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Engage 4 Wheel Drive GMC Sierra: Mastering the Mode and Steps

Editor: J. Goreham | Updated: Sunday, February 11th, 2024

If you love going off-road or live in a place with tricky weather, you should know how to use 4-wheel drive in your vehicle. In this article, we'll explain what 4-wheel drive is, why it's important, and how to activate it in a GMC Sierra.

The 4-wheel drive, also called 4WD or 4x4, sends power to all four wheels at once. Unlike 2-wheel drive (2WD), which powers only two wheels, 4WD gives you better traction and control on slippery or bumpy surfaces.

Knowing how to use 4-wheel drive is vital to get the most out of your vehicle. It helps you handle tough terrain, but you need to be careful. Using 4WD on a solid surface can strain your vehicle's drivetrain and even get you stuck.

Preparing to Engage 4-Wheel Drive

When you're ready to use 4-wheel drive, there are some basic steps to keep in mind. Here's how to do it:

1. Check the Manual

First, take a look at your vehicle's manual. It's your best friend for understanding how to activate 4-wheel drive in your specific vehicle. Following these instructions is essential to avoid any damage.

2. Position the Vehicle

Make sure your vehicle is on a level surface before engaging 4-wheel drive. If you're on a slope, put on the parking brake and use wheel blocks to keep your vehicle from rolling.

3. Engage the Parking Brake

Before you use 4-wheel drive, don't forget to engage the parking brake. This keeps your vehicle steady and safe while you're switching to 4WD.

By following these easy steps, you'll be all set to use 4-wheel drive without any hassle. Safety first, and you're good to go!

How to Engage 4-Wheel Drive in a GMC Sierra - Mode and Step Guide

Now that you've prepared your vehicle, it's time to engage 4-wheel drive. Here's how to do it in a GMC Sierra:

Mode 1: 2-Wheel Drive

The first mode is 2-wheel drive. In this mode, power is sent only to the rear wheels. To engage 2-wheel drive, simply start your vehicle and drive as you normally would.

Mode 2: High 4-Wheel Drive

The second mode is high 4-wheel drive. In this mode, power is sent to all four wheels, but the front and rear wheels are spinning at the same speed. This mode is ideal for driving on slippery or muddy surfaces. Here's how to engage high 4-wheel drive in a GMC Sierra:

  • Come to a complete stop.
  • Shift the transmission into neutral.
  • Pull the 4WD selector switch back to the 4HI position.
  • Shift the transmission into drive.

Mode 3: Low 4-Wheel Drive

The third mode is low 4-wheel drive. In this mode, power is also sent to all four wheels, but the front and rear wheels are spinning at different speeds. This mode is ideal for crawling over rocks or driving through deep snow. Here's how to engage low 4-wheel drive in a GMC Sierra:

  • Come to a complete stop.
  • Shift the transmission into neutral.
  • Press and hold the 4WD selector switch for 2 seconds. The switch will then flash for a few seconds and then stop flashing when low 4-wheel drive is engaged.
  • Shift the transmission into drive.

Mode 4: Automatic 4-Wheel Drive

Some GMC Sierra models come with an automatic 4-wheel drive system. This system will automatically engage 4-wheel drive when it senses a loss of traction. To engage automatic 4-wheel drive in a GMC Sierra, simply turn the 4WD selector switch to AUTO.

Testing 4-Wheel Drive

Once you've engaged 4-wheel drive, it's important to test it out before you hit the road. Here's how to do it:

  • Start moving slowly and steadily.
  • Accelerate gently.
  • Pay attention to how the vehicle handles. If it feels smooth and there are no strange noises or vibrations, then you're good to go.

How Does 4-Wheel Drive GMC Sierra Perform?

So, how does the GMC Sierra perform in 4-wheel drive? Well, it depends on the specific model and the conditions you're driving in. Generally speaking, the GMC Sierra is a capable off-road vehicle that can handle a variety of terrain. However, it's always important to follow the manufacturer's instructions and to use common sense when driving off-road.

Which GMC Sierras Have 4WD?

Most GMC Sierras come with the option of 4-wheel drive. The exact specifications and features will depend on the specific model and year.

Please, check out the chart below:

Model2-Wheel Drive4-Wheel DriveStandard 4-Wheel Drive
SLEYesYesNo
ElevationYesYesNo
SLTYesYesNo
AT4YesNoYes
DenaliYesNoNo
Conclusion

In conclusion, knowing how to engage 4-wheel drive in your vehicle is essential if you want to make the most of its capabilities. By following the manufacturer's instructions and using common sense when driving off-road, you can enjoy a safe and thrilling adventure in your GMC Sierra. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore!

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