Not everyone needs or wants a four-wheel-drive (AWD) car. AWD vehicles might be more expensive to acquire and maintain because of the different systems they use. Consider spending your money on AWD system to enhance your driving experience if you seldom go outside the city and always drive in warm weather. All-wheel-drive cars like the 2023 Hyundai Palisade XRT, 2023 Kia Sportage Sx Prestige, and 2022 Audi E-Tron S need a unique approach to maintenance due to their unique mechanical design. AWD cars may benefit from these maintenance guidelines, whether permanent or temporary AWD. Here are some things to remember for service All Wheel Drive system before your next adventure.

Causes and Solutions of the ‘Service All Wheel Drive System’ Message

When the rear differential fails, it typically triggers the AWD warning. However, the alarm may also go off if other parts fail.  

Connector Corrosion

It may sound an alarm if the rear differential harness or control module connection has rusted. A control module manages the functions of the rear differential. The connection for the control module is connected to the harness for the rear differential.

Corrosion develops when water can enter the connection on the control module or the wire harness. Corrosion slowly eats away at the connecting pins, eventually resulting in a connection failure.

The AWD system alarms when the gearbox fails. Slathering the connections with di-electric grease is a good preventative step. However, new connections will be required if rust has caused the damage.


The “service all-wheel drive system” notice might be triggered by anything as simple as a flat tire. Installing the wrong tire size or failing to replace all four tires immediately will trigger the warning. Both cases throw The traction control system off, leading to early drivetrain failure. 

The AWD system will display a “service all-wheel drive system” warning when it detects an issue. As a result, it’s crucial always to put on the right set of tires. In addition, the traction control system requires that all four tires be replaced at once.

Low battery

If you get the AWD warning, you should first check the battery. The all-wheel-drive system’s ability to function depends on a fully charged battery. Additionally, the AWD system locks the front wheels if the power source voltage falls below 9 volts. An alert to “service all-wheel drive system” is also triggered. 

And if a faulty or low battery does truly set off the alarm, a system check will turn up a C0550 error number. The system will save the DTC or mark it as “pending,” depending on its status. 

The answer to this issue is simple. If the battery is faulty, replacing it should fix the issue. But if it’s still in fine shape, check for a parasitic draw in the electrical system. 

Clutch Control Module Overheated

An overheated clutch component in the rear differential may also trigger the alarm. The rear axle receives torque from the clutch control system. A temperature sensor in the clutch assembly checks the environment to ensure it stays between -40 degrees Celsius and 120 degrees Celsius. 

When the clutch component overheats, the AWD system locks the back wheels. As a result, the dashboard’s “Service All Wheel Drive System” indicator lights up. The back wheels will start turning again once the temperature is normal. After a few drives, the warning will likewise disappear. 

Faulty Control Module

A faulty control module might also cause the “service all-wheel drive system” warning light. The control module may be shorted if wet, just like the connections.  

If water gets into the control module, clean it right away. Make sure it doesn’t short out by coating it with di-electric grease. When a control module fails, its replacement is the only option.

Contaminated Rear Differential Fluid

Separated from the ring gear is the clutch component in a rear differential. Both halves are sealed off from one another to prevent the transfer of fluids between them. 

Every 150,000 miles, as suggested by General Motors, you should change the fluids. The AWD warning may activate when the fluids have been used for a long time and have been contaminated. 

You will also be notified if the seal between the two halves fails. The broken seal has allowed liquids from the two sections to combine. The rear differential’s normal operation is hampered as a result.

Maintaining the system’s functionality requires regular fluid replacement. Repairing the fluid is also less expensive than replacing the damaged parts. If the seal on your rear differential leaks, you’ll need to get a new one.

Strategies for Dealing with the “Service All-Wheel Drive System” Warning

  • When you receive a warning, search for error codes to help pinpoint the cause. A standard OBD scanner cannot read a service all-wheel drive system’ alert.
  • A scanner with AWD communication capabilities is required. 
  • Finding the root of the issue is the first step toward resolving it. However, you should know that fixing an AWD system problem might be difficult for the average do-it-yourselfer. 
  • Hiring a technician may be a good idea if you want to keep from doing any additional harm to the system. 

Service All Wheel Drive System Cost

The price of AWD system repair might change based on many variables, including the kind of vehicle, the degree of maintenance needed, and the repair shop’s location. If you want an exact price for your car, you should go to a certified service center or a technician.

Service All-Wheel Drive System Rear Axle

In certain cars, the rear axle is an integral part of the all-wheel drive (AWD) system. It’s essential because it sends power to the back wheels, which then helps the front ones out by providing better grip and stability. Paying close attention to the rear axle during maintenance is crucial for the AWD system’s efficient functioning and extended life. 

It’s important to watch for wear, leaks, and damage by doing routine checks on the differential, axle shafts, and bearings that make up the back axle. Rear axle performance may also be maximized using the right lubrication fluid. Repairs or replacements should be made as soon as possible if any problems are found with the AWD system to keep it running smoothly and providing the ideal driving experience.


What Does Service AWD Light Mean?

If the computer determines that the AWD system is malfunctioning, the “Service AWD System” indicator will light up. If there is a problem with the AWD system, it will often turn off altogether to prevent any additional harm.

How To Turn Off The Service All-Wheel Drive System?

You must fix the underlying problem with the all-wheel drive system before the “Service AWD” warning or light turns off. To do so, the issue must be identified and fixed. Take your car to a professional technician or dealership for an accurate diagnosis and repair of the all-wheel drive system. If you ignore the warning light and keep driving, you might damage your car even more.

How To Service A Wheel Drive System?

All-wheel drive (AWD) systems should be serviced by manufacturer recommendations and the vehicle owner’s handbook. Some possible maintenance procedures for an AWD system are shown below.

  1. Routine Checkups
  2. Variable Shifts
  3. Repairing Flat Tires
  4. Don’t Ignore the Maintenance Plan

Closing Remarks

All cars need regular maintenance to function safely and efficiently. There are a few more things to remember service All Wheel Drive system due to its increased safety and performance. Maintain your AWD system in peak condition to take advantage of its superior traction and stability on the road. It requires following the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance instructions and seeking the advice of trained experts. Remember that a properly working AWD system and a pleasant driving experience depend on timely maintenance.


Nancy is a dedicated writer with years of experience. She is focused on the latest vehicle technology and high-end cars of various brands. She combines her passion for automotive advancements with a clear, engaging writing style, making complex topics accessible and enjoyable for her readers.

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