Driving in 4-HI

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by Koeppel, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. Koeppel

    Koeppel New Member


    My son left our 1997 K2500 Suburban in 4-HI the other night, and then my wife drove it about 30 miles on the interstate (65mph) while it was still in 4.

    She called me because she said that she smelled something, and that the truck was acting funny when she tried to turn in the parcking lot.

    When I got there, I found that the truck was in 4-HI and there was some fluid leaking from the transfer case. I put it back in 2-HI and drove it home with no problems.

    My question is, what damage may have been caused by driving it this way, and what should I do to minimize the impact? Does the transfer case vent if it gets too hot? Should I simply replace the fluid, see if it still leaks, and if not, call it good?
  2. Jimmiee

    Jimmiee Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    It probably didn't hurt anything. I would check the transmission fluid as sometimes it will leak into the transfer case causing it to over fill. Other than that just make sure your fluids are clean and you should be good to go. Keep your eye on the fluid levels for awhile.
  3. benhartholt

    benhartholt Rockstar

    That's normal.. because the 4 wheel drive doesnt disengage when you are parking causing it to make ''grinding'' noises. If you turn sharp while in 4 wheel hi it will take more acceleration to make the vehicle move because their is more resistance due to 4 wheels drive being on.

    Nothing to be worried about though!
  4. jmonte3

    jmonte3 Rockstar 100 Posts

    yep, i drive in 4 hi all the time when its raining or its slippery out
  5. mug23

    mug23 New Member

    How about towing in 4 Hi on the Interstate for long period of time? Would that cause problems? I think I may have some issues with 2Hi that may require to use 4Hi.
  6. Jimmiee

    Jimmiee Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    When you drive on dry pavement it really wears tires, u-joints, axle joints, differential spider and axle gears, as well as internal transfer case parts. If you drive long enough you WILL break something! Never drive on dry pavement in 4WD. All wheel drive is OK but not 4WD.
  7. bry2500

    bry2500 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    30 miles should not have been enough to do too much. maybe scrape the tires up a little. Unless your wife has a lead foot there really should have been no damage done. Driving too fast and taking off hard in 4wd on pavement can put some added stress but rubber is softer than metal, so the tires should have taken the brunt of the force if she was just driving normally.
  8. grimreapersshadow

    grimreapersshadow Rockstar 100 Posts

    jimmiee's right ive sheared some ring gear teeth off and broken spiders from playin around in 4hi/4lo on pavement :p
  9. larryleeUSN

    larryleeUSN Rockstar 100 Posts

    yea you should be fine. i dont see anything happening. just do what jimmiee said everything should be good to go.
  10. Koeppel

    Koeppel New Member


    Thanks for the input from everyone. I feel much better. I haven't done anything with the suburban, and haven't had any more issues.


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