front axle engagement switch is what operates the actuator on your 4x4 vehicle, telling it to engage the front differential. It is usually located on the dash of your vehicle, and when you turn it on, your four wheel drive becomes engaged. This is what is known as an electronic four wheel drive system, as opposed to a manual system which is operated by means of a lever, similar to a gear shift that is located on the floor of the vehicle.
Some drivers prefer the manual system, because the automatic system can sometimes take several seconds to engage. If it doesn’t engage at all, the problem could be in the front axle engagement switch.
Keep in mind:
- If your front axle engagement switch fails, the delay in engaging the axle can result in your car being stuck in mud, sand or snow.
How it's done:
- The faulty front axle engagement switch is identified
- The defective front axle engagement switch is removed
- The new front axle engagement switch is installed
- The switch operation is checked before removing off of jack stands
- The vehicle is road tested for proper four wheel drive operation
The front axle engagement switch is not serviced as part of regular maintenance. It is possible for the switch to wear out from use, or for the switch to fail unexpectedly. If you suspect the front axle engagement switch is the reason your four wheel drive will not engage, have one of our expert mechanics check the system and replace the switch if necessary.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Front Axle Engagement Switch?
- Four wheel drive takes longer than usual to engage
- Four wheel drive won’t engage at all
How important is this service?
If you’re just driving on pavement in good road conditions, this problem is not critical. However, if you live in an area with high levels of snowfall, or if you’re an off-road enthusiast, you should avoid situations where you’re likely to need the four wheel drive until you have the front axle engagement switch replaced.