Question about 1997 Ford Explorer AWD

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4wd/4low lights flash - 1997 Ford Explorer AWD

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Hi there:
That flashing is a signal from the GEM computer that indicates a failure in the Control-Trac system. Typically it is one of the Hall-effect axle speed sensors (located in the t-case) that has failed. In the auto position on your model the system monitors relative front and rear axle speeds, increasing the period of engagement of the clutch pack in the transfer case to eliminate the rear moving faster than the front. If it gets to full-lock, for example, and the rear still seems to be turning faster then it reverts the system to 4WD (locks the transfer case in 4wd as it does in 4wd-lo) and flashes the lights to tell you of the problem (in 97 and later models it reverts to 2WD in the default, auto position). Some have reported cleaning the contacts on the speed sensors has helped, but you may want to get to a dealer if the problem persists. Watch that they dont automatically try to replace the computer or the transfer case. Usually it is just a sensor problem, which is relatively easy and inexpensive to replace. There is a shift motor on the t-case on these models, but it is only used to select 4wd-lo and yours seems to do that OK.

Other details HERE.

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Posted on Feb 24, 2012

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