I have a Mitsubishi Pajero 2003. Since last 3 years, I have this issue that the engine light comes on once in a while and then goes off. I must have seen this for atleast 10 times in 3 years but did not bother much as it was not constant. Now I have to travel to another country and drive over 3000kms and hence want to make sure that I am safe. What could be the reason for this light turning on. I change the oils and filters every 3000kms
You will probably need more servicing then just the oil and filter changes, you will need to probably service the transmission, get a tune-up (replace spark plugs), clean fuel injection system, change brake fluid, check differential fluid, and belts.
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If the engine light came on, there is a trouble code present. Most parts stores will scan for codes at no charge. please post codes for more information. With the tapping, I would definitely check the oil level.
The pajero has a limp mode for when there is an issue with the 4x4 system. The ECU apparently limits the vehicles capabilities until the problem is fixed. By turning the car off and on again you are reseting the fail-safe until it again triggers. The fault may be that a part of the drive train, secondary transfer case or auto locking hubs is not working correctly. For my Pajero, the auto hubs were not disengaging. This was later found to be caused by sticking air solendoids. Each solenoids cost was about $200 and there are two for the hubs. I was able to free them up by soaking the solenoids in CRC/ WD40 and a bit inside the air tubes as well plus repeatedly engaging and disengaging the 4x4 lever to activate the hubs. The auto hubs may not be the issue in your case but its worth a try.