Service 4WD Message May be Displayed on Chevrolet Suburban 1500

Problem Description and Possible Solution

The 4WD transfer case encoder motor position sensor or the selector switch may fail causing the service 4WD message to be displayed. Fault code(s) stored in the transfer case control module will be of assistance in determining the exact fault causing the message to be displayed.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 146,384 (14,900–500,000)
Drive Trains affected: 2WD, 4WD
11 model years affected: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, more2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011
101 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 20 of 47 comments
sometimes when driving my truck will shift into 4wd and when i push the button to put it back into 2wd the light just flashes. i have to restart my truck several times before it will switch back.
Vehicle shifts without warning from 2 wheel drive to 4WD. Currently can not get it out of 4WD.
Service 4 wheel drive message information center and sometimes the switch is disabled with no orange lights and disabling the control.
I had been driving my suburban and parked. Went into store and came back out. I started my suburban and the service 4 wheel drive message showed up. It was making an awful squealing noise and my suburban didn't want to let me back up, but I could drive forward no problem. Luckily I got it home and it is parked. Have had lots of rain here.
4WD Service light came on intermittently. 4WD/2WD indicator lights would indicate Neutral or 4WD-L and the engine would bog down until it shifted out of Low. "System Stability Disabled" warning would also come on. Took to a mechanic that want about $570 to instal the new 4WD Transfer Case Postion Sensor. this really seams to be a manufacturing defect, but it past warranty.
My truck automatically goes from 2wd to 4wd then stays in neutral
On 4 wheel drive indicator panel, light goes from 2WH to Neutral, service 4wheel drive is displayed and Traction Control System is disabled.
While driving down the road, transfer kicks out of 2 wheel high and goes into neutral. the only way to get the vehicle to move is to put into auto 4wd.
4wd selector switch lights work, and will switch from auto 4wd, 2wd, 4hi and 4lo but the 4wd does not engage.
service 4x4 light on
shifts it self out of 2 wheel drive, lite blinks and will not engage and go into gear. Works later after a few minutes. When in 4 wheel , it will not in engage sometimes and message comes on to service 4 wheel drive. From research it seem that it is the transfer case sensor. It has done one or more of these things in the last 30 days and then run ok
Service 4WD lite will come on, lites on 2wd, 4wd hi and lo indicator will come on simultaneously in a dimmer mode or one will have a red lite. Vehicle will behave like it is shifting into 4WD but won't fully engage. Engine will become sporadic and will sometimes have an effect of the transmission shifting up and down in the gears. Acceleration is severley limited and engine while in gear will remain at a low rpm with full throttle on the gas pedal. Only way to stop it was to stop and restart the motor. Shift into neutral, then push one of the 4WD buttons, then the 2WD button, which you could then hear and feel the transfer case shift back to 2WD. Then it would drive fine until the next time it would do it. About every 50 to 100 miles it does this.
the "service 4WD" notice goes on, the stability system will not work and the lights go off on the selector for 2 or 4WD HI and LOW; the car cannot be used in 4WD and it gets very scary. I has not been fixed.
4WD light is on. Vehicle won't go into 4wd
I replaced the 4wd transfer switch in 2007 and
now again it is not working, this would be the
second switch I would replace, all GM parts
Tranny went out at 128,000 miles, spent $2000.00 (at Aamco) for a rebuilt transmission. Now it will not go into gear unless I put it in 4WD Auto.
Aamco now states;" it needs a new Transfer Case and Encoder motor at $800.00.
It doesn't pass the smell test for me!!!!!
Elston Howard
The suburban either won't go into 4x4 at all or is engaged at start up now the tranny slips and the 4x4 service comes on the dash wut do I do
I can't stwich 4wd back to 2wd and when I'm stwich to 4L it keep saying system disable.
Get 4wd serviced won't go in 2wd when push the button.
Actuater junk. Cant get it out of auto 4wd. 2nd time we have had to replace it on this truck.