I’m by no means an expert here, but what I can say is that the AWD in my 2008 Sierra Denali was defiantly not the same as the “Auto” setting in my 4WD 2017 Sierra Denali. The difference in the two is that with the AWD it can redistribute ALL of the wheel power to the rear wheels only which defeats the whole purpose of AWD to me. In the Auto setting in my 2017 Sierra Denali it functions very similar to 4H in that if it detects wheel slippage it will engage the front axle and will continuously provide power to one of the front wheels until the slippage is no longer present, the Auto setting works excellent. With the AWD Sierra Denali it has a mind of it’s own in terms of which wheel(s) it decides to send it’s power to, and every time I got stuck with it power would always only go to the rear wheels with very little power (if any) going to the fronts.
Yeah, in retrospect, I’m actually surprised that I ended up keeping it as long as I did. I loved the truck in every other way minus the AWD, so I just dealt with it. I defiantly contemplated on several occasions getting rid of it, but the truck was otherwise so trouble free I just hung on to it. I will tell you that there is ZERO chance I would have gotten another Sierra Denali 1500 had they not moved from the AWD to the traditional 4WD back in 2014. Offload it now as it’s clear it’s not the snow beast you’re ultimately looking for.
Glad to hear you signed up for the other forum and read through my posting (it was far too much to try and copy/post here). As frustrated as I was with the AWD in my 2008 I did end keeping that truck until I upgraded to my 2017. I ended up putting Michelin LTX MS 2’s on that truck and that did help some vs. the Pirellis I had on it initially. After really understanding the way the AWD system worked I just knew what to expect out of it and “accepted” its limitations even though I always was very unhappy with its performance the snow. I will tell you that it did help some with applying the emergency brake slightly to redirect power back to the front wheels when I started to become stuck. This was a recommendation given to me by a Senior Tech at GM. Also disabling the Traction Control/StabiliTrak systems helped a bit too. The biggest issue by far for me with the AWD in my 2008 was when you became stuck, you were pretty much screwed at that point. When you became stuck, at least in my case, the power would always only go to the rear wheels. My 2008 did have the G80 locking rear differential, so that helped, but to me it really was no more than a 2WD truck when you actually became stuck due to the way the AWD system works. I can tell you that your AWD truck will never perform the way a 4WD truck does. I’ve owned them both and can say that with absolute certainty. As I said in my earlier post, my 2017 Sierra Denali 4WD is truly amazing in the snow. If you have already had issues with getting stuck with your ’09, that will likely continue to be an issue for you even if you do upgrade to better tires…etc. It honestly may make the most sense for you to just get out of the truck and get a true 4WD if this is a real concern for you. Best of luck again, and if you have any additional questions, please let me know.
I hear you, I really liked my 2008 Sierra Denali as well with my only real complaint with that truck being the poor (IMO) AWD system. I would highly recommend that you sign up with the other forum so that you can read my posts related to this AWD system. I know you'll find it helpful as I went through 3 or 4 separate occasions with bringing it back to the dealer for this very complaint only to finally find out the truck was operating exactly as designed. Needless to say, I was quite disappointed in finding this out right after I had bought it in 2009. Best of luck, you still have an awesome truck!
I currently have a 2017 Sierra Denali 4x4, and previously had a 2008 Sierra Denali AWD. I would recommend that you read through my write up on the www.denalitrucks.com forum (my user name is the same) http://www.denalitrucks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18180 as I think it will be helpful for you to understand the way your AWD system actually works. Based on your description I do not think that there is anything mechanically wrong with your truck. I can tell you having owned both that you cannot compare my 2017 Sierra Denali 4x4 to my 2008 Sierra Denali AWD in the snow or mud. I too got stuck on several occasions with my 2008, and, like you, my front wheels were not spinning and/or would spin very little when I was stuck. My 2017 on the other hand has been EXCELLENT in both the snow and mud and I have never gotten close to getting stuck with it and I’ve had it in some pretty deep snow. The selectable (2H, Auto, 4H, 4L) 4WD in my 2017 is in everyway superior to the AWD that I had in my 2008.
Hello, I have a 2017 GMC Sierra Denali short bed with the 6.2L/8 speed, 4WD. I have an issue related to what sounds like an exhaust drone/buffeting that is very apparent when in V4 mode at speeds from 40 MPH all the way down to 0 (only under 1500 RPM). This drone/buffeting goes away if I drive the truck in M7 (which keeps it in V8 mode), or if I put it into neutral when it’s doing this, or if I give it gas when it’s doing this. The truck now has 6,000 miles on it and when I first bought it (new) it did not do this, but the issue started when the truck had about 500 miles on it. It’s been back to the dealer a few times and they just can’t seem to locate/correct the issue. I had the service manager test drive the truck with me and he too confirmed my complaint and could hear this drone/buffeting when in V4. They suspected the issue may be related to the Passive Exhaust Valve and after reading bulletin PIT5404C (“Squeak, Chirp, Whistle, Rattle, type noise from rear of vehicle (Passive Exhaust Valve) or Buffeting Vibration/Drone Exhaust Tone, Body Pressure Booming (AFM Exhaust”) he shared with me, it sounded exactly like what the truck was doing and I was confident that this was the issue. The dealer then replaced the exhaust which included a new Passive Exhaust Valve and the exact same issue remains. They are at a loss as to what else could be causing this. Any thoughts, suggestions or recommendations you may have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Todd
Hello Everyone, I recently traded in my 2008 Sierra Denali for a new 2017 Sierra Denali which I’ve had for about two weeks now. The truck is a 4WD short bed with the 6.2L/8 speed and has factory 22” wheels with the Bridgestone Dueler AT tires on it. I have been noticing a vibration/shudder/rough feel which is felt mainly when decelerating under 40 mph all the way down to a stop (it is not brake related as this happens with or without braking). It feels like it is coming from the rear of the truck and can be felt throughout the cab. When I shift the truck into neutral when it's doing this it's perfectly smooth. I did mention this to the dealer and they wanted me to drive it for at least 500 miles and that is where I’m at currently. Just trying to get an idea of what may be going on here and causing this. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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