4WD Not Working? Chevy Trailblazer Four-Wheel-Drive Problems

Updated on September 8, 2018

4x4 Not Working

Chevy Trailblazer 4WD not working?

It all started with a 4WD drive switch and like many car repairs, snowballed from there. My husband was driving our 2005 Chevy Trailblazer, and when he went to change the switch into four-wheel drive, the switch wouldn’t budge. Instead, it broke off–through no fault of my husband I’m told–and the 4×4 service light popped on. Thus began our massive hunt for What’s wrong-with-the-Chevy-4WD 2013 (not to be confused with the-Chevy’s-brakes-are-still-squeaking-after-we-changed-pads-and-rotors 2012 fiasco). Is your Blazer’s 4WD not working? Keep reading.


The Switcheroo

Since the switch seemed to be broken, and it was also relatively cheap to replace, that was our first move. $17 later, we found the switch wasn’t the problem. I thought that was way too easy.

Upon further research with the help of Trailvoy.com (an extremely helpful site where fellow blazer owners come to commiserate), we found a guy who successfully reset his transfer case control module by pulling fuse #8 for 30 seconds, then placing it back in. But, he didn’t have the 4×4 service light on the dashboard. We tried it just for giggles: no dice.

After even further research, we found that many folks were finding success in replacing the front actuator. We nodded our heads in agreement and excitement to find the stories of others who shared our issue. However, they were finding many different solutions: 4WD switch, fuse replacements, wire grounding problems, actuators/ encoders, Dorman vs AC Delco. This is where is where it becomes confusing! Also at this point, based on what others were forking over, we were saddened to realize that we might actually have to shell out substantial money to fix this problem.

4WD Still Not Working…

Being the adventurous DIYers we are, we found a Dorman actuator on eBay that would fit and patted ourselves on the back for only having to pay around $100 to fix this potentially pricey problem. NOPE. After that didn’t work (thank goodness for “returns accepted” policies on eBay, although we did pay for shipping here and back), we called Aamco. I told the guy my problem and symptoms, and he immediately guessed it would be an actuator problem. He invited us to bring it in and let them take a look…for $180. Just. To. Look. Needless to say, we went back to FREE researching on internet forums.

Upon even further research, we found that the words “actuator” and “encoder” were used interchangeably on many websites, and wondered if maybe we were buying an actuator when we should’ve been buying an encoder. We once again patted our savvy selves on the back and bought a $150 Dorman encoder motor on Rock Auto. NOPE! Not only did it not work, but the rig didn’t even recognize it at all–none of the switch’s lights would light up. Maybe there were other reasons for this happening, but at this point, we didn’t care any more. I was ready to give up and simply not drive the wintery roads, lest this be me:

The Thrilling Conclusion to our 4WD Problem

ACDelco GM Original Equipment Transfer Case Four Wheel Drive Actuator with Encoder Motor

Luckily, my dad had pity on us and also happened to have a buddy who owed him a favor. Don’t you love it when you know the right people? That almost never happens to me, but luckily, it did this time. After taking a look, he said he had seen aftermarket encoder motors fail to work, and that an original AC Delco actuator might still do the trick. Come to think of it, I did see that written in a forum somewhere at some point, but it was the most expensive option (except, of course, a dealership fix).

We bought our final part, this ACDelco GM Original Equipment Transfer Case Four Wheel Drive Actuator with Encoder Motor for a little over $200 on Amazon, and found a short video (below) on youtube about how to install it. We collectively held our breath after we popped it in and turned the switch. I'll never forget the satisfying clunk of the motor shifting as it should. Sure enough, it did the trick. No more service light, no more non-moving switch mode light, and no more images of mama sliding all over the road. We can hear the rig shifting when we turn the switch! Funny how a little sound can make one so giddy.

Now, if we can only figure out why the driver's side headlight keeps burning out every few months...

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, axleaddict.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://axleaddict.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)