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2003 LE 4WD indicator stuck on

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Hello fellow pathys. I apologize In advance if there is already a thread as of recent, but the only ones I could find were over 15 years old. 


I am looking at purchasing a 2003 LE in near IMMACULATE condition with a solid servicing record (195k miles) for a great deal. 


My only issue is that the 4WD indicator light is stuck on. After talking with the salesmen who has driven the vehicle, and says that it drives perfectly and goes in and out of 4hi and 4 lo and back to 2hi just fine. The wheel and drivetrain silhouette in RPM gauge lights up as it should. Says the 4WD indicator being stuck on is just a glitch (his words) 


My question is this: what am I looking at as far as repairs, best case and worse case. 

I've added photos so that y'all can see what I am referring to, and can appreciate why I am trying to get this vehicle 



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Looks great, but the lit 4wd light is definitely not a glitch. If you can’t scan the codes yourself then pass on it. It could be a very costly repair if something is wrong. 

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I'd trust a car dealer saying something is "just a glitch" about as far as I'd trust a submarine controlled by a wireless game controller.


That truck's got the ATX14A automatic transfer case, which has a bunch of moving parts and is controlled by a computer. There's some troubleshooting in the TF section of the '03 manual, which you can download for free here. Diagnosis without CONSULT (Nissan's super-special dealer scan tool) starts on TF-62. That light is supposed to come on key on/engine off, then turn off once the engine is going. If it stays on, or flickers, it's trying to tell you that something is wrong, and the manual shows how to track down what it's unhappy about. Depending on the fault, it could be an easy fix, or not.

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Echoing the above replies.  That "4WD" light is specifically a warning lamp for the system, not an indicator that you are in 4wd.  If it stays lit, it means a malfunction is detected.  Generally, the system prevents Auto/4H/4L engagement when malfunctions are present, so if you've not personally engaged 4H and 4L to feel the difference in crawl speed, I wouldn't trust the dealer's assessment at all.


In essence, there's a diagnostic pattern that can be perform on the truck using the ignition switch, the dial switch, and the transmission shifter to enter a diagnostic mode where the 4wd lamp will blink a pattern that corresponds to one or more fault codes.  I highly doubt the dealer will allow you to perform that process, use a diagnostic scanner (a generic OBD scanner will not be able to pull these codes), or otherwise take it to a mechanic or dealership for inspection (at your expense).  Truck otherwise looks to be in reasonable shape for age and mileage, but I'd strongly advise walking away if you're unable to pull the code(s), unless the vehicle is potentially acceptable for use in 2WD/RWD. 


The reason is because this "All Mode" transfer cases uses input from nearly all other modules (ECU, transmission, ABS, for example) in order to operate multiple motors, pumps, and sensors.  There are also dozens of potential fault codes, not to mention that multiple fault codes can be present, and not necessarily isolated to the transfer case system itself.  Without knowing what codes exist, it's impossible to know the real cost of repair, but it can become substantial quickly (old parts, Nissan-only parts, electronic/electrical parts, difficult to access/remove parts, etc.).


If you're set on the platform and want 4wd, you can find Pathfinders with a part-time transfer cases that have a mechanical shift lever; they lack the Auto (AWD) function, but they also lack all the complexity and are significantly simpler and more reliable.  Some SEs, all LEs (?), and all Infiniti QX4 with 4wd had the All Mode system.

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