How to Use the 4×4 Traction Systems in the Ford Bronco

by Gabrielle DeSantis

If you’re one of the lucky customers to get your Ford Bronco, congratulations, you get to enjoy a highly capable SUV. Like many other Bronco owners, you bought the SUV because of its ability to head far off into the wilderness. The heart of the Bronco’s off-road capabilities is its advanced 4×4 traction systems. Read more to learn how to use them.

What type of 4×4 traction systems does the Ford Bronco offer?

2021 Ford Bronco | Ford

The Ford Bronco is nicknamed the G.O.A.T., which stands for Goes Over Any Type of Terrain. The G.O.A.T. nickname is well-deserved. This is because the Bronco can drive over many types of changing surfaces.

The Bronco offers two types of four-wheel drive systems. The first is an electronic shift on the fly 4×4, which has three different engagement modes: two-wheel drive high (2H), four-wheel drive high (4H), and four-wheel drive low (4L). The second system is an all-wheel drive advanced 4×4 with automatic on-demand engagement. This system has the same three modes as the ESOF system, along with a four-wheel drive automatic (4A).

How to use the different modes for the Bronco 4×4 traction systems

The default setting for the 4×4 traction systems is two-wheel drive high. You use 2H for general on-road driving. If you want to drive at higher speeds when heading off-road or encounter winter driving conditions, select the four-wheel drive high mode. 

The four-wheel drive low mode provides increased torque multiplication. You can use the 4L mode when towing heavy loads, driving up steep grades, or driving through deep sand. Finally, the four-wheel drive automatic gives the Bronco more traction by applying torque to both the front and rear wheels as needed. You’ll want to use the 4A mode when you drive over varying terrain conditions.

What are the Ford Bronco G.O.A.T. modes?

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The Ford Bronco also has preset G.O.A.T. modes. These further solidify the Bronco’s ability to Go Over Any Type of Terrain. With the G.O.A.T modes, you can customize the Bronco for various types of driving situations, such as trudging through sand or sloshing through the snow. 

Depending on the Bronco trim level, you can access up to seven of the eight available modes via the rotary knob at the center console. This includes Normal, Sport, Eco, Sand, and Slippery. For extreme off-road driving, you can select the Rock Crawl, Mud/Ruts, and Baja modes. The Baja mode is for when you want to drive off-road very fast.

What does the electronic-locking differential do in the Ford Bronco?

Silver 2021 Ford Bronco driving on sandy terrain
2021 Ford Bronco | Ford

Some Ford Bronco models have an electronic-locking differential. The ELD is for when you drive off-road on sand, mud, or rocks. It functions by making both of the wheels on the same axle turn at the same time. This helps improve the traction for the Bronco, which is essential when navigating challenging terrain. You can activate the ELD via a switch at the center of the dashboard. Also, for specific G.O.A.T. modes, the ELD will automatically engage.

What does the stabilizer bar disconnect do in the Ford Bronco?

Another off-road-enhancing feature that some Bronco models have is stabilizer bar disconnect. To turn on the stabilizer bar disconnect, press the button at the center of the dashboard. The feature will then disconnect the front stabilizer bar. This enables the front wheels to remain on the ground, with enhanced capability and comfort when driving on very demanding terrain.

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