4x4 selector switch - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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4x4 selector switch

Today I was messing around with my 4x4 switch. I didn't really need 4 wheel drive but put it in just in case. I could hear the actuator clicking but the light on the 4 high button kept flashing. Same thing with 4 low I could hear and feel it engage but the light never stopped flashing. No service 4x4 light on the dash or anything like that. I don't think that this was the case 2 weeks ago when I last used 4 wheel but I don't know that for certain.

Thanks in advance,
Ryan
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 11:16 PM
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Try putting your truck in neutral, then put it in 4 high or 4 low. That should work.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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I tried putting the transmission in neutral and that made no difference with 4 hi and obviously 4 low wouldn't work if not in neutral. The only thing I didn't try was putting the transfer case in neutral. At this point though I'm guessing I may have a loose wire behind the switches.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 11:24 PM
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Don't need to be neutral to put it in 4 wheel drive hi.
The lights should stop flashing when engaged. If it keeps flashing then something is wrong.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 11:28 PM
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Usually I put in neutral just out of habit. But it seems like something else may be wrong
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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I'm almost 100% sure 4wheel engaged. I'm wondering if it might be some computer problem not telling the switch to stop flashing. But you could definitely feel it engage and the actuator clicked with each press of the buttons
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 11:40 PM
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So you know all four tires are spinning and everything?
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 11:10 AM
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Mine works best when rolling at least 1-2 mph, i never shift while standing still

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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This afternoon I'm going to try putting it in 4 wheel and I'm going to jack up the front passenger side tire. If it spins then 4 wheel isn't engaged, if it doesn't than it is engaged. I believe if there is a problem it would be with the transfer case and not the front dif. From what I've been told, if one of the actuators in the tc fails the service 4 wheel drive light should come on, which is a big reason I think 4 wheel engages. I tried again this morning with the same results as yesterday I can hear it clicking and engaging while the light still flashes. This was done with the vehicle in motion
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 09:09 AM
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I'm having the same issue as you right now and what you're hearing is the transfer case locking the front drive shaft not the actuator on the front axle.

My front drive shift spins when I press 4hi or 4low but the lights still flash. I've replaced the 4WD Actuator on the front axle but this did not fix the problem. I'm leaning towards something electrical, as I tried to get the brand new actuator plunger to come out and when pressing the buttons (not installed in the axle) and it doesn't.

I've tested the pins in the connector for voltage and the power wire is constant, the middle pin fluctuates a bit when the 4hi button is pressed. Starts at .4 and goes to .7 and drops back to .4 after the transfer case finishes locking the front drive shaft. Not sure what else to test
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 09:23 AM
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A few things.

Your front and rear tires have to be the same size with the same tread wear. If they aren't stupidly close in diameter, you will have issues engaging 4wd. Try engaging it while slowly driving around your yard.

Also, check your fluid level, and if you haven't replaced it in the last 75k miles, do it.

Hopefully it's something as minor as those 2 issues.

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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My tires are all the same size and very new. When I got out of work that day I tried 4x4 again and it engaged with no flashing lights. I thought that was weird. Not sure what to check at this point.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 10:13 PM
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Sounds like a bad electrical ground or an inconsistent connection somewhere...but something could be sticking too.
Did you check the fluid level and color? Have you ever drained the transfer case and cleaned off the magnet on the drain plug? Pull the wires and use some QD Contact cleaner?

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 12:05 PM
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Found the following in the GM Service info DVD:

2004 Chevrolet Colorado Pickup - 4WD | Canyon, Colorado (VIN S/T) Service Manual | Driveline/Axle |
Transfer Case - Isuzu T150 | Diagnostic Information and Procedures | Document ID: 1272547
Front Axle Will Not Engage
Circuit Description
The front axle control circuit consists of an electric motor actuator which engages and disengages
the front axle. The front axle actuator motor consists of a permanent magnetic (PM) motor, a worm
gear controlled plunger, a front axle switch and an electronic control circuit all within the actuator
assembly.
The front axle actuator consists of the following circuits:
When a shift to 4HI or 4LO is requested, the transfer case shift control module engages the front
axle by grounding the front axle control circuit through a current limiting driver. If for any reason
the front axle in not able to engage when in any 4WD mode, the mode indicator in the switch will
continue to flash.
Diagnostic Aids
Test Description
The numbers below refer to the step numbers on the diagnostic table.
2. This step tests the electrical function of the front axle actuator and helps determine
mechanical and electrical malfunctions.
3. This step tests for proper power and ground at the front axle actuator.
4. This step tests the operation of the front axle control circuit.
5. This step helps determine if the transfer case shift control module is able to monitor the front
axle switch.
• The front axle control circuit, which is also connected to the transfer case shift control
module
• The front axle switch circuit, which is also connected to the transfer case shift control module
• A battery feed circuit
• A ground circuit
• A mechanical condition inside the front axle could prevent the shift fork from moving causing
the motor to be stuck in one position. Refer to Symptoms - Front Drive Axle in Front Drive
Axle.
• Check the inline connectors C100 and C105 for proper connection, bent pins, damage, or
corrosion. Refer to Harness Routing Views in Wiring Systems.
• Check the transfer case shift control module connectors C1 and C2 for proper connection and
bent or corroded pins or terminals. Refer to Repairing Connector Terminals in Wiring
Systems.
• Check for water leaks at doors and bulkhead areas. Refer to Waterleak Test Preparation .
© 2012 General Motors Corporation. All rights reserved.
Document ID: 1272547 Page 1 of 4
8/14/2012
6. This step tests the front axle switch circuit for an open or high resistance.
7. This step measures the voltage between the front axle feed circuit and ground.
8. This step tests the front axle control circuit for an open or high resistance.
9. This step inspects the front axle for a mechanical malfunction.
10. This step tests for open fuse in the front axle feed circuit.
Step Action Values Yes No
Schematic Reference: Transfer Case Control Schematics
Connector End View Reference: Transfer Case Control Connector End Views
1
Did you perform the Diagnostic System Check -
Transfer Case? -- Go to
Step 2
Go to Diagnostic
System Check -
Transfer Case
2
1. Install a scan tool.
2. Turn the ignition ON, with the engine
OFF.
3. With a scan tool, command the front axle
Unlocked and Locked.
Does the front axle turn ON and OFF with each
command?
--
Go to
Step 9 Go to Step 3
3
1. Turn the ignition OFF.
2. Disconnect the front axle actuator.
3. Turn the ignition ON, with the engine
OFF.
4. Measure the voltage between the ignition
3 voltage circuit and the front axle
ground circuit at the front axle actuator.
Is the voltage reading within the specified
value?
11-
13 V
Go to
Step 4 Go to Step 7
4
1. Shift the transfer case to 2WD.
2. Connect a DMM between the ignition 3
voltage circuit and the front axle actuator
control circuit at the front axle actuator.
3. Observe the DMM while using the scan
tool in order to engage the front axle.
Does the DMM indicate battery voltage?
--
Go to
Step 5 Go to Step 8
5
1. Connect a fused jumper wire between the
ignition 3 voltage circuit and the axle
switch signal circuit.
2. Shift the transfer case into 4 high or 4
low.
Is the mode indicator within the transfer case
shift control switch on steady?
--
Go to
Step 13 Go to Step 6
Document ID: 1272547 Page 2 of 4
. 8/14/2012
6
Test the front axle switch signal circuit for an
open or high resistance. Refer to Testing for
Continuity and Wiring Repairs in Wiring
Systems.
Did you find and correct the condition?
--
Go to
Step 15 Go to Step 14
7
Measure the voltage between the ignition 3
voltage circuit and ground.
Is the voltage reading within the specified
range?
11-
13 V
Go to
Step 12 Go to Step 10
8
Test the front axle control circuit for an open or
high resistance. Refer to Testing for Continuity
and Wiring Repairs in Wiring Systems.
Did you find and correct the condition?
--
Go to
Step 15 Go to Step 14
9
Inspect the front axle for a mechanical
malfunction.
Did you find and correct the condition?
--
Go to
Step 15 Go to Step 13
10
Test for an open fuse in the front axle feed
circuit. Refer to Circuit Protection - Fuses and
Wiring Repairs in Wiring Systems.
Did you find and correct the condition?
--
Go to
Step 15 Go to Step 11
11
Repair an open in the ignition 3 voltage circuit.
Refer to Testing for Continuity and Wiring
Repairs in Wiring Systems.
Did you complete the repair?
--
Go to
Step 15
--
12
Repair an open in the front axle ground circuit.
Refer to Testing for Continuity and Wiring
Repairs in Wiring Systems.
Did you complete the repair?
--
Go to
Step 15
--
13
Replace the front axle switch/actuator. Refer to
Electric Motor Actuator Replacement in Front
Drive Axle.
Did you complete the repair?
--
Go to
Step 15
--
14
Replace the transfer case shift control module.
Refer to Transfer Case Shift Control Module
Replacement .
Did you complete the repair?
--
Go to
Step 15
--
15
1. Use the scan tool in order to clear the
DTCs.
2. Operate the vehicle to determine if the
symptom has been corrected.
--
Go to
Document ID: 1272547 Page 3 of 4
. 8/14/2012
Is the symptom still present? Step 2 System OK
Document ID: 1272547 Page 4 of 4
. 8/14/2012
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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so my 4x4 has been consistently engaging since I last posted. I figured something that was stuck became unstuck. Today I hauled home 1.5 scoops of topsoil from work, 40 miles straight up a mountain. I was so impressed with my truck when I got home. Went to put it in 4-low to get up my front yard, wouldn't engage, tried 4-high, wouldn't engage. This time the lights didn't continue to flash, it just returned to 2-high. I called the dealership because I don't have time to piss with this at the moment. Winter is near and I want it to work when I need it. I'll report back what the dealership finds. In the meantime, I have 2 more loads of topsoil to bring home, and a load of mushroom mulch... I managed to get up my yard without 4x4 but not easily, good thing I have good tires and a lot of weight in the bed...

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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 08:36 PM
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ditto roll 1-2 mph before pushing the button. The electronics are trying to engage gears, so rolling lets one move as the other moves to engage it. If everything is standing still, you don't have much chance of the gears lining up for the electric motor to work.

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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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tried that... rolling forwards and backwards... Nothing

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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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So three weeks ago I took the truck to the dealer and they ended up replacing the actuator on the front differential. Two days ago I attempted to get up into my yard again, tried 4low and I heard two clicks and a clang and the light on the dash continued to flash. I then tried 4 high and got the same results. I tried driving around a little to see if it would shift to 4 high and got nothing. Tried several times that afternoon. Then the next morning I tried it at work and it went into all modes correctly, tried it again at home and everything worked fine, tried again yesterday and today and it all works fine.

I vote something electrical...

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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-05-2013, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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4x4 has been working perfectly since that last instance mentioned... I've been using it in the snow, offroading, offloading in the snow... It has been working very well, truck will go anywhere!

until Sunday... I was driving back to school and it worked when I left my parents to get me up a hill in the snow by their house. All highway driving for an hour or so then I needed it when I got on back roads. Tried to engage and the light just kept flashing. Ended up fishtailing excessively the rest of the way to school in a few inches of snow. I doubt I'd have made it without weight in the bed. I tried several times to get it to engage: forwards, reverse, neutral, and various speeds. I got nothing but flashing lights. Now, the next morning I drove it to the grocery store and it engaged perfectly.

I think something (possibly the tccm) might be overheating. I've only had these issues after the vehicle has been running a while. At the same time, A month ago I drove it three hours and it still worked at that point so I'm not sure, then again it was below zero F that day. It's very sporadic and random, but it may leave me stranded some day...

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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 07:14 PM
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Mine is doing the same thing. Went it is wet it will not engage. After letting the roads dry out for a few days and the undercarriage air dry my 4wd works fine.
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