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Intermittent 4WD Light


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#1 OFFLINE   Bobsteriffic

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 10:09 AM

'92 Pathfinder here, another issue has arisen as of yesterday.

 

I was driving her around doing nothing out of the ordinary, when all of the sudden the 4WD light on my dash started flickering green to indicate it was on. It stays off whenever I'm accelerating, but when I let off the gas or apply the brakes, the light flickers on and off, eventually turning off when idling at a stop light.

 

I know that it's staying in 2WD because I tested it and it shifts in and out of 4WD no problem, no flickering 4WD light either when it's engaged in 4WD, but after putting it back in 2WD the light starts flickering again. I'm assuming it's related to the sensor that connects to the transfer case, but I don't really know where to begin with that. I called the transmission shop that worked on my car but they said they couldn't look at it until late next week, and they would also want to "keep it for a few days." I know I can fix this myself but I don't know where the sensor is located. Does anyone have any info relating to this? 

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#2 OFFLINE   adamzan

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 10:28 AM

It's probably just the connection. Check the harness. I bet they didn't tie it back up properly.



#3 OFFLINE   Bobsteriffic

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 11:15 AM

It's probably just the connection. Check the harness. I bet they didn't tie it back up properly.

I seem to have misplaced my service manual, do you know where I would find that harness? I thought I remembered reading somewhere on here it was inside the t-case?? 



#4 OFFLINE   Slartibartfast

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 09:20 PM

Looks like the switch should be the one towards the back of the transfer on the passenger's side.



#5 OFFLINE   Bobsteriffic

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 05:40 PM

Looks like the switch should be the one towards the back of the transfer on the passenger's side.

Are these the connections I'm looking for?

 

Oc6DF9d.jpg

 

If so then I'm not sure what's up... all the connections looked and felt solid. I jiggled all of them and it doesn't seem to have made a difference, doesn't really act up right when you start driving her but the more bumps she goes over the worse it gets...

 

I've attached a link to other angles of the same area.

https://imgur.com/a/O1Aor


Edited by Bobsteriffic, 15 April 2018 - 05:40 PM.


#6 OFFLINE   Cuong Nguyen

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 08:42 PM

Are these the connections I'm looking for?
 
Oc6DF9d.jpg
 
If so then I'm not sure what's up... all the connections looked and felt solid. I jiggled all of them and it doesn't seem to have made a difference, doesn't really act up right when you start driving her but the more bumps she goes over the worse it gets...
 
I've attached a link to other angles of the same area.
https://imgur.com/a/O1Aor

Your 4wd switch is the one next to the speedo sensor towards the tailend of the case. One of those plus to pictured is your neutral switch.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

#7 OFFLINE   Bobsteriffic

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 10:33 PM

Your 4wd switch is the one next to the speedo sensor towards the tailend of the case. One of those plus to pictured is your neutral switch.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

Ahh good to know, thank you. I was looking around the tailend of the case and I didn't see anything... I'm gonna get under there tomorrow with a proper flashlight and take a closer look. 



#8 OFFLINE   Slartibartfast

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 11:54 PM

Damn, sorry for the confusion! The '94/'95 manual shows a bolt there and the switch mounted farther back, and that's how my '93 is set up. Guess Nissan found another thing to change mid-year for no well-explained reason. (Just checked the '89 manual, and it looks like yours.)

 

If all else fails, you might try unplugging the switch and see if the light still acts up. If it does, you know it's the wiring. If not, test the switch.



#9 OFFLINE   Bobsteriffic

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 11:50 AM

Damn, sorry for the confusion! The '94/'95 manual shows a bolt there and the switch mounted farther back, and that's how my '93 is set up. Guess Nissan found another thing to change mid-year for no well-explained reason. (Just checked the '89 manual, and it looks like yours.)

 

If all else fails, you might try unplugging the switch and see if the light still acts up. If it does, you know it's the wiring. If not, test the switch.

 

No problem, I understand how it is lol.

 

So just to clarify the switch I'm looking for is the cylindrical shaped connection? I pulled it and everything looked fine, but upon re-seating everything it seems like that may have been the issue. Light comes on in 4 and goes off in 2, and no flickering so far. I hope that was it!



#10 OFFLINE   Slartibartfast

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 02:35 AM

The grey one? Yeah, that should be the 4x light switch. Sounds like it might've just been a loose/dirty connection then. Nice! Hopefully my ABS light turns out to be a similar issue.



#11 OFFLINE   Bobsteriffic

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 10:01 AM

The grey one? Yeah, that should be the 4x light switch. Sounds like it might've just been a loose/dirty connection then. Nice! Hopefully my ABS light turns out to be a similar issue.

 

Yep that's the one I pulled! I've put ~25 miles on her since then and no flickering so I think I'm good!! Thanks for the help guys, I really appreciate it.

 

On a side note, keep me posted on what ends up being the fix to your ABS light. Mine has been on for roughly 6-7 years now, never bothered to actually figure out what was wrong with it. I've had 2 different mechanics attempt to fix it, both ended up just screwing up my aftermarket alarm system further :suicide:



#12 OFFLINE   adamzan

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 11:59 AM

My 4wd light hasn't worked since I swapped the transmission... Perhaps I should revisit this.



#13 OFFLINE   Slartibartfast

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 07:31 PM

I ran codes on my ABS system and the computer thinks there's a fault in the circuit for the speed sensor. I'm hoping it's a plug issue like yours because that sensor ain't cheap! It's been a low priority since it's not like the brakes are good enough to lock up the rears anyway.

 

How do two mechanics in a row mix up ABS and alarm system wiring? :lol:



#14 OFFLINE   adamzan

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 08:54 AM

99% of the time it's that sensor. It is expensive for sure! I fixed the abs light on my 95 by bleeding the brakes and flushing the fluid. I am not sure how that fixed it but the light never came back. It had been intermittent for a year. My 94 I just unplugged the ABS controller which shut the light off.



#15 OFFLINE   Bobsteriffic

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 11:19 AM

I ran codes on my ABS system and the computer thinks there's a fault in the circuit for the speed sensor. I'm hoping it's a plug issue like yours because that sensor ain't cheap! It's been a low priority since it's not like the brakes are good enough to lock up the rears anyway.

 

How do two mechanics in a row mix up ABS and alarm system wiring? :lol:

Not necessarily "$hitty" mechanics, but mechanics that have no business working with electrical.

 

First guy did an injector replacement, and the second one did my brake pads and alignment. They both had the same mentality of "hey that lights on, I could probably fix that and charge more." Like mechanics can be a great help when you don't have the time or experience to work on it yourself, but as of recent I've told anyone working on my rig to leave that damn light alone!! 


Edited by Bobsteriffic, 18 April 2018 - 11:19 AM.


#16 OFFLINE   Bobsteriffic

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 11:22 AM

99% of the time it's that sensor. It is expensive for sure! I fixed the abs light on my 95 by bleeding the brakes and flushing the fluid. I am not sure how that fixed it but the light never came back. It had been intermittent for a year. My 94 I just unplugged the ABS controller which shut the light off.

 

Looks like I found out what I'm doing this afternoon. Mind pointing me the direction where I can find that controller? I'll do some forum research myself but sometimes it's hit and miss on results. 

 

I could care less about the ABS on this machine, not to mention it's only in the rear anyways lol.



#17 OFFLINE   Bobsteriffic

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 11:37 AM

And sorry that I still need clarification on this, I'm still learning about transmissions and t-cases. It's my understanding the connection that I unplugged has a wire running to the physical t-case to a connection with a black rubber grommet over what looks like a bolt; the switch is underneath that? 

 

I may have spoken too soon on that connection being the fix, it's started flickering again. Sounds like I'm gonna need to replace the switch? I should mention there's no flickering with the harness unplugged.



#18 OFFLINE   adamzan

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 04:30 AM

It is under the drivers seat.



#19 OFFLINE   Slartibartfast

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 04:08 PM

The switch is threaded like a bolt (like how a coolant temp sensor mounts up). There's a little plunger sticking out the end that closes or opens the circuit when some part of the shift linkage pushes on it. Maybe the spring that returns the plunger is buggered and it's letting the plunger flop around as the transfer vibrates?

 

If you want to check it, you could remove the switch (have a drain pan ready in case it's holding back fluid), then shake it and have someone in the truck tell you if the light's going nuts.

 

And yeah, the ABS computer is under the seat. It's the one closer to the door.



#20 OFFLINE   Bobsteriffic

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 11:18 AM



The switch is threaded like a bolt (like how a coolant temp sensor mounts up). There's a little plunger sticking out the end that closes or opens the circuit when some part of the shift linkage pushes on it. Maybe the spring that returns the plunger is buggered and it's letting the plunger flop around as the transfer vibrates?

 

If you want to check it, you could remove the switch (have a drain pan ready in case it's holding back fluid), then shake it and have someone in the truck tell you if the light's going nuts.

 

And yeah, the ABS computer is under the seat. It's the one closer to the door.

Thanks for the info Slart and Adam, I really appreciate it. So once upon a time, this Pathy had an aftermarket stereo and alarm system installed. It was done professionally, but there's been way too many uniformed people pawing through the rats nest of wiring underneath my dash to make sense of anything anymore... but that's not the issue. The issue is that the amplifier for the stereo resided underneath the drivers side seat, so there's absolutely nothing under it but carpet now. 

 

So I'm assuming the ABS computer was relocated to underneath the dash? I'm guessing it's the little black box with the sticker that says "OK" on it. Let me know what you guys think.

OfHAdlz.jpg

 

And Slart, I removed the switch today from the t-case and shook it around like you mentioned, and the light did flicker very sporadically so I think it's the switch failing. I went down to Autozone, O Reily's, and a local shop and none of them had the switch in their computer systems, let alone in-store. I went to Nissan directly and they were able to source one, but it was $50 and it's gonna take a week to get here... this better be the fix lol. 


Edited by Bobsteriffic, 20 April 2018 - 11:22 AM.





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