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2011 Chevrolet Colorado
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Discussion Starter #1
Well I finally purchased myself a Colorado 2 days ago and have been loving it so far. I bought it knowing about this issue and the previous owner seemed to be surprised by it when I was checking out the truck (he's 90 and put under 10k on it in the 5 years he's owned it). But when I put the truck is 4WD the light just stays flashing, I thought replacing the 4WD actuator would fix it but I had the same issue with the new one I installed today so I decided to return it. I tested both the old and new one and neither were moving when I would press the 4Hi button. I can hear a motor noise and click when I shift into 4WD but it doesn't engage, when I put it in 4Lo I get the usual clunk but that doesn't engage either, light just stays flashing. My uncle tested the actuator plug and said it was getting power but then later said it was getting power all the time so I don't know what to think of that. I've read a lot of threads on similar problems but can't seem to pinpoint what my issue may be. Would appreciate any help I could get so I can get my 4WD back up and running before the heavy snow hits here in Upstate NY!
 

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My uncle tested the actuator plug and said it was getting power but then later said it was getting power all the time so I don't know what to think of that.
The actuator works by breaking the ground not the positive. I believe it’s the light blue wire.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The actuator works by breaking the ground not the positive. I believe it’s the light blue wire.
Hate to sound like an idiot as a new member but I know nothing about electrical stuff. So how would I go about manually breaking the ground to test if the actuator is working?
 

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does it do it when you put it in 4wd low? or how about neutral? does it actually go into 4wd but the light keeps flashing?
if you put it in 4wd and light is flashing and you floor it and it goes forward spinning the back wheels it is propably the front axle actuator, check to make sure the wiring and connector are in good shape


 

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Discussion Starter #5
does it do it when you put it in 4wd low? or how about neutral? does it actually go into 4wd but the light keeps flashing?

there is an actuator on the front axle that also has to engage also. Make sure the wire connector on it is clean and tight.
Yes just flashes with 4 low aswell. It is not engaging in 4wd at all, only the rear 2 wheels are spinning. I changed that actuator and it didn't seem to be engaging I just don't know why, guess best bet is to test the wires?
 

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Yes just flashes with 4 low aswell. It is not engaging in 4wd at all, only the rear 2 wheels are spinning. I changed that actuator and it didn't seem to be engaging I just don't know why, guess best bet is to test the wires?
re-reaad what I wrote, I take it you tested/replaced the actuator on the transfer case, there is also one on the front axle, if it is not working/engaging the front axle the light will blink and just the rear tires will spin
 

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Discussion Starter #7
re-reaad what I wrote, I take it you tested/replaced the actuator on the transfer case, there is also one on the front axle, if it is not working/engaging the front axle the light will blink and just the rear tires will spin
Actually I think I replaced the actuator on the front axle, couldn't get it to move by switching into 4wd though.
 

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Actually I think I replaced the actuator on the front axle, couldn't get it to move by switching into 4wd though.
ok, from what I read, I assumed you replaced then returned the one on the transfer case, not the one on the front axle.

put it in 4wd and tap the one on the transfer case, it is usually the one that goes bad...it may just be stuck. Or just replace it...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ok, from what I read, I assumed you replaced then returned the one on the transfer case, not the one on the front axle.

put it in 4wd and tap the one on the transfer case, it is usually the one that goes bad...it may just be stuck. Or just replace it...
Ok will do! Would that make it normal for the front axle one not to move?
 

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These guys have covered it pretty well but I'll suggest a couple things.

Crawl under your truck and remove the transfer case encoder motor. While your still underneath the truck have another person try and put the truck into 4wd. (Obviously don't get ran over. Keep the truck stationary). The shaft on the encoder motor should turn. If the encoder motor shaft turns then its probably good.

Next remove the front axle actuator and once again have someone try and put it into 4wd using safety precautions once again. The actuator should extend and retract as you switch between 2wd and 4wd.

If both the encoder motor and front actuator function there should be no reason it will not go into 4wd.

Sometimes gently tapping the encoder motor while switching into 4wd will "unfreeze" a stuck motor so I'd give it a tap or ten if it doesn't work at first.

If neither one works the problem could be the transfer case control module located under the drivers seat. Its pretty common for the 1st Gens to leak and get the control module soaked which ruins your chances at 4wd.

Good Luck.

Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
These guys have covered it pretty well but I'll suggest a couple things.

Crawl under your truck and remove the transfer case encoder motor. While your still underneath the truck have another person try and put the truck into 4wd. (Obviously don't get ran over. Keep the truck stationary). The shaft on the encoder motor should turn. If the encoder motor shaft turns then its probably good.

Next remove the front axle actuator and once again have someone try and put it into 4wd using safety precautions once again. The actuator should extend and retract as you switch between 2wd and 4wd.

If both the encoder motor and front actuator function there should be no reason it will not go into 4wd.

Sometimes gently tapping the encoder motor while switching into 4wd will "unfreeze" a stuck motor so I'd give it a tap or ten if it doesn't work at first.

If neither one works the problem could be the transfer case control module located under the drivers seat. Its pretty common for the 1st Gens to leak and get the control module soaked which ruins your chances at 4wd.

Good Luck.

Keep us posted.
Ok thank you for the more elaborate response. I've posted this question on 3 different platforms and have heard so many answers of "check this and that ground" "get it scanned at a tuners" "replace transfer case switches" "have TCCM reprogrammed" and it'd definetly be nice to narrow it down some before I start doing the game of "Ok I spent $200 on this and it doesn't work, what do I buy next?"
 

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Discussion Starter #12
These guys have covered it pretty well but I'll suggest a couple things.

Crawl under your truck and remove the transfer case encoder motor. While your still underneath the truck have another person try and put the truck into 4wd. (Obviously don't get ran over. Keep the truck stationary). The shaft on the encoder motor should turn. If the encoder motor shaft turns then its probably good.

Next remove the front axle actuator and once again have someone try and put it into 4wd using safety precautions once again. The actuator should extend and retract as you switch between 2wd and 4wd.

If both the encoder motor and front actuator function there should be no reason it will not go into 4wd.

Sometimes gently tapping the encoder motor while switching into 4wd will "unfreeze" a stuck motor so I'd give it a tap or ten if it doesn't work at first.

If neither one works the problem could be the transfer case control module located under the drivers seat. Its pretty common for the 1st Gens to leak and get the control module soaked which ruins your chances at 4wd.

Good Luck.

Keep us posted.
Also I have already tested the front axle actuator and that wasn't moving at all when switching from 2wd to 4wd, so I guess I'll test the transfer case motor and if that doesn't move i'll take the drivers seat out and see what that looks like.
 

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I was digging through some old 4wd issue threads over on 355nation and came across a few referencing the 2/4 switch.

Apparently a faulty transfer case 2/4 switch can cause the issues your experiencing to a certain degree.

A few guys stated that they would actually have 4wd but it wouldn’t indicate it on the dash. Others said they got nothing.

Removing and checking the 2/4 switch is simple and free. Worth a shot.

Sorry I didn’t suggest it yesterday but I’m not much of a T150 expert. I never had much luck with it honestly.

Good Luck! Keep us posted.
 

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I was digging through some old 4wd issue threads over on 355nation and came across a few referencing the 2/4 switch.

Apparently a faulty transfer case 2/4 switch can cause the issues your experiencing to a certain degree.

A few guys stated that they would actually have 4wd but it wouldn’t indicate it on the dash. Others said they got nothing.

Removing and checking the 2/4 switch is simple and free. Worth a shot.

Sorry I didn’t suggest it yesterday but I’m not much of a T150 expert. I never had much luck with it honestly.

Good Luck! Keep us posted.
What is the procedure for checking the 2/4 switch?
 

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What is the procedure for checking the 2/4 switch?
To be perfectly honest I’ve never checked a 2/4 switch but it’s just a switch so I’d grab a multimeter.

I’d check it like any other switch. Doubt it’s anything special. Essentially your checking for continuity and then seeing if it breaks with the switch.

Obviously that’s assuming the switch itself is in good shape. Sometimes wires get frayed and break which is pretty apparent if present.

I’ll dig some more later to find out more regarding that circuit. I’m not 100% sure if the switch is normally closed or open.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
To be perfectly honest I’ve never checked a 2/4 switch but it’s just a switch so I’d grab a multimeter.

I’d check it like any other switch. Doubt it’s anything special. Essentially your checking for continuity and then seeing if it breaks with the switch.

Obviously that’s assuming the switch itself is in good shape. Sometimes wires get frayed and break which is pretty apparent if present.

I’ll dig some more later to find out more regarding that circuit. I’m not 100% sure if the switch is normally closed or open.
Well I had my wiring guy stop by today and test everything and sure enough it is the 2/4 switch! So now just the waiting game on getting the part! Gonna call around tomorrow and hopefully I can get one without waiting a week for shipping.
 

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Well I had my wiring guy stop by today and test everything and sure enough it is the 2/4 switch! So now just the waiting game on getting the part! Gonna call around tomorrow and hopefully I can get one without waiting a week for shipping.
Really glad you were able to troubleshoot the problem. Please let us know if that fixes it. This thread may help the next guy.
 

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Will do! Hopefully will have the part early next week. No auto stores seem to have any clue what i'm referring to even when I tell them the GM part number so I guess I have to wait for shipping!
 

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Will do! Hopefully will have the part early next week. No auto stores seem to have any clue what i'm referring to even when I tell them the GM part number so I guess I have to wait for shipping!
The switch you need is GM# 98181804 , Rockauto has it for $70.79 , or order through a dealership. Please post the testing procedure used to diagnose the switch failure as it seems most people jump to the conclusion that the actuator is always at fault .
 

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The switch you need is GM# 98181804 , Rockauto has it for $70.79 , or order through a dealership. Please post the testing procedure used to diagnose the switch failure as it seems most people jump to the conclusion that the actuator is always at fault .
Thanks! Did purchase through RockAuto with 2 day shipping and replaced the switch and worked right away. I'll have to ask my wiring guy what he did to test the switch and let you know.
 
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