How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dan Your Own Question
Dan, Auto Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 3490
Experience:  GM Mark of Excellence/ Service Guild Participant with 13 years experience, ASE Master Certified
Type Your Chevy Question Here...
Dan is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a 1999 chevy tahoe 4x4 that has i think a problem with

This answer was rated:

I have a 1999 chevy tahoe 4x4 that has i think a problem with the transfer case. It will shift into all of the four wheel drive functions but when the tahoe is in four hi and shift the transmission into reverse it just grinds. It will shift into all of the forward gears on the transmission with a small amount of grinding. When the tow truck operator was taking the tahoe off it rolled off a liitle bit then locked up. It was in nuetral a the time. After he put chockes under the front wheels it rolled off of those and then locked up again after moving just a little bit. What is the problem with my tahoe. Please help since this is my family's only vehicle. Thank you in advance for any help in solving this problem!
How many miles on your truck and has anything ever been done to the transfer case or differentials (fluid change or parts replaced)?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.


I thank you for your quick response. I was away from my computer for awhile so I apologize from the slow response. I have 139,000 miles on the tahoe. The only thing that has been done so far is the normal fluid changes that are required at the proper times. No parts have ever been replaced as of yet. Anything else that you need to know please just ask. Again thank you so very much for any help you can give me.



From experience I have seen these vehicles exhibit the same symptoms with over 100,000 miles and the transfer case to have a delay when shifting. The gears in the transmission, transfer case and both differentials are worn over time and so the gear mesh isn't nearly like it was when new. As a result this can cause a gear clash where they don't directly go into the commanded position and can take some time, noise and luck to do so. To get around or make up the difference I recommend pausing a few seconds, back up or forward and allow the gears to mesh completely before attempting to pull away. This only happens when using the 4x4 and no problems in 2wd. Try this and if it seems ok when waiting or moving the truck a few feet in reverse or forward suspect the gears are worn a little (very normal condition).
Dan and 2 other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.


I tried what you told me to do on the last reply and it still will not go into reverse (the transmission). The transfer case does engage and go through all of the gears (i.e.- 4low,4hi,2hi). Why will it not go into reverse without alot of grinding?

Is the transmission in neutral when shifting from 4wd to 2wd? If put into drive and then taken out of 4wd it works ok?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.


The whole problem started while we were driving on the highway doing about 55 mph in overdrive with the transfer case in 2 hi. We hit a bump in the road and the tahoe immediately started grinding a little bit. I got off the highway and started to test it out. While the car was still running I tried to back up (mind you the transfer case was not touched at all meaning it was still in 2hi) and it would not go into reverse. It just started grinding very lordly while trying to put into reverse. The transmission still works in all other forward gears. The transfer case will go from 2hi to 4hi to 4lo and back into 2hi. It just will not go into reverse no matter what I have tried without it grinding.

Ok, with that said I would check the transmission fluid level and condition. If suspect to be burned, high or low take the truck to a transmission reputable shop and have them run a diagnostic on the tranny. It may be something simple or may require the trans. to be removed and torn down looking for the fault/cause.
Dan and 2 other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.


The transmission level is fine and not burnt. I have had in the last 4 to 5 thousand miles the transmission serviced. My question is that if the transmission shifts into forward first gear without any problems , then why does it not go into reverse. From past experiences with Chevy transmissions the first and reverse clutch packs are the same meaning that if it works in first then it should go into reverse. I work on all types of vehicles and all years from the minor oil changes to major engine overhauls. I just have not had much experience on electric actuated transfer cases. Is it possible that it could be one of the actuators or the electric actuator motor.

If that transfer case is indeed shifting into and out of 4hi and 4lo but reverse is acting up it may be something with the chain and gears inside the transfer case itself. Have you drained the transfer case fluid looking for signs of metal or excessive wear that would indicate a problem?