Whenever you need a lot of power while traveling, a 4 wheel drive GMC Sierra is always the right choice. Whether you’re negotiating challenging terrain or just driving home from a muddy trail, you will feel safe with your all-weather traction system.
GMC 4 Wheel Drive Vehicles includes the standard equipment on all its Sierra models. You can engage it manually by using the four-wheel-drive shift lever in your vehicle. This function can also be turned on and off through the electronic transfer case (ECT) switch located on the instrument panel.
Enabling 4-wheel drive for your car is one of the most important steps in off-road performance. Unlike two-wheel drive, the four-wheel-drive transfers power equally to all wheels, resulting in better traction and control over difficult terrain. When you look at the workings of the GMC Sierra 4WD system, you will see that it’s quite simple and works almost without any involvement from you.
How to Engage 4 Wheel Drive GMC Sierra – Step by Step Guide
Engaging a 4WD system won’t be that hard if you learn how to do it. Once you master the skill, you’ll enjoy a hassle-free drive in all conditions.
The GMC Sierra has several convenience and safety features. Among them is the 4×4 system. Turning it on and off is a breeze.
Let us discuss the different modes of driving in 4WD GMC Sierra:
Two Wheel Drive
The Two-Wheel Drive also known as Two High modes is considered the normal mode of driving in the GMC Sierra. When you are driving over smooth and plain surfaces, there is no need to use the 4 wheel drive mode. You can use the two-wheel-drive mode to keep the components of your vehicle safe from distractions.
Four Wheel Drive (High)
When driving on slippery roads that are difficult to climb and also soft when traveling, the 4↑ settings will help you. It improves traction on slippery paths by preventing wheel slippage in the rear of the car.
When the four-wheel-drive system in your GMC Sierra is in high range it helps to reduce wheel slip and increases traction, particularly on slippery surfaces like loose sand, snow, and mud regardless of whether you are driving fast or slow.
With High Range mode, you can control a significant amount of torque every time shifting up or down. It is capable of preventing a wheel from slipping with its lock and is also used for climbing an easy slope.
Four Wheel Drive (Low)
Low range transfer case gears usually come with a 4↓ marking. This mode helps in transferring power to the wheels. It is effective in situations wherein your vehicle is stuck in sand, mud, and snow, therefore making it easy to get out of those conditions.
This feature is good for Muddy, slippery, and deep mud ruts for which a full four-wheel-drive system will bring out the best results.
4↓ is better for low speeds and when traction is required. This function engages all four wheels, and the front axle locks up for greater control.
Note: Low range is exclusively for off-road driving. Avoid using 4↓ on slippery surfaces, such as roads with snow and ice.
Automatic Four Wheel Drive
Sierra 4WD models come with the AUTO Mode for turning wheel drive into four-wheel drive.
The GMC Auto 4wd System allows your vehicle to have lower gears for going through rough terrain and higher gears for city driving. The RWD GMC Sierra can change from 2wd to 4wd AUTO easily, so when needed you can enjoy the extra grip given by the front axle without locking it at all times.
You should use the 4WD Auto setting whenever you are not in a hurry and driving on smooth and rough surfaces at a time. This setting engages the driving force to both axles, and it calculates the right amount of torque to distribute, ensuring smooth driving.
Important Driving Tips for GMC 4WD Sierra
Here are some driving tips for the beneficiaries of GCM 4WD Sierra, you can follow these steps to make your journey more enjoyable.
1- Turn the ignition on.
2– Remove any snow, salt, or mud that might have accumulated beneath your Sierra’s tires from weather and road contaminants.
3– Move the shift lever to the “4WD” position (for manual transmission). If you are using an automatic transmission, you will need to push through a series of actions to engage the 4WD mode.
4– Turn on your vehicle’s high beams, as this will help you in seeing any obstacles ahead of time. It is important to realize that your Sierra can still slip or slide while operating in 4WD mode due to poor traction conditions even if it has been engaged properly. In these situations, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
5- Take your vehicle easy while driving in 4WD mode. You need to avoid sudden acceleration or braking. This will help you maintain the grip of the wheels and go through rough terrains without much trouble.
6– Avoid turning on the steering wheel or shifting into reverse gear while in 4WD mode. This can cause your vehicle to roll back or have the wheels slip sideways while functioning in a four-wheel drive.
7– Try engaging and disengaging 4WD mode a few times until you get used to how it works on your Sierra. Don’t take off any terrain that you are not comfortable with.
8– After you are done driving your GMC Sierra, make sure that everything is in its place and you’ve parked it properly. You can engage or disengage 4WD as needed until it is time for the vehicle to be turned off.
9– Make sure that the shift lever is placed in the 2WD position (for manual transmission) or the “Auto” mode (for automatic transmissions).
10– Turn off the engine and remove your key from the ignition. This will ensure that your Sierra is not engaged in 4WD when you leave it unattended.
Four-wheel drive comes in handy during those times when traveling to areas where there are no roads. The vehicle can perform a controlled drifting when shifting from 2-wheel drive to 4-wheel drive, giving the driver greater control.
The Sierra’s 4-Wheel Drive creates better traction and useful stability that helps to get you out of sticky situations. The GMC Sierra is an essential partner whether you’re in town or out in the wilderness.
My name is Tom Harris, founder of this blog. I’m a mechanical engineer with 20 years of experience in the automotive industry. I’m here to help you with your vehicle’s problems, easy fixes and share my insights and experience so that you can enjoy your rides more.