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4 Wheel Drive blinking indicator light

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Old 01-07-2012, 03:12 PM   #1
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4 Wheel Drive blinking indicator light

I have a 2006 Tacoma Double Cab SR5, 4x4, automatic with ~61,000 miles. I'm the original owner and all the scheduled maintenance done. Never a problem with this truck, until now.

Over the holiday period, the road conditions were bad and I switch from 4x2 to 4x4 (at about 30 MPH) but the indicator light just blinked. It blinked for about 4 or 5 minutes and I wasn't sure if I was in 4x4. I pulled off the road, stopped, then felt/heard "the slight clunk" (as in the past) and the light stayed on. I was definitely in 4x4. Later, the road conditions improved and I switched back to 4x2 and again, the light just blinked. I decided to "let nature run its course” and after about 10 minutes (accelerating/decelerating along the way), the light final went out. Next day I tried it again and same thing happen. This is not normal.

Any suggestions on possible cause / solutions?

Love my truck but need my 4x4.
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:22 PM   #3
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Good question....may last winter. This was the first time "this season" I had to use the 4x4.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:24 PM   #4
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did you actually use(see the front wheels spinning or feal it pulling) the 4 wheel drive?almost sound like it never engauged,but with the clunk it might of.when mine clunks its in........but you can never trust a $2 light bulb
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:25 PM   #5
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maybe it's the 4x4 actuator motor assembly, it's a common problem..it's not sealed very well from the factory and sometimes it gets all boogered up inside. you can try taking the whole assembly off and try to clean all of the contacts with WD-40. usualy that will work. send BrandonH a PM..he has to do this frequently with his and im sure he can chime in with more useful info.
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:26 PM   #6
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Takes a little bit before it goes in if it hasn't been exercised on a regular basis. Sometimes turning the wheel and tapping the brakes will allow the transfer case to line up properly.
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:36 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info and suggestions...will try.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:56 PM   #8
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resurrecting this thread..

went to use 4 hi last week and the light just blinked. after 10 minutes of messing with the truck (drive forward, backwards, turn wheels ect ect) it finally went in.

now occasionally the indicator light blinks at me for a few miles then goes out.

I use 4wd ocassionally, not seasonally.

signs of the actuator going south?
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nj636 View Post
resurrecting this thread..

went to use 4 hi last week and the light just blinked. after 10 minutes of messing with the truck (drive forward, backwards, turn wheels ect ect) it finally went in.

now occasionally the indicator light blinks at me for a few miles then goes out.

I use 4wd ocassionally, not seasonally.

signs of the actuator going south?
Not necessary.
Problem with our 4x4 its sensitive, and like its buttons pushed often like a women.
Things to check.
1. How fresh and level of front differentail oil.
2. How fresh and level is transfer case.
Both may need fresh oil and oil needs to be at the fill hole level.
Once those things are check find little dirt road and drive slowly. Then engage 4x4 drive for a minute disengage (regardless if locked or not) do that few times to get things lubricated.
4x4 needs to be on/off at least once a moth to get things lubricated
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:36 AM   #10
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueT View Post
Not necessary.
Problem with our 4x4 its sensitive, and like its buttons pushed often like a women.
Things to check.
1. How fresh and level of front differentail oil.
2. How fresh and level is transfer case.
Both may need fresh oil and oil needs to be at the fill hole level.
Once those things are check find little dirt road and drive slowly. Then engage 4x4 drive for a minute disengage (regardless if locked or not) do that few times to get things lubricated.
4x4 needs to be on/off at least once a moth to get things lubricated
both diff's and t-case were dumped 6 weeks ago, fresh fluid dripping out of the fill hole.

I use 4wd a few times every month or so (for play and fishing on the beach)

a little more research in my future..
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:40 AM   #11
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You have to be driving in an almost perfect straight line for 4H to engage. Probably because the front ADD has to line up.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nj636 View Post
both diff's and t-case were dumped 6 weeks ago, fresh fluid dripping out of the fill hole.

I use 4wd a few times every month or so (for play and fishing on the beach)

a little more research in my future..
If all that checks out then your next most likely culprits are sensors. transfer case and front ADD have these switch like sensors. They are simple design but when they get stuck they will do something similar. You going have to remove them and check if they are ok. Sensors should be grey with nut like base to unscrew them from the housing. Transfer case should have two of them one for 4hi one for 4 low. Then there is one on front actuator.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:48 AM   #13
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If/when this happens I find that slipping the transmission into neutral before actuating four wheel drive tends to take all of the pressure/bind out of the drive train and allowing it to go into 4x4 instantly. Or instead of neutral, take your foot off the gas and coast while switching to 4x4

Ymmv
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:35 AM   #15
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so this happened again this weekend. was riding some trails that has some soft sand spots. remembering this problem, I went to go into 4hi just to make sure it went in and I wouldn't be fooling with it when I actually needed it.
I tried going into 4hi multiple ways; stopped, driving 20 mph & under, accel, decel, coasting to a stop. you think of it I tried it. eventually it went right into 4hi and then into 4lo, came right out of 4 wheel and went back into 4 wheel with no problem.

I'm going to be removing the actuator to see what's going on in there, I just wanted to update this issue.
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:48 AM   #16
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BLINKING means you turned the dial, but it is not yet in H4... try slowing, taking your foot off the gas pedal. The clunk sound/ feel is when it goes in or our of 4WD. The light will stop blinking. I wouldn't drive for 10 minutes with it blinking... obviously you don't need to be in 4WD if you can drive for 10 more minutes?! If it doesn't stop blinking, and you did what I suggested above, turn the dial back to H2, and then repeat. Read the card that is in your sun visor if you don't believe me. Fortunately, I have never had a transfer case/ selector issue with my three Tacomas... but I do use 4WD monthly (as requested by Toyota) and let off on the gas if shifting into 4WD while moving.
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:56 AM   #17
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Anyone have trouble switching back and forth in cold temps? It was -25C with the wind last night and could not get the truck to switch from 2 to 4H, took about 10 mins of trying everything mentioned before.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:00 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David K View Post
... but I do use 4WD monthly (as requested by Toyota) and let off on the gas if shifting into 4WD while moving.

I read your post super fast and was about to ask you where do I spray the WD-40 in the actuators every month.

Derp
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:09 AM   #19
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No WD-40 yet! Is tuna oil in the actuator really helpful? I guess to keep water out!?
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:19 PM   #20
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now the four-wheel-drive light blinks while I'm driving down the road in 2 wheel. I'll report back after I diagnose.
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