There is a common problem with 1999-2001 Chevrolet Silverado where the service 4wd light comes on in the vehicle. The light is scary and led me to believe there were major issues with my four wheel drive, but it turns out its a quick, cheap, and painless fix by swapping out the 4wd selector switch. If you take it to a dealer they will charge you from as low as $180 to as high as $400. I’ll show you how to fix it for $50 in 5 minutes.
Update: Before step 1… make sure your transfer case fuse is good. On my truck it’s labeled ATC (Auto Transfer Case) and is located in the main fuse box under the hood.
Step 1: Remove the Dash Plate (to get the part number of your switch)
Pop off the dash. It’s simple and doesn’t requires tools. Tilt your steering wheel down and put the gear shift in 1st. Now using your fingers, pull the dash plate off. There are about a dozen points where it connects. Pop them off and pull the dash plate off.
Step 2: Pop out the 4wd Select switch
To remove the four wheel drive select switch there are little plastic locks on the top and on the right, hold them up and pull out.
Step 3: Get the part number of the switch
Turn the switch over and look for the part number on the back. Mine is a 2000 Silverado Z-71 Extended Cab. The part number is the longer of the two – 15709327. I believe they used this part for 1999, 2000, and 2001.
Step 4: Order the part
You can purchase the part, APDTY 012173 4×4, Four Wheel Drive 4WD Transfer Case Selector Button Switch. Replaces GM Part Numbers 15709327, or 19168767, from amazon by clicking the link below.
Step 5: Put in the new part
Once the part arrives, use the steps above to remove the switch and replace the new one. Total repair time: 3 minutes (and I was a huge dork and took pictures).
Used your repair the 4wd instructions. They were great and the pictures were helpful. Time will tell whether that fixed it or not. Thanks for the help.
June 15, 2007 — 5:56 am
Chris Cottrill says:
This is a very good way to fix this problem. I had the same issue and i actually fixed the old switch by soldering the broken solder joints on it. You will need a fine tipped soldering iron and some minor knowledge of soldering.
June 21, 2007 — 4:11 am
GREAT JOB!! YOU ARE THE BEST!! ITS PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE!! “OUTSTANDIG!!”
July 8, 2007 — 10:08 am
Paul Dorazio says:
Thanks for the valuable information about replacing the 4WD switch. It was very helpful. I wanted to replace that switch since I first started seeing the “Service 4WD light on my 2000 GMC with 18000 miles, but wasn’t sure how to remove the dash until I read your instructions and saw your pictures. I just ordered new switch on line so hopefully it will elimate the problem.
August 23, 2007 — 3:33 pm
Thank you for the info. My husaband is having trouble out of his too. This should be a recall too many having same problem. I needed the part number for the switch. The website is updating the catolog so I could not get part number. Thank you so much.
September 8, 2007 — 8:40 pm
Thanks. I think you nailed it. I also re-soldered the switch and it works like a charm.
November 1, 2007 — 8:27 pm
Thanks for posting this solution, My dealer wanted over $100.00 just to check out the problem and I had to leave the truck for the day. Your posting got me back running in 15 minutes, thanks again.
November 23, 2007 — 6:43 pm
Thanks for your post and pictures we have a 2002 silverado z71 truck and this helped a ton. we were able to get the part number on the back of our switch and order a new one online. Our model you had to work out with your fingers squeezing on both sides and then the number was on the back of the switch not on the metal just FYI. this part is about $90 at the dealership and way easy to replace by yourself for $40 online ordered part
February 9, 2008 — 3:30 pm
Mike Conwell says:
Thanks a bunch. You really helped out a lot of people with the pics and instructions.
February 23, 2008 — 3:43 pm
You saved me a bunch of $$$.
Simple fix cost me $52.00, which included the shipping.
GM had updated the part #.
I suppose so they can keep track of the bad ones.
It’s been in for over a month now, and I haven’t had the orange light hitting me in eyes!
May 15, 2008 — 12:33 pm
You might not have to get a new one – I didn’t.
Thanks for this great tip and easy to-follow tutorial. I didn’t have to buy a new one – just opened it up after removal and saw all the cracked solder connections. I soldered them anew and put it back in place just as described above. Good as new so far. What was once flaky, is now 100% solid after a good 1/2 day of driving around. Status lights and changes are all on spot on.
May 17, 2008 — 6:03 pm
Feel like a expert mechanic. Followed the directions, ordered the part, and it worked. Great.
September 18, 2008 — 6:46 pm
Wow!! I am having the same problem with the 2000 Silverado I just bought! Im taking it back to the dealer to get it repaired, im glad to see that hopefully it is only this switch and not anything major! Thanks alot! This definitely should be a recall.
November 5, 2008 — 9:26 pm
WOW and thanks a ton….I was worried I’d have an expensive service repair. The switch was acting flakey and the light was appearing. Took a trip to the Chevy dealer because I have to take a trip in 3 days. Charge was only $68 total so not too bad to have peace of mind. Thanks much for posting and the great pics!
November 12, 2008 — 7:29 pm
I’m having the same message on my 2005 Silverado. Would this be the same thing? The 4wd seems to work fine when I use it.
January 6, 2009 — 6:42 pm
does this work if 4 high light stays on and change out to 2 hi or 4 low, with service 4wd light on still?
February 4, 2009 — 11:03 am
thanks! the switch replacement worked for me! i bought it directly from the local chevy parts house and it was only $76.
March 13, 2009 — 6:14 am
John Wilkinson says:
I also used your method to change out my 4 wheel drive switch on my 2000 pickup. Thanks for your help because I would not have ever tried to do it without your instructions.
May 4, 2009 — 8:24 am
I have the same problem with a 2005 Z71, Also I lost most power when I tried to accelerate. Anyone else have this happen to there fine piece of GM Tecnology?
August 20, 2009 — 2:32 pm
Thanks for saving me a small fortune. I followed your directions and wahla~ no more 4 wheel drive shifting problems. Thanks again!!!!
August 24, 2009 — 12:54 pm
Did your truck ever shift into four-low upon start-up. My service 4wd light has come on several times, not allowing me to engage the 4-low or 4-high settings. Twice, at startup, I have noticed that it shifted itself into 4-low.
September 14, 2009 — 6:48 pm
Thanks for the instructions here on the switch replacement.
I saved a bundle of cash, by doing this myself, yippee!
September 15, 2009 — 2:12 pm
I have a 1999 GMC Sierra and the with same problem as above, I checked out the manual and said to “check dealer”, I called the service adviser at the same place I bought the truck at for advice, and would only help me if I brought in the truck in for service. I went ahead and checked all my mechanical componants to see if I could find the problem, I was at the point of frustration.Thank you for the advice.
WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH GM? This should be a recall issue.
September 21, 2009 — 10:12 am
michael jack says:
just finished all i did was clean the inside of switch
with contact cleaner and the connections also works
like a charm cost me nothing
September 23, 2009 — 2:23 pm
I am looking for info on this. My husband’s service 4X4 light is on, and 4×4 doesn’t work. he tried putting in a used switch, and this didn’t work. Do you have any other suggestions??
September 30, 2009 — 1:44 pm
Dave in St. Louis says:
THANK YOU! I thought I had a major problem but after following your instructions, I fixed this on my lunch break. It only took 15 minutes to pop it out and $56 to buy one from a nearby dealer. And now it works great!
October 7, 2009 — 11:52 am
I had the same problem took out the switch and resoldered works like new. Thanks took about 20 min Dealer was 147 for new switch and an hour to install.
October 8, 2009 — 5:22 am
Hey- I also soldered the connections on the switch on my 2000 GMC Sierra. No more warning light problems, but now the backlight for the pushbuttons isn’t working. This really isn’t a problem except that the pushbuttons will be a little harder to find in the dark.
Thanks for all the great postings
October 13, 2009 — 5:24 pm
I had the same problem on my 2004 Z71. I priced the part @ $83 through the dealer and $64 after shipping through GMpartsdirect. Instead, I resoldered the connectors inside the switch. 20 minutes start to finish! Works like a champ!
October 22, 2009 — 3:11 am
Dave B says:
Thanks for the info. I resoldered the connections on my 2000 Z71 and it worked! The info and pix help a bunch.
November 8, 2009 — 9:41 pm
Trey… my ’05 does sometimes shift into 4 Low at startup and is hard to get out of 4WL. I’ve had this problem since day 1. Took to dealership under warranty and they kept it for 4 days said no problem found. I finally paid $90 for a switch and replace it myself… no problems for about 6 months and then it came back. I’m at a loss. I just pulled my newest switch and am going to check for cold solder joints.
December 2, 2009 — 12:39 pm
Hey guys… those of you that soldered the connections… did you remove the board from the plastic or just solder the exposed connections on top? Thanks
December 2, 2009 — 12:42 pm
I bought a new switch from my local dealer for $61, listed for $76. The part number has changed to 019168767. It took me almost as long to remove the dash as it did to replace the switch. Works like a dream
December 9, 2009 — 6:04 am
I had the same issue and replaced the transfer case switch with a new onel problem solved for $60.00 vs. $200.00 plus for a GM technician to troubleshoot and replace it.
December 12, 2009 — 2:25 pm
Ben Ball says:
I’m 100%, three for three with that switch. It went bad on my ’99 GMC Sierra, ’99 Silverado and now my ’00 Silverado. I paid the big bucks for the part the first two times, now I’m heading for the soldering iron. Thanks to all.
December 21, 2009 — 6:05 am
resoldering the pin connections fixed the problem now the lights all illuminate appropriately, and all four wheel drive functions are normal. I just soldered the pin connections with the board still connected to plastic housing no problems thanks for the tip
December 26, 2009 — 4:37 pm
Just wondering if anyone else encountered no change after reflowing the pin solder connections?
January 13, 2010 — 3:44 pm
THANKS, this saved me big time as I’ve had the flashing light problem for years but also have problems from time to time getting to/from 4WH back into 2WD. I’ve been stuck in 4WL for over a day now, read this article and took the unit out, checked the wiring and sodering ect, put it back in and everything is working fine now. I was going to have to rent a car for a 5 hour drive tomorrow so this saved me BIG time!!!!
February 7, 2010 — 1:47 pm
Mike Williams says:
Very valuable guide to fixing my problem – almost 10 years back. Hope the author gets this attaboy. Thanks very much!
December 17, 2016 — 9:26 pm
Big Ant says:
Reading this Post saved me a TON of time and money … it was the ATC fuse SIMPLE FIX
February 11, 2017 — 7:02 pm
Wayne Maier says:
Had a 4 Wheel Service light and intermittent indicator lights on the transfer switch. Followed your installation instructions after purchasing a replacement part and the repair went perfect. Much appreciate your help.
June 28, 2017 — 10:49 am
Brian Larson says:
My switches work fine but will not disengage 4wd unless I stop, put in park and turn truck off.
September 26, 2017 — 1:13 am
Fantastic. Worked like a charm. Great instructions. Easy. Thank you!!!!
May 28, 2018 — 6:12 pm
David hannickel says:
I replaced my switch and nothing happened what do you do then? Is there a what’s next on the list.
August 28, 2018 — 12:16 am