Hilux How To: Using Rear Differential Lock

To get you out of the toughest spots, all models of the new Toyota Hilux are equipped with Rear Differential Lock. If you’re on a slippery surface and one of Hilux’s rear wheels is spinning, Rear Differential Lock assists the low-ratio L4 mode to give you the extra traction and control needed to keep moving.

Discover how to use Rear Differential Lock in our short film, or read on below for more details.

 

Rear Differential Lock can only be activated when Hilux is in low-ratio L4 mode – for instructions on how to activate L4 mode, see this post.

To engage Rear Differential Lock, make sure that Hilux is travelling less than 5mph and that the wheels are not spinning.

Push the switch to activate Rear Differential Lock, and gently press the accelerator. If possible, drive with the steering wheel turned. The dashboard indicator light will flash and stay on when the system is locked.

Rear Differential Lock

As soon as you regain traction, disable Rear Differential Lock by pressing the switch again and continue on your way.

To find out about more features of the new Hilux, see the following posts:

Hilux How To: Trailer Sway Control
Hilux How To: Correctly Loading the Cargo Deck
Hilux How To: Using the Four-Wheel Drive System
Hilux How To: Using Hill-start Assist Control
Hilux How To: Wading in the Water
Hilux How To: Using Downhill Assist Control

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

13 comments

    1. Because diff lock is beneficial only when you need absolute traction and torque when your vehicle is stuck in the mud. If you can go more than 5 mph then you’re not stuck. Also if you use diff lock when going more than 5 mph, you will have hard time controlling your vehicle because it tends to go in straight line. You also risk the chance of breaking expensive drivetrain components.

    1. Diff lock is on H2 H4 and L4 and no matter what we do it will not disengage. Being careful not to damage transmission and tried disengaging in reverse, full lock and in all driving modes but nothing. We did remove switch as there was a leak through the o ring so not sure now if we have upset it’s set up on reassembly

  1. I cant find anywhere if disengaging diff lock can be done while driveing, or if the car must stand still.
    Same with disengaging L4, must be in Neutral, or while driveing?

    1. I read the manual and the answer if NO. So when rear differential is locked the A-TR does not work. My question now is why ? Anybody knows why ? Thank you.

      1. Hi Gary,
        That is correct. When the rear differential is locked, the rear wheels can only turn at the same speed so traction control cannot work.
        But don’t worry, because this locked differential provides traction in off-road conditions.
        This is a tried and tested system, and is what makes the Hilux so good off-road.
        Thanks.

  2. When activating my diff lock on a the new 2021 model the light flashes a few times then goes out, surely the diff lock should stay lit up when activated. Is this normal or is there something wrong with my new Hilux ?

    1. Hi Paul,

      Congrats on your new Hilux!

      It sounds like the read differential lock isn’t activating.

      The Rear differential Lock can only be activated when Hilux is in low-ratio L4 mode, and when it is travelling less than 5mph and the wheels are not spinning.

      Push the switch to activate Rear Differential Lock, and gently press the accelerator. If possible, drive with the steering wheel turned. The dashboard indicator light will flash and stay on when the system is locked.

      Try these things, and if it still doesn’t work, please contact your nearest Toyota centre.

      Thanks

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