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Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 8535
Experience:  Mitsubishi employed and Factory trained ASE certified technician
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2002 Montero Limited(not montero Sport) will engage 4 but

Customer Question

2002 Montero Limited(not montero Sport) will engage 4 hi but wont go into either of the 4lo positions, center diff light just blinks. I can hear the actuator move when shifting from 4hi to 4lo but it doesnt actually engage. I pull no 4wd codes when grounding #1 connector but does show a #22 ABS code, left front speed sensor. Does 4 low need that speed sensor working or are they even related?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Mitsubishi
Expert:  Doug replied 6 months ago.


When you grounded pin 1 of the DLC connector was the code #22 outputted through the ABS light or through the C/D light? If the ABS, what behavior did the C/D light have when the pin was grounded?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
22 was thru the ABS light. The CD light is steady blinking, no codes. I have even shut the car off while in both 4 lows and tried to read a code that way and no matter what I do the CD light is just steady blinking. 4 high works great. I have only had the car less than a week. As of today I noticed that the front lights will randomly blink while driving in 2hi. Sometimes for one second, sometimes 15 secs. All random, sometimes goes a few minutes between blinking. Still no codes tho. I have done a visula inspection on front disengage system with vacuum lines and disconnected/ reconnected all acuators I could find having to do with 4wd system.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I just want to clarify the CD only blinks when jumping #1 and #4 and when trying to engage either of the 4 lows.
Expert:  Doug replied 6 months ago.


There are two issues at hand most likely. With regard to the front lights blinking, this is because the range switch on the transfer case isn't matching the position switch of the front axle. This is pretty much always either a vacuum issue (as you already suspected) or a failure of the free wheel clutch solenoid pack on the frame rail beneath the air filter.

It is possible that this failure could interfere with getting 4L to engage, but I would not really expect it.

What you need to do with regard to the flashing front lights if you have definitely verified zero vacuum leaks etc, would be to pull the solenoid pack and bench test it... you should see aorund 35 ohms each solenoid, but more importantly when drawing vacuum on either solenoid and energizing the solenoid with a battery and some wire, you should not be able to draw vacuum regardless of voltage or release vacuum regardless of voltage. Each one should be able to hold indefinitely and release instantly as voltage is applied/removed... most likely this will not be the case and the unit will require replacement. It is the #1 4WD problem we see on these trucks.

With regard to the not getting 4L... again there could be relation but as many solenoids as I've seen on these it would be the first time I had seen/heard of this behavior. So I'm a bit pessimistic about that fixing both issues.

Are you able to pull the transfer ecu and check the voltage outputs from the range switch to make sure it is actually seeing the request for 4L?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
As far as it seeing a request for 4 lo, I can hear the actuator move position when going from 4hi to 4lo. Similar to the same noise it makes when going from 2 hi to 4 hi but about half the length in time. So it sounds like a command is being sent from the transfer ECU to the actuator but for some reason 4lo isnt engaging. Can you pull the actuator off and manually shift it somehow? BTW I have tried it multiple times on multiple days in neutral(stopped), neutral rolling, drive, reverse, just about every which way to see if I can get it to shift into 4lo.
Expert:  Doug replied 6 months ago.


If you are hearing interaction then it is likely getting the signal then.

At this point I would want to address the front axle issue (lights flashing, vacuum/solenoid issue) and see if the symptoms change at that point.

No, I am not aware of any way to effectively shift the unit manually. If you had a burnt out motor or a high resistance situation due to internal seizing etc, you would throw a fault in the transfer ecu for it so I doubt there is anything to go on there.

Lets get the front wheel situation straightened out and see if the other issue resolves itself as well.

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