Question about 2001 Oldsmobile Bravada

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Tha AWD jumps and jerks in a tight turn (forward or reverse). I have changed the tansfer case fluid 3 times. Could it be the 4wd actuator? If so, where is it located on this vehicle?

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  • gmattick1 Jun 25, 2009

    It is an AWD car, 2001 olds bravada. It didn't do this during the first 80k miles. In the last 20k, it just continues to get worse.

  • gmattick1 Jun 26, 2009

    No new tires. They are at least 12 months old.

  • gmattick1 Jun 26, 2009

    No. Tires are at least 18 months old.

  • mike loshbough
    mike loshbough May 11, 2010

    have you put on different tires recently ?



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This is a common problem in older 4WD vehicles. They had locking hubs and the transfer case linked the whole drive train, front and rear wheels all together.

This was great for forward motion. It was also great for maneuvering off road. It was a problem on dry pavement if you tried to make tight turns.

When turning, the wheels on the outside of the turn have to travel farther than those on the inside. The tighter the turn is, the more pronounced the difference is.

On 2WD vehicles, the wheels spin independently. It's not an issue.

However if the drive train is locked, tremendous stress is put on it trying to turn the wheels the same amount while traveling different distances.

That j erking is one of the wheels letting go of the pavement and catching up with the other.

This 'binding' can cause radial stress fractures anywhere in the drive line. The weakest link will eventually let go.

See that giant Blazer in my avatar? It had a few weak links I could tell you about.

Anyway, AWD's are supposed to have clutches built in to prevent this from occurring.

If they aren't functioning properly, if the fluid levels are nominal, you really need to get it looked at by a pro.

I hope I've provided you some insight as to what is happening. I hope you find it to be very helpful.

Best regards


Posted on Oct 11, 2009

  • Justin Case
    Justin Case Oct 11, 2009

    Another 20 minutes of my life that I'll never get back.

    I didn't realize this was an old question. I was modding, saw the response of a newbie racking up freebie points and tried to help out.


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The 4 wheel drive transfer case has plastic pieces in it that breakdown over time. This extra junk in the transfer case causes the car to be in 4 wheel drive all the time and makes the car have posi-traction too. So when you go around corners (especially in painted parking lots) the outside tire has to go farther than the inside tire and it skips backward, because the tires are "locked" together. (Watch "My Cousin Vinny" for a better explanation.)

I have read that removing the transfer case, and thoroughly cleaning all of the loose debris out of it and re-installing it fixes the problem. Do not forget to replace the gear oil in the case.

Posted on Oct 11, 2009

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It is the fluid in your tranfer case!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the clutches in your case are binding and need the fluid replaced to help re-lube them
you need to use AutoTrak II fluid from the dealer.

Posted on Jul 15, 2009

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Can the 4wd settings be changed? it's commmon on a 4wd car to **** or jump on a tight turn. instead on the rear tires just pivoting they are trying to move forward. if it has an auto mode or a 2wd mode it might stop jerking. or don't turn so tightly. it's going to wear down the edges of your tires.

Posted on Jun 25, 2009

  • Aaron Murchison
    Aaron Murchison Jun 25, 2009

    I'd guess the transfer case is locked to transfer power to all wheels. if there is no switch it must have a controller to transfer the torque front front to back. check for a connector on the transfer case itself.

    could be as simple as corroded or loose connection. or it could be the computer or controler for the transfer case is faulty. you'll probably have to wait for a GM tech with a little more experience with this model.


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Keep in mind that the part-time 4WD systems like I have (with 4LO as an option in the transfer case) have a front axle disconnect actuator plus the transfer case. But full-time AWD systems like you have use the transfer case only to send or not send torque to the front axle. You don't have a front axle actuator.

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