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hpracing10

4wd Push Button Panel

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On my '03 silverado, I have the push buttons for 4WD, and I also have the round AUTO 4WD button as well. Tonight, I was in tough situation, and I went to go push the button to get me in 4WD. Before i pushed the button, I noticed on my instrument panel it said SERVICE 4WD. After seeing that, I proceeded to push the button, and nothing happens. The little orange light won 't even blink on the 4HI button like it usually does. So I am stuck in 2HI at the moment with a foot of snow on the ground.

 

Any suggestions? I read somewhere that those switch panels go bad often. Would that be the problem? Would that cause the instrument panel to say SERVICE 4WD?

 

I also read somewhere that there is an actuator solenoid or something along those lines that controls when it goes into and out of 4WD. Do these go bad? Where do I find this on my truck so I can check it out? Thanks

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On my '03 silverado, I have the push buttons for 4WD, and I also have the round AUTO 4WD button as well. Tonight, I was in tough situation, and I went to go push the button to get me in 4WD. Before i pushed the button, I noticed on my instrument panel it said SERVICE 4WD. After seeing that, I proceeded to push the button, and nothing happens. The little orange light won 't even blink on the 4HI button like it usually does. So I am stuck in 2HI at the moment with a foot of snow on the ground.

 

Any suggestions? I read somewhere that those switch panels go bad often. Would that be the problem? Would that cause the instrument panel to say SERVICE 4WD?

 

I also read somewhere that there is an actuator solenoid or something along those lines that controls when it goes into and out of 4WD. Do these go bad? Where do I find this on my truck so I can check it out? Thanks

I have had the push buttons and transfer case encoder replaced. I believe it is common for these to fail. The encoder is on the front driver's side of the tc. Easy to replace if you can determine for sure it's the problem. The dealer replaced the buttons for me so can't say if it's an easy job. With me the buttons quit working first. You might have to go to the dealer to check codes to determine which part has failed.

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Will there still be codes to read on my truck if the check engine light never came on? How much did that Encoder run you? I may take the switch apart and check all the soldered connections first.

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Will there still be codes to read on my truck if the check engine light never came on? How much did that Encoder run you? I may take the switch apart and check all the soldered connections first.

 

The service 4wd light was on, there should be codes in the transfer case module. Most times when the light comes on and a code has been set shifting will be inhibited during the key cycle that there was a problem.

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I was quail hunting last weekend in my old 99 2500 and I noticed the pushbutton panel was not lit. Last time that happened it was the fuse in the panel on the side of the dash. I'm beginning to be suspicious about the encoder this time. I have a code reader, so I'll check for DTCs.

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Ok I may have to have the codes read then. I would like to try other things first though before I spend money at a dealership. Where exactly is the 4WD actuator/encoder located?

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Will there still be codes to read on my truck if the check engine light never came on? How much did that Encoder run you? I may take the switch apart and check all the soldered connections first.

Encoder was $550 but I live in Canada. Probably cheaper in the USA. Previous owner replaced the buttons so I don't know what they cost.

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Is there anything I can check as far as electrical connections going to the transfer case?

 

Boy the whole electrical push button 4WD sure is convienant but when it goes wrong its a pain in the a$$ to fix. On my old '79 chevy its just a knob sticking out of the floor that you move back and forth. If something doesn't work, its only about 2 different things it can be.

 

Any other advice is appreciated so I can get back in 4WD! Anything you guys have tried that worked for you? Thanks

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Not sure how to diagnose as it's kind of complicated. There is also an electric motor on the front diff that could fail. I wish I had the manual shifter as i don't think all this electric stuff is necessary. When my encoder failed I took it off and manually shifted into 4x4. Can't remember what position I put it in. Would need to do trial and error. This may not help you though if it's the buttons that failed as there is no way to manually shift the front diff into 4x4.

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I agree, as the electrical stuff is very convienant, it is not necessary I don't think.

 

To me, from what I have experienced in the truck tonight, it seems that it is a switch panel failure, just because the switch IS getting power, as the orange light is lit up next to the 2HI button. It just woudln't shift out of 2HI, which also leads me to believe that the switch is malfunctioning and the buttons just aren't working. Thing is, would the 4WD switch panel cause the SERVICE 4WD light to come on? Or does that message only come on when a bigger problem occurs, under the truck on the transfer case? Thanks for your advice

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I agree, as the electrical stuff is very convienant, it is not necessary I don't think.

 

To me, from what I have experienced in the truck tonight, it seems that it is a switch panel failure, just because the switch IS getting power, as the orange light is lit up next to the 2HI button. It just woudln't shift out of 2HI, which also leads me to believe that the switch is malfunctioning and the buttons just aren't working. Thing is, would the 4WD switch panel cause the SERVICE 4WD light to come on? Or does that message only come on when a bigger problem occurs, under the truck on the transfer case? Thanks for your advice

Not sure what all causes the 4x4 light to come on. When you press the 4hi button does 4hi flash a couple times and then go back to solid light on 2wd? That's what mine did when the encoder failed. I could here the encoder trying to shift but it just didn't have enough power to do it. It would try a couple times and then go back to 2wd. Push your 4x4 button and then quickly listen under the truck at the tc and front diff. If the actuators are trying to work you'll hear them. If you can't hear anything I would be tempted to replace the dash buttons. Or go to the dealer and get the codes.

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Sorry sparkstech, I just went back and read your first response and it answers my latest question. Had a bit of a brain fade there! Thanks.

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Not all scanners will check the transfer case control module for codes. Most of the time when you get free scans from parts stores they only do powertrain control modules and transmission modules. If you want a code you are most likely going to have to go to a shop to get it. If you have a shop that does your maintenance you might get them to do it for free but if you don't frequent a shop you are most likely going to have to pay someone for a scan.

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Dads 99 did this and all it needed was the wire behind the control panel saudered back together. Since the light was on all the time saying it was in 2 HI it got so hot it eventually melted the wire and caused the panel to stop working.

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