2004 Chevy Colorado

  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • 46,700 MILES
Note: The engine is actually inline 5 cyl, but there is no such choice under engine size

I am looking to purchase a 2004 Chevy Colorado with 46,700 miles. When I test drove the vehicle, it would shift from 2wd to 4hi fine. It would shift from 4hi to 4lo. It would not shift from 4lo to 2wd without going through 4hi. I shifted the vehicle according to the owners manual specifications. Also the vehicle would get stuck in 4wd, the transfer case would not disengage. The dealership is telling me that I have to back the vehicle up in reverse to disengage the transfer case. The manual doesn't mention doing this, he also stated that this is normal and they checked the vehicle out and it there is no problem. On the way home I stopped into a different Chevy dealership and and explained the symptoms to the service manager. He stated that it could be caused by a faulty selector switch ($150.00) or the encoder motor ($700.00). I was wondering if you had any advice on this matter.

Also, Is it adviseable to briefly operate the 4wd system in the summer to keep the transfer case gears lubricated?

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 AT 8:15 PM

1 Reply

  • 41,814 POSTS
Hi bartsng,

Thank you for the donation.

When 4WD is engaged on tarred roads, the front and rear wheels tends to produce some additional pressure on the transfer gears due to differentials.

To disengage the 4WD fully, sometimes it is necessary to reverse to release the pressure to allow the encoder motor to shift out of 4WD. This applies to almost all 4WD vehicles and there is nothing for concern if it disengages.

Since the 4WD is electrically controlled, activating it now and then to keep it in working order is a good decision but remember to drive only on untarred roads and try to keep the driving for at least 1/2 an hour.
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Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 AT 10:06 PM

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