How Fast Can You Drive in 4 High RAM 1500? [Answered]

It is important to know when it is acceptable to drive fast in 4WD High mode. It is a matter of personal safety as well as the preservation of your vehicle. So, how fast can you drive in 4Hi? 

The recommended speed to drive in 4Hi is 55mph. This speed not only keeps you safe but also prevents possible damage to your vehicle. Also, you should only engage the 4Hi on low traction surfaces to prevent drivetrain binding

This article explores the right occasions in which you should engage 4Hi, the speed limit, as well as the 4WD Auto option on the RAM 1500. 

How Fast Can You Drive in 4Hi RAM 1500?

how fast can you drive in 4 high ram 1500

With 4WD High engaged on a low traction surface, your speed should not exceed 55Mph. Firstly, you should only engage 4WD on low traction surfaces. In Lo mode, the maximum speed limit is 10mph. However, if you manage to safely drive faster than 10mph on Low mode, you should switch to High. 

Agreeably, there are times that we are confident driving at speeds higher than 55mph on certain surfaces and environments. However, you need to keep in mind that there are factors outside our control that could have serious consequences if we go any higher.

Such factors include tire bursts, uneven road surfaces, wild animals, and sudden bends. Therefore, it would be best to stick to the recommended speed limit. 

Maintaining a speed of 55mph will give you enough time to stop or slow down the vehicle in time in case you come across any of the above risks. 

What Is 4WD Auto on a RAM 1500?

Before, 4WD vehicles used to have a basic 4WD system that comprised 2H, 4H, and 4Lo. Now, modern models are getting more sophisticated by the day. We have the 4WD-auto option in the equation. But what is it really?  

Engaging the 4WD Auto setting readies the transfer case to engage the front wheels upon sensing that the rear wheels have lost traction. This function also automatically engages the four-wheel drive when your vehicle loses traction. It changes the wheel configuration accordingly depending on the road conditions. 

This function works to calculate when the traction is low and sends the much-needed power to the insider wheels when cornering offering greater stability. Moreover, it gives drivers an easy time by negating the need for drivers to constantly gauge the road conditions before switching to the appropriate setting. It is done automatically. 

Also Read: How Fast Can You Drive in 4High F150

When to Use 4WD Auto on RAM 1500

With the newly incorporated 4WD-Auto option on the RAM 1500, it is increasingly becoming tricky since people do not know when to use it. Typically, the 4WD-Auto option is designed for use when the traction is a mixture of acceptable grip and low traction areas. 

Often, the car manual will outline how and when to use the option for optimal performance. It states that you can engage it for regular driving, with the compromise on fuel economy. Below are other scenarios that call for this option. 

Inclement Weather 

If the weather conditions are inclement and challenging, they provide a perfect opportunity to use 4WD Auto since it is likely that the road conditions are a mixture of high and low traction. This setting will work to negate the need for the driver to keep gauging the road condition and switch to the right wheel configuration. You only have to adjust your driving style and speed to match the new setting and increase the following distance. 

Snow and ice 

Snow and ice present the best conditions to select a 4WD Auto. RAM owners are advised to leave the setting on during winter months with constant snow and ice coverage on the roads. The function will guarantee greater stability especially when cornering by sending power to the inside wheels. 


Towing is another scenario that warrants the 4WD Auto function with your RAM 1500. This tends to offer the perfect balance between efficiency, traction, and stability. 

Is There Any Difference Between 4WD Auto and 4WD Hi?

4Hi is achieved when the center differential is locked. This prompts the engine power to be split between the front and rear axles. When engaged, the front wheels are tasked with pulling the vehicle forward with the rear wheels propelling the vehicle at the same time.

This setting is only ideal for slippery and low-traction surfaces like dirt roads, snow, mud, and sand. Engaging 4H on high traction and dry surfaces may result in drivetrain binding.

Conversely, 4WD Auto works to only engage the rear wheels until traction is lost, upon which the front axle is immediately engaged. This improves stability and traction as the drivetrain automatically engages 4H.


It depends. It would be best to refer to the car’s manual for any specifications when it comes to the 4Hi mode. However, a general concern is that it is not advisable to use the mode when traveling at a high speed on a regular road.

Therefore, engaging 4Hi when driving at a fast speed could be problematic. Even if you follow all precautions, the damage would be inevitable if you keep at it. The operating manual should have more information on the same. 

Snow, ice, and blizzard present excellent conditions to engage the High drive mode. These conditions reduce traction on the road thus the High mode is great for controlling the vehicle. However, they are not the only conditions ideal for the mode. If you are driving in the open and you sense that you are losing traction, it is the right time to engage the option. 

Final Thoughts

Knowing the right way to handle your 4WD vehicle is essential. This includes understanding the speed limits for engaging 2H, 4Hi, and 4Lo, how and when to use 4WD Auto mode, and what they all mean in terms of performance. That way, you will stay safe and keep your vehicle from avoidable damage. 

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