Symptoms of A Bad Transfer Case in Your Car O’Fallon, IL

Automotive Repair

One of the most important components of any all-wheel drive (AWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicles is their transfer case. Your transfer case is what gives these vehicles great traction and performance on tough terrain roads in O’Fallon, IL. If your transfer case becomes faulty, you will find it way more difficult to switch between 4WD or AWD. Here we want to talk about some symptoms you may notice that will let you know your transfer case is malfunctioning and more on why your transfer case can go bad.

Bad Transfer Case

Strange Noises from Vehicle

Most drivers understand when their vehicle is making sounds it should not be making, it is a sign that there is something wrong. Your transfer case can be one of the issues that cause these weird sounds. Whenever you hear growling, grinding, or humming sounds that change with the speed of the vehicle, chances are that those abnormal sounds are being caused by your transfer case. The root of the problem can be from low fluid level or a mechanical issue like having a loose chain, damaged gears, or having malfunctioning bearings. Most commonly, the problem is caused by a loose chain rubbing against the transfer case housing, requiring you to have to get the chain replaced.

Problems Engaging, Disengaging, and Staying in 4WD

If there is something wrong with your transfer case, it can cause problems when you are in 4WD. You may be unable to engage or disengage 4WD. This can be caused by internal problems with the transfer case among a couple of other issues such as having an electrical fault within the control system. You may even find that while you can get into 4WD, the transfer case will pop right out of it. This can be cause by issues like problems with the driveshaft or differential, but it can also be caused by issue with the transfer case itself.

Puddle Right Under the Transfer Case

You might find a greasy puddle on the ground right under where your transfer case is. This signifies somewhere in your car is leaking, and chances are if its leaking right underneath your transfer case, it could be what is leaking. You can check to see if your transfer case is leaking by jacking your car up and having a look underneath your car. Most leaks are gradual, and it will take a while for it to leak enough to form a puddle, but over time, you can expect the oil in the transfer case to become way too low. It is important that if you find a leak like this in your car you have your car looked at by auto repair professionals in O’Fallon, IL immediately.

Problems Shifting Gear

One annoying problem that can arise from having a bad transfer case is having difficulty shifting between gear ranges. This issue can be caused by other issues like having low fluid or damaged linkage, and it is typically not caused by transfer case failure. While it is not common, the possibility should not be ruled out.

Your 4WD Warning Light Turns On

A very obvious sign there could be something wrong with your transmission case is your service four-wheel-drive light or message shows up on your dashboard. Some vehicles will have a message to let you know while many others will just have a light that will illuminate when there is an issue. It is important not to ignore signs like these and you should have your vehicle looked at right away.

Why Did My Vehicle’s Transfer Case Go Bad?

Most commonly, when there is a problem with the transfer case, it is usually the result of having a low fluid level. Having a low fluid level can easily be caused by leaks as we mentioned before. It can also commonly be caused by a lack of any maintenance or just wear over time from use. No matter what the issue is, it is important to have your vehicle serviced right away if you notice a problem with your transfer case, as ignoring these problems can cause even more damage.’’

Bad Transfer Case Damaging Your Transmission


While not as common, of major failures of the transfer case can cause major damage to other components of your vehicle, including your transmission. This is why you should always have the problems with your transfer case addressed as soon as you find them. If your transmission has been damaged by your transfer case, have it looked at right away.

If you live in O’Fallon, IL and are looking for an auto repair company who can repair your transmission if it gets damaged by your transfer case, give our team of experts over at Marshall’s Transmission a call today! We can get your vehicle back to running well again.