How to use Mitsubishi’s Super Select 4X4 transmission system on Challenger, Pajero and Triton.

THE SUPER-SELECT SYSTEM has been around for quite a while now on Pajeros of different types, as well as some Challengers and Tritons.  There are four modes:   2H –  4H –  4H LC –  4L LC   2H is two wheel drive, specifically the rears only.  4H is 4X4, driving all four wheels, but in an all-wheel-drive mode that is safe to use on high-traction surfaces like bitumen.  4H LC is the same, but locks the “centre differential” (LC = Locked Centre) for better traction offroad.  Don’t use this on high-traction surfaces like bitumen.  4L LC is the same as 4H LC except the crawler gears are engaged.   So, what to use when?

  • Normal driving; 4H.  Just leave the car in this mode.  You may as well drive all four wheels, as you never know when that extra traction will come in handy as Editor Bober found out recently.   You will NOT get something nasty called transmission windup in this mode
  • Offroad driving at speeds above about 30km/h – 4H Lc
  • Offroad driving at speeds below about 30km/h – 4L Lc

When to use 2H?  Pretty much never, in my considered opinion as an ex-owner, specialist in this subject and 4WD driver trainer.  The only time I use it is on high-speed freeway driving when the tiny, tiny improvement in fuel saving may perhaps be worth it.  Otherwise, I prefer having the surety of all-wheel-drive, 4H mode, which is essentially the same as the Prado, LC200, Discovery and most other recent wagons.  

Pajero Sport in 4LLc and its Rock Mode.

In fact, I’d go so far to say that 2H should be deleted from the Pajero as very few people understand it, and they end up driving in 2WD then getting into trouble.  Like this….  

It’s not the car’s fault –  Super Select is complicated

Here’s a story from a a few of years ago.  A retired couple, onto their third or fourth Pajero were in a stoush with Mitsubishi.  The story was that his wife had been nearly taken out by a truck, and he blamed their Pajero.  She’d stopped at an T-junction in the wet, seen the truck coming and turned in front of it…with sufficient but not a lot of time to spare, so gave it a bootful.

Now the hoons amongst you know that circle work is done by turning tightly and a heavy right foot.  The rear wheels break traction, the back end spins around and it’s all joy.  Except when you’re an older lady trying to make a quick getaway. So what happened was that the Pajero detected imminent loss of traction, and applied the brakes as well as cutting the engine power, slowing the vehicle.  You can imagine the effect on the driver of the Pajero, and the oncoming truck – there was very nearly a nasty accident.

The owners were upset, and contacted Mitsubishi to complain. The engineers looked at it and said there’s no case the answer, the car works as designed.  No resolution, unhappy owners.  Then it came to my attention, and I was interested enough to go and take a look.   The Pajero drove and reacted exactly as it should, so I agreed with Mitsubishi.

But it was clear the couple only drove it in 2WD on the road, never 4H.  I was able to demonstrate to them on a dirt road (similar low traction to wet bitumen) how the back end would kick out in 2WD, then be stopped by the stability control system.  In 4H, that kickout would never happen.  Their previous Pajeros had been much lower powered and had no stability control, so they’d never had a problem.

The solution was simple – drive in 4H all the time, and especially in the wet.   One final point was that if the Pajero’s stability control system had not activated that nearly-fateful day, then the lady would have either spun the car or had to deal with an oversteer skid recovery. Actually, one final final point. Every 4WD system is slightly different so “engaging 4WD” to drive on high-traction bitumen roads is not something that you should normally do, it’s just that the Super-Select system is a bit different to most others.

How to buy a used Mitsubishi Pajero - fourth-generation model

Further reading

All these vehicles have the Super Select transmission:



Automatic manuals - better than automatics AND manuals?


Car Crossword #2 : Car Manufacturers


  1. Yes great article and as a new Pajero owner I will be trying the super select 4H out around town. It will be an odd experience coming from a Navara that felt like the car was trying to rip itself apart when in 4H

    1. You definitely don’t want to drive any part-time 4WD vehicle like the Navara in 4H on high-traction surfaces. The Pajero’s 4H mode is fine because it drives both front and rear axles, yet permits them to turn at different speeds around corners to avoid mechancial stress (known as “windup”).

  2. Good article…….I always drive my Pajero in 4H, it feels so much more ‘planted’ especially on twisty ‘A’ roads here in the UK. There is barely any noticeable difference in fuel economy.

  3. Helpful article. Question on the rear diff – when would you rely on just 4LLc and when would you engage the rear diff???

    1. Depends on whether the vehicle has brake traction control or not. But in short, 4LLc when you are driving below 30km/h in rough terrain, and rear locker if you need to control rear wheel spin.

  4. My super select system takes at least 30-60 seconds or longer to change from 2wd to 4wd and same in reverse – is this normal?

      1. Thanks Robert – strange one because mitsubishi here says i need to stop and reverse to get it to change!!!!! Hmmmm that blows the idea of changing mid-mud!! Taking truck into dealer for more detailed explanation and test.

  5. After 25 KM straight drive, my super select indicator middle light start blinking in Burgundy color. would you know why?

    1. Yes apparently it’s your solenoid, mine does it in 2h. Never in 4×4 mode. I’ve enjoyed this article as it proves I’m right and my mechanic was wrong, you can use 4h all the time, and I will be after reading this. Thank you

  6. H mode – Back wheel drive. Vacuum-disengaged front hub (the front driveshaft is separated from the exchange case; a free wheel system detaches the correct wheel, left and right front driveshafts are freewheeling).

    4H mode – Perpetual all wheel drive, 33%/67% force conveyance front/back in ordinary conditions, up to 100% to either pivot if slippage happens (by means of focus differential with gooey coupling). Changing from 2H to 4H is permitted at speeds up to 100 kph (65 mph). From 4H to 2H at any speed.

    4HLc mode – Lasting all wheel drive, fixed 50/50 force dissemination (by means of bolted focus differential) in ordinary conditions. Moving from 4H to 4HLc is permitted at speeds up to 100 kph (65 mph). From 4HLc to 4H at any speed.

    4LLc mode – Lasting all wheel drive, fixed 50/50 force conveyance (by means of bolted focus differential) with 1.9:1 low apparatus (Pinin – 1,548:1). Full stop required to change to 4LLc and back.

  7. 2WD never, seriously? Why would you drive in 4×4 in Australia on dry roads all year long. Absolute nonsense… Person recommending it, is a tool who can’t drive.

  8. Hi I just came across your article and found it very interesting. I have a 2017 NX diesel Pajero and usually drive in 2H but won’t any more for a few reasons. Recently after getting new rear suspension the central diff light started flashing. Long story short Mitsubishi diagnosed C1452 front propeller speed shaft sensor. The light came on after only 30km towing (in 2H – I know I shouldn’t tow in 2H) and maybe 100-150km not towing. Recently I have tested the car in 4H. So far the light has not come on when not towing for around 200km and towing twice over 60km. No-one seems to know what’s causing it and I want to sell the car but don’t feel right unless it’s fixed. Any suggestions?

  9. If it was meant to be driven in 4H all the time, wouldn’t the manufacturer recommend or note that in the Hand Book? Robert what are your credentials for putting this forward, are you technically qualified or just something you recommend, big difference between the two.

      1. Ive got a Peugeot 4007, essentially a re-badged Mitsubishi outlander, the manual tells you to drive in 4wd, wouldn’t surprise me if the pajero manual says the same thing.

    1. Also put it in 4h once in a while. I’ve heard the system could sieze up or something like that. I think it could be the same for other systems🤔

  10. My MQ Triton owners manual states the centre diff may overheat in 4wd on hard surfaces.
    Summer ambient tempreatures in excess of 38 degrees C in Western australia mean I use 4H only in the wet…and what a difference it makes to control on wet corners.

  11. I’m having a problem with my pajero in 4H it seems it wants to click into 4HLC all by itself, it seems to jus blink the centre lock while vehicle is in 4H any advice or has anyone had this and know the cause???

  12. Great article. Just a reminder that gen 2 pajero also have super select but not all of them. Just check the owners manual to make sure if you pajero has super select. Same should apply for older Mitsubishi 4x4s

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