SureTrack Communiy Fix: Check Those Treads

Real Fixes from Mitchell 1’s SureTrack® expert information resource are documented issues from actual shop repair orders and community discussions. Read on to see how SureTrack can help you correct issues that are not easily diagnosed using OEM information alone. SureTrack is available at no additional cost in our ProDemand product.

Tires are one of the most important components of a vehicle. Problems with tires can cause multiple issues with different systems. SureTrack community member Oimoens had a Ford Escape in the shop where the owner complained that the 4WD light was flashing and the 4WD was disabled. They posed the question to the community, and with the help of fellow community member CBriggs and others, they were able to resolve the issue quickly.

The following Community Fix summarizes the interaction between members of the community that led to the solution.

2006 Ford Escape 3.0L

4WD light flashes and 4WD Temporarily Disabled message appears.

Customer complains that 4WD light flashes and that 4WD is disabled.

Diagnostic Steps Performed/Parts Replaced
No codes stored in any of the modules. Test drove vehicle and no problems. Found a patch of ice and had right side tires on ice and left side tires on pavement. Took off from stop and both right side tires spun and left side tires grabbed, then 4WD light started flashing and “4WD Temporarily Disabled” message popped up. Vehicle drove for 3 miles with light flashing, then light went out and message “Automatic 4WD Restored” appeared. No bulletins found, no codes in computer. I would think that you would want the 4WD to activate when tires slip not deactivate, kinda defeats the purpose of automatic 4WD then.

Best Answer from Community Member CBriggs
Usually it gives that message if the RDU is overheating. Most common cause of overheating is miss matched tire diameters.

Noted front tires are at wear bars and rears look brand new. Talked with customer and tire store replaced the two tires they recommended. Told her that they actually recommend replacement of all 4 at the same time on AWD. Guess I should have looked at the tires first, didnt even think of that because customer had stated new tires. They did not state only 2 new tires.

Recommended that customer replace the other two tires on vehicle so that they would all match.

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About the Author

Nick Taylor

Nick Taylor is the SureTrack Community Administrator and a Senior Applications Specialist at Mitchell 1 with over 25 years of experience with electronic repair data systems. Nick previously worked in the automotive dismantling and engine rebuilding industries.