How to Use 4 Wheel Drive in Geo Tracker

by TJ Hinton

Your Tracker may have an automatic or manual transmission, as well as automatic or manual hub locks, each requiring different procedures. Models equipped with the four-speed automatic or manual transmission used the Geo M41 transfer case, and models with the three-speed automatic transmission got the Geo M65 transfer case, to transfer power to the front wheel hubs.

Locking the Front Hubs

To lock the hubs, park the Tracker by placing the gear selector in "Park" for the automatic transmission, or "Reverse" for the manual transmission. Ensure that the transfer case shifter is in a gear -- not in neutral -- for both transmission types. Push down on the brake pedal, and lift up on the parking brake lever firmly. Turn the ignition switch to the "Lock" position. Exit the Tracker and turn the manual wheel locks to the "Lock" position at 2 o'clock on the hub. If your Tracker is equipped with automatic hub locks, simply stop the vehicle with the wheels straight ahead, shift the transfer case gear selector to four-wheel high or four-wheel low, then drive slowly forward until the hubs lock.

Shifting the Transfer Case

A word of caution when shifting the transfer case; shift decisively and do not hesitate in neutral or the shift will be harsh due to the differing rotational speeds of the gears. Once the hubs are locked, you may switch between four-wheel high and two-wheel high at will and at any speed, using the transfer case shift lever, as long as the wheels are pointed straight ahead. However, because of the extreme gear reduction in four-wheel low, it is not safe to shift into it when moving. You must stop the Tracker, place the transmission in "Neutral," then shift into four-wheel low and start moving again.

Securing from Four-Wheel Drive

Models equipped with manual locking hubs need to be parked, with the transfer case shifted into two-wheel high. Exit the Tracker and turn the wheel locks to the "Free position," located at 10 o'clock on the hub. If you have the automatic locking hubs, bring the Tracker to a full stop and hold the clutch in, if applicable, then shift the transfer case into two-wheel high. Put the transmission in gear and roll seven feet in the opposite direction to that which you were rolling when you parked for this operation to disengage the front wheel hubs -- usually backward.

Driving Strategy

Don't use four-wheel drive on dry paved roads -- it will cause tire and drivetrain damage. Four-wheel high is useful for slippery conditions such as snow or mud, or for off-road applications. Four-wheel low should be reserved for safely ascending or descending sharp grades, or in any off-road conditions at speeds of 35 mph or lower.

About the Author

TJ Hinton trained as an auto mechanic at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and then later graduated from MMI as a certified motorcycle mechanic . He's also worked for 20+ years in home construction, remodeling and repair. His articles appear on InternetAutoGuide.com and TopSpeed.com.

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