The right way to use 4X4 in any 4 wheel drive SUV: Explained

India is one of those countries where SUV segment is a lot more popular among buyers. This soft corner for SUVs also made many manufacturers enter this segment. In India we have a very small portion of SUV buyers who actually explore the capability of a 4×4 vehicle. Now, there are several SUV owner groups who are educating owners and helping them bring out the off-road capability of an SUV. For those who have been off-roading will be aware on how and when to engage 4×4 in an SUV but, there are still a large portion of people who are not aware on how and use the 4×4 system. Here we have a video that shows how to use this system in s 4×4 SUV.

The video has been uploaded by Bunny Punia on his YouTube channel. The video demonstrates how and when to use 4×4 in an SUV. For demonstration purposes, Bunny Punia is using a Mahindra Thar which is currently the most popular and affordable 4×4 SUV one can buy in India. Inside the car, he shows the gear lever and starts explaining the use of each lever.

In Mahindra Thar, there are two gear levers – One is the normal one for driving the car whereas the other smaller one is for the 4×4 system. On the 4×4 lever. There are markings like 2H (2 High), 4H (4 High), N (Neutral) and 4L ( 4 Low). Depending upon the situation, the SUV is being driven, driver shifts to the modes.

When you are driving on a normal road, the car should be in 2H which means all the engine is only sending power to 2 wheels. In this mode, the driver can drive the car normally and even do high speeds. The next mode is 4H but, before shifting to 4H, the driver should ensure that, the car is in neutral and then engage the 4H. When you slot, the lever to 4H, normally the instrument cluster will show indication of the 4×4 getting engaged. The 4 High mode is actually useful at places where the car is being driven a tricky place where you need momentum and power on all four wheels.

The right way to use 4X4 in any 4 wheel drive SUV: Explained

The 4H allows driver to carry good speed while sending power to all the wheels. This mode should be used while off-roading only. One should never you 4H while driving on normal road. Driving an SUV in 4H on road at high speeds will put too much load on transmission which is not good for the SUV in longer run. The driver can also turn off the traction control in 4H if he wants a bit of wheel spin. The Next is the mode is Neutral which is placed between 4H and 4L.

Neutral actually overrides the transmission and put vehicle in neutral. The vehicle won’t move even if you engage gear after putting the 4×4 lever to neutral. To engage Neutral in Thar, the lever needs to be pressed a little down and then slotted to Neutral. Once it is slotted to N, it can easily be slotted to 4L. The 4Low as the name suggest is for situations where the car is stuck. Traction control turns off automatically in this mode and there is a lot of torque available at lower RPMs. The gearshifts are short and should immediately be shifted to 4H or 2H once the car is out of the tricky situation.

Ajeesh Kuttan

Ajeesh, started 6 years ago with as an eager journalist passionate about bikes. His skills now encompass both bikes and cars, producing timely news reports spanning the auto sector. Beyond writing, Ajeesh excels in video production. Together with Shantonil, he participates in first drives and test drives for new car launches. (Full bio)