The transfer case is the true heart and soul of any 4WD (four-wheel drive) system. It is attached to the transmission, and acts like it in many ways, but has the additional responsibility of dividing the power between the two output shafts. If at any time you suspect your transfer case isn’t functioning properly or you just don’t think the 4WD is kicking in then further Inspection and Troubleshooting may be necessary.

Once you’ve identified the transfer case in your vehicle (it is attached to the transmission as well as the front and rear axles) you should see how it is driven: either by gears or a chain. Note: Most make and models use chain-driven transfer cases. Gear-driven transfer cases are usually reserved for trucks towing and supporting heavy loads.

If your vehicle has 4WD capabilities you may have also noted a switch or shifter that allows you to engage and disengage the 4WD. Some transfer cases give you different gear ratios for you to choose from as opposed to the 2WD and 4WD options. This allows the car to support heavier loads better and handle better in inclement weather. Some transfer cases don’t give you an option and constantly stay in 4WD.

Most problems that occur in transfer cases are caused by:

Leaks from the seal or case halves
Overloading and overheating
Natural wear and deterioration of parts and components over time
Lack of routine service and regular maintenance
Leaks are common but should be addressed as soon as possible. If you let it leak for too long it can seriously damage the transfer case, and eventually the transmission. To verify the leak is coming from the transfer case, jack the vehicle up and check below to find the Catalytic Converter. Check the floor pan, if you see fluids or it is visibly damp then you know there is a leak.

If you’re Experiencing Problems with your transfer case or would like a professional eye to look it over then bring it to 2J’s Automotive. After a free diagnostic test (valued at $80) they will give you the services and repairs to amend the problem and ensure you drive safely and securely on the road.

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