Why Is My Service AWD Light On?

If you’ve noticed the service AWD (All-Wheel Drive) light on your vehicle’s dashboard, it can be concerning and may leave you wondering about the potential underlying issues. The service AWD light usually indicates a problem with the AWD system, requiring attention and possible repairs. In this article, we will explore some common reasons why the service AWD light may be illuminated and what steps you can take to address the issue.

Faulty Wheel Speed Sensor

One of the most common causes of the service AWD light coming on is a malfunctioning wheel speed sensor. These sensors detect the rotational speed of each wheel and send the information to the vehicle’s computer system. If a wheel speed sensor fails or starts providing inaccurate readings, the AWD system may not function properly and trigger the warning light.

Symptoms of a faulty wheel speed sensor may include:

  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) warning light also illuminated
  • Loss of traction or stability control during driving
  • Uneven or abnormal tire wear

If you suspect a faulty wheel speed sensor is the cause, it is recommended to have your vehicle inspected and repaired by a qualified mechanic.

Low or Contaminated AWD Fluid

The AWD system relies on a special fluid to lubricate and facilitate smooth operation. Over time, this fluid may become low or contaminated, leading to decreased performance and the illumination of the service AWD light. Factors such as leaks or insufficient maintenance can contribute to this issue.

Here are some signs of low or contaminated AWD fluid:

  • Difficulty in engaging or disengaging AWD mode
  • A grinding or whining noise coming from the AWD system
  • Jerking or jolting sensations while driving

To address this problem, it is advisable to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the correct AWD fluid type and level specifications. Checking the fluid level and quality regularly can help prevent potential issues and ensure optimal AWD system performance.

AWD Control Module Malfunction

The AWD control module is responsible for managing the AWD system’s operation and monitoring various sensors for any irregularities. If the control module malfunctions or develops a fault, it may signal the service AWD light to indicate an issue.

Signs that suggest a malfunctioning AWD control module:

  • The service AWD light remains constantly illuminated
  • Difficulty or complete inability to shift into AWD mode
  • Unusual behavior or inconsistency in AWD system operation

When facing such symptoms, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from a qualified technician who can diagnose and repair the AWD control module.

Faulty AWD Solenoid or Actuator

The AWD system in your vehicle may rely on solenoids or actuators to control the distribution of power to the wheels. If any of these components fail or become faulty, it can disrupt the operation of the AWD system, triggering the service AWD light.

Indications of a faulty AWD solenoid or actuator include:

  • AWD system not engaging or disengaging when required
  • Unusual noises, such as clicking or buzzing, from the AWD system
  • Loss of power or reduced performance during acceleration

Having a professional mechanic inspect and repair the faulty solenoid or actuator is recommended to restore the AWD system’s functionality.

Electrical or Wiring Issues

Faulty electrical connections or damaged wiring related to the AWD system can also lead to the service AWD light activation. When the electrical components within the AWD system experience issues, they may fail to communicate with the vehicle’s computer properly, resulting in the warning light.

Signs of electrical or wiring problems:

  • Inconsistent or intermittent AWD system operation
  • Other electrical issues throughout the vehicle
  • Frequent fuse blowouts or tripped circuit breakers

Diagnosing and resolving electrical or wiring issues can be complex and require specialized knowledge. It is advisable to consult a professional auto electrician or mechanic to identify and repair any electrical problems within the AWD system.

In conclusion, the service AWD light can illuminate due to various reasons, both mechanical and electrical. It is important not to ignore this warning and take appropriate action to address the underlying cause promptly. Consulting a qualified professional for diagnosis and repairs ensures the AWD system’s reliability and helps maintain optimal safety and performance for your vehicle.