How To

Engage Your 4-Wheel Drive

Just like when starting anything new, sometimes you need help with the basics. Thats why we’re here to help. This is a demonstration on how to safely engage 4-Wheel Drive (both High and Low functions) on your Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

If you have any questions about the procedures covered in this video, please reach out to our service and warranty department at [email protected].

Outside Van is not responsible for any damage that may occur from improper 4WD activation. This serves only as a guide to basic procedures.

4 wheel drive is designed to send torque to all four wheels in order to increase traction when needed, which is perfect for rugged conditions. Mercedes-Benz Sprinters are equipped with part-time 4 wheel drive systems, which means you must manually engage the system in order to use it. The system also features both Low and High Ranges, which can be selected by the driver. The Low Range setting provides maximum traction in an off-road environment, while the High Range setting, which is the default configuration, is useful for slippery on-road conditions, such as packed snow, ice, loose sand, or gravel.

Before randomly pressing buttons, know what system you need and when you should use it. With part-time 4WD, its best to be proactive and engage the system before you encounter any challenging driving situations. 4WD High Range should be engaged as soon as road conditions begin to alter due to weather, or before you travel onto rugged off-road terrain. This will be the system you use a majority of the time. 4WD Low Range utilizes lower gear ratios for max traction and power. 4WD Low Range should only be used at very low speeds on extremely rugged or challenging terrain, like rock crawling or deep sand. Think: 4WD High for high speeds and 4WD Low for low speeds.

In this video, I’ll review how to engage 4 wheel drive in both High and Low Range.

 

4×4

When engaging 4WD, remember that it’s best to be positioned on as level of a surface as possible. Be aware of your surroundings and position yourself out of the way of other drivers.

To engage 4 wheel drive, ensure that the van is completely stopped. With your foot on the brake, shift the van into Drive, release the brake, and begin to slowly roll forward, While rolling forward, press the 4 wheel drive button. When the light on the 4 wheel drive button begins to flash, shift the van into Neutral while continuing to slowly roll forward. The 4 wheel drive system will then engage and the light will stop flashing. When the 4 wheel drive light remains illuminated, shift back into Drive and continue on your way. This is how you activate your 4WD High system.

To disengage the 4 wheel drive, ensure that the van is completely stopped. With your foot on the brake, shift into Drive, release the brake, and begin slowly moving forward, ensuring the van is moving no more than 6mph. While rolling forward, press the 4 wheel drive button. When the 4 wheel drive button begins to flash, shift into Neutral while continuing to slowly roll forward. The 4 wheel drive will then disengage. When the 4 wheel drive light shuts off completely, shift back into Drive and continue on your way. Always remember to disengage the system when you’re finished with any 4 wheel drive-necessary driving to maintain better gas mileage.

If for any reason the 4 wheel drive system won’t engage or disengage, or our Service and Warranty department for assistance.

 

Low Range

Now let’s go over how to engage the 4WD Low setting. The van must be already be in 4 wheel and must be completely stopped. Put the van into Neutral and press the Low Range button. The dash will show a “Low Range On” message but the button itself will not illuminate. The van is now in Low Range 4 wheel drive.

To disengage Low Range, ensure that the van is completely stopped. Put the van in Neutral and press the Low Range button. The “Low Range On” message on the dash will disappear. Once Low Range is disengaged, the van will be back in the default configuration of High Range 4 wheel drive.

As always, please remember to be aware of your surroundings and ensure that you’re safely out of the way of other drivers while performing any of the actions covered in this video.