4X4 light switches but front axel not engaging.

Discussion in 'Chevy Avalanche Forum (Escalade EXT)' started by Quikfire, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. Quikfire

    Quikfire Member

    Took my Avalanche on the beach for the first time today, put it in 4X4 and light switched but I got dang near stuck because the front end did not engage to give me 4x4. I could hear the transfer case switching and it went into four low the best I can figure from sounds.

    First thoughts are to replace the actuator on the front diff. Does this sound about right?

    I find it strange that no check engine light is on and that the transfer gear lights work but nothing engages.

  2. GM Customer Service

    GM Customer Service Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Hey Quikfire,

    You must not be in Michigan if you're out at the beach!

    Sorry to hear about the troubles you had with the front not engaging when you were looking for 4x4 (glad you didn't end up stuck!). Hopefully you'll get insight from other owners, but if you decide to get it checked out at a dealership, we're here to provide any additional assistance we can.

    Sarah (Assisting Jennifer)
    GM Customer Care
  3. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    Your right, it probably is the axle disconnect actuator. But, it might be a broken wire. Check the wires before spending any money.
  4. Quikfire

    Quikfire Member

    Yep, not in Michigan. Good idea Ray, I'll look at the wires. The actuator doesn't look to difficult to change so ill probably attempt that soon.
  5. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    You need voltage to operate it, so if everything looks good, check for missing voltage.
  6. Quikfire

    Quikfire Member

    So I finally got some time to look at the 4x4 stuff. I took the actuator on the front axle off, operated it, and it works fine. I can hear the transfer shifting also. I tried to spin the front dive shaft in 2 wheel drive and it spins fine. In 4x4 the driveshaft is locked making me think the transfer case is shifting properly. So it appears both transfer case and actuator are working.

    Put it all back together and went out and did some tight circles in 4x4 and im sure that the front wheels do not have power as there is no bind or chirping like all of my past 4x4.

    Any ideas on this/
  7. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    if the actuator is fully extending, the t-case is engaging and you don't have 4x4 then you might have an issue in the front diff. The 4x4 light will not come on if the front actuator is not moving. You could always jack up all 4 wheels, put it in 4x4 and see if the front wheel are moving. But, from what you said it sounds like they are not.
  8. Quikfire

    Quikfire Member

    When I bought the truck last month it came with a 3000 mile warranty. I took it to the Chevy dealer this morning to see if they could figure it out. It's certainly in the front end as front shaft spins in 4x4 and I can hear it wanting to work. Maybe hubs is my latest thought. I'll let y'all know when it's fixed. Certainly has gotten beyond my diagnosis.
  9. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    the front hubs would have nothing to do with it not engaging. It sounds like you might be getting a front diff rebuild.
  10. ahm1127

    ahm1127 Rockstar 100 Posts

    Good luck, hope dealer finds something & fair. Strange there is no light on.

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