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2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

This is a discussion on 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; I am the original owner of a 2004 4x4 Silverado Extended Cab Z71 which has 107k miles on it. My ...

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    2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem


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    I am the original owner of a 2004 4x4 Silverado Extended Cab Z71 which has 107k miles on it. My dad is borrowing the truck and just called me with a problem. While towing in 2 wheel drive, the "2 wheel drive" light at the 2wd button went off (no selections are lit) and the message flashed on the dash "service 4 wheel drive". Truck will not go into 4 wheel drive when you hit the button, but is running fine is 2wd. Truck is well maintained and have never had any trouble before. Wondering if there is something common that goes wrong? If I plug into the computer with an obd2 scanner and read any codes that might be there, will that help figure it out? Any advice as to the best way to avoid a trip to the shop will be appreciated, though I see it coming anyway.

    Thanks

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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    ttt

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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    There are 1000 threads on this, which is why you are getting no replies.

    Check the fuse? Fuse ok, If all the lights are out, it's the switch, common failure.

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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    I will do a search. Thank you for the reply. Yes, all lights are out, but fuse not checked. I hope a search provides what switch needs to be swapped. Thanks again :)

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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    my guess is that your 4wd switch is going, I have the same problem on my truck. it works occassionally, but the lights have a tendency to not work

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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    How do I open the panel to replace the switch? Is the switch right behind the 2wd/4wd buttons?
    Last edited by GrandNational; 01-30-2011 at 04:23 PM.

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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    The switch is the actual buttons
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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    its possibly the switch. you need to have the tccm scanned . sound more like the module is dead. sometimes a reprogram will "wake" it up. codes in the module will tell if its the switch or module.

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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    I guess I am confused. I thought there was one switch, but are you saying that there is a switch for each of the 4 buttons? I am also assuming that I can't read the codes for the transmission with a regular obd2 scanner. Correct?

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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    Its a single switch unit that has all of the buttons on it. I dont know that a regular OBD2 scanner will read
    the codes.
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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by GrandNational View Post
    I guess I am confused. I thought there was one switch, but are you saying that there is a switch for each of the 4 buttons? I am also assuming that I can't read the codes for the transmission with a regular obd2 scanner. Correct?
    There is a bunch of buttons, proper term would be a panel, I called it the switch.

    The panel controls a module (brain), the module controls the encoder motor that shifts your transfer case.

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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    with the mileage on it. It is probably the encoder motor on the transfer case. I have gone thru 2 of them in 2 yrs.


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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    It's either the Dash switch or the encoder motor. I actually replaced the sensor inside the encoder motor and it took care of the issues.
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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    In the life of the truck's 107k miles, 4wd has barely ever been used, so the buttons and the mechanism haven't been used much either. Is changing the sensor in the encoder motor a big job? Heck is pulling the encoder motor a big job? I am experienced with motors, trannys and transfer cases I am not. If I end up buying a new encoder motor, is the sensor in the encoder motor included?
    Last edited by GrandNational; 01-31-2011 at 07:48 AM.

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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by GrandNational View Post
    In the life of the truck's 107k miles, 4wd has barely ever been used, so the buttons and the mechanism haven't been used much either. Is changing the sensor in the encoder motor a big job? Heck is pulling the encoder motor a big job? I am experienced with motors, trannys and transfer cases I am not. If I end up buying a new encoder motor, is the sensor in the encoder motor included?
    More often than not, its the switch panel or module. Encoder motor issues usually leave the panel lit up, but will not shift (blinking lights on shift atempts).

    The encoder motor isn't cheap, and swapping it may not resolve the issue.

    If you have a service 4wd message, I woudl have the dealer diagnose, then replace the parts myself as neccessary, as randomly replacing parts that could still be serviceable will get expensive.

    There are quite a few threads here on the issue, and swappign switch panels is quite often the solution, that being said, there is still the potential for it to be an encoder motor issue, a module issue, or a wiring harness issue.

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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    Well, my best guess at this point is that it's the module, let's see if you all will agree. I had told my dad to check the fuse, then hit the dash at the switch and if neither of those worked, to disconnect the battery for 30 seconds. He got to the disconnect the battery step and it worked, everything is working fine again. I had stopped at the dealer and got a new switch just in case that was it (the truck was stuck in the snow in a rural spot and couldn't be moved without 4wd). So am I right that it's probably the module given the battery disconnect worked? I can't see how it would would be fixed the way it was if it was the switch or the encoder motor. But then, I am no expert :)
    Last edited by GrandNational; 01-31-2011 at 04:28 PM.

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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    Anyone agree with me? Or am I wrong?

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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by GrandNational View Post
    Anyone agree with me? Or am I wrong?
    See nothing that proves or disproves your theory, hence no response.

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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    My thought is that a broken circuit or short wouldn't be fixed by a power down, it would still be there. But a power down would reboot electronics/computer.

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    Re: 2004 5.3 Liter 4x4 Silverado 4 Wheel Drive Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by GrandNational View Post
    My thought is that a broken circuit or short wouldn't be fixed by a power down, it would still be there. But a power down would reboot electronics/computer.
    Makes sense. I work in a scientific field, results need to be repeatable before coincidence is ruled out.

    Drive on, as your 4wd is working fine, should the issue recur, test your solution again.

 

 
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