The transfer case in your four-wheel-drive truck or SUV is essentially a gearbox that bolts to the rear of your transmission and allows the power to be split between the two axles. Taking your vehicle to a transmission repair shop for inspection and repair is an excellent idea when your transfer case is not functioning the way it should.
Power Splitting Problems
Whether you have a manual or automatic transmission in your 4x4 truck, the need to split the power between axles requires a functioning transfer case. There are several kinds of cases that you may find in the truck, but all of them are complicated inside, using sets of gears to achieve high and low ranges, as well as two and four-wheel drive options.
When the transfer case is not working, your local transmission repair shop can inspect the transfer case and determine where the problem is. Often the transfer case will need to be separated from the transmission and torn down to determine what is going on inside, and since it is an extension of the transmission, it makes sense to take the truck to a transmission repair tech for the work.
Older trucks and SUVs may have a manually shifted transfer case that requires you to move a lever to select the gear and range you wish to be in. The system is less complicated than newer systems, but it can have its own set of problems.
Often something simple like a worn bearing or a shim out of place inside the transfer case can cause it not to work, leaving your transmission to power the vehicle while still having to power the rear driveshaft and spin the planetary gears inside the transfer case. This can put a lot of extra strain on the transmission and, over time, damage it as well.
If the transfer case is electronically shifted, the reasons for it to stop working can be related to connections or sensors inside the gearbox. Still, the result is similar, and the problem needs resolving to avoid damage to the rest of the driveline. Leaving the truck or SUV in two-wheel drive will help, but taking the vehicle to a reputable transmission repair shop for service is vital.
Keeping Things Moving
Basic maintenance on your transmission and transfer case is the best way to protect the system and keep the truck or SUV moving under its own power, and while a transmission shop is the best place to have repairs made, it is not required to maintain the system. You can check the oil in the transmission and transfer case at home and fill them as needed.
The owner's manual for the vehicle will point out the location of the dipstick for the transmission and the inspection port for the transfer case. It will also tell you how and when to check the fluids and what to refill them with to ensure they work properly.
Visit a transmission shop, such as AC Transmission Centers North, to get professional assistance.