Question about Chevrolet Silverado 1500

1 Answer

1996 truck. 4wd light comes on sometimes but front axle doesnt lock in

Posted by on

  • hannahleah07 Jul 31, 2008

    when i put my truck into 4WD the light comes on and there is a grinding noise and a vibration in the shifter i suspect the hubs arnt locking together but it comes and goes



1 Answer

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points


    An expert that got 10 achievements.


    An expert that got 5 achievements.

    Vice President:

    An expert whose answer got voted for 100 times.

  • Master
  • 321 Answers

On the front axle is an electronic solenoid that plunges in or out to engage or disengage the front drive axle for 4x4 operation.There is also a corresponding switch on the transfer case.I would replace the switch and the front axle solenoid.Over the years,i have applied this repair to dozens of Chevy trucks with successful results.There is also a GM Technical Service Bulletin on the transfer case switch,as it has been known to accidentally command the front axle into 4x4 mode at interstate speeds and completely wipe out the front axle.Good luck.

Posted on Jul 19, 2008


1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

a 6ya Mechanic can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repair professionals here in the US.
click here to Talk to a Mechanic (only for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017


Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

I have a 97 blazer 4wd i repalced vaccum switch all vaccum lines and made sure actuator cable was good lights come on like im in 4wd but diff doesnt lock in and actuator not getting vaccum

The vacuum actuator should move by hand without vacuum applied. You should also be able to see it move if you have someone switch the transfer case into 4hi/lo from 2wd and then back again. There is a vacuum switch on top of the transfer case that locks vacuum once the encoder motor engages the transfer case to lock the front axle into position, and then releases the vacuum once the encoder switches back into 2wd mode allowing the front axle to decouple. If you aren't getting vacuum, first check your vacuum lines for leaks, then check for vacuum coming from the transfer case when it's in 2wd mode.

May 07, 2014 | 1997 Chevrolet Blazer

1 Answer


old post
4wd is only for, offroad, and ice on pavement only
its called part time 4wd, for that reason
its not AWD,
ever on any pre 2004 suzuki or tracker.
and causes damage

4wd means front axle is locked, if not,that means you are not in 4wd . (makes since right?)
with auto or manual front locking hubs.

Mar 22, 2014 | 1996 Geo Tracker 2 Door

1 Answer

I got a 1997 gmc jimmy 4wd my 4wd doesnt engage the front diff but it engages the ****** for low range ive checked my actuator pump and its moving but now i have a rattling noise in my front drivers side...

It would appear you have a failed CV shaft on your drivers side front. If the axle is jumping around, that means the 4wd is engaged, but the front wheels can't pull because the one axle is just freewheeling. Replace that left axle and you should be good to go. Might want to check the cv boots on the right side axle while you are there.

Aug 22, 2011 | GMC Jimmy Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

My 4wd doesnt lock the front drive axle. What can I do to get it to lock into 4wd? When I put the gear into 4x4 the light comes on but it still doesnt work. Please help

Hi Kamakaroots,

Being an older 4x4 you will need to manually engage the hubs aswell as move the shifter into 4x4.
To engage the hubs you will need to turn the switches on the hub/rim's themselves.


May 08, 2011 | 1988 Nissan Pathfinder

2 Answers

I have a 96 chevy 4x4 and my front wheels aren't pulling. i replaced the acuator and still nothing. 4x4 light flashes in 4L and 4H. what could be the problem. is there auto locking hubs on that model...

no there is no auto locking hubs. 96 chevys have a ifs (independent front suspension) this give it more ground clearance but does not have lock out hubs, the cv axles go into the front differential an spin freely until you put it in 4wd, how this works is your transfercase spins the drive shaft that goes into the front differential an while you put it in 4wd it sends power to the actuator to lock the front differential. if your front end isnt pulling you either popped your 1 of your cv axles but if you did this you would know because it makes a very loud thunking noise while you're driving, my guess is you have a short thats not sending power to the actuator. check to see if the wiring harnesses are connected and check if the fuse that operates the 4wd in the cab of the truck is not blown. also actuators for these trucks are horrible they go out alot. also you can try reversing a few feet putting your truck in neutral an then try putting it in 4wd

Feb 11, 2011 | 1996 Chevrolet K1500

2 Answers

Cant tell if my front axles are locking in . the light on the dashboard works . the transfer case locks in its a 1996 ford explorer xlt

considering its winter the best way is to put some thing in front of front tires and try to move forwards if you cant put it in 4 wheel mode and then try it. if you climb over then axles are engaged.

Jan 07, 2010 | 1996 Ford Explorer

2 Answers

My automatic 96 isuzu rodeo no longer engages in 4x4 when I shift it in. The light use to flicker when I would shift and it would sometimes engage 4x4. Now the light doesnt come on at all and 4 wheel drive...

Hahahaha!... Seriously....!?!?! First off don't try to use a scan tool. The 4WD system isn't integrated into the OBD system. You won't get any codes related to 4WD.

Most likely the problem is defective shift solenoids. There are two shift solenoids which control the engagement and disengagement of the 4WD (locking the front axle gear into the the driveshaft input). These solenoids are located on the front axle. They have their own small skid plate. One is blue, and one is gray. One controls engagement, and one controls disengagement. One is a normally closed electrically controlled vacuum solenoid, and one is a normally open electrically controlled vacuum solenoid.

I'm not blindly recommending changing these, but usually one of these are the culprit of the problems you described. I'm even more confident in those being the problem due to your explanation of the the intermittent problems. At any rate test first.

The other components of the 4WD system are the vacuum lines and the actuator which is also located on the front axle and covered by the forementioned small skidplate. Moderate to serious rock-involved off-roading with a stock suspension usually results in this component being damaged.

Nov 30, 2009 | 1996 Isuzu Rodeo

4 Answers

4wd switches blinking and wont engage

the 4 wheel drive switch is an extremely high failure part. i would replace it and you should be ok! hope this info helps!

Sep 22, 2009 | 1996 Chevrolet K1500

1 Answer

4x4 want enage light doesnt come on

There is a vacuum switch on the transfer case that goes bad. Check to see if you have vacuum to the actuator for the front axle when it is engaged. The actuator is located on the right fender area under the battery I think. Check the hose also.

Dec 10, 2008 | 1996 Chevrolet Blazer

Not finding what you are looking for?
Cars & Trucks Logo

Related Topics:

442 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Chevrolet Experts


Level 3 Expert

77499 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22306 Answers

Ronny Bennett Sr.
Ronny Bennett Sr.

Level 3 Expert

6927 Answers

Are you a Chevrolet Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides