When should I use 2Hi, 4Lo, and 4Hi?

November 20th, 2020 by

4WD Drive Selection: When to Use 2Hi, 4Lo, and 4Hi
Dynamic 4WD is excellent. It uses all sorts of systems and technology to make lightning quick micro-adjustments to your drivetrain. With it, you never have to worry about less traction. However, not every vehicle has dynamic 4WD. Those that don’t, especially trucks and big SUVs, tend to have three different options for 4WD.

So then, when should you use 2Ho, 4Lo, and 4Hi?

4×4 Drive Mode Selection
Usually, any given 4WD/4×4 vehicle with manual drive selection comes with three different modes: 2Hi, 4Lo, and 4Hi. While it’s obvious that one setting refers to 2WD and the others refer to 4WD, it’s not clear what “Hi” or “Lo” means. Not only that, but knowing when to use them isn’t necessarily intuitive either. Take a look below to see what each means and when you should be using them.

2Hi
This setting is 2WD. When you’re driving at normal speeds on flat, dry road, this is the setting you should be using. That includes if you’re pulling a trailer or hauling something in your truck’s box. When 2Hi is active, all the power goes to your rear wheels, split 50/50 among each side.

4Lo
This is the high-torque 4WD setting. Only use it in very rough terrain, such as thick mud, heavy snow, or fording a river. When in 4Lo, you should never go above 40 mph. This setting will help to get yourself unstuck or climb a steep grade at low speed. Switch to 2Hi or 4Hi as soon as it’s safe to.

4Hi
This setting is for optimizing traction at the cost of power. Use it when you’re dealing with slippery conditions on otherwise good roads, such as ice or rain. 4Hi should never be used below 15 mph. As a result, you should not use 4Hi to try to get unstuck.

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Posted in Tips and Tricks