Dodge Nitro: Four-wheel drive operation - Starting and operating - Dodge Nitro Owner's ManualDodge Nitro: Four-wheel drive operation

MP 143 Single-Speed Part-Time Transfer Case

Operating Information/Precautions

The transfer case is operated by the transfer case switch (located on the center console).

Transfer Case Switch Transfer Case Switch

The electronically shifted transfer case provides two mode positions:
• Two-wheel drive high range (2WD).
• Four-wheel drive high range (4WD LOCK).

The electronically shifted transfer case is designed to be driven in the two-wheel drive position (2WD) for normal street and highway conditions (dry hard surfaced roads). When additional traction is required, the transfer case 4WD LOCK position can be used to lock the front and rear driveshafts together and force the front and rear wheels to rotate at the same speed. This is accomplished by rotating the transfer case switch to the desired position. Refer to “Shifting Procedure” for specific shifting instructions. The 4WD LOCK position is designed for loose, slippery road surfaces only.

• Driving in the 4WD LOCK position on dry hard surfaced roads may cause increased tire wear and damage to the driveline components.
• Do not attempt to make a shift while only the front or rear wheels are spinning. Shifting while only the front or rear wheels are spinning can cause damage to the transfer case.

Proper operation of four-wheel drive vehicles depends on tires of equal size, type and circumference on each wheel. Any difference in tire size can cause damage to the transfer case. Tire rotation schedule should be followed to balance tire wear. Since four-wheel drive provides improved traction, there is a tendency to exceed safe turning and stopping speeds. Do not go faster than road conditions permit.

Shifting Procedure – Electronically Shifted Transfer Case

NOTE: If any of the requirements to select a new transfer case position have not been met, the transfer case will not shift. The “4WD Indicator Light” (located in the display under the tachometer) will flash until all the requirements for the selected position have been met. To retry a shift, return the control knob back to the original position, make certain all shift requirements have been met, wait five seconds and try the shift again.


Rotate the transfer case switch to the desired position. Shifts between 2WD and 4WD LOCK can be done with the vehicle stopped or in motion. With the vehicle in motion, the transfer case will engage/disengage faster if you momentarily release the accelerator pedal after turning the switch. If the vehicle is stopped, the ignition key must be in the ON position with the engine either RUNNING or OFF. This shift cannot be completed if the key is in the ACC position.

• The four-wheel drive system will not allow shifts between 2WD/4WD LOCK if the front and/or rear wheels are spinning (no traction). In this situation, the “4WD Indicator Light” (located in the display under the tachometer) will flash. At this time, reduce speed and stop spinning the wheels to complete the shift.
• Delayed shifting out of 4WD LOCK may be experienced due to uneven tire wear, low tire pressure, or excessive loading.

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