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Nathan
Nathan, Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 738
Experience:  17+ sole Nissan Experience, Master ASE and Master Nissan trained.
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When I start my truck the DIFF LOCK light comes on. Shortly

Resolved Question:

When I start my truck the DIFF LOCK light comes on. Shortly afterword, the DIFF LOCK light turns off as soon as both the ABS and SLIP lights turn on. The ABS and SLIP lights will remain on until I shut the truck off. I can't figure out what is triggering this. Reading other posts, I see this is a common problem, but I am not reading the definitive solution. What do you know about this problem?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  Nathan replied 4 years ago.
The lights remaining on are simply an indication of a fault code stored for the system. To check codes a scanner or code reader is needed that is compatible with anti lock brake systems.

Once you get the code read, post up the code number and I can help decipher the cause.
The most likely code you will get on this vehicle is for the steering angle sensor (safe) code. This is simply a code that means that the steering angle sensor needs to be calibrated. This sensor can lose its calibration by doing alignments, disconnecting the battery for extended periods and or certain fuses can cause the calibration data to be lost.
If this turns out to be the issue the vehicle will need to be bought to the dealer to have the calibrations procedure completed. My dealer charges 1/2 hour labor for this. But I have heard of other dealers that charge about an 1.0 hr of labor for this procedure.

As for the diff lock light turning on and then back off again, this sounds like normal bulb check operation and isn't a concern. If there is a problem there will be a code stored.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I don't believe the DIFF LOCK light is doing a bulb check. To further explain, the problem started about a week ago during a long trip. I had stopped to pay a toll and when I took off again the DIFF LOCK light started to flicker intermittently and would turn completely off and back on again later as I drove. After that, I stopped a short time later and when I started up the truck again, the DIFF LOCK would flicker speradically and then shut off as soon as the ABS and SLIP lights turn on, and stay on. This would happen for the next few days. Now the DIFF LOCK light stays on for about 1 minute after I start the truck and would turn off exactly when the ABS and SLIP lights turn on, and stay on.

 

I googled the problem and seen quite a few other Frontier owners posting this exact problem, but no real solution to the problem has been posted. Have you seen postings on this issue or even heard of this combination of issues?

 

To be honest, I don't have a lot of faith in the local dealer. I have had some wrong diagnostics before and I don't want to start just throwing money at the problem. I want to be armed with some real good knowledge of what the problem likely is before I hear the dealer's recommendation to replace the entire drivetrain.

Expert:  Nathan replied 4 years ago.
Okay, now with this added information I see why you think there is something wrong. However you will still have to start by getting the codes read to obtain a direction to look into.

I have seen many different issues with the abs/slip light and a few diff lock issues but it would be pure speculation with out the self diagnostic codes. It is really where you need to start.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK. I just got those codes checked.

 

C1187 - DIFF LOCK CONTROLLER

P1839 - POSI SWITCH ON

 

Here's a written summary of what was done:

 

"Tech checked for TSB's, but none were found.

While performing test on Differential Lock Switch is intermittently out of specification.

Reference values for Differential Lock Control Unit are as well out of specifications.

More diaganosis time is needed to find fault.

 

At this time, we are unsure as to what is causing concern. Technician will attempt to call tech-line for possible solutions but more diagnosis time is necessary to verify fault."

 

When I left the dealership, all the lights had stayed off for my 30+ mile drive to work and they are currently still off. However, I am not confident that they will not come back on.

 

When I brought my truck to the dealer this morning, they told me it would cost be $85 for diagnostics. After an hour looking at it, I was informed that it would be an additional $85/hour for them to continue to look at it. However at this time, they have no idea what it could be.

 

Before I throw any more money at them, I would like to see if you may have heard of this problem so that they could shortcut their diagnostics time. I don't want to pay them to conduct a research project for someting that may have already been thoroughly researched by someone else.

 

I hope you can help! Thanks!

Expert:  Nathan replied 4 years ago.
C1187 code. The logic behind the code is,
graphic
graphic
P1839 code, Logic of this code is as follows.
graphic
graphic

I suspect that what i going on is you have a loose connector, poor pin fit in the connector or possibly a partially broken wire inside of the harness itself. Because it is intermittent it will likely take some time to find it. What will need to be done is to monitor the lock position switch while performing a "wiggle/pull test" on the harness and connectors. Basically trying to make it act up while it is in the shop and being monitored.

To do this will require a scan tool which does mean you will have to take it to the dealer. I am not going to fool you, it could get expensive so make sure the technician that is working on your vehicle is a Master Nissan technician and has a lot of experience with Nissan. Stay informed as to what they have done to isolate the cause. Request that they call "techline" before starting any further diagnosis to see if Nissan engineering has already isolated the causes of this issue and or seen anything common.

You can also perform some inspections yourself by closely inspecting the differential and all the connectors attached to it for damage. Don't know if you ever drive off road or not but branches rocks etc could have hit it and damaged the harness or connectors.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Well, I drove about another 12 miles back home and the lights are still off. I even slipped while braking in the driveway and my ABS was working again.

 

I do not go off-roading, but I could imagine that it may have been possible that some road debris could have knocked something loose sometime or another.

 

Where exactly are these connectors and harnesses located on the vehicle? Are they all located on the rearend? What exactly are they connected to? (Maybe I can find these items on a diagram somewhere.)

 

Now I did notice the Tech had some lengths of wires hanging from the rearend. Could it have been possible that he had disconnected a loose connection while testing something and then fully reconnected it without realizing it? (I'm probably not so lucky!) Afterward, when I got back in the vehicle, the DIFF LOCK light was flashing. I saw the switch was on so I switched it off and that's when the DIFF LOCK light turned off and has stayed off (for now).

 

BTW, will this website let me pay you now and then pay you again if I keep this thread going? I definitely think you deserve to get something now for your help!

Expert:  Nathan replied 4 years ago.
Let me send you the ACCEPT option.

Yes you can op to pay again or simply include a bonus. But bonuses are more appreciated since they give 75% of bonuses to me. and only 50% of ACCEPT earnings.

As for the connector on the differential it will be right there at the differential. Also it is possible that when they disconnected the connector and then reconnected it, it could have fixed the issue. (I hope so for your sake) Of course time will tell.

I will try to find some pics to post up shortly.
Nathan, Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 738
Experience: 17+ sole Nissan Experience, Master ASE and Master Nissan trained.
Nathan and 6 other Nissan Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Nathan replied 4 years ago.
Here is the location of the differential lock control unit and the differential lock position sensor.
graphic
graphic
Hope these help you.

Sincerely
Nathan

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