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Old 11-30-2007, 12:58 AM   #1
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four wheel drive problems

I am new to this site. I love the fact that there are people to talk to that work on thier own rigs. I have a 94 s-10 and the 4 wheel drive does not engage. The selector light turns on and acts like its in but its not. Any ideas? thanks
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Old 12-01-2007, 02:12 AM   #2
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Re: four wheel drive problems

I just fixed the 4wd in my 96 today. Not sure how different the 94s are, but the first thing you'll want to do is get under it and see if the electrical plug or the vacum line have came loose. In my case, the vacum line popped off sometime while I was 2wd trail riding. I plugged it back in and it works like it was never broken.
If not that, then there is a electric motor that shifts the transfer case into 4wd that could be burned out. If not that, maybe you need a new transfer case.
Old 12-03-2007, 11:10 PM   #3
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Re: four wheel drive problems

You can replace the vacuum set up with a manual cable-check out something like this-http://www.4x4posi-lok.com/
Old 12-05-2007, 05:01 PM   #4
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Re: four wheel drive problems

I was just wondering about that 4x4 posi-lock, does anyone have one? and does it act like manual hubs? If so how hard is it to install?
Old 12-05-2007, 10:49 PM   #5
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Re: four wheel drive problems

I would guess you have a vac leak. check the vac actuator that is under the battery that is the most common problem. you truck is like mine and it is all vac controlled, you have no electronics on the frt diff.
Old 09-03-2008, 10:43 PM   #6
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Re: four wheel drive problems

4 wheel drive went out after climbing steep hill. Is there a possible simple problem I can fix?
Old 05-04-2010, 03:13 PM   #7
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Re: four wheel drive problems

I have a '98 Chevy S10 with push button 4wd. It used to work but I couldn't afford to take it anywhere. Now when I push it the lights may flash on all together, or nothing will happen and it just stays in 2wd. I've read about the vacuum, but that sounds like it is for a lever 4wd. Any ideas about the push button 4wd? Is it the same problem?
Old 05-24-2010, 12:11 PM   #8
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Re: four wheel drive problems

i know some s10's have the push button shift to be vac controlled front differential
Old 05-24-2010, 02:42 PM   #9
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Re: four wheel drive problems

the push button 4x4 is vacuum controlled, there are several things that can go wrong, you say you can push the button and the light stays on as tho in 4wd? if this is true than it is most likely not a vacuum issue, so im going to rule out any switches on the t-case, and rule out a vacuum leak (obviously), so that leaves either a front diff internal issue or vacuum actuator issue,

to test the actuator, you can do 1 of 2 things, first option, (i prefer this one, but you will need a helper, also needs to be done on flat level surface) jack up the rear axle with a jack that has wheels, so that the rear wheels are just off the ground, dont lift it to high just in case, take the grille off the front and stick a long screw driver in the hole under neath the pass. headlight, with the vehicle running, press the 4 hi button and put the car in gear, pry against the soft side of the actuator, and have whoever is in the drivers seat give it a little gas,

if the vehicle starts creeping forward your front wheels are obviously engaged and you have just verified that your actuator is bad

Last edited by StirFrey; 05-24-2010 at 02:43 PM.
Old 05-24-2010, 02:50 PM   #10
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Re: four wheel drive problems

the second option is almost identical, except that you remove the battery and battery tray instead of the grille, and reach down to the actuator and depress it with your hand instead of a tool, the only issue is running the vehicle and using the switch without the battery installed, you can start the vehicle and then remove the battery but i dont know if the 4x4 switch is to large of a load for the stock alternator to handle without the reserve capacity of the battery but you can give it a whirl if you want
Old 05-29-2010, 02:32 AM   #11
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Re: four wheel drive problems

Quote: Originally Posted by StirFrey
the push button 4x4 is vacuum controlled, there are several things that can go wrong, you say you can push the button and the light stays on as tho in 4wd? if this is true than it is most likely not a vacuum issue, so im going to rule out any switches on the t-case, and rule out a vacuum leak (obviously), so that leaves either a front diff internal issue or vacuum actuator issue,

to test the actuator, you can do 1 of 2 things, first option, (i prefer this one, but you will need a helper, also needs to be done on flat level surface) jack up the rear axle with a jack that has wheels, so that the rear wheels are just off the ground, dont lift it to high just in case, take the grille off the front and stick a long screw driver in the hole under neath the pass. headlight, with the vehicle running, press the 4 hi button and put the car in gear, pry against the soft side of the actuator, and have whoever is in the drivers seat give it a little gas,

if the vehicle starts creeping forward your front wheels are obviously engaged and you have just verified that your actuator is bad

or you can be smart. and put all four tires in the air by using 4 jack stands. either the front tires will turn, or they wont depending on if it engages. just like you would when rotating your tires.. that way you dont have to truck engage in 4x4 and come off the jack stands, which really isnt safe to do on only 2 of them like that.
btw my truck had the same problem but it was a vacuum hose problem. on the drivers side under the hood, but the abs break module there are vacuum hoses, one of them goes right into the front fender, there is a nipple there, make sure its on.. its just a vacuum canister, but if the hose isnt on then it wont engage the 4x4.
Old 12-11-2010, 07:58 PM   #12
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Re: four wheel drive problems

Were is the vacuum line located on a 95' ? Im new so.. But it sounds like it lock in. In the T-case I just dont have 4 wheel So I think it a vacuum? Thanks guys let me know
Old 04-25-2011, 08:43 PM   #13
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Re: four wheel drive problems

I have a 96 S10 4x4 with a manual shift transfer case. A while ago the linkage came off my transfer case and I was forced to drive it home in 4lo for about 20 mins. Now the front axle light constantly stays on until I'm above around 55mph. When it turns off I hear a grinding noise in the front end that's coming from the wheels. Can anyone help me figure this out?
Old 12-19-2011, 04:44 PM   #14
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Re: four wheel drive problems

im having a similar problem with my 4wd the lights dont even show up in the push button system and i thought maybe the lights went out but when you try to engage it doesnt seem to work ive looked everywhere for help does anyone have a idea on what could be goin on ?
Old 12-20-2011, 11:13 PM   #15
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Re: four wheel drive problems

i have a 96 s-10 and my four wheel drive wont engage either i have no idea whats wrong with it its push button also
Old 12-21-2011, 02:30 AM   #16
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Re: four wheel drive problems

Info for the 4wd system can be found in this thread.
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/f220/t...thread-327817/
Old 12-30-2011, 09:51 PM   #17
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Re: four wheel drive problems

can anyone help? i have an 01 sonoma but i cant get it to stay in 2wheel drive. it will shift on its own to 4 lo just driving down the road. i think the push button switch is bad but i was wondering if anyone knows of anything else thata could be wrong?
Old 01-07-2012, 10:36 AM   #18
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Re: four wheel drive problems

Quote: Originally Posted by bluewreck406
I am new to this site. I love the fact that there are people to talk to that work on thier own rigs. I have a 94 s-10 and the 4 wheel drive does not engage. The selector light turns on and acts like its in but its not. Any ideas? thanks
The first thing I'd check is to see what comes out when you drain the transfer case. GM uses AutoTracII in their cases. If what you drain out looks suspiciously like ATF, it is the wrong stuff. AutoTracII is Titanium blue color;I suspect that it is ATF with Titanium Oxide added to it, but that is just my guess. The second thing I'd check is the selector switch. I've had to have mine replaced twice. Then I'd check out the ideas that some of our other fine forum members have added, as most of them sound smarter than me. Hope this helps.
Old 02-29-2012, 05:35 PM   #19
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Question Re: four wheel drive problems

Hey there, my name is jake. I don't really know how to do anything on the forum but i think i'v finally found out how to ask a question. Well I just bought a 98 S10 4X4, but the four wheel drive don't work. When i try to engage it with the dash switch nothing happens, I just hear a clicking sound coming from the dash on the passengers side. But a weird thing is, is that if I take my battery loose and put it back in, I can put it in 4LO, still wont go into 4HI, but I have to take my battery loose again to get it back into 2HI. Also, the 4HI light flickers as if there is a short in the switch. I ordered me a new 4WD switch and will put it in soon. Do you guys think it will fix my problem?PLEASE HELP ME AND POST BACK!!!!!!!!!!
Old 10-04-2012, 08:58 PM   #20
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Re: four wheel drive problems

Hello new to s10 forums. Here's my situation. It's a 97 4wd and I unfortunately got it stuck in 4whi. I went ahead and replaced the majority of the vacuum hoses that look dry rotted or decrepid, but have the issue where I push the 2hi button and the transfer case motor repeatedly clicks but does not engage the 2 wheel function. I will be purchasing a new vacuum actuator soon, and will let you know if this fixes the problem. I don't feel it's a necessity to troubleshoot the actuator by purchasing two jack stands, when the actuator itself is only 50 bucks. I will keep everone updated on the progress. I should have it fixed before deer season... Hopefully..
Old 10-04-2012, 09:25 PM   #21
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Re: four wheel drive problems

Back already. Just discovered a slick way to find out if your actuator is bad. take the battery tray out and stick your battery back in and hook it back up. Start up your truck and leave it running for a minute or so for the vacuum to build back up. If you have proper vacuum, you will see the bag on your actuator sucked in. Shut the truck off. Locate the nipple with the small hose attached that user Chevyboy2010 explained in the above thread and disconnect it. If your actuator loses vacuum the bag will come back out as it "loses suction". You have just verified that your actuator is working properly without jacking up the truck or any of that stuff. Hope this helps. I'll be looking to check for proper fluid level, and to see if my transfer case motor needs replaced. I will update.
Old 10-04-2012, 09:27 PM   #22
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Re: four wheel drive problems

Quote: Originally Posted by nexustheory
Back already. Just discovered a slick way to find out if your actuator is bad. take the battery tray out and stick your battery back in and hook it back up. Start up your truck and leave it running for a minute or so for the vacuum to build back up. If you have proper vacuum, you will see the bag on your actuator sucked in. Shut the truck off. Locate the nipple with the small hose attached that user Chevyboy2010 explained in the above thread and disconnect it. If your actuator loses vacuum the bag will come back out as it "loses suction". You have just verified that your actuator is working properly without jacking up the truck or any of that stuff. Hope this helps. I'll be looking to check for proper fluid level, and to see if my transfer case motor needs replaced. I will update.
Howerver this may not indicate your actuator is bad, and you could have a faulty vacuum line down the line. So I would check your hoses first, then look toward the actuator. Just a heads up.
Old 12-28-2012, 10:54 AM   #23
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Re: four wheel drive problems

Hi I am new to the forum.
I have inherited a 2001 Chevy S-10 4x4 and when I tried to put it in four wheel drive with the push buttons they went into 4hi then flashed and went back into 2h.
I tookit to a local garage and they replaced the "actuator" and it worked on the dash when I pushed the 4h button it went into what I thought was four wheel drive.
Since it was summer when I had the work done I assummed it was fixed.
Well we got our first snow here in Colorado and my daughter tried using her 4x4 S-10 truck and it doesnt engage the front axle.
What do you suggest?
Is there some thing the actuator is trying to engage and not working?
Thank You
Old 12-28-2012, 12:23 PM   #24
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Re: four wheel drive problems

Anytime you're not getting 4x4, the first thing to check is that you're getting vacuum to the actuator under the battery tray. Nothing happens without vacuum. If you have vacuum, then you'll want to make sure the actuator is pulling the cable that is attached to it (doesn't pull much; 1/2 inch or so). If that all checks out, then you need to look at the electronics.

When the dash buttons flash like that, the TCCM is telling you it has detected faults in the 4WD system. You can read what the TCCM is saying by doing a relatively simple diagnostic test. I would start reading here, and then do the diagnostic test that is described here. There is a fair amount of reading, but it's time well spent, as the TCCM may be able to help you avoid throwing money at the problem. Let us know what you find.
Old 05-21-2013, 11:59 PM   #25
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Re: four wheel drive problems

Quote: Originally Posted by brady.kevin07
can anyone help? i have an 01 sonoma but i cant get it to stay in 2wheel drive. it will shift on its own to 4 lo just driving down the road. i think the push button switch is bad but i was wondering if anyone knows of anything else thata could be wrong?
Hey there I am having the exact same problem does anybody out there know what this could be?
Old 05-22-2013, 09:30 AM   #26
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Re: four wheel drive problems

Quote: Originally Posted by 3S10blazer
Hey there I am having the exact same problem does anybody out there know what this could be?
I'll bet if you read this thread you'd have a pretty good idea where to start.
Old 12-18-2013, 05:41 PM   #27
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Re: four wheel drive problems

2002 S-10. I'm having two (probably related) problems. The truck pulls hard to one side in 4wd, no problem in 2wd. And when I shift between 2wd and 4wd at speed there is a several-second delay, then a very loud 'clunk' when it shifts. As an example, last night I drove my 400' driveway in 2wd with no problem, then engaged 4wd while stopped at the end of my driveway. It shifted immediately, with no clunk. As I drove down the road the vehicle pulled very hard to one side (I don't remember which direction). I pushed the 2wd button at appx 40 mph, it continued to pull for several seconds, then I heard and felt the loud clunk, and the pulling stopped.
Old 12-18-2013, 08:38 PM   #28
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Re: four wheel drive problems

I got a 01 and 4WD works good until 20-25MPH then the front right starts popiing. the driver side will still pull but the passenger side won't and it will jerk to the right. It's like the passenger side will pop out of 4WD then pop back in. the light on the dash does not flash and I have good vacuum. ANy ideas?
Old 11-08-2014, 03:31 PM   #29
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Re: four wheel drive problems

I am having a problem with my 96 s10 4.3L i changed the 4wd actuator and replaced the vacuum lines. The vacuum control switch, and the vacuum reservor. when i put it in 4wd the transfer case locks in and spins the front drive shaft but the tires dont turn. i jacked the hole truck up with jacks and nothing happened
Old 11-22-2014, 07:56 PM   #30
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Re: four wheel drive problems

I have a 2000 s10. The transfer case is engaging when I go to 4 high and 4 low and I don't have any lights flashing. It shows it is in either position, but front end isn't kicking in. I have an abs light on on the dash. Could that be part of the problem? I had a 94 that the buttons flashed and went back to 2wd. This one is not doing that it shows it in locked in. Any help would be appreciated.
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