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2005 Chevrolet Silverado 4x4 switching problem

- Chevrolet-1500 Pickup

Forum Post
09/09/09 17:58

2005 Chevrolet Silverado 4x4 switching problem

In Nov 2005, the dealership changed out an encoder/sensor due to a problem I was having with the four wheel drive automatically shifting from 2 wheel to 4 HI or even 4 LO while driving. The problem has returned. Has anyone else had a problem like this? Has anyone changed out the sensor or encoder before? Thanks


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This post has a total of 10 replies. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

This forum post has messages dated from 09/09/09 through 01/25/12, please be sure to read all the messages. If you feel it is old or outdated, please follow up with a question or comment and someone may be able to update it, or reply with newer information if you have it.

09/24/09 15:01

My encoder sensor on my 2005 Z71 Tahoe also went out within the 36K mile warranty and was replaced. The neutral (red) light would randomly come on, accompanied by "Service 4WD" on the read out. The issue repeated closer to 50K miles, once my warranty had lapsed of course. Random LED activity on the push buttons returned, occasionally working fine, as well as the intermittent availability of 4WD. Around 75K miles, the issue became constant. I lived without 4WD for a while until my Tahoe started "auto engaging" 4WD both high and low range, despite the push buttons not functioning.

After being told that only a Chevy Dealer could diagnose my 4WD system due to it requiring special equipment that Chevy alone possesses, I took it in and approved their $102.00 diagnostic fee. They determined in a few hours that it was another encoder sensor gone bad, possibly the same one, so I had it repaired. Stonebriar Chevrolet in Frisco dealer price to repair was 114.32 parts and 234.60 labor plus tax. No consideration was offered despite this being a repeat issue.

I plan to sell my Tahoe before this chronic problem happens again.

06/12/10 19:37

yes my 2005 chev silvarado has same auto 4 wheel shift problems the shift lights will not come on or will shift by it self it seems to act up after a hard rain and yes the dealer put a new shift module & senser at a cost of $600.00 and that lasted 3 months of course the warrenty ran out now i pull this truck on a trailor backed on don, t no if rain could be getting into trans switch the back of switch where wires go in is open chevrolet has no idea but for another $600.00 they could take a look
09/16/10 20:17
David E.

My 2005 Silverado Z71 4x4 switches from 2H to 4H. Seems to happen when I am decelerating and/or slowing to going around turns/bends. My speedometer is also completely out of whack. Sitting still it could register anything but 0. Any thoughts?
11/30/10 11:19

I too have been having issues with my 2005 silverado 1500HD 4 wheel drive switch indicating erroneous positions. Sometimes it works but mostly not. Haven't had it shift into 4H or 4L by itself yet. I'm told that the longer you let it go the worse it will get and this may begin to happen. 4L wouldn't be good if your going 65 mph. Unfortunately the only option is to pay diagnostic fees (which i did) to determine if you have a bad switch, encoder or T/case module. Any of these three components could cause the problem. You don't want to just randomly start replacing them as they are each expensive. In my case i got lucky and the only problem after diagnosis was a bad connection at the 8 pin conector on my T/case. As far as gauges not working, I think every GM vehicle this past decade has this problem. My wifes 2004 buick and my 2005 Silverado both have issues. It is due to bad stepper motors that GM has been using for quite some time. I found a few different places (using google) you can send your instrument cluster for repair. The prices and turn around times where very reasonble. I hope this info helps someone.
12/04/10 03:52

I have a 99 silverado 5.3 it has 187k and it has comed out great. my only problem most of the time is shifting into any 4WD option. when i start the truck if all the lights on teh 4WD go on, it will work perfectly, but they normally dont shine. What do you guys think it is? is it just the sensor? or teh motor that shifts??? but i have never had trouble that it shifts on by itself, and if i shift in, it shifts out easily.
12/20/10 17:47
jeff parr

i have a 2002 gmc 4x4 the switch on dash light went out when putting in lo and now transfer case is netural help
12/30/10 12:13
Joe Beebe

I have owned my 2005 K-1500 from new. I have replaced the Trans once, and the transfer case mod 4 times, the 4 weel switching mod 3 times and the 4H/L switch motor 6 times. all this happens when it rains, or I use it off road in wet locations. the dealer says everything is sealed so moisture/wet has nothing to do with the problem. I love my truck, and have 210, 000 miles on it, and the engin still has 89% of OEM compresion WHAT is the issue here?
02/04/11 22:28

i have a 2005 chevy silverado z 71, it started with my 4 ed shufting into gear by its self then my lights went out on the buttons for the 4x4. now it won;t even shift into 4wd drive can anyone help me find out what's going on with my truck?
12/27/11 13:22
red deer alberta canada
Thank author of this post/comment"SWITCHING PROBLEMS"

01/25/12 00:59
st paul, MN
Thank author of this post/comment"gmc 2500"


I have a gmc light-duty 2500 with the 6.0 engine. I also have the same problem with the 4x4 sometimes working, and sometimes not. The lights on the 4x4 switch panel illuminate sometimes, and I can switch between 2wd, 4wd-hi, 4wd-low, and awd. Sometimes the lights do not work, and I cannot switch at all. The dealer wants $600 - $900 to "fix" the problem. What exactly is the problem? My 2001 Chevy light-duty 2500 with the 6.0 engine had the same issues.

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    Chevrolet 1500 Pickup '2005 Chevrolet Silverado 4x4 switching problem'