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4x4 Wont Engage

4x4 Wont Engage

Postby KansasDude25 [OP] » Nov 10 2019, 1:18am

So, few months ago, whenever I would go to engage the 4wd, I'd get a "service 4wd system" alert. So, I replaced the actuator and all was well until just today. I tried to engage it today and now it won't engage and it's giving me the same alert message as before. So, the actuator is new. What else could it be?
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Re: 4x4 Wont Engage

Postby donkeyfarmer » Nov 10 2019, 12:21pm

Have you checked the level and condition of the transfer case fluid?
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Re: 4x4 Wont Engage

Postby KansasDude25 [OP] » Nov 10 2019, 5:04pm

donkeyfarmer wrote:Have you checked the level and condition of the transfer case fluid?

I have not. Only have had the truck since June and haven't gotten to that point yet. All I've done is an oil change.

It actually started to work again. It's doing the same thing it was doing. Just working when it wants to.
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Re: 4x4 Wont Engage

Postby esox07 » Nov 10 2019, 5:51pm

If you are like a lot of people who only use 4x4 a few times a year or only during the winter, you should engage it and drive at least once a month even if you don't need it to keep everything free and working.

But, if you haven't even checked the fluid level yet, I would get under the truck and do that ASAP along with the front and rear differentials, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, etc......

And since you probably don't know the history of the truck, you should probably just plan on changing out all the fluids as soon as is practical.
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Re: 4x4 Wont Engage

Postby KansasDude25 [OP] » Nov 10 2019, 5:55pm

esox07 wrote:If you are like a lot of people who only use 4x4 a few times a year or only during the winter, you should engage it and drive at least once a month even if you don't need it to keep everything free and working.

But, if you haven't even checked the fluid level yet, I would get under the truck and do that ASAP along with the front and rear differentials, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, etc......


Yeah I do need to. Im doing an oil change today actually. But I've checked the PS fluid and coolant and they're fine. I do want to get the tranny fluid changed sometime soon though.

But can low fluid level cause the 4wd to not engage? My initial thought was it's more of an electric deal. But I could be wrong. This is my first Chevy but I always thought they had more electrical issues than most?
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Re: 4x4 Wont Engage

Postby esox07 » Nov 10 2019, 5:59pm

To be honest, I don't know if low fluid would cause it not to engage, but gummed up fluid might. And if you drain it and find metal chunks, then you know where your problem lies. How many miles are on it? I have a feeling none of those fluids have ever been changed on it it before.
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Re: 4x4 Wont Engage

Postby KansasDude25 [OP] » Nov 10 2019, 6:05pm

esox07 wrote:To be honest, I don't know if low fluid would cause it not to engage, but gummed up fluid might. And if you drain it and find metal chunks, then you know where your problem lies. How many miles are on it? I have a feeling none of those fluids have ever been changed on it it before.


I bought it with 148,000 and I have 158,000 now.
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Re: 4x4 Wont Engage

Postby esox07 » Nov 10 2019, 6:08pm

Well, I would change out all the fluids, but be careful with the transmission fluid. If it is dark colored and smells bad, then you may not want to swap it out or may just want to do a pan drop and change out only part of it. All of the fluids "Should" have been changed out by 100k at a minimum.
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Re: 4x4 Wont Engage

Postby KansasDude25 [OP] » Nov 10 2019, 6:40pm

esox07 wrote:Well, I would change out all the fluids, but be careful with the transmission fluid. If it is dark colored and smells bad, then you may not want to swap it out or may just want to do a pan drop and change out only part of it. All of the fluids "Should" have been changed out by 100k at a minimum.


Yeah I plan too. The guy I bought it from though still had the window sticker and he seemed like he took care of it. But I didn't ask about his scheduled maintenance
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Re: 4x4 Wont Engage

Postby donkeyfarmer » Nov 10 2019, 8:19pm

The reason I suggested check transfer fluid changing, is that when I went to change it in my high mileage 2006 Silverado 1500 LS 4x4, less than a quart of very dark fluid drained out. That transfer case is supposed to have 2 quarts in it! I didn't see any sign of a fluid leak, so I expect this ancient fluid was just getting used up somehow. Before the change, the truck would go into 4H okay, but seemed to have a little trouble going into or staying in 4L. The transfer case was also a bit noisy driving at any speed at all in 4H. I've topped off the front differential, too, which was also low, but plan to change that fluid next. Going with full-synthetic in the new fluids. Rear differential and tranny will follow not long after.
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