Question about 2004 Chevrolet Suburban

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How do I shift into 4WD on my Suburban which is otherwise auto shift.

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There should be a "stack" of buttons to the left of the sterring column on the instrument panel. They should be labeled something like 2H, 4H, 4L, and another for full time AWD. You need to push the desired button for the mode you are looking for. If you are in the full time mode the truck will operate in 2WD until it senses slipping and then will automatically distribute power to all 4 wheels. Some trucks, such as LS models, are not equipped with the full time mode so you'd need to push the 2H button to come out of 4WD.

I can't remember the exact insignia ont he buttons because my Tahoe is not here for me to look at. But you should notice the buttons right away. The GM's of that year did not use a lever to go to 4WD it was all push button.

Posted on Nov 14, 2009

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Chevrolet suburban LT 1500 LT won't disengage from four-wheel-drive


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1 Answer

I have a 98 GMC Suburban K2500 3/4 ton 5.7 engine, Auto, 4wd (Push Button) The Transfer case has just had a complete rebuild. I have installed a new dash switch for the 4WD, & also a new Contr


The selector drive mtor mounted on the transfer case had alot of problems with water getting into the circuit board and also the mtoro drive getting stuck. At the dealership I have replaced hundreds of these over the years.

Nov 30, 2014 | 1998 GMC Suburban

1 Answer

How can I put the suburban into 4x4


I have a 1994 4x4 Suburban. In mine, there's a stick on the hump in the floor, and I'm sure this is the case with yours too. This year model does not require that you get out and lock your wheel hubs. There are labels that are supposed to light up to tell you if you're in 2wd, 4wdHigh, or 2wdLow, but mine don't seem to work. If it's dark out and I can't see the labels, I just have to remember that 4wd High is all the way towards me, 4wd Low is all the way forward, and 2wd in sort of in the middle (but closer to me than the actual middle).

To shift into 4wd High (which is what you'll use for most purposes, like driving in bad weather), just pull that stick back towards you in one swift motion. You can do this while you're parked or while driving forward down the highway.

To shift back out of 4wd High and into 2wd, just push that stick forward a little bit, to where it was before.

To shift into 4wd Low (which is what you'll use only for extreme conditions, like off-road mudding or getting out of your driveway in super deep snow), you have to be stopped. You can NOT just shift into 4wd Low while you're going down the road. First, put it into Neutral (with the shifter on the steering column), Then push that stick on the floor all the way forward. Mine is hard to push, so I use my foot.

To shift back into 2wd from 4wd Low, you need to be stopped and in Neutral also. Pull the stick back towards you to the same position it was in before. (Not all the way towards you, or you'll be in 4wd High instead of 2wd.)

Hope that helps.

Feb 15, 2014 | 1994 Chevrolet Suburban

1 Answer

1998 Chevy Suburban - service 4wd light comes on after running 4x4 for 2 mins


Well it could be the selector switch, but I doubt it.
Generally, the service light means something is not working that the computer controls. Solenoids and valves are a couple of possibilities.
The transfer case is shifted by solenoids commanded by the body computer based on the switch position on the dash.
You should be able to have a shop scan the body computer for trouble codes and proceed from there.
A basic code reader may not access the body computer.

Jul 05, 2012 | 1999 GMC Suburban

1 Answer

My 98 suburban won't shift into 4wd, the service 4wd light is on and the lights aren't lit up on the push button shifter


check fuse if good need to check power at switch's possible loose wire behind dash or short

Mar 01, 2010 | 1998 GMC Suburban

1 Answer

I have a 1995 suburban 4WD with a 350 gasoline engine. I can not switch to 4WD. When I try to switch to low and not drag the lever quickly over. Will the scratch sounds. I get no light in the 4WD indicator...


First, make sure the engine is sufficiently warm, at least 80 degrees.
The vehicle should be slowly rolling at about 2 to 5 mph and the transmission should be in NEUTRAL when shifting into 4x4 Low Range. It will grind and/or lockout otherwise. 4x4 High is suitable for snow and ice driving on pavement or gravel roads.

Dec 27, 2009 | 1995 Chevrolet Suburban

1 Answer

01 suburban 4x4 wont work.


On the full size, the front actuator is electric, not vacuum.

When in 4wd mode, a switch on top of the transfer case conducts 12 volts out to the actuator. Wire #50 (brown) is the 12v feed, and it conducts to the light blue wire (#900) to the actuator.
When shifted out of 4wd, the switch opens up and no voltage goes to the actuator.

Check voltage at the connector for the front actuator (at the front differential - it looks like a large bullet that threads into the front diff.) If it has 12 volts, the actuator is the problem. If it does not have 12 volts, check the transfer case switch and the power feed to the transfer case.

I'll assume it is the actuator, if the plug to the actuator is getting 12 volts when in 4wd.
The way this actuator works, is it is a sealed chamber that gets heated by voltage. When it heats, the pin in the end swells and pushes a shift fork in the front differential. The shift fork engages a spline on the passenger side of the differential, and boom! you have 4WD.

GM offered an upgrade to this actuator that is a motor instead of a heated device. However, it requires a small harness addition, a spacer, and a new actuator. It is about a $150 to $200 option.

If I were you, I would buy a new heated actuator. They are available at most auto parts stores, and are about $90. They are also on eBay for about $55 plus shipping. These are very easy to change - just thread out the old one, and thread in a new one.

Good luck, That actuator is usually the problem 90% of time.

Dec 09, 2009 | 2001 Chevrolet Suburban

3 Answers

Will a 1994 chevy 4l80e 4wd swap into a 1995 GMC


Yes they will swap out nicely, the years where they made the change is in 1997 and the only difference is the transmission end housing has a different bolt pattern but has the same internal parts. You may also want to swap out the servo's with a corvette servo. The cost is around $45.00 and can be done without dropping the transmission pan, this will make your transmission shift firmer and will have less clutch slip[ between gear shifts. Good luck and hope this information helps. 

Aug 19, 2009 | 1995 GMC Sierra

2 Answers

Stuck in Lo Range 4WD. Suggestions?


Try key in run position(without starting it) and try to shift it into 4wd high with the shift lever in neutral.

Apr 26, 2009 | Chevrolet Suburban 1500 Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

98 K1500 suburban, can not engage 4wd, HI or Lo runs otherwise


your doing it right but your accuater is bad 59.00 auto zone easy install

Feb 23, 2009 | 1998 Chevrolet Suburban

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