Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My Yukon Denali is AWD. With front tires off the ground, should the drive shaft and both tires spin freely of each other?

asked by on

I am replacing my transfer case due to it burning up. I noticed when I was taking out the front drive shaft, that I can turn it. I took it out and I can turn the differential without it turning the front wheel. It spins freely with no drag at all. The wheels can turn like this as well. I am wondering if this is a normal thing? Because it seems it's not and could be what's messing up my transfer case.

My car has 180000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi there, thanks for writing in. I’d be hap...

Hi there, thanks for writing in. I’d be happy to help. This is a normal thing. Your front axle carrier has an electronic actuator that locks it in only when the transfer case is locked into 4WD. The fact that your front carrier spins free and wheels spin free is a good sign. If it stayed locked in all the time, that would be a problem and could damage the transfer case. Hope this helps.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: wind noise in doors

I'm not sure if the wind noise can be eliminated due to the shape of your 2005 GMC Envoy, but you may be able to reduce it to a more tolerable level. If you have a roof rack, I've heard...

Q: How hard is it to switch an nv 4500 transmission from 2 wheel drive to 4 wheel drive in a Chevrolet.

Hi there. There are a couple of ways to convert your transmission from 2WD to 4WD. You could install a transfer case and have a short drive shaft go to it from the transmission. Another was is you will need...

Q: Clunking sound when starting to move in first gear. 2002 Subaru

Hello - there is a flex disk joint on the driveshaft of your Subaru which connects to the transmission right about where the center console, and the noise you mention, are located. This flex disk deteriorates over time, due to...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...