Flashing Center Diff Lock Light 200 Series

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Apr 21, 2017
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Colorado
It was meant mostly as a "make sure and push all the buttons and use it" comment but point taken about full time 4wd.
 
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Nov 2, 2015
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Back in the Bay Area
It might have to do with your cabin air filter. If you don't set the system to Recirculate before opening and changing the cabin filter, it does this. Turn the car on, set the AC to recirculate, turn the car off, then open the door in the back of the glove box, remove, inspect and replace the filter.
I'll give that a try and check back in
 
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Dec 4, 2017
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Phoenix, AZ
Let the truck sit for a little over a week.

Started her up and got the flashing diff gremlin. Thx to this thread, had a good idea of what to expect.

Warmed her up, drove a couple miles (mechanically was fine), turned the vehicle off and back on, and the flashing center lock diff light turned off.

No new info to add; just props to the thread.

-tcm
 
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Apr 15, 2017
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Saudi Arabia
I have the same issue with my 2015 LC 200, the CDL light flashing every time I started the engine. I fixed it by simply turning engine ON and put transmission on neutral, then turn engine Off then ON the flashlight will stop
 
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I have the same issue with my 2015 LC 200, the CDL light flashing every time I started the engine. I fixed it by simply turning engine ON and put transmission on neutral, then turn engine Off then ON the flashlight will stop
If the light is no longer flashing I recommend engaging 4WD and the CDL, driving a few feet, then disengaging it. That ensures the transfer case actuator actually moves correctly.
 
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Nov 7, 2013
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PV, KS
I had the same issue, and called my friendly service advisor at Lexus. He advised to find a space were you can drive straight forward ~ 50-100 yards, and same distance back... as straight as possible. Then restart. I did this and it fixed my flashing CDL light. Hasn't come back yet.
 
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Norwich, VT
 
 
 
Its all good to let the truck warm up and restart if your environ. allows that. Unfortunately for me the first 1.5 or so miles from my house is the place where I will occasionally want the full capabilities of the drivetrain....I’ve exercised the bits and there seems to be an improvement.....which is nice....
 

Sinister

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Sep 19, 2012
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Long Island, NY
 
Last week I put her in 4l (as a monthly thing) and it wouldn’t come back out until I shut it down and restarted. Then today on the First real cold morning, the center diff light started flashing when I started it and I was unable to shift from 4h to 4l. Drove for a while, turned the truck off, then back on and everything worked normal. Truck has 101,000k and hope this isn’t the start of a s***ty winter.
 
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Feb 4, 2018
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Apple Valley, CA
Last week I put her in 4l (as a monthly thing) and it wouldn’t come back out until I shut it down and restarted. Then today on the First real cold morning, the center diff light started flashing when I started it and I was unable to shift from 4h to 4l. Drove for a while, turned the truck off, then back on and everything worked normal. Truck has 101,000k and hope this isn’t the start of a s***ty winter.
That was me last winter. Dealer couldn’t replicate it and said it must be operator error. 🙄
 
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Jan 18, 2008
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Boise, ID
 
 
Last week I put her in 4l (as a monthly thing) and it wouldn’t come back out until I shut it down and restarted. Then today on the First real cold morning, the center diff light started flashing when I started it and I was unable to shift from 4h to 4l. Drove for a while, turned the truck off, then back on and everything worked normal. Truck has 101,000k and hope this isn’t the start of a s***ty winter.
I had this issue quite a bit with my 2010. Although I took it in while it was flashing, the dealer said that they could not replicate. I have never been so mad at a dealership! Same symptoms that you are seeing. Note that normally, when this happened, I drove it long enough to warm up the engine, then stop, shut off, and turn back on... then it was normal. Some have said that using the diff lock periodically remedied the issue, but that was not the case for me. It still happened at weird intervals. I grew to hate the truck and sold it because of the freaky electronics issues. I do miss the power of that truck though.
 
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Dec 5, 2010
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605
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Northeast PA
 
I think all of these problems stem from the 4wd low actuator on the rear of the transfer case. I remember reading somewhere where an aussie would fix it by tapping on the black actuator housing.

Has anyone taken one of these apart? I'm guessing it's an electric servo in a compartment with some sort of shifter fork in another compartment. Since the issues are sometimes temperature related, could it be that one compartment is packed with grease which becomes stiff when it's cold?

Maybe these 4low issues could be solved with adding another maintenance item to our neverending list - change actuator grease?
 
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Jan 18, 2008
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Boise, ID
 
 
I would find it very comforting to know that this issue is mechanical in nature and not just an electronic glitch that Toyota/Lexus denies is there.
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
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Atlanta
 
 
 
Another LX doing the same. First cold snap, this weekend and it happened again.

Full disclosure, I had it happening over the summer when I first got it, but exercising the CDL switch and 4L seemed to eliminate it. Until it got cold.
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
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Here’s a fix. It needs heat to free it up.
 
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Jan 17, 2016
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Come on, someone having intermittent issue pop that actuator motor off and have a look! Or maybe just unplug the actuator motor wires and see if the CDL light flashes at cold start - which would at least indicate the issue is inside the actuator

fwiw my theory is that the motor or a position sensor is failing a power-on self test. When I’ve seen the spurious cold-weather flashing CDL light it happens within ~2 seconds of vehicle start. Once that happens it won’t clear until something warms up. It could certainly be the contacts on a wire, but if that were the case I’d expect it to happen every cold start.

last time it happened to me I dropped it at the dealer while still running but they couldn’t repro once it was turned off and they cannot find any stored codes
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2003
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629
 
 
 
Is there another mechanism that locks the center diff when you actually push the button? I can hear the relay clicking on, then you can hear a soft thump when it actually engages and diff lock light turns solid.

It’s a different thump when you go into 4Lo.

I can’t find anything in toyodiy.com.

I have the same issue where I can’t get out 4Lo when that center diff lock is flashing. I have to restart the engine for it to turn off. Unfortunately it doesn’t work each time.

Thank you.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2003
Messages
629
 
 
 
Never mind - it is the same part. One of the rods is for the center diff and the other rod is for the going into 4Lo as described in this video.


Part Number: 3641060120

Image 11-6-19 at 9.01 AM.jpg


Image 11-6-19 at 9.02 AM.jpg


Image 11-6-19 at 9.03 AM.jpg


IMG_1719.png.jpeg
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
605
Location
Northeast PA
 
I had the dreaded flashing light this morning on the way to work.

I agree with @linuxgod . It has to be a test that initiates the light. I parked it in the garage a few days ago, all was well. Started it this morning, and the light began flashing before I even moved the truck.

Unless there's a switch or sensor in the transfer case that I'm not aware of, it has to be associated with the microswitch, or the solder joints shown in the video above.

Back when I was into old Hondas there was an issue with some electrical components where the solder became cracked, and prevented conductivity. The solution was to simply resolder them.

I'm speculating here, of course - but perhaps it's a similar issue?
 
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