How to Engage 4 Wheel Drive Chevy Silverado?

4 Wheel Drive Chevy SilveradoDo you need to know how to engage four-wheel drive Chevy Silverado? Have you just gotten a new truck and need to learn about the bells and whistles? Maybe you’re from a warmer climate, and you’ve never needed to use the four-wheel drive before. Or maybe you’re planning to take your truck out mud bogging or joyriding. Well, no matter what the reason, we’re going to talk about just how you can engage your four-wheel drive anytime you need it. That way, if the weather gets a little rough, or the terrain gets wild, you’ll know exactly what to do[note][/note]. 

What You Will Need

  • Chevy Silverado — This is the only thing you’re actually going to need in order to transition from 2-wheel to 4-wheel drive. There are no additional tools necessary to make this work because you’re going to be using the dial directly in the vehicle in order to transition. 
  • Gear Shift[note][/note] — You’re going to need to shift between different modes in your truck to get between the various drive options. Going from 2-wheel drive (which is the standard mode) up to 4-wheel drive (either high or low) is going to require you to shift between drive, neutral and park.
  • Drive Dial — This is the dial that you will turn in order to transition between the different drive options for your truck. You’ll use this to get from 2-wheel drive to automatic, to 4-wheel high, and then to 4-wheel low. 
  • Brake Pedal — You’ll need to stop the vehicle in order to switch your truck between 4-wheel high and 4-wheel low. Without stopping, you could actually damage the car or get hurt yourself when transitioning between these modes. 
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How to Engage 4 Wheel Drive Chevy Silverado

Step 1: Start Your Engines

When you first start up your truck, you’re going to generally be in 2-wheel drive[note][/note]. This means that your back tires are the only ones that are really providing you with traction or a good grip on the road. If you’re just driving down a standard street, this is going to be plenty. And it’s the setting you’ll want to stay in unless you’re somewhere with rough terrain (or a lot of snow and ice). You can check the dial to the left of the steering wheel to see for sure what mode you’re actually in. 

Pro Tip: If you’re more of a visual learner, you may want to take a look at this video that will show you where you can find the dial and how to transition from one mode to the next. 

Step 2: Let the Truck Handle It

If you don’t actually need a 4-wheel drive to be on continuously, you can set your vehicle to automatic. This is the second notch on the dial to the left of the steering wheel and allows the truck to initiate 4-wheel drive (by turning the front wheels) if the back wheels slip. This is a good idea if you’re driving somewhere that might have less-than-ideal roads, but you’re not going to be in for much rough driving. It’s good for areas that have snow and ice or for side or back roads where you’re just trying to get from one place to another (without the joyriding).

Step 3: Turn it Up

If you want to set your truck to 4-wheel drive high, you must be driving under 35 miles-per-hour. If you are driving faster than this, you will not be able to initiate this mode. This is the third notch on the dial located to the left of the steering wheel. You also want to make sure that you don’t drive your vehicle in this mode any longer than you need to, as it could damage the truck if left on too long. Instead, use this to get out of a rough spot and then switch back to 2-wheel drive or forward to 4-wheel low. 

Step 4: Set it Low

Finally, if you’re looking to turn your truck to 4-wheel drive low, you’re going to be actually changing the gear ratios. The first step of this process is to turn your truck’s transmission to neutral. Press down on the brake and shift your vehicle down to neutral. You’ll want to actually come to a complete stop. And then remove your foot from the brake (so you’re not holding it too still). But do not touch the gas pedal.

Pro Tip: Your vehicle should be able to roll slightly, which it will do when you initiate the 4 low setting. 

Step 5: Turn the Dial

You’ll now be able to turn the dial to 4 low. This will turn the traction control off, which is going to give you more control with wherever you actually want to go. You will be able to have a little bit more fun out on the trails or even driving on snowy or icy patches. Just make sure that you’re careful about where you turn off your traction control and what the possibilities are. 

Pro Tip: To turn your vehicle back to 4 high, you will repeat the process for step 4, but turn the dial backward instead of forwards. From there, you can switch the transmission to park or drive and back to automatic and then 2-wheel drive. 


And there you have it. So, what do you think? Does this seem like something you’re going to be able to do whenever you want to head off the beaten trail? Are you looking for a way to get out and have some fun in all-new ways? No matter how long you’ve been driving your truck. If you’re looking for how to engage four-wheel drive Chevy Silverado[note][/note], this should get you off and running. It definitely will be a big help for me when I go off-roading. Or those times when the snow is just too much for a 2-wheel drive. 

Let us know what you think below. Make sure to share this article with your friends and family, so they know what to do when they need to transition to a 4-wheel drive.