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2002 4WD Dash Lights Blinking, etc.

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Old 12-22-2008, 03:41 PM   #1
sfbayjay
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Question 2002 4WD Dash Lights Blinking, etc.

Hi all,

Been reading a lot of posts on this subject here and elsewhere. Looking for some advice.

Situation:

2002 XLT 4x4, stock, 97K miles. Last night here in NE Ohio, temps at 1 or 2 Farenheit. While driving, 4X4 High dash light began to blink. 10 blinks, then off for about a minute, then 10 more blinks. Repeated for duration of trip. No apparent 4wd response from 4X4 auto or 4X4 hi buttons. When home, attempted to put in 4X4 Lo: light on button would blink, but wouldn't go into 4x4 lo (didn't hear the usual "click" that accompanies the shift). Might have been doing this wrong, as I tried with car in Park and brake on -- after reading here see that I should have been in neutral.

I see that many potential issues may cause the problem: fuses, switches, module (behind glove box), and shift motor to name a few.

Called dealer to see about diagnostics. They will charge $89 to pull codes and recommend action. Seems like a ripoff (big surprise!!).

Questions:
1. Can I drive this thing until after Xmas? Gotta make a road trip of about 50 miles each way tomorrow afternoon... I realize I only have 2WD, but that's OK just so I won't sieze up or something horrible.

2. Any systematic way to eliminate potential causes given pattern of "blinks". I've seen other "blink" combinations reported here (3 blinks, 8 blinks, some in combination with ABS light, etc.) Mine is 10 blinks then a pause, no ABS light, no other lights.

3. Which 4WD lights are supposed to illuminate immediately after starting the vehicle? My owner's manual says only the 4WD "lo" indicator on the dash is supposed to light briefly. Dealer says BOTH "lo" and "high" dash are supposed to light up briefly. Who should I believe?!

4. Should I just disconnect the 4WD module until I can get things checked out, to avoid accidental engagement of 4WD at an inopportune time (like when going 70 on freeway)? Has anyone done this?

5. I think it's possible to pull some stored error codes directly from the dash when the car is started in diagnostic mode (hold in trip reset button and start the car). Are these the same codes I would pay $89 for the dealer to give me?!

6. If you guys think its the module, what's the latest and greatest part number to search for -- I understand these have been tweaked by Ford several times since original build...

Thanks a million for any help/advice! Much appreciated as the Holiday is upon me and I've gotta travel this week...
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:10 AM   #2
sfbayjay
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Update

An update on this issue:

Took the truck out last night. Temps here still cold (around 9 or 10 F), but warmer than when my problems began.

Here's the thing: last night -- no problems, no blinking, no issues. 4WD lights off (normal). Buttons to engage 4WD all seem to work: can kick in and out of 4WD hi on the fly. Can also get into and out of 4WD lo. I hear an audible "click" when going into 4lo. No click with 4hi. Does this seem right?

Is there a chance this was just related to temps near 0 deg F? That wouldn't be too good, as it seems 4WD is most useful on ice and snow when it's COLD!

On startup of vehicle, here's what I'm observing: Turn key to "on," and 4x4 low dash light illuminates. Then on "start," both 4x4 low and 4x4 high dash lights illuminate for about 2 seconds, then both go out. Is this the normal sequence?

I guess I'll keep my fingers crossed that it was just the cold weather? When the problem happened, I slipped a bit coming up a steep driveway when the car was still very cold. Maybe the module or the shift motor was too cold (frozen?) to engage the AWD right then and it caused the errors?

Any thoughts?
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:44 AM   #3
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Your issue sounds quite a bit different than most folks with '02s have had. Mine was blinking both 4H and 4L indicators when it failed. Lots of others have had no indicators blinking when their's failed. But the most common failure seems to be complete loss of the 4X4 system - no 4H or 4L. I was also wondering if the 'blink code' means something but never found any info about it.

I replaced the module about 2 years ago and it is still fine. When I turn the key to run or start both indicators come on for a couple secs. I also hear nothing when going to 4H, but a distinct clunk when going to 4L.

If you do decide to get it diagnosed please let us know what you find out. Good luck.
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Old 09-11-2009, 06:44 PM   #4
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Unhappy My 2004 blinks 10 times every 2 minutes

My 2004 XLT V8 4x4 started blinking 4 times, then 8 times, now 10 times every 2 minutes in the last 2 days. No problems until NOW. I tried to put it in 4wd high and would not go. I tried 4wd Low and it did go into it and then put it back in nuetral and disengaged it. But it will not engage into 4wd High and that is the light that keeps on blinking 10 times every 2 minutes or so. Any ideas about the problem??????? I can not afford Fords way of fixing by trial and error, it cost way to much and I am disabled and on a fixed income. Can anyone help on what to do???? sgtdsb@roadrunner.com please email me I really could use some advise. Don Is the 4x4 control modual behind the golve box? Is that what the others were talking about?? I called Ford and they wanted $325.00 retail for it but our friend can get it for $235.00 if we need it. So if someone could PLEASE advise me if that might be the problem. Ford also told me the code may not even show up on there scanner and it will cost about $80.00 just to scan it.

Last edited by sgtdon; 09-11-2009 at 06:47 PM. Reason: forgot something
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:40 PM   #5
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exact symptoms of my dads 02.
replaced the 4x4 CM
problem solved for 2 years now.




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Old 09-11-2009, 09:16 PM   #6
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Sgt.
Start with the simple stuff. Check the underhood fuse box for fuse 18 (20A) and the in cab fuse box for fuse 24 (15A). The 4X4 module is the Powertrain Controll Module. PCM. And your right, it's a pretty penny. You can get an auto parts store to scan it for free but it won't pick up all codes. By federal law any P-code has to be generic for any scantool to read it. If you have a P-code, such as a P1812 it would indicate "Transmission 4-Wheel Drive Mode Select Circuit Failure" and we would have some kind of starting point. Because you can go to 4x4 Low it's possible, (but not probable) this would be the current failure.
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:19 AM   #7
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Question Blinking light for 4wd High

Yes my local mechanic did check the fuses under the hood and under the dash and they were fine. They were quit busy Friday after noon and he asked me to bring it back in today. He told me that his scanner will not pick up the codes for some reason. Since I read some of the things already on this site I know why now because they just have a generic scanner. ( I will see him again today to amke sure he checked those fuses.

I was thinking about just ordering the 4x4 Control module, I believe it is the one behind the glove box?????or side panel on the passenger side front???? Does any one know and is it simple to put int???

I think this is the only thing I can really do unless I take it to the dealer and have them run it for codes which is a hit or miss and also I read something about a GEM code????? Please advise if anyone knows.

I will keep this board informed on what I do in case someone else has the same problem. I will also inform the board on the problesm with the bad metal they put in these ( 2002-2005?) I have had my Explorer fixed 2 times already from the bad metal which the dealer paid for but now since I have over 100,000 (105,000) they said no they will not repair it. My paint has bubbled up around the rear wheel well again 3rd time in 1 1/2 years. So I will keep you informed and if anyone has any idea on that subject pleae let me know because the Ford dealer stated to me the FORD is backing down from repairing there defective metal now even though it was a recall and they admitted iron oxided (I think) got into there metal).

Thank you ALL ( and Gus Gorilla & Curtis) for you help on this and please continue with your recommendations for me. Like I stated before I am disabled/retired and on a fixed income. I really do not have the extra money to through at the dealer to try and hit and miss on buying and installing parts until it gets fixed.

also the vehicle will go into 4wd LOW and it does work!! I tried it in the driveway which is stone and it left 4 wheel marks when I stepped on it. But it only left 2 rear wheel marks when I put it in 4wd High and the dash light also did NOT come on for 4wd High but it did for 4wd Low.

I also called Ford dealer ship this morning and they stated that no codes come from the GEM, only if the GEM is bad?? I thought I seen something about the GEM putting out codes in this site but maybe I am wrong. So if the fuses are good my next step is to replace the 4x4 control module?? (the one behind glove box????)

sgtdon (Don)

Last edited by sgtdon; 09-12-2009 at 09:47 AM. Reason: corrected spelling
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:15 PM   #8
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Unhappy check with mechanic about blinking light

Well I just got back from my friends auto shop. He looked up the 4x4 control module. According to his ALL-DATTA program it is intergrated into the system computer! it is not a plug under the dash like other sites have stated. He tried his scanner again but it just shows erro in reading for the trans and tranfer case codes.

One guy at the shop told me to clean off the connectors but it looks a little complicated since there are 3 or 4 large plugs under the hood going into the computer. So the only thing I can think of is to go to a Ford dealer and have them put it on there scanner to see what comes up. That will be $80.00 for just that and not even sure if something will show up.

Oh, I almost forgot, does anyone know what computer is in a 2004 Explorer? OBD II OR OBDIII?

After reading some more post people talk about disconnecting the 4x4 control module? So which is right, is it seperate from the computer? If so where is it located and how can I ID it?

I will keep you all updated, Please advise if you have any info on this problem.

Thank you all

Don

Last edited by sgtdon; 09-12-2009 at 04:23 PM. Reason: forgot something
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Old 09-12-2009, 04:28 PM   #9
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I think I got things all screwed up. from what I am reading the OBD is a scanner and not the computer that runs my vehicle???? So is the 4x4 CM inside the cars computer behind the side panel in the front passenger side? Can it be pulled out and changed or do you have to change/replace the whole computer? and what computer does a 2004 Explorer XLT 4.6 V8 have in it? I did set up an appointment to take it into Ford Monday to be put on there diagnostic equipment to see if a code shows up. But they are not certain if one will or not, Great!!! $80.00 down the drain if nothing shows up.

My mechanic, not Ford, did check all the fuses like Gus had stated and they were all OK.

Can anyone be more specific on the 4x4 CM if it is part of the cars computer or seperate and where it is located. Thanks Don

I am not the best when it comes to the newer cars, give me an old 1960's and I will do fine. I really do not want to have to pay over $300.00 for what Ford called the 4x4 CM. And I do not even know what they will charge me to install it????

Last edited by sgtdon; 09-12-2009 at 05:37 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:42 PM   #10
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Actually I see now that you have an 04. Im not sure where the 4x4 CM is on this model year. On 02 and 03 it is behind the glove box but when My dad was having this problem on his 02, I went to compare it to my 04 and there was no 4x4CM in the same place.
If go verify but my wife is out with the truck. If I remember tomorrow I'll check




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Old 09-13-2009, 11:08 AM   #11
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Smile Hopefully Good news on blinking light

I received an email from James N. who seen my comments on this site. He did clear up a few things like the 2004-05 had the 4x4 CM built into the the PCM which I did not know and which was also confusing me because some of the answers were teling me it was a seperate module. (because they were talking about 2002's)

He advised me that his 2004 had the same exact problem and all he did was put a Ground strap from the mounting bracket of the shift motor to the frame of the Explorer and everything worked fine!!!! What an easy fix if it works.

I called my mechanic at home today, we are also good friends, and he told me to bring it by Monday to try this fix. I also called the Ford dealership in mu area which is one of the few that is open on Sundays and cancelled my appointment to get it scanned for codes, which will save me $80-90. dollars.

I hope this works and I will advise this site of the results so that others who may have this same problem might have a possible resolution.

THANK YOU JAMES N. FOR YOUR PERSONAL REPLY!! Even if it does not work THANK YOU so much for your help!

Don

2004 Red XLT 4.6V8 towing package, running boards, tow hooks, with 105,160 miles and still runs like it has a brand new engine.

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Old 09-14-2009, 04:58 PM   #12
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Wink I got it fixed!!!!!

First off THANK YOU JAMES N. for your email on the fix. You were right on the money.

I dropped my Explorer off at the shop this morning and gave them a copy of the opossible fix that James had sent me. (ground wire bad on shift motor)). I went back this afternoon and since these guys are my friends also they started telling me it was the muffler bearing, high speed water jacket, and that other old stuff we use to tell people back in the 60's. They kept me going for about 20 minutes with all that stuff.

The problem: 2004 Explorer XLT 4x4 4.6 V8. 4x4high light was blinking on dashboard 4 times, then an hour or so later started blinking 8 time and then 10 times every 2 minutes all with in 1 day. Vehicle would not go into 4x4 high the light would not even come on when I pushed the button, but DID go into 4x4Low and light came on. (remember you have to put it in Nuetral first for 4x4Low)

The fix: My mechanic found that the ground wire in the harness going to the shift motor on the transfer case was broken. He repaired the ground wire & checked out the rest of the wires in the harness (about 6 I think he said) they were fine. He then attached a new additional ground wire also to be on the safe side. The Explorer works great now. No blinking lights on dash. goes into 4x4high, Light comes on in the dash and stays on, goes into 4x4Low light comes on and stays on, and runs on 4x4 Auto with no problems what so ever!!!!! So if you have this problem, here is the VERY CHEAP fix, check the ground wire in the harness going to the shift motor or put an extra ground wire on it........Thank you for this forum, all the people on it, and especially James N. for you help. This forum saved me about $600.00 to $700.00 that the Ford dealership was going to charge me for diagnostic, replacement of the PCM, and programing it (2004 & 2005 have the 4x4 CM in the PCM). I can not thank you all enough and I hope this will help some one else with the same problem. Remember the 2004 & 2005 are different than earlier models especially since the 4x4 Control Module is in the PCM. CHECK THE GROUNDING WIRES FIRST!

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Old 09-14-2009, 06:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by sgtdon View Post
First off THANK YOU JAMES N. for your email on the fix. You were right on the money.

I dropped my Explorer off at the shop this morning and gave them a copy of the opossible fix that James had sent me. (ground wire bad on shift motor)). I went back this afternoon and since these guys are my friends also they started telling me it was the muffler bearing, high speed water jacket, and that other old stuff we use to tell people back in the 60's. They kept me going for about 20 minutes with all that stuff.

The problem: 2004 Explorer XLT 4x4 4.6 V8. 4x4high light was blinking on dashboard 4 times, then an hour or so later started blinking 8 time and then 10 times every 2 minutes all with in 1 day. Vehicle would not go into 4x4 high the light would not even come on when I pushed the button, but DID go into 4x4Low and light came on. (remember you have to put it in Nuetral first for 4x4Low)

The fix: My mechanic found that the ground wire in the harness going to the shift motor on the transfer case was broken. He repaired the ground wire & checked out the rest of the wires in the harness (about 6 I think he said) they were fine. He then attached a new additional ground wire also to be on the safe side. The Explorer works great now. No blinking lights on dash. goes into 4x4high, Light comes on in the dash and stays on, goes into 4x4Low light comes on and stays on, and runs on 4x4 Auto with no problems what so ever!!!!! So if you have this problem, here is the VERY CHEAP fix, check the ground wire in the harness going to the shift motor or put an extra ground wire on it........Thank you for this forum, all the people on it, and especially James N. for you help. This forum saved me about $600.00 to $700.00 that the Ford dealership was going to charge me for diagnostic, replacement of the PCM, and programing it (2004 & 2005 have the 4x4 CM in the PCM). I can not thank you all enough and I hope this will help some one else with the same problem. Remember the 2004 & 2005 are different than earlier models especially since the 4x4 Control Module is in the PCM. CHECK THE GROUNDING WIRES FIRST!
Its excellent that you posted back to confirm the solution!
Glad your rig is back in top notch shape




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Old 09-15-2009, 11:12 AM   #14
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Cool Thanks

Thank you Curtis,

Yes it was great to see the light off and then come on when I pressed the 4x4H button and then go off when I pressed the 4x4 Auto.Nice feeling to have you vehicle running properly! and a better feeling to have it fixed Cheap thanks to this forum.

I thought it would only be fare to the forum to post the fix wether it worked or not so that ever one with the same problem would get the info. This is what a forum is about! I can not thank who ever started this Explorer forum enough because it really saved me some money that I do not have right now.

I hope some of the people did not take offense to my long comments and little knowledge of the newer cars. I know I had a few things messed up in some of my comments but James N. advised me in a pvt email about some of the things and set me straight! (Thank you James).

I hope this helps other people.

Don

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Old 10-01-2009, 06:48 PM   #15
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hi,can i see a pic of ground wire,i have same problem..thanks anyway!
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Old 10-02-2009, 04:04 PM   #16
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I can not put pics on this site. But check the harness going to the transfer case and make sure the ground wire is not broken. Or ask one of the guys that advised me maybe they can post a pic. sorry I could not help you more.
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:42 PM   #17
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its ok, thanks to you, you´ve already help us a lot with the
feedback in this problem...by the way,today it seems to stop flashig...
i hope this continues.
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Old 10-03-2009, 03:12 PM   #18
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My wife's '02 has been blinking the 4x4 lights for a few weeks now. The it sounds like I should try replacing the control module, I have checked the wiring and found nothing broken or corroded. If I disconnect the wires from the control module wait a few seconds and reconnect it everything is fine for a few days and then they flash again. Just looking for a confirmation that I should try replacing the module.

Thanks




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Old 11-05-2009, 05:09 PM   #19
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Replaced 4X4 Control Module after lengthy troubleshooting

I too had the dreaded blinking 4X4 lights and no 4X4 capability on my 2002 XLT. I tried every troubleshooting technique recommended on the forum and no success. I also learned in the process that Ford's official 2002 service manuals were INCORRECT! The connectors for the 4X4 control module were wired differently from the manual. I checked the 2003 manual and also another 2002 hard copy from a major Ford dealer and they didn't correctly show the wiring in my Explorer. The dealer half apologized and said it had happened before! I finally ordered the 4X4 CM from Silverstatefordparts for $186.40 total and installed it. IT WORKED! I was experiencing 3 blinks of the 4X4 high and 4X4 low dash lights every few minutes after startup of the car and on a rare occasion could press the 4X4 high button and get the 4X4 to work/engage. I really didn't think that the control module was the problem - BUT IT WAS! Good luck to all.
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:28 AM   #20
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Having problem with 05 ranger. No blinking lights, bulbs will do a self check when truck is started but will not illuminate when i turn dial to 4x4 low or high? All fuses good in passenger kick panel. Replace 4x4cm or is this part of the pcm and have to replace whole pcm? Any help would be appreciated
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