Car Advice

Mitsubishi’s Super-Select 4X4 System Explained

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:


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  1. Discovery
    April 16, 2015 at 5:00 pm — Reply

    great article

  2. T Parker
    June 18, 2015 at 6:29 am — Reply

    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

    • June 18, 2015 at 6:43 am — Reply

      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”).

  3. GTA
    October 7, 2015 at 12:33 am — Reply

    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.

  4. Imran khan
    October 9, 2016 at 2:46 pm — Reply

    By 4×4 gear has been jamed so guys could u help me what to do

  5. Tom Gardner
    October 26, 2016 at 12:23 am — Reply

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

    • October 26, 2016 at 6:50 am — Reply

      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.

  6. David W
    November 26, 2016 at 11:26 pm — Reply

    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?

  7. David W
    November 26, 2016 at 11:35 pm — Reply

    Vehicle is 1 yr old Strada / warrior automatic

    • November 27, 2016 at 8:18 am — Reply

      Not normal at all

      • David W
        November 28, 2016 at 2:29 pm — Reply

        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.

  8. Juan
    March 8, 2017 at 10:25 am — Reply

    Very helpful great article thanks for taking the time

  9. Yadhu
    March 23, 2017 at 11:55 pm — Reply

    Very helpful article thanks for taking the time

  10. Wojtek
    December 8, 2017 at 8:58 am — Reply

    I am the owner of the mitsubishi l200 since recently. I use only 4 wd, I know that driving is safer.

  11. Warryck
    May 19, 2020 at 9:52 am — Reply

    Can’t blame the vehicle for ur stupid decisions.
    Older person should know better..

  12. Warryck
    May 19, 2020 at 9:53 am — Reply

    Can’t blame the vehicle for ur stupid decisions.
    Older drivers should know better..

  13. Chamara Jayasinghe
    July 3, 2020 at 7:25 pm — Reply

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

  14. July 8, 2020 at 4:23 am — Reply

    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.

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Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper