Hilux How To: Using the Four-Wheel Drive System

The new Toyota Hilux has a switchable four-wheel drive system that allows you to make the most of Hilux’s agile handling and powerful engine, whatever the conditions.

To discover how to operate Hilux’s four-wheel drive system, watch our short film or read on below for more details.

For normal on-road driving, select H2 (high speed, two-wheel drive) mode for the best fuel economy and comfort.

If you are driving off-road or on snow and ice, select H4 (high speed, four-wheel drive) mode to engage four-wheel drive. The system can be switched from two- to four-wheel drive while on the move, at speeds of up to 62mph.

Turn the control switch from H2 to H4, and the indicator light will flash (pictured below) and then remain illuminated when H4 mode is engaged.

Hilux 4WD - Switching from H2 to H4

To tackle steep, slippery hills you’ll need the maximum power and traction of L4 (low speed, four-wheel drive) mode, which uses low gear ratios to deliver unrivalled traction and pulling power.

To shift from H4 to L4 mode, your Hilux needs to be stationary. For vehicles with a manual transmission, depress the clutch, or for automatic transmissions, select neutral (N).

Next, push and turn the control switch to engage L4. The ‘4LO’ indicator light will flash (pictured below) and then remain illuminated when L4 mode is engaged.

Hilux 4WD - Switching H4 to L4

Moving back through the modes is simple. Disengage L4 while Hilux is stationary, by depressing the clutch (manual) or selecting neutral (automatic) and turning the switch back to H4. The ‘4LO’ indicator will flash and go out.

Switching from H4 to H2 can be done while you’re on the move. Turn the control switch from H4 to H2 and the H4 dash indicator will go out.

To download an owner’s manual for your Toyota vehicle and to access other owner benefits, please visit My Toyota.


    1. Hi Habib,
      Thanks for getting in touch.
      To confirm, you are asking about the CAN High and CAN low terminals on the DLC3 connector (OBD socket)?
      If so there is detailed information on the following website, where you can pay for access to the repair manual etc:
      We hope this helps.

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch. If you are experiencing an issue with your Hilux, we would recommend you contact your local Toyota Centre, as they are the in the best place to inspect the vehicle and advise accordingly.


    1. Hi Konstantin,

      Thanks for getting in touch. The rear differential will not be automatically locked when entering L4 mode, this is controlled using a separate button. To access more information on these features we would suggest downloading an owners manual for your vehicle using the following link: https://www.toyota.co.uk/tme#/my-toyota/eManual.


  1. sir, i am driving 2019 hilux conquest 4×4 manual, i had the chance engaging the 4wd last week, when going slippery terrain uphill, i switched from h4 to L4, i noticed the sign low4 on the instrument, but there is a continuing beep , until i reached the pick and shifted to h4, then the beep is gone, was the beep normal?

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch. If you could please provide a VIN number, we will be able to assist you further.


    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch. If you could please provide a VIN number, as well as some further information on this issue, we will be able to assist you further.


  2. Hi,got an 2016 hilux MT.I would like to know what is the power distributed to front and rear axle when i engage the 4low.Is it like 50:50 or is it controlled and differated by the cpu all the time?

  3. Hi Keith,

    Thanks for sharing this. We are really sorry but our system does not recognise your VIN as this is not a UK spec vehicle. Unfortunately we can’t comment on vehicle specifications in other markets and would recommend contacting Toyota in your region for more information.


  4. Hi, I have a Hilux 2018 – manual, Can I drive in 4×4 H4 mode on a wet highway – the book says I can drive in this mode with 150 km/h – but is it a fulltime 4×4 ?

  5. hello my toyota hilux sr5 2017 is stuck in h4 and wont disengage, the h4 button wont stop flashing and i can hear it clicking constantly, ive tried everything

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