4X4 lights flash 6 times | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
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4X4 lights flash 6 times


Active Member
August 31, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
Zillah Washington
Year, Model & Trim Level
2004 F-150, 2006 Ranger
I have a 95 4X4 Ranger with auto hubs and an auto tranny. Someone attempted to steal it and destroyed the ignition lock in the process. Thats when I started having the flashing 4X4 lite problem. Below is my original post from another site.

I got robbed big time 5 days ago. My restored Scout is gone along with tools, welder, plazma cutter, etc.

They tried to take my built 95 Ranger by hammering out the ignition switch. Thats as far as they got but now I'm having to fix this mess. Now when I drive it the 4X4 dash lights come on and off and I can hear and feel the tranny or transfercase engaging. This rig also has the electric 4X4 switch on the dash and automatic hubs. I pulled the 4X4 fuse in hope that would make it drivable but I still have the problem. It's as if someone is playing with the 4X4 high/low switch while I'm driving. Any ideas on how I can fix this?

Second post:I just noticed that when driving the 4X4 light blinks 6 times every few minutes, each time it blinks I can feel/hear a small change in RPM. I disconnected the wires going to the tcase but no change. I'm open to ideas, I don't want to damage anything in the drive train.

As you can see I was thinking the damaged ignition switch was my problem but now I'm thinking it has nothing to do with the switch but is a seperate problem. I did a search and found that others have experienced the 6 flashes and found the sensors on the transfer case to be at fault. What do you think?

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...do you know were your 4wd computer is and also your gem module??? maybe they tried taking those and the wires got cut and are touching...i am only guessing you have a short and it may be also in your steering column...maybe someone else will chime in and i hope you catch the buttheads and get a chance to chat with them...;)
...good luck...:D

The 2nd gen Explorer and the Ranger systems are entirely different. However, the 95 Ranger's system is very similar to the 1st gen Explorer's.

As for what's causing the malfunction, it's a guessing game at best. The lights flashing indicate that there's a fault that's been detected and there is a trouble code stored. Unfortunately, that code is stored in teh GEM, not the PCM, so your average code scanner will not be able to retrieve them. This is one of those cases where you can take a guess and throw good money after bad, or you can take it to a good shop or dealer and let them hook it up and scan the code(s) that will pinpoint the problem. Without knowing the code, it's a guessing game at best.


...i know the 95-00 rangers are controlled by the gem module, but 01 and newer have a 4wd module located at the drivers side kick panel...;)
...maybe these are similar to the explorers 4wd module...my 95 is manual so i'm hoping someone with a newer model will chime in for you...
...keep us posted...:popcorn:

...mods, can this be moved to the ranger forum???

...i just noticed it was in the wrong forum and i figure thats why he is limited on responses...thanks...:D

...thank you, that will work better,lol...;)

I replacer the coulmn and installed a new ignition switch. Still have the 4X4 lights flashing. I'll check the transfercase sensors next.

Why would you have spent good money to replace the column and ignition switch? I thought you were troubleshooting a 4wd issue?

Why would you have spent good money to replace the column and ignition switch? I thought you were troubleshooting a 4wd issue?

Read the first post. My column was totaly destroyed.

OK, now the good news, the truck is fixed. After replacing the column and installing a new factory ignition switch I still had the flashing light. The next morning I reset the computer and no more light. I then installed new matching door locks and a glove compartment lock. I'm operational again and ready for the first snow fall.

Lesson learned: A destroyed lock can cause your 4X4 lights to flash. This flashing also causes the transfercase to try to engage. The used column cost me $140 and the new Ford lock set was $90. Took me about 4-5 hours to install.

I like to post the final fix.