How to tell if the truck is 4X4 | 11 Ways You Don’t Know Before

How to tell if the truck is 4X4

One of the easy ways to know if the truck is 4X4 is to check the truck’s information with the help of a VIN. You can check the VIN on any other vehicle too. The VIN is an excellent tool for any vehicle in the number used to identify the model. So if you want to know how to tell if the truck is 4X4, this post will be beneficial.

How to tell if the truck is 4X4

How to tell if the truck is 4X4

Here we will discuss the ways you can tell if the truck is 4×4.

Way 1

To check if the truck is 4X4, the transmission spins the driveshaft, which can interact with the differential, thus distributing the rotation on the 4 wheels. In the forward or backward direction, you will have only one differential in the forward or backward direction you should have.

Make sure that the truck is off, and then look beneath the truck. At the initial stage, check the brakes, wheel knuckles, and ball joints and find the axle shafts. This will look like a huge bar that runs through the front to rear axle. If you notice this, either you have 4WD or AWD.

If you do not notice any bar that comes from the front of the truck to the back of the truck, it will be a two-wheel-drive vehicle. Therefore, if the truck is 4X4, you should check the axle shaft.

Way 2

Look for the cylindrical metal shaft linked to the middle of the wheel knuckles, as the axle will be 1 inch in diameter. There will be a rubber cone guard at the end of the shaft, which links to the wheels. So if you notice this shaft, the truck will be 4-wheel drive.

Way 3

You will have to get under it to know what type of drive train is in your truck, FWD, RWD, or 4WD. The 4X4 system in the truck has an axle shaft which is a big shaft coming from the front axle to the rear axle; then, the truck is 4X4.

Way 4

Your VIN will be your identification number, and you can search for the engine size by looking on to the VIN. In terms of letters and numbers, the tenth from the left side indicates the model of the truck, and the eighth will identify the engine codes. 

Way 5

The fourth digit from the eight numbers will explain the body type, model, restraint number, transmission type, and engine code. In the series, the eighth digit is the helpful check digit to detect fraudulent VINs.

Way 6

The tuck will be 4X4 or 4 by 4 means a system in which the truck engine will power with 4 wheels smoothly. To help you to know if the truck is 4X4, compare the various drivetrain options like 4X4, 4-wheel drive, two-wheel drive, and 4-wheel drive. 

Way 7

The easiest way to check if the truck is 4X4 is by the engine’s orientation if you have 2 wheels or 4-wheel drive. The trucks that come with the engine on the backside will have rear-wheel drive, and if the engine is on the front side, it will either rear or front-wheel drive depending on the location of the belts.

Way 8

The difference between the 2WD 4 WD lies in the number of wheels moving at one time. The engine and transmission weight is directly on top of the front wheels, thus providing better traction than the rear-wheel drive.

Way 9

The truck will be 4X4 wheel if the power delivery is on all four wheels through the transfer case. 

Way 10

The trucks are 4X4, so the weather conditions may not require the use of chains on the 4-wheel drive at a specific time. So it is best to set the chains for the truck in your possession. 

Way 11

The trucks with 4×4 have two locking differentials that offer true 4WD. This means that all four wheels of the truck will move and turn with the same amount of power, even in any condition. Even if the truck wheels are off the ground entirely and the wheels that lie on the ground will continue to receive even more torque. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you know if you have 4X4?

Whether cars or trucks, the vehicles have a 4X4 system with an axle shaft; the many bars are coming from the front side to the rear side axle. So if your car or truck has one of these, you will have 4WD.

How do I know if I have 2WD or 4WD?

If you do not have driven axles at side, front or rear, the vehicle will be 2WD. Only the end with the drive axles front or rear will distinguish between FWD and RWD. Therefore, if you see the drive axles at the rear or front side of the wheels, the vehicle will have some form of 4WD.  

Is 4X4 is similar to 4WD?

Most people think these terms can be used interchangeably, but they do not consider them the same thing. 4X4 and 4 WD mean that the vehicle’s power is equal on the 4 wheels to control the vehicle’s speed. But the process is pretty more complex than that. Therefore, all 4WD vehicles are 4X4 vehicles, but not all 4WD vehicles are 4X4s.

What does low light mean?

The 4X4 low light indicates when there is a 4-wheel drive system. The driver is responsible for turning the feature on and off. The 4X4 low light will come when the 4X4 low system is in action if the light does not switch on or t stays on. The system should get the service as soon as possible.


So knowing if the truck is 4X4 is complex if you do not have any required information. So the facts and figures discussed above will be a great tool to know the specifications if the truck is 4X4. The vehicle’s VIN, shaft axle, and engine location are some of the specifications for the truck if it is 4X4. In 4X4 vehicles, the power and friction pressure on all the vehicle wheels is equal.