4-Wheel Drive on a Chevy Colorado

I have been having a few issues with my '04 colorado pick-up with a Z71 off road 4X4 package. I live in a small town about an hour north and west of Boston. Where I live, my neighborhood is one of the last ones to get plowed in town, so I have been using my 4WD quite a bit to get up and out on the road this winter. Once I get to the highway, I have been trying to shut off the 4WD (push button system, not a manual operation). Last few times, it is taking longer and longer for the system to switch out of 4WD, even though the indicator light says in am in 2WD. When I took it to the local dealer, they said that it was normal, that the clutch packs on this system take a long time to switch out, even though the indicator says it is done. They suggested stopping, putting the truck in neutral, and then shifting to help speed things up. Has not worked. And them more I use the 4WD, I get this horrible hot burning oil or rubber smell that is filling up the cabin, makes everyone sick from the smell. Last night, left a friend’s place, got to the end of his snowy driveway, switched out, and then drove 15 miles before the system disengaged, all the time the smell was getting stronger, today I get the smell even in 2WD. First question, is this true, do the clutch packs really take extra time to shift on this truck (I can understand a few minutes, but 15 miles and 25 minutes?) Any idea what the smell is? I have been over and under the engine compartment, cannot see anything leaking, fluid levels all seem fine. I am concerned with the I have a long commute every day to and from work, am I doing any damage if I have to drive?

I’ve just tried to help another poster with a 4x4 problem on here: 1998 GMC Jimmy (don’t know if I was much help)

Your '04 truck and my '02 Tahoe 4x4 have the same system (I think).

When you shifted into 4WDlow did you wait until the 4WDlow light stops blinking and becomes steady BEFORE shifting the tranny into gear?

As you likely know, running the truck in 4 hi or 4 low on dry roads will cause transfer case damage.

IF the case is stuck in these gears you may well be boiling the gear oil. (Not a good thing)

I can’t say anything about those clutch packs as I don’t have enough knowledge of them.

I know your truck is an '04 but have you tried another transfer case control switch in the dash?

I agree the long time it takes to switch out is drastic.

The guys on this forum are great and work on these trucks all the time and perhaps one or more of them could help. Worth a try anyway.


You can go to the link for your specific vehicle, but just about any one of them related would do the trick.

Thanks. Going to check them outnow, see if there is anything else to see. Appreciate the help.