4×4 making loud strange noise 2012 F150 4wd 5.0l

2012 Ford F150

I don’t use 4wd very often. So I switched it into 4wd on the way home from work this evening as I understood this should be done every so often to keep the solinoids and things operating. I was on a straight road and when I changed it over and it started to make a loud, strange noise that I can’t describe very well, maybe a howl, maybe like gears. So I then turned it back to 2wd and the dash said it was changed but it was still making the noise until I made a turn. I did this twice more on the way home with the same results.

Once home I crawled underneath to see if there was anything to see. vacuum lines were in place and nothing else seemed out of the ordinary. I took it for another drive with the same results, but this time I left it in 4wd for awhile longer to see if it worked it self out. It then made 2 very loud thumps that felt as if they were coming from directly beneath me. I changed it back to 2 wd and once the noise started it seems fine again.

Check Fluid Level

The thing to check would be the front differential fluid level. If the fluid level is low it will make a roaring noise. Next top the fluid level off and test it again.

Check your Joints

As for disengaging the 4×4 sometimes the vehicle needs to be driven in reverse about 10 feet for it to release properly. This is normal.The light changes to allow you to know it received the request to do so.

As for the odd noises and popping, this too is normal when trying to operate the vehicle in 4×4 on DRY paved roads. The tires will grabIf these noises seem to be excessive you will want to also check you front drive shaft u-joints. Then check your front axle shaft joints.