Chevrolet TrailBlazer 4WD Problems

aim4587aim4587 Member Posts: 2
edited August 2015 in Chevrolet
I've had a problem the the 4WD Service light commiing on and not being able to engage. This normally happens in the morning when its really cold pretty sure it was -5 both times. After going to the dealer they said it came up with multiple codes from replace 4WD Selector Switch, to replacing the actuator, to not communicating with the ECM. After letting the truck warm up and shut it off than start it again the problem cleared and worked properly again. They cleared the computer and told me to come back in a week to narrow down the codes. So maybe if anyone has had a similiar problem if you could let me know. Thanks all

See Also
GM 4WD Warning Light Issues


  • 04ltguyandgirl04ltguyandgirl Member Posts: 15
    i have the same problem. i own a 2004 tb LT 4X4

    however i live in calif and it doesnt get below 30degrees

    its the selector switch.
  • dougrsmithdougrsmith Member Posts: 7
    I've had similar problems this winter when the temperatures are below 20 or so. If I try to engage A4WD or 4HI when I first get going, it will not engage and generates the service light. After the car (and drive train) are warm, it will engage without a problem. After the car is turned off and back on, the service light clears.
  • rabbitzrabbitz Member Posts: 4
    I have 06 ChevyTrailblazer and it is currently at the dealership for some 4 wheel drive issues. I had the veh in 4 high and noticed the traction wasn't quite there but chalked it up to some icy spots. The next morning I could not get enough grip to get out of my driveway. Based on the switch the veh was still in 4 high. I switched it from 4 high to auto to 2 wheel and then back to 4 high when it finally seemed to catch. Drove to work with no problem and when I went home I went to switch it out of 4 wheel to auto and the light just blinked and would not catch so I put it back on 4 high when the service light came on. I took it immediately to the dealer and 3 days later we still have no resolve.
    So far we have replaced the Transfer module and in reading some of the posts I would have thought that to be where the problem lies as it was very similar in description. The dealer advised that the code did in fact show this to be the issue, however a new transfer module has not fixed it.
    We have also replaced the 4 wheel drive module. I could find nothing in the posts on this so not sure about that detail.
    I thought I would throw this issue out here to see if anyone has suggestions into where else the problem could be.
    Now I am curious as to how long this may have been a problem. I just put 4 brand new tires on it at 40k miles due to wearing in middle which I feel was a bit early to have to do. I wonder if the 4 wheel drive could have been slipping in and out and went unnoticed causing the tire wear.
    Any thoughts or ideas are appreciated.

  • aim4587aim4587 Member Posts: 2
    Talking to some people in similar temperatures was told it may have to do with the weight of the oil used in the transfercase not very familiar which oil can and cant be used or if there is a cold weather oil. Would think it has to be thinner if anyone knows anything about this please let me know.... Oh and dougrsmith im having exactly the same problem to a tee.
  • klulingkluling Member Posts: 1
    were exactly is the transfer case actuator
  • rocksiderockside Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I have a 2006 Trailblazer (Extended) with 4 Wheel Drive. It works great in 2WD or 4 Wheel High. However, when I set it to "Auto" and I drive up a hill, something seems to "Slip" / "Clunk" about every 3 seconds. I took it to the dealer and they "could not find anything wrong" and asked if I was driving on Ice or in wet conditions. I have tested it in completely dry conditions and it always portrays the same symptoms when driving up a hill. What is likely the issue? Is this normal? I never noticed it until this year, and we live in a snowey area, so have often driven in "Auto" since we had the car.
  • jcgr23jcgr23 Member Posts: 1
    Hi everybody,

    I have a 2008 Trailblazer 4X4 (2 moth old) but I am a little disappointed about the 4X4 feature of this car. When I select the 4hi or 4low in off-road conditions, it seems that while driving I can't turn the steering wheel to the left or to the right more than certain angle because the car can not move freely; I feel that the car is braked and with some stress in the front axle. Is this normal???. I owned a Blazer 4x4 1999 and this did not happen while using the 4x4 feature.
    Also, sometimes the engine is too noisy due to the cooling fan. The engine losses power and the fuel consumption increases. Now this situation is more frequent and it seems that the cooling fan is engaged at all time. I understand that the cooling fan in this car is not electrical (it is mechanical) and is engaged only when engine is hot enough but the cooling fan is engaged even when the engine is cool.
    I just want to know more about this problem to be well informed prior going to the technical service for the guarantee...You all must know how that people are when talking about guarantee!!!!!
  • mfarrarmfarrar Member Posts: 1
    The problem with turning the vehicle is because the 4 wheel drive is working correctly. When you select 4H or 4L it locks the rear axle. This mean that it makes the rear tires spin at the same speed and as one. In normal 2wd operation the tires spin freely of each other. When you turn to the right the wheel on the driver side has to spin faster to keep in sync with the inside tire on the right.

    But when you are in the snow, or on ice the tires wont spin at once. One will spin while the other just sits there.

    I would not suggest using 4 low unless your trying to go up a very steep hill or trying to climb a mountain. And i would only use 4H if it was very muddy or if AWD wasn't cutting it in the snow or ice.

    You can really hurt your axles by driving around in 4H if the terrain isn't loose enough for the tires to slide on. Stick with AWD or 2H.
  • pipexpipex Member Posts: 14
    My 2002 has a problem that still exists after 19 trips to the dealer. It has 58,ooo kms. on it only.

    I leave it set on 2WD and at times all other lites on the selector flash or stay on etc. It shifts into 4High and when I slow down it goes into 4Low by itself.

    Anyone else have issues like that.
  • _Schoony__Schoony_ Member Posts: 1
    I had a similar problem with my '02 Trailblazer. After about half a dozen trips to my dealer, they found that a few ball bearings had come loose in my transmission.
  • jay135jay135 Member Posts: 1
    HI everyone names J.
    Anyway i've got the same problem with the transfer case control mudule thats what the code says. The dealer told me that might not fix the problem but 100 an hour they can "look" at it.
    MIne is a 2002 with over 100k. My mechanic had to take the fuses out and put back in to wake it up now i've got the service light so its communicating with itsself but inoperable.
    Does anyone know if this is a recall issue? Or were to find a complete list of recalls for these trucks that would be great.

  • jr007jr007 Member Posts: 1

    So let me guess this right, When it brakes as your turning its normal? I have A 02 4X4, and it does the same thing that the jcr23 says, the only diference is that i emediately stop because i felt like something was going brake I stop put it on neutral and swith the knob back to the 2hi. So its ok to give it more gas to continue when its on 4hi and it brakes when you turn?? I'm new to this 4x4 thing.. thanks
  • jofus1jofus1 Member Posts: 1
    Hello all....I have a 2002 Trailblazer and just recently none of the lights on the dash switch that indicates whether or not Im in 2W or 4W are working. According to the weather we have had here as of late the truck is obviously stuck in 2WD so it is usless unless iys a bright day and no chance of precip. Any ideas appreciated.
  • previousamigopreviousamigo Member Posts: 130
    The dealership has replace the 4WD dash switch on my 2002 Trailblazer at least twice over the years for the same situation but my new mechanic just reprogramed the computer which fixed it. Do a search on this because it happens alot to the Trailblazers. Reprogramming is much cheaper than a new switch ($80 vs. $140) and so is a good trusted mechanic vs. dealership...
  • johntrjohntr Member Posts: 71
    I have a 2002 and I have a problem 95% when I switch to A4WD. I don't know if the drive doesn't disengage when it feels like it should. It causes the Service 4WD light to come on and doesn't engage the 4WD when I switch to it. I have to shut off the vehicle and it resets. I can then switch to the 4WD and 2WD when needed. I had it at the dealer while it was under warranty but since it could not be reproduced on demand, it could not be resolved. Last year, the dealership found an issue with the 4WD and fixed it. Something about a yoke fork broken. It seemed to make it better, but it happened last weekend when I needed. I resolved myself to not use the A4WD at all as I never know when it will decide to act up. All other modes have always worked when switched into directly.

    Hope this helps.
  • cnw1cnw1 Member Posts: 1
    4WD selector switch not coming on, no 4WD any ideas or anyone had this problem?
  • dendaddendad Member Posts: 4
    My 2002 TBLZR has had intermittant problems over the years. It has automatically switched to 4WD hi & lo very intermitantly usually after pullling off the hwy. 4 times in the years the service 4wd lite came on and then went off. I have hrdly ever used the 4WD. I bought it just for winter trips to the mountains & never needed it till this year. Well guess what -it failed completely days before my trip!! The lights on the switch wouldn't come on & nothing wouold engage. My mechanic replaced the switch - the lites now come on but no 4WD. He replaced the contol module & reprogrammed it. Still nothing. He replaced some berings and said it was trying to go into 4WD but wouldn't. I had to leave town & drive 800 miles to N.C. on 2WD. It now makes strange knocking noises when turning going slow. I'm supposed to take it back for further service when I return. Any help will be appreciated.
  • waa3waa3 Member Posts: 1
    My battery died and when I replaced it my 4x4 selector switch had no lights,4x4 wouldn't engage,and service 4x4 light was on.Garage said I had these codes CO550,BO780,U1301 can't locate what these codes mean any segestions
  • dooper67dooper67 Member Posts: 26
    My 2004 T/B LS 4wd service light came on "just in time for winter". Dealer diagnosed this as some motor that is used in the 4wd system had failed and of course needs to be replaced for $600. The service light comes and goes and if I try the 4All and 4Hi, it kind of bogs down , rumbles and ends with a thud when I shut the 4wd off. Obviously something is wrong. Since I rarely need or use the 4wd I don't want to spend the money on this. I was wondering if the 4LO will still work since it has a much different method of engaging. I've never tried 4LO. Is this an option if I really need it? Thanks!
  • dendaddendad Member Posts: 4
    That's my problem - just in time for a N.C. Mountain trip. I just picked up the car. The switch and computer were both bad. Seems that where the computer is located, if there is a windsheild leak it can be ruined. That was a start. Next the transfer case had a bunch of bad bearings, race and yoke and one new axel. Total bill was $1600. It is the first repair on the car since I bought it. 135000 miles. I never checked to see if it was working till a week before my trip - murphy's law took place. Anyone know how often to put plugs in? I got 19.9 MPG average for an 1800 mile trip.
  • 68rrunner68rrunner Member Posts: 1
    Hi...when I switch my Trailblazer in the Auto mode, it appears to just drop into 4WD. As I turn on pavement, it clunks just as it would as if I had put it into 4WD. As I was going down the highway last night, it felt as if the brakes were on and the vehicle was holding back. I had it in the shop last week for this same problem, and they couldn't duplicate it. When I took it home, there was no problem, but last night I had the problem again. Has anybody else experienced this problem and what was the solution?
  • dendaddendad Member Posts: 4
    68runner That is on of the many intermittant problems I had with my 2002 trailblazer. See my threads (dendad). I don't know if mine has been fixed with all the items replaced.
    Time will tell. Right now I have a new problem. In 4WD I get a whine when slowing down to a stop.
  • cpetruccellicpetruccelli Member Posts: 1
    I have been having problems with the front end of my trailblazer. When I make a right turn it feels as though the truck wants to stop, when I start to slow down and apply the brakes it feels as though I am going over a speed bump and I just heard a banging noise in the front end. The truck only has 37,000 miles and the oil is changed every 3,000 miles. What do you all think this could be and should I take out a 2nd mortgage to pay for the repair. Thanks for your help.
    Claud :cry:
  • burdawgburdawg Member Posts: 1,524
    Is it 4 wheel drive?
  • bigsoup1bigsoup1 Member Posts: 1
    My 2003 Trailblazer attempts to engage 4AWD without me changing the selector switch. The vehicle bucks severely in the process. I have to pull over and shift into Park before I can get back on the road. The ride will be OK for a while, however it won't be long until the problem returns. The A4WD light blinks, while the the 2HI light remains lit. Any ideas?
  • dendaddendad Member Posts: 4
    It's probably the 4WD computer which is under the RH windshield. Either it needs reprogramming or water has leaked into it from the windsheild. That happened to mine and it was replaced. But now I don't have AWD. It actually goes into 4 wheel high instead of AWD. Thes Trailblazer's 4WD seem to all have similiar problems.. So far mine has not been fixed.
  • vtxmanvvtxmanv Member Posts: 2
    So I have read thru these threads and still come up with the question what is the solution to this problem with the 4 wheel not engaging? What should I believe? Your answer seems simple and cost effective since I am experiencing the same symptoms as the other bloggers. Did re-setting this work for you long term? Thanks. Jim
  • previousamigopreviousamigo Member Posts: 130
    My Trailblazer is over 8 years old (purchased Dec. 2001) and has 100,000 miles. The computer reprogram fix done by the local mechanic is still working (about 6 months now). Over the years the 4X4 switch has acted up about a handful of times (switching light on its own or just no lights and not working). The dealership has always "said" they replaced the switch but this was the first time I took it to the local mechanic and they said the computer needed reprogramming and it was fixed. I'm the furthest from a mechanic but it's worth a shot if you know a trustworthy mechanic.

    I'll post when/if the 4X4 switch goes out again (or if I sell it for something more fuel efficient in the next couple years). It is still in excellent condition and I try to keep new vehicles at least 10 years
  • vtxmanvvtxmanv Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info. I guess I will look for a mechanic that will reset my computer. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again
  • kmcneishkmcneish Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2005 Chevy Trailblazer. I don't really drive it around that much. But when I hooked it up to my trailer and went to pull out the tires started to spin so I put it in 4hi and waited for the light to flash the tires were still spinning. So then I tried 4lo and it still did the same thing. So I finally unhooked the trailer and and tried it in 4lo again and the tires were still spinning. I had to finally get out my truck to get it out of the dirt. After it was out I drove it up the road for a while and retried the whole thing over again and it finally worked. Has anybody else had the same problem?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    edited April 2010
    I am from GM Customer Service. I would recommend taking your vehicle to a dealership to have the 4 wheel drive concern diagnosed. That way you know what is going on with the vehicle. I can locate a dealership in your area if you like. I will need your zip code in order to do that. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • ibnahooibnahoo Member Posts: 4
    I got cought in fine sand driving my T/B LT 05, every time I try to get it out, it gets deeper in the sand... I let one of my friends to try driving it out while I was outside helping to remove the sand away from the rear wheels... in the 4LO only one wheel was spinning... the other three were not... obviously the differencial gear puts all the tourque on the free moving wheel... was that normal to happen? cause I understands that 4LO should put the high torque equally on the 4 wheels whether its free moving or not... please advise .
  • burdawgburdawg Member Posts: 1,524
    I assume you don't have rear limited slip. In that case only one wheel in the back would spin, one wheel on the front axle would spin under certain conditions. 4wd is really a misnomer as I understand it, power is really only transferred to one wheel front and back (unless you have locking differentials). The best thing to have done is to let the tire pressures down to 15psi or so to increase the traction and dig out all four wheels to make the transition easier.
  • ibnahooibnahoo Member Posts: 4
    Thank you John for the reply. This morning I had a similar experience and it seems that I can only use the 4WD for road stability when conditions are not right... in fact it is great pain offroads while it shouldn't... if differential gear would only spin the free moving wheel and not the loaded ones, so what is the great use then? waste....
  • rayk7rayk7 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 trailblazer with 98000 miles. Just recently i've had the following issues come up. The passenger side front window will not go up. I think the button is stuck in the down position. The check ABS light went on a couple of days ago and now the service 4 wheel drive light went on today. Are these issues common for this vehicle and does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks
  • janice56janice56 Member Posts: 1
    i have taken mine to the dealership numerous times for 4 wheel drive problems and it still is not fixed. the four wheel drive has never worked properly! i had to pay extra to get 4 wheel drive on the vehicle and now have to continue to spend money on it and it never works when i need it! i am so frustrated i would rip it out if i could!
  • dooper67dooper67 Member Posts: 26
    As posted above (2 years ago), my4wd service light came on and would start jerking and running rough. I didn't fix as I could deal with the 2wd, but now that the TB is used by my daughter, I finally had my dealer fix the problem. The dealer diagnosed and replace encoder motor/actuator ($566.46) acouple of weeks ago. Well, it finally snowed and it worked for a day. It's jerking again in 4 Hi and 4awd and it is difficult to get back to 2wd after turning the switch back, but after while, it went back to 2wd. Plan to take back to dealer next week. Hope they can fix it this time. If anyone has an idea (including GM) I would appreciate it.
  • lizzard1988lizzard1988 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 trialblazer...we rarely use the 4x4 but just a few days ago we got some good snow and used the 4wd and all of the sudden I heard some sounds like if some gears were hitting with rocks!!
  • jjoe313jjoe313 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 03 tb ltz and when I put it in 4wd and start picking up speed my car starts to sh ?ake can someone help plz
  • wowitsvalwowitsval Member Posts: 1
    Was wondering if you had ever got your issue resolved. I've used 4wd a few more times than others and for about 4 months now it's been jerking and in the last two weeks 4wd service has came on. I've had my truck now almost 4 years and have put a lot of miles on it. Just wondering what solved your issue. I want to take it in to the dealer soon...
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Member Posts: 1,964
    Good morning wowitsval,

    Keep us posted on how your dealership visit goes if you do go in. We're available to follow up with them or look into the situation further if you like and can be reached at [email protected] (include your name, contact information, and the last 8 digits of your VIN along with any further details).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • ibnahooibnahoo Member Posts: 4
    In my temp goes above 40 most of the time... I checked with the service centre and they replaced the circuit controller (processor) was malfunctioning for a different reason... now its OK... Good luck
  • ibnahooibnahoo Member Posts: 4
    Thank you for the follow up... I got my car serviced lately for electrical control malfunction... replaced controller and now it is OK.... many thanks
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Member Posts: 1,964
    Glad to hear it, ibnahoo! Thank you for the update!

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • joe417joe417 Member Posts: 1
    Hi, i have an o4 trilblazer that had a cracked transfer case np8, I replaced it with a used one, it came complete with shift motor and all sensors. When i switch it in to any mode awd, 4 wheel high or 4 wheel low. the light flashes on what i selected but then goes off, and the light on 2 wheel high stays on the whole time. The 4 wheel drive never engages.
  • gmtech4955gmtech4955 Member Posts: 1
    same problem here replaced t case and ended up replacing 4wd tccm" control module". the module caused the t case failure
  • kaya2kaya2 Member Posts: 1
    I would like to know why GM hasn't issued a recall for all the 4wd problems I'm seeing on this site. I just had to "invest" over $5K to rebuild my 4wd transmission on my '06 TB. When will GM admit that there is a serious problem with their TB 4wd transmission and fix the problem!
  • afarneyafarney Member Posts: 2

    @rockside said:
    Hi, I have a 2006 Trailblazer (Extended) with 4 Wheel Drive. It works great in 2WD or 4 Wheel High. However, when I set it to "Auto" and I drive up a hill, something seems to "Slip" / "Clunk" about every 3 seconds. I took it to the dealer and they "could not find anything wrong" and asked if I was driving on Ice or in wet conditions. I have tested it in completely dry conditions and it always portrays the same symptoms when driving up a hill. What is likely the issue? Is this normal? I never noticed it until this year, and we live in a snowey area, so have often driven in "Auto" since we had the car.

  • afarneyafarney Member Posts: 2

    I have the same issue with my 2006 Trailblazer. Did you get it fixed? What was wrong with it? I'm going to get the transfer case fluid changed. My mechanic suggested that since it has almost 90,000 miles on it. Not guaranteed to fix the problem but it should be done. I hope it does, because I like my auto 4×4 . Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • kll1968kll1968 Member Posts: 1
    edited September 2015
    I have a 2005 chevy trailblazer the problem I'm having is it will jump from 2wd to either 4hi or 4lo without me switching it doesn't matter what temp is happening alot lately it also causes truck to stall anyone else with this issue also feels like someone has rear ended me it jerks very hard
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