2001 Youkon XL 1500 - Stuck in 4WD L

Good snow storm and put vehicle in 4WD L, push-button automatic. Tried to return to 2WD H, pushed button, flashed, but did not return. What should I do?

You should check the 15amp fuse in the fuse box under the dash (4wd). If it is ok check the connection on the actuator motor on the front axle. Did you try backing up a few feet to disengage 4wd ?

Read the manual about going a 2 or 3 miles an hour while changing. The only time I use 4 lo is for pulling the boat out at bad launches. If you have the auto, that is my preferred setting for snow, it only kicks in when it is needed. Mine got stuck in 4 low once and it was a matter of goofing with it at the couple of miles an hour if forward and reverse. What finally worked I think was 4 lo to 4 hi then off.Couple of years ago and no problem since. I cycle through all the settings periodically, I don’t know if it does any good or not.

Drive forward at 3 or 4 mph. Push the button to move the 4-wheel into 4 HIGH. Keep driving forwards very slowly for a few yards. Push the button to put the 4-wheel into 2 HIGH. That should put you back into 2 wheel drive.

If that don’t work, try the same procedure in Reverse.

It’s probably just a little stiff from the cold. If you have too, drive it around your neighborhood in 4-Wheel LOW for 10 minutes until the vehicle is warmed up a little bit. Then try the procedure above.

Good luck!!

If you tried the suggestions above and no luck, then your transfer case is tight. This binding occurs when you run in 4WD on pavement. Wet pavement is similar to dry so when you get clear of the snow and mushy stuff you don’t need to be in 4WD anymore and should shift to 2WD.

4WDL will bind more and faster. At this point you need to get the truck on a snow covered area or a grassy or gravel field. Make some turns and the wheels can spin enough in the loose snow, ice, dirt, or gravel and the bound up pressure can be released. You need to find somewhere with low traction to release the pressure. Then using the suggestions above might work.

If you can’t find any low traction spots without driving on pavement then you have a problem. You really shouldn’t drive the truck in 4WDL on pavement. If you do the pressure could be released by something snapping in your drivetrain, expensive. If you don’t have some success soon, you may need a tow to a mechanic. They can put it up on a lift and run through the gears and thereby release the pressure.

I was able to get the vehicle out of 4WD L by putting the Youkon into Neutral and let the vehicle sit for a short moment and it switched to 4WD H. I then shifted into Drive and slowly moved forward, pushed 2WD H and now I am back on the road. Thanks to all of you and the staff at Car Talk for making this possible! I am old dog, but this new forum stuff really works! Jim

If you in a cold climate than the vacume actuator might be sluggist,check the vacume hose for cracks and the actuator plunger for sticking.