Jeep 4×4 Systems

WHAT ARE JEEP 4X4 SYSTEMS?

jeep-4x4-off-road-driving-guide

Wherever your adventure takes you, advanced traction and secure handling is a safety benefit no matter how smooth the road or how rough the trail. This website is provided to help you understand what it means to have legendary Jeep® capability at your command.

The information on this page is not model or year specific. Please refer to your owner’s manual for information pertaining to your specific Jeep vehicle.


4X4 SYSTEM AVAILABILITY

Jeep® vehicles and their legendary 4x4 systems are what make the Jeep brand so unique and so dominant in the off-road world.

2018 RENEGADE

4X4 BASICS

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Active Drive

  • Renegade Sport
  • Renegade North
  • Renegade Limited
  • Compass Sport
  • Compass North
  • Compass Limited

Active Drive Low

  • Renegade Trailhawk®
  • Compass Trailhawk®

2018 WRANGLER JK

4X4 BASICS

2018-wrangler-4x4-basics

Command-TracTM 4x4

  • Wrangler Sport
  • Wrangler Sport S
  • Wrangler Willys Wheeler
  • Wrangler Unlimited Willys Wheeler
  • Wrangler Sahara®
  • Wrangler Unlimited Sport S
  • Wrangler Unlimited Sahara®

Rock-Trac® 4x4

  • Wrangler Rubicon®
  • Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon®

2018 GRAND CHEROKEE

4X4 BASICS

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Quadra-Trac® I

  • Grand Cherokee Laredo

Quadra-Trac II®

  • Grand Cherokee Limited
  • Grand Cherokee Overland®
  • Grand Cherokee Summit®

Quadra-Drive® II

  • Grand Cherokee Trailhawk®
  • Grand Cherokee Limited
  • Grand Cherokee Overland®
  • Grand Cherokee Summit®

Quadra-Trac® SRT

  • Grand Cherokee SRT®
  • Grand Cherokee TrackhawkTM

2018 COMPASS

4X4 BASICS

2018-compass-4x4-basics

Active Drive

  • Renegade Sport
  • Renegade North
  • Renegade Limited
  • Compass Sport
  • Compass North
  • Compass Limited

Active Drive Low

  • Renegade Trailhawk®
  • Compass Trailhawk®

HOW DO JEEP 4X4 SYSTEMS WORK

Rock-Trac 4x4

The Rock-Trac® heavy-duty part-time 4x4 system is built to overcome the most daunting situations.

Standard features include Brake Lock Differential, Tru-Lok® electronic locking differentials, electronic front sway bar disconnect and a tough NV241 OR transfer case with 4:1 low-gear ratio. The 4:1 low-gear ratio gives you the torque to crawl over the toughest obstacles with a consistent 0.8 km/h speed for greater control.

WHEN TO USE

High range - all road surfaces, including wet or snow-covered pavement, sand or gravel.
Low range - conditions requiring added low-speed power, technical driving, and situations when added torque is helpful (e.g., pulling a boat trailer out of water).

Available on Wrangler Rubicon®, Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon®

Command-Trac 4x4

The Command-TracTM 4x4 system provides impressive traction in slippery conditions, off-road or on.

Its proven rock climbing 2.72:1 low range and NV241 GII transfer case, provides serious traction and capability and can be shifted from 2WD to 4WD HI at speeds of up to 88 km/h (57 mph). Torque is split up to 50/50 front and rear, and Neutral is provided for flat towing.

WHEN TO USE

High range - all road surfaces, including wet or snow-covered pavement, sand or gravel.
Low range - conditions requiring added low-speed power, technical driving, and situations when added torque is helpful (e.g., pulling a boat trailer out of water).

Available on Wrangler Sport, Wrangler Sport S, Wrangler Willys Wheeler, Wrangler Unlimited Willys Wheeler, Wrangler Sahara®, Wrangler Unlimited Sport S, Wrangler Unlimited Sahara®

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Quadra-Drive II 4x4

The Quadra-Drive II® 4x4 system offers superior all-weather traction and off-road capability. Its rear Electronic Limited-Slip Differential enhances traction on the road and off, and the 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio provides legendary Jeep® brand off-road capability.

This full-time system also includes the Selec-Terrain® Traction Management System with Auto mode for everyday driving, and settings for Sport, Snow, Sand/Mud or Rock.

WHEN TO USE

High range - all road surfaces, including wet or snow-covered pavement, sand or gravel.
Low range - conditions requiring added low-speed power, technical driving, and situations when added torque is helpful (e.g., pulling a boat trailer out of water).

Available on Grand Cherokee Trailhawk®, Grand Cherokee Limited, Grand Cherokee Overland®, Grand Cherokee Summit®

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Quadra-Trac I 4x4

The Quadra-Trac I® 4x4 system is always engaged for all-weather capability. It senses changes in driving conditions and adapts with no driver input required.

To maximize traction, the system can transfer power up to 48% front and 52% rear; and when combined with the standard Brake Lock Differential and 4-Wheel Brake Traction Control System, it provides you the ability to navigate a very wide range of surfaces and conditions.

WHEN TO USE

High range - all road surfaces, including wet or snow-covered pavement, sand or gravel.

Available on Grand Cherokee Laredo

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Quadra-Trac II 4x4

The Quadra-Trac II® 4x4 system features a 2-speed transfer case. Using a variety of sensors, it detects tire slip and takes corrective action – sending as much as 100% of available torque to the axle with the most traction.

The included Selec-Terrain® Traction Management System features the Auto setting for everyday driving and additional modes for Sport, Snow, Sand/Mud and Rock. A 2.72:1 Low Range provides extra capability for more extreme off-road situations, and Neutral is included for flat towing.

WHEN TO USE

High range - all road surfaces, including wet or snow-covered pavement, sand or gravel.
Low range - conditions requiring added low-speed power, technical driving, and situations when added torque is helpful (e.g., pulling a boat trailer out of water).

Available on Grand Cherokee Limited, Grand Cherokee Overland®, Grand Cherokee Summit®

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Quadra-Trac SRT 4x4

The Quadra-Trac® SRT® Active on-demand 4x4 system is designed to handle extraordinary power. It features the strongest Jeep® brand transfer case ever and is capable of handling the power of the 6.4L HEMI® SRT V8 and the 6.2L Supercharged V8. It features a massive mechanical “wet” clutch and a rear Electronic Limited-Slip Differential that allows as much as 100% of the torque to be sent to just 1 rear wheel, depending on available traction.

The included Selec-Track system provides 5 settings for Auto, Snow, Tow, Sport and Track. Each mode optimizes the distribution of power to the front and rear wheels for maximum traction.

WHEN TO USE

High range - all road surfaces, including wet or snow-covered pavement, sand or gravel.
Low range - conditions requiring added low-speed power, technical driving, and situations when added torque is helpful (e.g., pulling a boat trailer out of water).

Available on Grand Cherokee SRT®, Grand Cherokee TrackhawkTM

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Active Drive I

The full-time Jeep® Active Drive I system gives you enhanced traction in tough conditions. Using sophisticated sensors, this 4x4 system detects wheel slippage and automatically applies torque where needed. A fully disconnecting rear axle improves fuel economy by only engaging 4x4 when enhanced traction is needed.

The included Selec-Terrain® traction management system gives you all-weather capability in 4 modes: Auto, Snow, Sport and Sand/Mud.

WHEN TO USE

High range - all road surfaces, including wet or snow-covered pavement, sand or gravel.

Available on Cherokee Sport, Cherokee North, Cherokee Limited, Cherokee Overland®

jeep-4x4-ACTIVE_DRIVE_II

Active Drive II

The Jeep® Active Drive II system is perfect for those adventurers needing to tow, climb steep hills or travel off road. The system uses a 2-speed PTU to deliver exceptional torque management and 4-Low mode. This locks the front and rear driveshafts for additional power at low speeds or for towing your toys.

Enhance off-road capability with a 2.5 cm increase in ride height and an incredible crawl ratio of 56:1 with the 2.4L Tigershark® MultiAir® I-4 and 48:1 with the 3.2L Pentastar VVT V6.

WHEN TO USE

High range - all road surfaces, including wet or snow-covered pavement, sand or gravel.
Low range - conditions requiring added low-speed power, technical driving, and situations when added torque is helpful (e.g., pulling a boat trailer out of water).

Available on Cherokee North, Cherokee Limited, Cherokee Overland®

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Active Drive Lock

When you’re equipped with this Trail Rated® 4WD system, you become the master of virtually every road, trail and highway. It adds a mechanical locking rear differential for superior off-road performance along with technologies like Hill Descent Control and Selec-Speed Control.

Additionally, the standard Selec-Terrain® Traction Management System includes a Rock mode that automatically locks the rear differential.

WHEN TO USE

High range - all road surfaces, including wet or snow-covered pavement, sand or gravel.
Low range - conditions requiring added low-speed power, technical driving, and situations when added torque is helpful (e.g., pulling a boat trailer out of water).

Available on Cherokee Trailhawk®

jeep-4x4-ACTIVE_DRIVE

Active Drive

With Jeep® Active Drive, a fully automatic, single-speed PTU delivers seamless operation in and out of 4WD, at any speed.

Advanced sensors constantly monitor for wheel slip and send torque to the wheels with the most traction to keep you in control. Selec-Terrain® Traction Management System comes standard and includes settings for Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud.

WHEN TO USE

High range - all road surfaces, including wet or snow-covered pavement, sand or gravel.
Low range - conditions requiring added low-speed power, technical driving, and situations when added torque is helpful (e.g., pulling a boat trailer out of water).

Available on Renegade Sport, Renegade North, Renegade Limited, Compass Sport, Compass North, Compass Limited

jeep-4x4-ACTIVE_DRIVE_LOW

Active Drive Low

Maintain control on tough ridges and rocks with Jeep Active Drive Low.

A standard single-speed PTU offers torque management and 4WD Low mode. This locks the front and rear driveshafts to deliver additional power at low speeds or for towing.

Its low range delivers a Trail Rated® 20:1 crawl ratio, exclusively on Trailhawk®. Climb steep hills and crawl over rocks with ease.

The Selec-Terrain® Traction Management System is also enhanced with a Rock mode, so you can take on the most extreme adventures.

WHEN TO USE

High range - all road surfaces, including wet or snow-covered pavement, sand or gravel.
Low range - conditions requiring added low-speed power, technical driving, and situations when added torque is helpful (e.g., pulling a boat trailer out of water).

Available on Renegade Trailhawk®, Compass Trailhawk®

OFF-ROAD DRIVING GUIDE

jeep-4x4-THE_SLIPPERY_STUFF

Snow & Mud

Your 4x4 system will determine how you can best find maximum traction in the slippery stuff. Full-time systems will automatically adapt while on-demand or part-time 4x4 systems need to be manually engaged.

Use 4WD LOW on ice or deep snow for added low-speed control. To maintain momentum, don’t shift into a gear lower than necessary. Over-revving the engine can spin the tires and cause traction loss. If that happens, rapidly turning the steering wheel back and forth can help the tires find more grip and put you back in control.

jeep-4x4-CONTROL-VS-SPEED

Control vs. Speed

Off-road driving is not about going fast. If your Jeep® vehicle is equipped with 4WD LOW, the low gear and low speed at idle will usually pull you over most obstacles. If you have a manual transmission, all you need to do is slowly let out the clutch in the lowest gear to crawl over things like rocks and logs.

A perfect example of this type of driving is on the famed Rubicon® Trail. Here the average speed is just 2–8 km/h (1–5 mph). Try these tips next time you’re off the beaten path to maximize your vehicle’s capability.

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Planning Ahead

High-performance driving requires forward planning – especially performance off-road driving. With part-time systems, engage 4x4 once you’re are off road – don’t wait until you’re stuck.

You should constantly scan over the hood to see what you’re approaching on the trail to anticipate obstacles and find the best possible driving line. Keep your thumbs up and out of the steering wheel’s way because the steering wheel can unexpectedly rotate quickly and catch your thumb with a spoke.

jeep-4x4-THE_TRAIL_RATED_TRAILHAWK

Vehicle Inspection

A thorough vehicle inspection before going off-road is critical. Look under the hood: check that all the hoses are in good condition, the battery is securely fastened and fluid levels are correct.

Check each tire, including the spare, to confirm correct inflation and good condition, and avoid travelling alone, especially into unfamiliar territory.

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Hill Climbing

Always go straight up or down when driving on a hill. Going up, apply more power at the base of the hill and ease up as you go over the crest. If you stall, back straight down.

When going down with an automatic transmission, use Low Range and the lowest drive setting. With a manual transmission, always use the lowest gear.

In Low Range, do not disengage the clutch to let your vehicle coast, as severe damage to your clutch disc may result. Let the gears and engine compression slow you down, and use the brakes only to fine-tune your speed.

NOTE: Never drive up or down a hill at an angle. Never get sideways on a steep slope as this can lead to vehicle instability.

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Rock Crawling

Conquering the rocks means slowly crawling over them in Low range. In low gear, engage 4WD LOW and at idle speed, or use as little throttle as needed, to crawl over. The ideal speed for rock crawling is 2–8 km/h (1–5 mph).

Never straddle rocks – instead position tires on top of the rocks and crawl over slowly. For improved traction, drop your tire pressure by 3–5 psi and don’t forget to return to normal pressure when you’re done off-roading.

jeep-4x4-IN-THE-SANDBOX

Driving in Sand

Driving in sand is all about finding traction and maintaining momentum. Dropping tire pressure by 10–12 psi will help with better traction, and staying in 4WD HI will help maintain momentum. In some conditions, 4WD LOW and alternative gear selections may be needed – but in any case, avoid spinning the tires. Don’t forget to re-inflate tires back to normal when you’re done.

When turning, stay wide because tight turns can slow the vehicle and cause you to lose traction and get stuck. When it comes to sand driving, maintaining momentum is key.

WHAT IS JEEP TRAIL-RELATED CERTIFICATION

jeep-4x4-OVERVIEW

Overview

Jeep® vehicles have led the way far off the beaten path for over 75 years. Our legendary 4x4 capability has been tested, refined and proven on the toughest terrain and culminates with our exclusive Trail Rated® certification.

To be Trail Rated means that a Jeep vehicle has excelled and passed tests in 5 critical off-road categories: traction, ground clearance, manoeuvrability, articulation and water fording. When you wear this badge, adventure is wherever you want it to be.

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Traction

Jeep® vehicles offer a variety of 4x4 systems to suit all kinds of off-road challenges. Jeep Trail Rated® 4x4s have the traction and capability to climb some of the toughest terrain on Earth. Testing includes traction on untamed, slippery roads (wet, mud, snow) and on steep grades.

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Ground Clearance

Go off the pavement and you never know what might get in your way. That’s why every Trail Rated® Jeep® is tested and optimized for ground clearance, as well as approach, departure and breakover angles. Having the ability to clear large rocks and logs is more than just fun, it’s mandatory for going off road and getting back.

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Manoeuvrability

Off-roading is a very dynamic style of driving and excellent manoeuvrability is key. Precarious gaps, tight spaces, winding narrow trails – having the ability to steer around or through tough situations is crucial.

That’s why Trail Rated® Jeep® vehicles feature wheelbases optimized for capable off-road handling and are tested to ensure precision manoeuvrability in the most difficult situations.

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Articulation

For traversing the most difficult terrains, a flexible chassis and suspension is critical. In off-roading terms, flexibility is referred to as articulation. Good articulation means keeping all 4 wheels on the ground as long as possible, and when 1 tire becomes elevated, keeping the other tires firmly planted for full traction.

Jeep® design features that enhance articulation include long-wheel travel, maximum suspension flexibility, solid axles, ample wheel well space and electronic sway bar disconnect.

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Water Fording

Deep puddles and water crossings are common challenges that require special off-road design considerations. That’s why Trail Rated® vehicles provide additional electrical and body sealing to keep water out of critical areas. The air intake is also mounted higher up so you can go where other SUVs simply can’t.

FAQ

What is the difference between full-time 4x4 and part-time 4x4 systems?

Full-time 4x4 systems utilize a centre differential, which enables the front and rear driveshafts to turn at different speeds, thereby allowing engagement on dry surfaces for normal driving conditions. A part-time system does not employ a centre differential and locks the front and rear driveshafts together. With a part-time system, 4x2 mode should be used during normal driving conditions and 4x4 mode is to be used only when off-roading or on wet or slippery surfaces.

 

Why can't you use part-time 4x4 on dry surfaces?

Part-time 4x4 systems effectively lock the front and rear driveshafts together, forming a single driving unit that does not allow for differential action between the front and rear driveshafts. Driveline noise and binding (Crow Hop) may occur when operated excessively on dry surfaces or in turns. This binding can lead to heat buildup and early part failure.

 

Why does Crow Hop occur?

When a vehicle turns, each wheel rotates on a different radius to the turning circle, thereby travelling different distances at different speeds. If the vehicle's front and rear axles are locked together and are turning on dry surfaces, the difference in wheel speed sometimes results in driveline binding that is released with a bang or vehicle shudder when one of the tires loses traction.

 

Can I shift into 4WD high range at any speed?

Shifting into 4WD high range can be done with the vehicle stopped or in motion. If the vehicle is in motion, shifts can be made up to 88 km/h (55 mph).

 

How long can I drive in 4WD high range?

With a part-time system, prolonged driving in 4WD high range is recommended only for wet, loose or slippery road surfaces. With a full-time system, you need not worry about switching to 2WD mode when road surfaces improve.

How fast can I drive in 4WD high range?

You should not go faster than road conditions permit.

 

What is 4WD low range?

4WD low range is a mode specifically designed for temporary use when additional traction and maximum pulling power are desired. Front and rear driveshafts are locked together and engine power is sent through another set of gears to multiply torque. Avoid attempting to engage or disengage low range with the vehicle moving faster than 3–5 km/h (2–3 mph), and do not use this mode for normal driving.

 

Can I shift into 4WD low range at any speed?

No. With the vehicle rolling at 3–5 km/h (2–3 mph), shift an automatic transmission to Neutral or depress the clutch pedal on a manual transmission. While the vehicle is coasting at 3–5 km/h (2–3 mph), shift the transfer case lever firmly through Neutral and into the low range position.

 

How fast can I drive in 4WD low range?

Do not exceed 40 km/h (25 mph).

 

Can I shift into 4WD low range when stopped?

Shifting into or out of 4WD low range is possible with the vehicle completely stopped; however, difficulty may occur due to the teeth of the gears not being properly aligned. Several attempts may be required for clutch teeth alignment and shift completion to occur. The preferred method is with the vehicle rolling at 3–5 km/h (2–3 mph). Avoid attempting to engage or disengage 4WD low range with the vehicle moving faster than 3–5 km/h (2–3 mph).