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2004 Chevy Silverado Z71, service 4X4 light comes on......

My "new to me" 2004 Chevy Silverado Z71, service 4X4 light comes on......
Everything seems fine, and when 4X4 operation, seems fine. It has 36,500 miles on it.....I checked with a cheap OBD2 Reader, and it posted no trouble codes at all. I hate to take it in to the dealer!! Can anyone help??
Ric

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  • 8 more comments 
  • o-rod Feb 03, 2008

    Same problem with my 1999 Chevy Silverado Z71. Wondering if the "Service 4X4" light can be reset same as "Oil Change" light? Don't have owner's manual.

  • Anonymous May 08, 2008

    I have the same problem on my 2004 Z71. I replaced the switch in the dash and the code went away for about 2 months and is now back again. I have serviced the transfer case and front diff. and they are good. No noise when the 4 wheel drive is engaged, but will not engage when the service 4wd light is on. I am stumped...

  • warcon May 20, 2008

    I have 2 2005 Z-71s with same "SERVICE 4WD" lights on both have 40+k miles and are out of warranty. One was worked on at dealer and temp fixed...

  • Dargill Jun 19, 2008

    I have GMC Z71 2005 Silerado Same problem "Service 4x4" looking for suggestions.

    darcyh@aci.on.ca



    thanks

  • Anonymous Sep 28, 2008

    I have a 04 silverado and the warning message came up to service the 4wd. the truck as 47000 miles on it.  i have never used the 4wd for more than a couple of minutes.  all the lights on my 2wd to 4wd panel no longer work. what is going on?

  • convextech Oct 09, 2008

    2005 Chevy Silverado Z71 with 80K mi Service 4WD indicator comes on, now noticed seems slightly hesitant from full stop to 1st gear, red light between 2 & 4 (neutral) comes on while driving but once stopped am able to put it in 2WD. Today started truck and none of my amber lights for the automatic 4WD are working.

  • BeBent Oct 12, 2008

    My service 4 whhel drive lights come on also. I have a 2004 Silverado with just about 70,000 miles on it. I can not engage the four wheel drive when the message comes up. There are times when after sitting with the engine off and the key out of the ignition, that it will go back to normal. When it is in trouble, what does the truck default to?

  • Anonymous Nov 25, 2008

    same issue with my 2005

  • razincane Dec 03, 2008

    I have a 2005 1500HD 4x4 that has the same issue. It will shift into another gear while parked after wet, either from dew, rain, carwash etc. It has been found by Chevy dealer to be the actuator, twice. Once replaced at 38K miles and now again at 64K. My last 2003 truck, same style, had the same issues at similar mileage. Thankfully for this one I bought an extended warranty. I have read it could also just be the 4WD switch control in dash that has cracked solder connections.

  • nick dama Jun 17, 2013

    i tried to reset like the oil tonight but it didnt work i have the same issue and mine is the 01 gmc

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I've had this problem twice with my 2004 1500 Silverado Z71, approximately 65000 miles. The first time the Chevy dealer told me the switch was bad, but it always worked when I hit the button. They said it will probably just quit working one day. Well, that one day I was going about 60 mph and it automatically switched into 4 Low. Oops! Luckily nothing broke. The next day they put in a new switch for $150. A few months later the light came on again and I took it in right away. This time it was a bad encoder motor sensor. They replaced this for $350 and also put in a new switch just in case it was bad too.

Posted on Nov 08, 2008

  • Jodi Marshall
    Jodi Marshall Mar 02, 2012

    Encoder motor fixed my "service 4wd" problem as well.

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I have a 2004 chevy silverado 2500 with 103000 mile ( i know that is a lot) but when I first bought the truck in oct 08 a month later it was in the shop having the encoder motor replaced. 2 months ago another shop completely re-built the transfer case, when they pulled the plug it was completely full of metal shavings! And then a month later the 4 wheel drive light has come on again. what the heck should I do????? It still switches into 4 wheel but it seems now i am getting terrible gas mileage like its binding up somewhere and going to ruin my tranny now too? Any suggestions

Posted on Jan 14, 2010

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I have an 03 Silverado, Service 4WD Light on. The 1st time the mice chewed the wires by the transfer case. Fixed the problem once the wires were fixed. The 2nd time I checked all fuses, OK, checked all wiring OK, getting power everywhere. I pulled the 4wd switch out, popped it apart since many guys suggested the connector bread and to put a drop of solder on it. Not my problem all my lights were burned so my switch was fried. I bought a new switch $88.00 and nothing worked so I disconnected the battery for 15 minutes and it reset the system and everything is OK. So try the battery disconnect first and save some money but in my case my switch was fried anyway. Good Luck

Posted on Sep 02, 2009

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There is probably nothing wrong with it at all mine comes on every once in a while my dealer told me to check all the fluids in front case and transfere case put it in 4wd and run it for 10 minutes and then the thing goes off . if it doesnt look in your owners manual and it tells you how to reset light. if it comes right back on then you have a problem. hope this helps

Posted on Apr 22, 2009

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I also took my truck to the dealership and they did the encoder motor fix. It did the same thing a few weeks later. I am not in town right now so I'm not going to do anything about it other than I did pull the 4x4 fuse out of the dash so it can't go into four wheel drive arbitrarily. When I get the truck back in town I will take it back to the dealership and make them replace the switch for free, since I asked them to do that fix FIRST before charging me a bunch of money for nothing. My husband was the one that took it up there that time and he wouldn't listen to me when I said I had researched this already ;-) I put that one down on the calendar (it doesn't happen very often that I'm right)!

Posted on Nov 08, 2008

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Take it to autozone first and have them check it with their tester. It's free of charge. Then go from there. Your ODB2 system analyzer may be cheap enough that it missed the code all together.

However if you bought it recently i would complain to the dealership and see if they can work in an arrangement to do a proper diagnostic on the vehicle for free. They might even knock some of the price off for the repair if you have recently purchased the truck within the past few months.

Posted on Feb 02, 2008

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I had the same issue with the `service four wheel drive light illuminated' what is happening is there is a magnetic pickup inside the encoder motor housing on the left side of the transfer case looking aft. remove the motor, split the case halves. make sure when you remove the case halves that you do not lose the 2 washers inside. also when you have the case halves seperated mark the gears inside with red paint or grease pencil to install back in there original position. this component I beleive the name for is 4x4 encoder shift switch. part at GM sells for about $80.00 instead of spending $400.00 for a new motor. If you are a novice off road person the motor and gears last a long time. good luck in your repairs

Posted on Dec 29, 2011

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2004,5.3,Z71,409,000 miles, Chevy crate engine @270,000 miles, Chevy tranny @370,000 miles, always have had problems with 4 wheel drive unit, usually after using it in 4x4 for about two weeks then problem will clear up. Now at start-up lights sequence and might land on any drive mode even 4L. I just put it in neutral and push the 2H button and it transfer back to 2H. Service 4 wheel light on, just reset. I think Chevy just ignored an obvious problem and let it fall on the consumer. Hope this helps, will drive it till I have to haul it to the shop.

Posted on Oct 01, 2013

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I have a 2004 and what I found out check to see what happens when you put it in neutral and then put it in drive. Just move the drive handle and the problem goes away. The red light came on but no weird transmission problems and everything was in 2HI.

Posted on Mar 28, 2010

  • rocket2975 Mar 02, 2011

    I had a problem with mines,is"s a 2004 Z 71 1500 silverado i got it new ,on the first month i start to hear noise from the drive shaft,i take it in back a few times for them to check,but they could not find any thing. I took it to a friend he told me was the transfer case,took it again still they cant find nothing.warranty is up still doing the same thing.I call G M after a long they said the will fix it.I took it in to chevy,few days later same thing,at 83,000 miles i jus replace the transfer case and the switch still goes waco....oh you got to hear this, the transfer case that i had was a 246,but it had 241 parts in it,i call GM a few times but no answer......help

  • cindy rookus Apr 22, 2013

    $1500 in parts and labor after the first seeing the service 4wd warning on my 2003 I discovered a loose grounding strap at the firewall under the hood. Problem solved. this truck also had other warning lights coming on randomly and the clock kep resetting itself randomly.

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1999 silverado,152,000 miles.3rd fuel pump,4th 4x4 dash switch,3rd transfer case motor.Come on GM you know you have these problems take care of us poor future buyers(not).Going back to FORD at least they man up when they know they have a problem.Ford has covered things i never expected them to.Sent checks long after i got rid of the vehicles.

Posted on Jan 25, 2014

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