How to Align Transfer Case Motor (2024)

Last Updated on September 8, 2022 by John Robinson

A transfer case serves to prop the shaft so that power can be delivered from the engine to the wheels. Most cars only utilize the two-wheel drive, so the other pair of wheels has to be adequately powered with the help of a transfer case. This case serves to aptly connect the back wheels to the engine. Because the transfer case also functions to maintain the stability and alignment of your four-wheel drive, it could be slightly problematic when it encounters a flaw in this aspect. 

Essentially, your transfer case makes it possible for both the front and the rear axles to be utilized in moving the vehicle. The transfer case motor helps in activating the various modes of the four-wheel drive. The responsibility of multiple functions on this component makes it rather delicate. This component can be severely affected by the speed at which you drive, any delay in service, the frequency of bumps on the road, and the misalignments of the prop shaft. 

Could a whirring noise be a symptom of alignment issues?
how to align transfer case motor

Looking at the wide functionality of this component, numerous problems could arise in the transfer case and the transfer case motor. Most of these issues can be corrected with an adequate repair. In severe situations, a bad transfer case may also emanate smoke from the rear portion of your vehicle. Typically, a lack of alignment produces a constant and distinct whirring noise

The misalignment could arise because of a problem in the casing. However, it is also possible for the transfer case to be damaged or cracked. This could lead to the fluid leaking out and causing severe problems. If any debris reaches the interiors of this case, you may encounter extremely low performance. 

This leakage may also result in your transfer case running out of fluid. This could further damage your gears, especially when you drive over uneven roads. A bad transfer case can also make the rear wheels fall out after some time. Overall, the performance of your vehicle can be severely impacted. 

Can a transfer case be repaired?

Foremost, you cannot repair this problem on your own. You will need the help of a qualified mechanic. A simple repair may correct the whole issue with your transfer case. It is also possible that the repairs may be more extensive than a replacement. 

You can choose to either purchase a factory transfer case for the replacement or get quality aftermarket parts. Consider the option that is more economical and ask your mechanic to aptly guide you in this aspect. Understand that a transfer case repair is going to be complex. Assess the time and effort required by the mechanic to complete the job and calculate your expenses. A replacement of the transfer case will typically be extensive and will easily cost you over $2500.

Furthermore, you should not drive the vehicle with a bad or failed transfer case. Even if you cannot get it repaired soon, it isn’t safe to head out on the road. The least you can do is take your car out of the four-wheel drive. Then it should be left with the mechanic to be taken care of. 

How much does it usually cost to replace a transfer case motor?
the cost of transfer case replacement

Considering the admirable functions that a transfer case is equipped with, it is but natural that the repairs must be extensive. While it is certainly a complex procedure, it is also expensive. A replacement can cost you around $2500. Besides, the labor costs range around $500. You may also have to pay additional taxes and fees that may further shoot your expenses. 

However, this amount shouldn’t be surprising, considering the numerous vital functions a transfer case is in charge of. The integral component that plays a role in shifting power to the front and the rear axles and that synchronizes the difference in the rotations of the front and rear wheels must be foolhardy to repair. There may also be multiple low range gear sets in the transfer cases for better performance off the road. It is only natural that you must take adequate care of this component.

Know how to extend the health of your transfer case 

Your vehicle owner’s manual must have a list of the necessary services your car must entail after fixed periods. There must be exact information regarding when your transfer case should be serviced and how this component must be cared for. Typically, these milestones span around 30000, 60000, and 90000 miles. 

It is generally suggested that you ought to be extra careful with your transfer case once your vehicle has covered 100000 miles. A regularity in undergoing the essential services will best maintain the optimal performance of your vehicle. However, you ought to be careful while shifting hard in your old vehicle. Also, you must not indulge in any off-roading activities because irregularities on the path will further damage the transfer case. 

You can certainly protect your transfer case from damage

You can certainly protect your transfer case from damage

Your vehicle’s transfer case can be maintained in good conduction if you pay heed to its requirements. First of all, you must switch your vehicle out of a four-wheel drive on frequent occasions. Note that it is not necessary that you must always engage in a four-wheel drive.  

4WD may be essential for rough or slippery paths where the stability of the car is compromised, but you must definitely step into 2WD for normal paths. Also, you must not utilize programmed traction control settings on an all-wheel-drive unless you cannot do without them. 

You should ask your mechanic to assess the transfer case when they are changing the oil. A timely check could prevent the occurrence of any possible future problems. It is also important that you get your car service at the proper duration and milestones. Regular checking would ensure that you don’t encounter a sudden irreparable problem.

Moreover, you must handle the gears of your vehicle gently. It is important to not go rough on these parts as this could severely damage the transfer case over time. In the case of automatic transmission systems, you must ensure that you don’t employ boundless power while navigating the highway. Overheating and overworking of your engine never works in the favor of your vehicle’s health.  

It is also important that you minimize any off-road driving activities. Irregularities and bumps are known to badly affect the alignment of vehicles. In case you cannot keep away from off-road tracks, you must get your transfer case adequately assessed to avoid any major botheration. 

Your transfer case should remain in a good condition if you aptly follow our suggested advice. However, you must also bust the myths around off-roading and its impact on the transfer case. Your transfer case cannot certainly handle so much irregularity for a prolonged time. At some point, its interior mechanisms will begin to fail.

You must shift your gears in a gentle manner so that the transfer box is not under enormous stress while changing speeds. Also, it is not advisable to overpower your vehicle on a highway. Your transfer box would needlessly burn out when you could have done just as well without the rear wheels. 

Make sure that you turn off your four-wheel drive whenever it is possible. Any overuse of this system will only tire out your transfer case. 


A flaw in your transfer case may not even let you shift your gears correctly. It is certainly not possible to drive such a vehicle. There will always be a possibility of the axle shafts or driveshafts breaking down. You shouldn’t don’t drive your car while such an issue prevails and take it to a good mechanic at the earliest. 

Several symptoms could signal the failing health of your vehicle’s transfer case. The commonest amongst them are leaking fluid, illumination of the service 4WD light, a constant whirring noise, abnormal noise from the central portion of the vehicle, or a cracking noise while making turns. A misalignment problem is generally indicated by a constant whirring noise. The symptoms will be different for different sorts of vehicles. Pay attention to such symptoms and head in for adequate repairs as soon as possible.

Our special tips will help you maintain the health of your vehicle’s transfer case. The transfer case and its motor are indeed sturdy components that support and power your rear wheels, but that does not imply that this component cannot budge. You must minimize your off-roading activities and take your vehicle for timely oil changes where the transfer system can be adequately assessed. 

It is also important that you stay respectful of the 30000 miles milestones so that all the integral components of your car can be maintained in a good condition over time. Proper repair or replacement should do well for the best functioning of your transfer case motor. 

Any issues with the transmission should be diagnosed by a professional. If some component of four-wheel drive gets damaged because of overuse, it must be adequately replaced.

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John Robinson
John Robinson

Howdy! I’m John Robinson from Levittown, New York. I am a mechanical engineer for 15 years and already had an established car repair company. I developed a personal relationship with cars since I was a kid. I always love the sounds and smell emitted by a car or truck and even at construction machinery. Since then I have been married but my love for cars only grew.