4x4 help


Asked by Jan 21, 2015 at 10:06 PM about the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT Double Cab 4WD

Question type: General

I recently bought a 4x4 Silverado 1500 2015 Rally 2 Edition and it's my first truck with 4x4. I'm used to the AWD Subaru STI and have left the 4wd selector in Auto because the salesman never told me about the knob. Now what conditions should i have the truck in 2 wheel drive and in what conditions should i put it in auto 4x4 4x4 high or 4x4 low, and is auto 4x4 not good to run the truck in unless there is snow, etc? i'm a little confused as i thought auto would decide whether or not 4x4 is needed, but after driving it for not even a few hours i started to hear a very high pitch chirp and the mechanic there said they couldn't duplicate the noise or hear it, got my truck back it was in 2 wheel drive and they did tell me not to have it in auto mode 24/7. Any help on the differences would be great as well as what that high pitch chirp/squeal could be, it wasn't constant and only happened when shifting to drive reverse or park or releasing the gas or break or starting off from a stop.

30 Answers


If you are running on dry pavement use 2 wheel drive, if weather permits like heavy rain use auto 4WD, when road start to get nasty ie snow starting to build up use 4X4HI and keep the speed down, you can also use 4X4HI for light off road, the 4X4 low is mostly used for slow or crawl off road or pulling something slowly out of a ditch. For best fuel mileage use 2WD for most everyday uses, but you should find a gravel road somewhere and just put it in 4x4HI at least once a month, that keeps everything lubed up and functioning. As far as the noise I would take it back to the dealer if it is still under warranty, if not the try an independent shop. HTH

11 of 11 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful

Could it be that it's just brand new with 50 miles on it and that it's "warming up" and thats why it's making the noise cause it was rarely used? is that a thing ?Lol Thanks for your first answer.


Also i don't hear the noise when it's in 2 wheel drive.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Still get it checked, something could have been missed during new car prep, driveline u-joints, transfer case mount loose, etc.

Best Answer Mark helpful

Alright thanks man! appreciate it!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Howdy Chevy, I just bought my Silverado a few days ago, I actually read the entire owners manual, and found out some things for the 500 mile break in period. I do know tennisshoes is spot on. Leave it in 2w, and don't use 4 low unless you really need to. Read the book on the procedures for putting it in 4 low. I don't know about the noise, hope it didn't hurt anything by driving in Auto for a while. Good luck and enjoy the new vehicle.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

How is the fuel use when it is i 4wd auto, vs 2wd?

8 of 8 people found this helpful.

Torharley, I use mine in auto when it rains out so I don't slip on the road and 2wd when it's perfect out. I can go roughly 400mp tank in 2wd and 300+mp tank in auto if it's shitty outside. I also have a set of pipes, so I get on it a little more than if I had it stock.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

The high pitch noise is what seems like a sensor when it is in auto to determine whether it needs 4wd engaged of not. Turn off your radio and you can hear it going down the road too when you accelerate or let off.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

I have a question is it normal to feel as if the front wheel are sticking while my 2014 chevy is in 4wheel drive hi

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Like I have to give it more gas to go.


You will have to give it slightly more pedal but only slightly just cause you are moving more of the drivetrain, but a sticking feeling is not normal, did this just start happening, or did you buy it used and this is the first time you put it in 4X4?


I bought it new. It does great in auto. But when I start out in 4x4 hi or low it just feel different. Feel like the front tires don't need more help to go

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Truck only has 20,000 miles on it


When in 4WD HI or LO you are in actual 4X4 mode so power is going to the front as well as the rear equally that is why the tires must be all the same size so you don't burn something up. so if everything is that way you should be good to go, just remember that 4X4 should only be used off the beaten path or in snow or very wet conditions, never on dry black top roads, that is what the 4AUTO or the 2WD settings are for. But at least once a month find a dirt road and put it in 4X4 HI or if off road enough 4X4 LO and run it for a few miles. HTH


Had the same issue, driving in auto chewed up the drive shaft and barrings. It made an aweful noise

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Just took my Avalanche in because of the high pitched squeal and then a burnt oil smell. My differential is shot because I was driving in Aurora on dry pavement. It was in that position when I bought it from Burtness Chevrolet in Wisconsin. 29 days ago so I never changed it. Now I'm screwed.

Not Aurora, AUTO! Sorry


If you run it in auto it should only engage 4WD when there is tire slippage. Clearly something else is wrong.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Regrets is right, there has to be something else going on, when running my rig in the auto position the only thing I notice is a slight drop in mileage, so the only time I run it in auto is during a good rain storm when hydroplaning is a very high possibility, and it does help.


if you run it in auto and have a bad abs sensor wouldnt it just stay in 4wd like detecting a slippage/

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Good morning, This Ibn from chicago. Since yesterday I hear a noise from the non-driver side especially when I turn the steering wheel to the right. Is it normal or should I make a setting?


Y'all are killing me!' That 'stuck' feeling is you 4x4 system binding up, because it is not a cv joint so to speak but a drive shaft When you submit the vehicle to a turn, it is freaking out because it cannot slip!! The chirp is prolly limited slip somewhere saying 'hey unlock something here' Learn it before you drive it!! I learned these as a pimple face reading 4x4 magazines in the 80's Don't use 'auto' unless it is wet or slick You will tear stuff up!!!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Actually, My 2017 Silverado is also having the sticky feeling in 4x4 and has had the popping that sounds like it is coming from the front passanger side. The popping is actually from the leaf springs and will stop if they grease them up. The truck is in the shop for the sticky feeling right now. At 3000 RPMS it will barely move and they are saying there is an issue in the transfer case.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

The chirp occurs when the engine changes from v4 to v8. On your dash you can see when it changes, and it chirps every time for me. Try letting your vehicle coast for a bit, then give it some gas. It will go from v4 to v8 then chirp.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

My 2016 Siliverado Crew Cab 4x4 does not chirp when going from v4 to v8 or from v8 to v4. I do have the problem of a couple of others here, when I put it in 4H on icy roads, when I turn the corner it sounds and feels like the truck is trying to rip itself apart. I even tried it in my backyard (7 acres) and it was less in 4H but still there on grass. In 4L, it sounds like it is trying to rip apart on road or on grass. It really makes me wonder if there is a problem in the transfer case as suspected above. Paul

Can you switch from 2w to auto or 4w on the move or do you to be stopped to do this?


Only switching to AUTO or 4WD HI, you have to be stopped and the rig in neutral, preferably on level ground, to switch into 4WD LO. Personally I switch mine into AUTO while moving, but stop and put it in neutral when switching into 4WD HI or LO.

Guru5TD5T 2wd-Auto on the fly. 4wH if going under 30mph, completely stopped and in neutral for 4wL Going straight is not a problem in any setting, but in 4wH, even if the road are wet/slick from a stop sign and turning left or right, it starts popping and groaning, and it takes a lot of gas pedal to even move. 4wL is even worse. I wonder if it is similar to Ashley's post above and ma be a problem with leaf springs or the transfer case? My first thought would be the transfer case, but? Paul

Hey guys.. I had the same problem on our 2014 gmc sierra, when in auto during acceleration a noise would come from the truck, it got louder and louder and we took it in to be looked at.. they tuned it somehow and the noise went away.. now two years later it is starting again. I told my wife not to use the system but when you spend $50000 on a truck it should work... I live in Alberta so roads are snow and ice, no dry pavement.. The dealer just called and said they don't hear it but let me know that my A/C compressor is gone and on top of the $600 transmission coolant lines being replaced today it would be $1200 To fix..

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