Question about 2002 Ford Explorer

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2002 Ford Explorer 4-WD not engaging ???

I am not sure if I should be posting this here or not, I am a first time viewer to this site.

I noticed this morning driving up some snow covered hills. Normally the back end will kick out to side about a foot when the rear tires slip a little then the "4X Auto" kicks in and straightens it right out. Today it happened twice and the front wheels did not engage. I got to work and pressed the "4 High" several times and nothing happened, it did not engage and the 4W lights on the dash did not light up.

Thanks for any input.....


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  • rto68 Nov 11, 2008

    Thanks "fastboys" I will check them tomorrow and be sure to check back in.......

  • rto68 Nov 11, 2008

    Thank You fatboyz.......I pulled both fuses that were marked 4X4 and they both tight and looked in good shape. I was a little upset by finding they were good but decided to check it out anyway. I started the truck hit the button...the light came on and pulled out of the driveway and heard them engage as I turned on to the street. I don't know how or why but it is working "for now". I still think I will go and pick up a pack of #5 fuses and replace anyway in case they are close to going.

    Thanks again,


  • Anonymous Nov 18, 2008

    I have the exact same problem. The transmission will not engage to 4 wheel drive - nothing happens when pushing the button on my 2002 explorer. Cleaning the fuse terminals solved the problem.

  • rbtrsk Dec 07, 2008

    Sorry guys, I don't want to steer anybody wrong. I believe I made the Nov 18th post. Well, I have same problem again so it wasn't "cleaning" the fuse terminals that apparently "solved the problem" A little more research says (maybe), by pulling the fuses it resets the relay (whatever that is); the relay must be replaced. Another solution is to replace the 4X4 control module (behind the glovebox), a $300 item. Maybe this and the relay is the same item. Wish I could be more definitive. Still searching....

  • Anonymous Dec 19, 2008

    I have a 2002 Ford Explorer and have the same problem. The 4 wheel drive is not working. I removed both fuses #17 and #18, cleaned them and put them back in and the 4x4 is still is not working. It could be the control module behind the glovebox. Before I spend $300 does anyone have any other ways of trouble shooting this problem.
    Thank's, Mong

  • brentgaz Dec 28, 2008

    Hi Guys,

    I do have the same problem on my 02, 4.0 XLT.  I have resorted to the pulling of the fuse trick many times, however after I drove around 40km per hour it shuts off entirely and will not power back on.

    I was going to take the truck to ford and have them replace the 4x4 module, but I am hoping there is a trick or quick fix someone has come up with.

    i can't believe this isn't a recall item - Ford is brutal!!

    Any input would help!


  • k2223 Jan 04, 2009

    any other suggestions. my 4x4 is not working. already checked the fuses and also replaced the motor ( on the transfer case).

  • Mastic355 Jan 06, 2009

    I have a 2002 Explorer XLT V8 with a 4.6L...noticed during the first snow storm this year that the 4X4 auto wasn't engaging and tried to put it into 4X4 High manually but nothing happened, no lights, etc after the button was pushed. After giving up on the 4X4 high i tried the 4X4 low and the case got stuck in neutral. I had the case replaced as it was a mess from extensive use and really did need it, but after the case was replaced the damn buttons still didn't engage the 4X4 High or Low. I replaced ALL the fuses for the 4X4, nothing, replaced the buttons themselves, nothing, replaced the 4X4 Computer Assist module $300 from Ford, nothing, after all that still didn't fix it I got a junk computer and replaced that, but still no fix! My only option left was to re-route all the wires in the 4X4 electrical system, however, not being too confident that this massive undertaking would have any effect I manually threw the case into 4X4 auto and gave up. I'll be purchasing a foreign car within the next couple of weeks to replace this P.O.S. If you're having this problem its unfortunate, but I'd just get a new FOREIGN truck.

  • Anonymous Jan 14, 2009

    My 2002 Ford Explorer does'nt start. I checked the baterry and the starter and everything is okay. I checked the fuses too. Help me.

  • bert2369 Jan 14, 2009

    I am having the exact same problem. Seems like it's more common than I though, but there doesn't seen to be a common fix. I checked fuses, etc as well. But, I did not see a control module behind the glovebox mentioned anywhere in the owner's manual. Is this similar to a relay? I'd rather try to replace that myself before taking my explorer to the shop.

  • paul erickson
    paul erickson May 11, 2010

    yes this is a good place to post

    your first step is to check your fuses this information is in your owners manual. just post back when you have checked your fuses and we will continue with tests to find the problem



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You might have just had a bad connection
could you pleas rate my solution thanks
later paul

Posted on Nov 11, 2008


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