What Does Service All Wheel Drive Mean? new for 2022

When you hear the term “all wheel drive system” what does it mean to you?

What Does Service All Wheel Drive Mean
What Does Service All Wheel Drive Mean

Many people don’t know what an all wheel drive system is or what it does. Some people might think that it means the car has four-wheel drive.

We’re here to help. “What Does Service All Wheel Drive Mean?” is a comprehensive guide that will teach you everything you need to know about all wheel drive systems. After reading this guide, you’ll be able to confidently choose the right all wheel drive system for your needs.


What Does Service All Wheel Drive Mean?

What Does Service All Wheel Drive Mean
What Does Service All Wheel Drive Mean

What Exactly Is All-Wheel Drive and How Does It Work?

All-wheel drive (AWD) is a technology in which the engine powers the vehicle’s four wheels. AWD, as the name implies, transmits power to each wheel to aid in keeping your car moving better on ice-covered roads than one with front-wheel or rear-wheel drive.

In truth, there are two types of AWD systems. A car’s “full-time AWD” system powers all four wheels at the same time, whereas a second system, known as “part-time AWD,” can only provide power to all tires when needed. Because it is most of the time in two-wheel drive mode, this is why the latter system is called “part-time AWD.”

Most full-time and part-time AWD systems run without the assistance of the driver. Instead of two wheels, four are powered through a set of axles, with each spinning at a different rate. People who live in snowy and rainy climates like AWD vehicles because they provide more traction on slippery roads. Because an AWD system gives better traction when driving on ice, it is safer and increases drivers’ confidence.

Traction is transferred equally to all four wheels, resulting in less slipping. Because your car may drive safely, you don’t become anxious as a result of a sudden slip. Furthermore, its effective traction control makes it ideal for high-performance vehicles.

What causes AWD light to come on?

What Does Service All Wheel Drive System Mean? The “Service AWD System” light comes on when the computer detects an issue with the AWD system. More often than not, an issue with the AWD system will disable the system to protect it from further damage.

If the Service All-Wheel Drive message appears in your driver information center (DIC), it means that your vehicle is having an issue with its all-wheel drive (AWD) system. If you see this alert, stop driving immediately, turn off your car, and then turn it back on again.

If the alert is no longer displayed after you’ve turned your car back on, that means the AWD system is functioning properly. However, if the alert remains on the DIC, you should take your car to get serviced as soon as possible.

What causes all wheel drive to turn off?

The All-Wheel Drive Off warning may be displayed in the driver information center (DIC). This notice means that the rearmost drive system is overheating, and the all-wheel drive (AWD) mechanism has been shut off.

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What are the problems with all-wheel-drive?

What are the problems with all-wheel-drive
What are the problems with all-wheel-drive

All-Wheel-Drive Problems: Down & Dirty

  • At highway speeds, you may hear a grinding.
  • There’s a transfer case over-temperature warning on the dash.
  • On some vehicles, you may notice blinking lights in the drive selector area (modelspecific).
  • A bang-bang-bang sensation under hard acceleration might be heard or felt.

How To Check Service All Wheel Drive System?

How To Check Service All Wheel Drive System
How To Check Service All Wheel Drive System

Check the engine position

If your all-wheel drive system is not working, check the engine position first. In some cases, the engine may be in the wrong position, causing the system to malfunction.

To check the engine position, turn on the ignition and put the transmission in neutral. Then, start the engine and let it idle for a few minutes. Next, turn off the engine and check the position of the key. If the key is in the “ACC” or “ON” position, turn it to the “OFF” position and try starting the engine again. If your all-wheel drive system is still not working, move on to the next step.

Check The Differential Fluid Level

If the engine position is not the problem, the next thing to check is the differential fluid level. Low fluid levels can cause the all-wheel drive system to malfunction.

To check the fluid level, open the hood and locate the differential. Then, remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a rag. Reinsert the dipstick and remove it again.

If the fluid level is low, add more fluid until it reaches the “FULL” mark on the dipstick. If the fluid level is already at the “FULL” mark, move on to the next step.

Check The Transfer Case Fluid Level

If the differential fluid level is not the problem, the next thing to check is the transfer case fluid level. Low fluid levels can cause the all-wheel drive system to malfunction. To check the fluid level, open the hood and locate the transfer case. Then, remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a rag.

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All-wheel-drive car maintenance and servicing tips

All-wheel-drive car maintenance and servicing tips
All-wheel-drive car maintenance and servicing tips

Differential issues

To understand how to service all-wheel-drive cars and trucks, one must first learn about differentials. The differential is a powertrain system in the vehicle that helps balance out the distribution of power to opposite wheels on an axle– think of it as what allows your car  to go around a turn without issue. When going around a turn, the outer wheels have further distance to travel compared to inner wheels; this is where differentials come into play by allowing faster movement for those outerwheels so that the ride stays smooth.

There will be a differential on the front and rear axles with AWDs. Filled with fluid, both require precise operation. Differentials are filter-free, unlike engine oil, so if there is friction in your system, tiny shards of metal may track into the fluid. This is a typical all-wheel drive issue. You may not hear the problem but still experience it while driving because of this. It’s another reason why you should avoid distractions when driving.

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Heavy usage of the system is also caused by bad driving conditions. As a result, maintaining fluid levels in AWDs is critical. Every 30,000 to 60,000 miles, differential fluid should be changed by most manufacturers.

AWD transfer case issues

The transfer case is another one of the powertrain system’s vital parts. The differential helps distribute energy to a particular axle while the transfer case provides power to both axles at once. This component is only included in all-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive vehicles, so it must be part of regular service inspections. Unfortunately, like every other thing, it will eventually accrue wear and tear with time and use; additionally, the transfer case needs fluid to run smoothly – if there’s a leaking fluid problem, that’s usually a sign that something’s wrong with the transfer case.

Transfer cases can break down, preventing you from shifting gears. If there’s a puddle beneath your car, it might be a sign of a leak. Both situations are indications that something is amiss that won’t correct on its own. It’s possible that the transfer case isn’t to blame for the leak, but it may still be linked to it. That is why if you detect anything unusual, you should get in touch with a qualified mechanic as soon as possible to avoid an insignificant issue turning into a major problem.

The rubber on the road

The tires you choose for your all-wheel-drive vehicle have a significant impact. You should use winter tires in regions where there is a lot of snow or ice during the winter months. Winter tires provide improved flexibility, resulting in better traction on ice, snow, or slush-covered roads. When the weather improves, consider switching to summer tires instead for better performance and fuel efficiency. Also, keep an eye on your manufacturer’s recommendation for tire size; this is the best size for your all-wheel-drive powertrain.

Finally, don’t forget about tire rotation. Front tires tend to wear out faster than rear tires and wear as a result of all-wheel-drive systems. Aggressive driving and poor wheel alignment can also contribute to uneven tire wear, which necessitates tire rotation even more to limit unnecessary work on the vehicle’s mechanical components. So, next time you get your oil changed, make sure to inquire about tire rotation.

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FAQs What Does Service All Wheel Drive Mean

Can you turn AWD off?

You should always turn off the AWD when you’re driving, unless traction is an issue (ice, snow, mud etc). This has multiple benefits. First of all, it saves fuel by running two less wheels. There will also be less drivetrain losses as well as more fuel efficiency overall. You will also reduce wear and tear on your tires.

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Can you leave AWD on all the time?

Yes, it is! All AWD systems feature front and rear differentials that regulate how much each wheel turns. Furthermore, because most AWD vehicles are decision-free, you don’t have to choose to turn it on or off, thus continuing the discussion.

How do you maintain AWD?

All-wheel drive automobiles require transmission, transfer case, and differential fluids to be lubricated. It’s critical that you stay on top of your manufacturer’s recommended fluid levels and change frequency to keep the system lubed properly for optimal performance.

Does AWD automatically kick?

Torque is distributed to all four wheels of an AWD car automatically in such a configuration. Most drivers do not need to take any action to begin, although some systems provide selectable modes that allow users to control how power is sent. There are two types of AWD: full-time and part-time.

The Difference Between AWD vs 4WD

How often should you change all-wheel-drive fluid?

Every 30,000 miles, 4WD and AWD vehicles should have their transfer case fluid changed to keep the tiny gears and moving components lubricated and functioning properly.

Do you need snow tires with AWD?

If you plan on driving in blizzard or icy conditions, it’s recommended that you have either winter tires or snow chains on your AWD. … Even a 4WD (four-wheel-drive) can lose traction and skid on snowy roads if its tires don’t have enough tread.

Is AWD worth the cost?

Typically, AWD vehicles have a higher resale value than two-wheel-drive cars. Why? Put simply, they’re more expensive to buy initially, and offer improved capabilities. You may not get every dollar back if you opt for AWD, but it’ll be easier to sell down the line.

Can you turn on AWD while driving Chevy Equinox?

The Equinox is classified as a FWD car, but there’s an “all wheel drive” setting that drivers can switch to when the roads are slippery or dangerous. Unfortunately, gas mileage will suffer because turning on all four wheels requires more horsepower from the engine.


The service all wheel drive system is a great option for those who want the added security of knowing that their car will be able to handle any terrain or weather condition. In this post, our team amortips.com sent you detailed inforrmation.

If you are in the market for a new car, be sure to ask your salesperson about the service all wheel drive system and see if it’s the right choice for you. Thanks for reading!

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