Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 4x4 Questions



  • mountjeezmountjeez Member Posts: 3
    Well put, Gary. Thanks for the great information. I guess I was expecting the smoothness of an "all-wheel" drive vehicle. It's good to know I'm not having to look at a ton of money for repair bills.
  • scott234scott234 Member Posts: 1
    i push the buttom and it just flashes but dont engage.
  • akhkharuxulakhkharuxul Member Posts: 1
    So, I read through this forum, but couldn't find anyone with the same problem as mine.

    The truck has the 4WD shifter on the floor (no push button nonsense), no service 4x4 light going on.

    The issue:
    Four-wheel drive not working. 4 low, 4 high, nada. Indicator lights for 4wd not working as well (even though the bulbs are fine).

    Checked fuses, checked front actuator (it's an electrical actuator).

    The thing is, the front actuator works. The piston will extend / retract like it's supposed to when switching from 2WD to 4WD, (with the key switch on) however: As soon as you start the engine the actuator piston retracts and stays retracted... hence no 4WD. Tested with an indicator light in the socket and it works as intended, on with key on, off while cranking, and back on again once running... the actuator on the other hand... not so much so.

    I'm thinking about putting it into 4WD then disconnecting the actuator so that it'll be 4-only to be able to at least plow snow with it for the winter. But I'd rather fix the thing correctly.

    Can anyone tell me what the problem is?
  • aj7314aj7314 Member Posts: 2
    I have 1997 GMC 3500 4x4 and am having the exact same problem with my 4x4. Has 4wd shifter on the floor and 4wd indicator lights not working when in 4wd and 4wd NOT working in 4lo or 4hi. Please let me know if you resolve this problem because I have the same issue with my 4wd. Thanx, AJ
  • aj7314aj7314 Member Posts: 2
    UPDATE: Check to make sure your wiring harness isn't fried like mine was. Look right between frame & exhaust to make sure wires arn't all burned up.
    Otherwise your actuater is most likely junk, mine was junk but didn't work at all, it may work when no pressure is applied but as soon as you put it in place with all the force against it, it may fail to work properly. Try replacing actuater with new one and I'm sure this will solve your problem as long as your wiring harness is good and not all burned up. Good luck
  • tiger46379tiger46379 Member Posts: 1
    when i lock my truck in 4hi or 4lo it engages and all wheels rotate,problems is that the right front is dragging and doesnt wanna rotate....its a eletronic shift...anybody have any idea where i need to start?
  • menotyoumenotyou Member Posts: 1
    I just fixed this exact issue on a '00 GMC sierra 1500. There was no "sevice 4x4" light, just constant blinking and no engaging of front drive. Local shop had it for a week but coulnd't find anything wrong. I got under the truck and listened while someone engaged and dis-engaged the 4wd. There was sound at transfer case but nothing from front axle. Ordered a front axle shift actuator for around $80. It took 15 minutes to install and fixed the problem.
  • chevy_mainchevy_main Member Posts: 2
    i had the same thing happen to mine but havent fixed it yet
  • chevy_mainchevy_main Member Posts: 2
    i have a 1993 gmc sierra 1500 1 ton it wont go into 4x4. i believeit is the actuator but i was told that there is an aftermarket part that i can use. if there is such a part plz tell me i relly need help
  • stallionsstallions Member Posts: 1
    I have a 95 Z-71. One day I was driving down the snowy road here in Montana and I was looking at the 4x4 front wheel light indicator on the floor shift panel. For some reason, it just blinked a couple of times like a shorted circuit would and then it went out all together. So did the 4x4. It hasn't worked since! Ant ideas on what the problem could be?
  • skintbak12279skintbak12279 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 3/4 ton 4x4. And when I push the 4x4 high button to engage the 4wd I hear a switch or something. But the light just blinks and it never engages the transfer case. It does nothing in 4low either. What could be causing this .. Bad switch ?
  • skintbak12279skintbak12279 Member Posts: 2
  • el_crabel_crab Member Posts: 1
    Lightning hit the house and blew out sensors on garage and fried Garage door opener while the truck was inside. Truck wouldn't start. Replaced module on distributor and now starts and runs for a couple minutes then just dies. I can drive across the field and and turn it off. Then start it and run a short spurt again and turn it off. If I run it for more than a couple of minutes it dies and you cannot crank for some time. Hooked an OBDII to it and it says cannot communicate. I know they were transitioning to OBDII 95-96 and don't think the port below the steering wheel would fit if it didn't take OBDII. Any advice on fixing truck? Maybe fuel sensor? Not sure why it dies.
  • 2003_z712003_z71 Member Posts: 4
  • 2003_z712003_z71 Member Posts: 4
    My 03 Silverado has ceased to shift on the fly. I've got the manual shifter on the floor and it just wont budge from 2wd to 4hi until I'm basically at a complete stop. It used to shift on the fly smoothly so I'm not sure what's going on...maybe a sensor or something? Any thoughts on where to start before I give in and take it to a shop?
  • carlmiller138carlmiller138 Member Posts: 1
    first thing you need to check is at the transfercase on the left top is a switch put truck in 4x4 with key in on possion unplug swich and jump with paper clip see if light comes on if not check for fire or voltage if not run a jumer wire from battery posative to wire light should come on if not let me know ill help you find the right problem without guessing and buying unessary parts plese excuse spelling im in a hurry
  • jeeps2jeeps2 Member Posts: 45
    edited August 2012
    does anyone else have a problem with static in the sound system due to the bug guard? Even when I turn the radio off, the static still comes through the speakers. If I remove the bug guard, the static goes away. Put the guard back on and the static returns. All of my friends with chevy trucks do not have this problem. I'm lost at why mine does it. HELP!!!!! Thanks in advance.... :confuse: PS, This only happens when driving down the road. If I stop, it goes away, start driving again and it starts w/ static again. remove the bug guard and the static never comes back?????
  • craylscrayls Member Posts: 2
    Where can I find a website or list, chart etc. of 4x4 curb weights ? I want to build a 4x4 for mud racing, starting w/ the most light weight 1/2 ton 4x4 out there (full size).

    I heard the 1986 Chevy 1500 short bed was the lightest, but,,,can't verify this via LOTS of Google searches.

    Can anyone point me to where to find "vintage" truck curb weights ?
  • 03cmg03cmg Member Posts: 1
    can i remove my front axles and 2wd untill i can afford to repair seals
  • animsanims Member Posts: 1
    I'm having the same problem, i have already replaced the accuater and checked all the fuses and still does not engage
  • craylscrayls Member Posts: 2
    edited October 2012
    I have a '98 Dodge 2500. There is a "4x4 lamp" actuator on the passenger's side axle housing..this can and did cause the 4x4 to NOT engage. Then there is the actual actuator, vacuum operated, on the axle housing round with two hoses coming off it (again, on my DODGE) then there is the actuator on top of the transfer case that is also vacuum operated.

    The vacuum lines must be put back CORRECTLY for the 4x4 to work !! There were 4 vacuum lines on my Dodge with the 241 New Process transfer case (same actuator as on the 231 t. case)

    Check the vacuum lines for cracks, splits, holes, wear etc. and as you said, the fuses. Check all these. The electrical actuators, on axle and transfer case, were both around $15 ea. so I replaced both. Check all these again and see what happens.
  • titentiten Member Posts: 2
    I’m no expert by any means; I can just tell you what I did to get my FWD running again. I have a 2000 Chevy Silverado, Extended Cab, and Long Bed with 180,000 miles. I bought the truck about one an a half years ago or so, and the FWD didn’t work back then. So, last summer I started working on it. I did just as you have done, and looked it up on the internet. I went to a number of different sights hopping I could find a quick fix and save a lot of money. After reading I found things I could do with the help of youtube videos. I did the following:

    1. Looked for a blown fuse. I only found one fuse that said FWD, and it was the one on the inside of the cab. Looked good. So that wasn’t it.

    2. Changed the selector switch. You know the push button thing, in the cab. This wasn’t it either.

    3. Changed the actuator. Nope not it.

    By this time I was not too happy; therefore, I did the unthinkable, I took it to the Chevy Dealer. After all having a FWD truck, but the FWD doesn’t work, just don’t seem right. Kinda got my feelings hurt when they said “$100.00 dollars an hour.” No thanks. So, I did without the FWD last winter. Luckily, it wasn’t a bad winter.

    So, before this winter, I was bound and determined to get it working come hell or high water the things gona work. After replacing all the parts last year and it still didn’t work, I knew it had to be electrical.

    I found a web site that has all the electrical information for my truck or any vehicle for that matter. It’s called Granted, I did have to pay like $25.00 for a year, but I did it anyway. And, low an behold, there is a fuse. It’s not labeled FWD, its labeled ATC. (Automatic Transfer Case) It’s under the hood with all the other fuses. So, I don’t know what the actual problem was or how the fuse got blown, all I know is after doing all the steps above and replacing this fuse, it’s working. I just had to try them all, I guess. Good Luck!!! And thanks everyone that posted on here. IT WORKED. I don’t know which one done it, and don’t care. I got my FWD back.
  • trailsendrvtrailsendrv Member Posts: 1
    Hey Thanks for sharing especially about the ATC fuse. My truck has been sitting for 2 years :sick: . After reading your blog i went out and it was the ATC fuse. i changed it and the truck works after being stuck in 4 low....I looked 2 years ago and all the fuses for 4x4 were good. but i never knew to look at the one labled ATC.. You are the Man!!!! T :) hank you so much..Steve
  • djgorillamandjgorillaman Member Posts: 1
    Hey i just wanted to know if you fix this problem i have the same issue driving hit a bump or roll down hill 30mph rmps drop and fall out of gear, i have to stop hit 4wd button hard clunk and back to 2wd and iam off again.... PLEASE any help would be appreciated.....
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    Hello djgorillaman,

    If there is anything we can look into for you (warranty/recall questions, follow up on an appointment with a dealership), we can be reached at [email protected] (include a brief summary, the last 8 digits of your VIN, and your name and contact information).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • 99chevytough99chevytough Member Posts: 1
    Just replaced my encoder motor after reading this thread given your description of the problem. My truck would not shift out of 4wd until a hit a big bump or put it into park then reverse. I had a grinding noise, slipping of the transmission when I gave it gas and pulling to the right (under throttle). It is now working like a champ again! Thanks!
  • waffiewaffie Member Posts: 1
    edited February 2013
    I have a 2006 4x4 silverado ext cab and when I have it in 4x4 auto and turning on dry pave it seems to bind up like it is in 4x4. I thought that when you are in auto 4x4 it is only suppose to be in 4x4 when the wheels spins, My truck has been doing this sense it was new, is this normal?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    Hello waffie,
    Did you ever get this checked into by your dealership while it was under warranty?

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • chefkrhchefkrh Member Posts: 1
    The actuator is a ground side switch and is one of the last ones in the circuit. Make sure you are getting power out of the fuse first. The transfer case switch is the first switch in the circuit. When you switch to 4wd the t-case switch closes and that sends power to the actuator. Check the t-case switch (you can run a jumper wire and see if the 4wd engages then). There is a chance that the new actuator is bad but that is a very low chance. Check power and ground first, then start checking the switches. And since the floor shifter starts the process check any wiring/switches, or hoses associated with that to make sure it's not causing the actuator not to work when engaged. Like a short or something. Make sure you have ground at switch.
  • mike_st_joe_momike_st_joe_mo Member Posts: 1
    I have found out that usually the two ground wires that are attached to the frame right under the front of the driver’s door is the culprit that causes the 4wd selector switch in the dash to go bad. Chevy had the bright idea of applying the undercoating and/or not cleaning the point of contact of the ground wires before they bolted them to the frame therefore overtime moisture, dirt and corrosion affects the contacts of the threads of the bolts which are the only source of ground the two sets of wires have. There are 2 things you will need to do. First you will need to take the bolts out and use a wire brush to clean down to the metal of the frame as well as the bold threads and ends of the wire attachments and then reattach the ground wires to the frame (time to complete – less than 5 minutes). Second you will need to replace the 4wd selector switch in the dash. You can purchase this online from Amazon (Dorman 901-062 4-wheel drive switch for $31.15 – no tax or shipping and handling). To replace, gently pull the outer trim of the dash out by using just your fingers. You do not need to completely remove it, just pull it out far enough so that you can pull the old switch out of it slot. Then unplug the two plugins located in the back of the switch. Plug them into the new switch and push the switch back into the slot and then push the trim back into place (time to complete – less than 5 minutes). This should take care of your problem. Most often, people make the mistake of just switching out the dash switch and when that does not correct the problem they then replace the more expensive and time consuming actuator motor and location indicator on the transfer case that does not need to be replaced. I should point out that when the Service 4WD light comes on, there are no codes that show up on the code readers which is awful strange in its self. I hope this helps everyone with this problem because I sure wish I knew this before my many costly and time consuming trips to multiple repair shops including the dealer and none of them were able to successfully repair the problem. It sure seems like Chevy could release a repair bulletin so that everyone could fix Chevy’s blunder. I bought my 2005 Silverado new in September of 2005 and this has been the only major problem I have every had with this truck with the exception of the check engine light that came on this past spring and the error code was P0446, which was the Vapor Canister Purge Valve. They have since come out with a new conversion kit that cost close to $100.00 and is very time consuming to replace. I highly recommend that you can purchase the original equipment part from Amazon – ACDelco 214-2147 OE Service Vapor Canister Purge Valve for $16.36. You will have to cut the vent tubing right at the old canister and use a 2 inch long piece of vacuum tubing the next size up to attach the new canister because the original tubing is hard and cannot be stretched to remove on to reinstall the new part. The canister is located at the back of the gas tank and can be accessed without having to even jack up the truck. It clips right onto the back of the gas tank and has one plug in going into it (time to complete – less than 5 minutes). Best wishes, Mike Gilbert, St. Joseph, MO
  • dcurrendcurren Member Posts: 1
    is their any body out there that can tell me how the 4x4 system travels direction wise when it leaves the switch on the dash. When I turn the ignition on allthe lights come on then they go off. You can push any button but nothing happens.
  • pwittypwitty Member Posts: 4
    Aug 25, 2013 (5:55 pm)
    I didn't see this issue posted. My 4wd must stay in Auto 4WD. If I put it in 2H it goes thru the gears and when it hits 4th gear it drops to neutral. I am unable to drive in anything other than Auto 4WD. The last time I used the 4WD function was approximately 5 months ago and I don't recall putting it in Auto 4WD. I have very little call for the 4WD but I like knowing I have it. I recently went from NM to KS without realizing it was in auto 4WD. That was when I found that
    the 2H wasn't working. Any ideas? I am unable to locate the ATC fuse that one message discussed. Not even sure this would fix the problem
  • pwittypwitty Member Posts: 4
  • ldl3ldl3 Member Posts: 5
    I am experiencing an absolutely identical problem (with an identical truck) to yours (mine has 80K miles). I am therefore keenly interested in what you may have found out. The local chevy dealer has suggested over the phone that my transfer case had been run without oil perhaps, and that simply was NOT the case, it is full of clean oil with no burned smell or other signs of neglect. Now he wants me to bring the truck into the shop and start emptying my pockets so to speak @ $75/hr.
    Can anyone help me out with advice?
  • titentiten Member Posts: 2
    edited October 2013
    Did you do as I suggested? Did you look at your ATC fuse? That was the problem I had, so I just replaced the fuse, And it's working now. The ATC fuse is located under the hood of the truck in the fuse box. to locate the fuse look on the legend on the back of the cover, and it will tell you the exacted one. Should be a 20 Amp fuse, if I remember right.
  • ldl3ldl3 Member Posts: 5
    There is no fuse marked ATC in any of the 3 fuse blocks (underhood, center, & instrument panel). There is a 25A 4wd fuse in instrument panel block, it is fine.
  • ldl3ldl3 Member Posts: 5
    I'm listening... Any advice for me regarding what to do next?
  • abacomikeabacomike Member Posts: 12,197
    My 6 month trial subscription ended on October 31st, and for the better part of 2 weeks, I have tried, unsuccessfully, to renew the subscription because of an array of total idiots who answer the phones for XM/Sirius Radio Services. Luckily this was just on the phone, so I could either lay in my hospital bed or sit in my recliner while talking. If I had to stand or take any other physical position, I would have given up and done without the services.

    It all started a few days before the end of October. I called Sirius to extend my subscription for "music channels only" (I don't listen to sports or news on satellite radio) and for "traffic" and "weather" services. I use weather more than traffic, but the forecast and weather maps I can access in the Mercedes show weather fronts, wind speeds and direction, rainfall and severity, storms, lightning, etc., and the info provided is extremely accurate, not to mention picturesque! Sorry for digressing. The first 8 idiots I spoke with on the phone (yes, 8 times I called to get this completed) over the 2 week period said I could subscribe to "music only" and "traffic", but that my radio and internal computer in the car could not support "weather" data! Now remember, for 6 months, I was able to easily access traffic and weather as well as all channels. Now, I guess my radio (Harman/Karmin) just won't accept the data they would send for the weather maps and forecasts!!! I state to them all, "YOU ARE NUTS!" Then, they want to charge me an activation fee on top of that.

    After 8+ attempts, I decided to surrender and not bother with Sirius or their services - let's face it, doing without satellite radio and weather and traffic is not the end of the world. But when I was up at the Mercedes Dealership yesterday, they told me the E, S, CLS, and 95% of their cars support weather from Sirius. So, I tell myself, "...what the heck", and I try again this morning. I had to call them 4 more times until I finally got them to transfer me to a supervisor who spoke the King's Language perfectly. I explained the situation to him, the fact that I had been a customer for over 9 years, and that everyone I talked to at their company had no idea what I was talking about. He apologized, looked up my account, and told me that my car could accept the "data" plan they offered which includes traffic, weather, stocks, gasoline prices within 50 miles, etc. I took a deep breath and thanked him.

    So, I signed up for "music only", "traffic", and "weather" through their data plan for 1 year at a cost of $229.00 with 3 months free and no activation fee. That's $15.27 a month for 15 months. At full price for the plans, it would have been closer to $350.00 a year.

    I know Sirius subcontracts their phone services to some other country, but at least their supervisors are located here in the U.S.A. You would think that a "monopoly" company (no other competitors for satellite radio services) that sells a service for music and other data in the current business climate whereby they actually compete with AM/FM HD radio stations, iHeart, Pandora, and now even Apple internet radio, Bluetooth connectivity to smart phones, MP3, iPods, not to mention CD/DVD 5.1 surround sound, to name a few, would do almost anything to maintain a positive client relationship - not to mention subscription renewal process!

    Why should it take a customer almost 3 weeks and over 12 phone calls to finally get to speak with someone who knows what he/she is talking about? I wonder how long XM/Sirius will be able to continue selling services with their current approach to customer service and consumer relations?

    2021 Genesis G90

  • tatedawgtatedawg Member Posts: 1
    I was wondering if you have fixed this problem? My 2006 chevy is doing the identical thing. Please let me know if you have found a solution to this problem
  • ldl3ldl3 Member Posts: 5
    tatedawg, No I haven't solved this problem. A local mechanic has told me that he has a code reader that can likely diagnose the problem, but I haven't taken it in to him yet. Apparently, trans case trouble codes, even though not displayed, are accessible through the vehicle computer to someone who knows what they are doing.
  • ldl3ldl3 Member Posts: 5

    Still not solved. Local mechanic with top-of-the-line code reader/scanner could find no trouble codes. Chilton's manual is no help either, though it gives a good description of how the 4wd system is supposed to work. I'm hesitant to start replacing components in a hit or miss fashion. Can anyone offer advice?

  • chevy4x4wizardchevy4x4wizard Member Posts: 1
    Look in the engine bay fuse box find the fuse called Etc if your truck does not have the Atc fuse like mine doesn't. I replaced the 4 wd selector switch on Amazon for 30 bucks as mine was bad. Then I looked for the ATC (automatic transfer case) fuse but couldn't find it I then found ETC fuse (electronic transfer case) pulled it and sure enough it was blown. Replaced it got iny truck started it up and all my lights were back on (on the 4wd selector switch) I found I was in 4hi. Put truck in neutral Pushed 2hi and bam it changed then tried all settings out works like it used to good luck
  • ghostrider_songhostrider_son Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I have a 2008 Gmc sierra 1500. My 4 wheel indicator keeps activating while I'm driving. It is quickly followed by a grinding noise that sounds as if my truck is trying to engage the 4 wheel. I stop and place my tuck into 4 wheel and out (using the manual lever on the floor of my truck) then the noise stops but the light stays lite. I've checked my fluids and can't seem to figure out why its doing this. Any help would be greatly appreciated before I start tearing into things.
  • nomechanmannomechanman Member Posts: 1
    I took my 2000 Silverado Z71 to get my brake lines replace because they rusted and broke while I was driving. Anyway it looks like they change my master cylinder too, and it looks smaller than the one I had, is this ok
  • thomas0591thomas0591 Member Posts: 1
    I have a problem with a 2000 Chevy Silverado 2500 6.0l . The service 4wd light came on so I hooked up my scanner to it and it gave a code C0323 after I had replaced the encoder motor. I have been searching for a wiring problem but have yet to find one. it will not shift into any gear. How can I tell if my shift module is bad?? or could it be another problem?
  • fastjumperfastjumper Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Chevy Silverado 4x4 and the front tires seem like they are hoping when I'm turning. This is happening while it's in 2wd. I've taken it to several mechanics and they have no idea why this is happening. I did get the service 4wd alert a couple times before, but it never stayed on. I've had the front end aligned. I am at a loss right now and have no idea what to do at this point. 
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