How to Fix Check Awd System

Last Updated on May 14, 2023 by Ryan

There are a few things you can do to fix the check AWD system light. First, make sure that the system is turned off. Second, check all of the connections and make sure they are secure.

Third, reset the system by disconnecting the battery for 30 seconds and then reconnecting it. Finally, take the car to a mechanic to have it checked out if the light remains on.

  • Check for any error codes in the system using a scan tool
  • If there are no error codes, check the fuse and relay for the AWD system
  • If the fuse and relay are good, check for power at the transfer case control module
  • If there is power at the transfer case control module, check for ground at the module
  • If there is no ground at the module, replace the module

Toyota checks engine light and checks awd system fix – don’t pay the dealership!

Common AWD System Problems and Symptoms

The All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system is a complex mechanical feature that significantly improves your vehicle’s performance, particularly in challenging driving conditions. However, like any other part of your vehicle, it can experience problems over time. 

Recognizing the symptoms of these common problems can help you address them promptly and avoid further damage. Here are some common AWD system problems and their symptoms:

Damaged or Worn Out Transfer Case:

The transfer case is an essential component of the AWD system as it distributes power to the front and rear axles. Over time, due to regular wear and tear or lack of maintenance, the transfer case can get damaged. Signs of a faulty transfer case include difficulty in shifting gears, unusual noises (like grinding or clunking), and leakage of the lubricating fluid.

Malfunctioning Sensors:

The AWD system relies on various sensors to monitor driving conditions and allocate power to the wheels accordingly. If these sensors fail, the AWD system might not work as expected. Symptoms can include the AWD warning light on your dashboard, poor traction, or the vehicle behaving as if it’s in two-wheel drive mode.

Worn Out or Broken Axles:

The axles transfer power from the engine to the wheels. If an axle is worn out or broken, the AWD system will not function correctly. You might experience symptoms like a strong vibration while driving, especially during acceleration, or unusual noises, like loud clicking sounds when turning.

Low or Dirty Differential Fluid:

The differential fluid lubricates the gears and bearings in the differential, which is crucial for the operation of the AWD system. Low or dirty fluid can lead to increased friction and heat, leading to premature wear and possible failure of the components. Symptoms include whining or rumbling noise from the differential area, especially during turns.

Faulty AWD Coupling:

The AWD coupling system can sometimes fail due to wear and tear or damage, which can cause the AWD system to malfunction. Symptoms may include a noticeable decrease in the vehicle’s handling and performance, particularly on slippery or uneven surfaces.

Failed AWD Clutch:

The clutch in the AWD system can fail, often due to overheating or excessive use. When this happens, you might notice a burning smell or smoke, difficulty in changing gears, or a sudden loss of power when driving.

Remember, if you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to have your vehicle checked by a professional mechanic. Timely diagnosis and repair of AWD system problems can save you from costly repairs and ensure a safer and smoother driving experience.

5 Steps Fixing Check AWD System Light

If the “Check AWD System” light illuminates your dashboard, it’s an indication of a potential issue with your vehicle’s All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system. Here’s a step-by-step guide on diagnosing and fixing the issue. Remember, if you’re not comfortable performing these steps, it’s always best to seek professional help.

Step 1: Diagnose the Problem

The first step in fixing the issue is diagnosing the cause of the problem. This usually involves using an OBD-II scanner to read the fault codes from your vehicle’s computer. These codes will help identify the specific component or system that’s causing the issue.

Step 2: Inspect the Reported Components

Once you’ve retrieved the fault codes, you’ll need to inspect the reported component(s) for visible signs of damage or wear. This could involve checking the transfer case, differential, sensors, axles, clutch, or any other component identified by the fault codes.

Step 3: Repair or Replace the Faulty Component

If the inspection reveals a faulty component, you’ll need to repair or replace it. Depending on the component and the extent of the damage, this can sometimes be a complex task requiring specialized tools and expertise.

Step 4: Check and Refill Fluids

If the fault codes or your inspection indicate an issue with the differential or transfer case, you might need to check and refill the differential or transfer case fluid. Make sure to use the type and amount of fluid specified in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Step 5: Clear the Fault Codes and Test Drive

After you’ve addressed the issue, use the OBD-II scanner to clear the fault codes from your vehicle’s computer. Then, take your vehicle for a test drive to make sure the “Check AWD System” light doesn’t come back on.

Here’s a markdown table summarizing these steps:

1Diagnose the problem using an OBD-II scanner
2Inspect the reported components
3Repair or replace the faulty component
4Check and refill fluids if necessary
5Clear the fault codes and test drive

Keep in mind that while some issues can be fixed by a DIY enthusiast, others may require specialized tools and professional knowledge. If you’re unsure, it’s best to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic.

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Specific Cases: Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX350

Both the Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX350 are popular vehicles with AWD systems. While these models share many components and systems, their AWD systems can sometimes exhibit unique issues. Here are some specifics for these two models:

Toyota Highlander

Transfer Case Leaks: 

The Highlander has been known to experience leaks from the transfer case. If your vehicle is losing fluid, this could trigger the “Check AWD System” light. If this occurs, you should have the leak repaired and the fluid refilled as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Wheel Speed Sensor Failure: 

Another common issue with the Highlander is the failure of the wheel speed sensors. These sensors provide critical data to the AWD system, and if they fail, the system may not function correctly. Replacement of the faulty sensor usually resolves the issue.

Lexus RX350

Faulty Coupling: 

The RX350 can sometimes experience issues with the rear coupling of the AWD system. If the coupling fails, it can cause the “Check AWD System” light to illuminate. Replacement of the coupling is usually required to fix this issue.

Differential Problems: 

Differential problems are another common issue with the RX350. These can be caused by low fluid levels, incorrect fluid type, or internal wear and damage. Regular maintenance, including checking and changing the differential fluid as specified in your vehicle’s owner’s manual, can help prevent these issues.

As always, it’s important to remember that while these are some of the more common issues, any problem with the AWD system can cause the “Check AWD System” light to illuminate. If you’re not comfortable diagnosing or repairing the problem yourself, it’s always best to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic.

Preventative Measures for AWD System Maintenance

Maintaining your AWD system properly can help prevent common problems and ensure your vehicle operates at peak performance. Here are some preventative measures you can take:

Regular Fluid Checks and Changes

The fluids in your vehicle, especially the transmission fluid and differential oil, play a crucial role in the operation of the AWD system. Regularly check these fluid levels and top them off as needed. Also, follow your manufacturer’s recommended schedule for changing these fluids. Using the correct type of fluid is essential, so always refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Routine Inspections

Regularly inspect your AWD system components for signs of wear, damage, or leaks. This includes the transfer case, differentials, and any associated hoses or seals. Early detection of a problem can prevent more significant issues down the road.

Tire Maintenance

An often overlooked aspect of AWD system maintenance is tire care. All four tires should be the same size, type, and brand, and they should all have similar wear patterns. Regular rotations, alignments, and maintaining proper tire pressure can also help prevent issues with the AWD system.

Avoid Driving Under Severe Conditions

Driving under severe conditions, such as extremely rough terrain or deep water, can put a strain on your AWD system. While these systems are designed to handle tougher driving conditions, regular exposure to these situations can lead to premature wear and tear.

Seek Professional Help When Needed

If you notice any issues or warning lights related to your AWD system, seek help from a professional mechanic. DIY fixes may not always properly resolve the issue and could potentially lead to more significant problems. Always consult a professional when in doubt.

By following these preventative measures, you can help ensure the longevity of your AWD system and keep your vehicle performing optimally.

Safety Precautions

When dealing with All Wheel Drive (AWD) system maintenance, repair, or troubleshooting, it’s important to follow specific safety precautions to avoid any harm to you or damage to your vehicle. Here are some safety measures to consider:

1. Use Correct Tools and Equipment:

Only use tools and equipment that are designed for the specific task at hand. Incorrect tools can lead to injury or further damage to the vehicle.

2. Vehicle Positioning:

Ensure your vehicle is parked on a flat, solid surface. If you need to get underneath the vehicle, use jack stands or vehicle ramps to securely lift the vehicle.

3. Electrical Safety:

When working on electronic components of the AWD system, disconnect the battery to prevent any accidental short circuits or electric shock.

4. Wear Protective Gear:

Wear safety glasses, gloves, and sturdy shoes to protect yourself from any spills, sharp objects, or heavy components.

5. Follow the Manufacturer’s Guidelines:

Always refer to the vehicle’s owner’s manual or a professional repair manual for the specific make and model of your vehicle. This will provide detailed instructions and safety guidelines for your particular vehicle.

6. Avoid Working Alone:

When possible, avoid working on your vehicle alone. Having someone around can be helpful in case of an emergency.

7. Dispose of Fluids Properly:

Automotive fluids can be harmful to the environment. Dispose of them at a designated recycling facility or take them to a local auto parts store that offers disposal services.

8. Beware of Hot Surfaces:

If the vehicle has been running, certain parts can be extremely hot. Allow the vehicle to cool down before you start working on it.

By taking these precautions, you can ensure your safety while maintaining or repairing your vehicle’s AWD system. Always prioritize safety and don’t rush your work. If a task seems beyond your skill level, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance.

Rx350 Check Awd System

If your vehicle is equipped with All Wheel Drive (AWD), the Rx350 check AWD system message may be displayed in the multi-information display. This message is to remind you to have the system checked by your Lexus dealer if it comes on while driving. The AWD system in your Lexus helps provide extra traction and stability when driving on slippery or uneven surfaces.

It does this by automatically transferring power to the wheels that need it most, depending on the conditions. If you see the Rx350 check AWD system message, it means there may be a problem with the system. It’s important to have it checked out by a qualified technician as soon as possible so they can diagnose and fix any issues.

Trac off Check Awd System

If you’re a driver who likes to be in control of your car, then the last thing you want to see is the “trac off” light comes on. This indicates that your car’s traction control system has been disengaged and you’ll have to rely on your own driving skills to get around safely. Here’s what you need to know about this warning light and how to handle it if it comes on.

What is traction control? Traction control is a system that helps keep your car from slipping and sliding on slippery surfaces. It does this by using sensors to monitor wheel speed and applying brakes or reducing engine power when it detects wheels slipping.

This helps improve traction and keeps you in better control of your car. Why would the trac off light come on? There are a few reasons why the trac off light might come on in your car.

One possibility is that there’s something wrong with the traction control system itself. In this case, it’s best to take your car to a mechanic so they can diagnose and fix the problem. Another possibility is that you’ve manually turned off the traction control system.

Some cars have a switch that allows you to do this, while others will automatically turn it off if certain conditions are met (such as when driving in deep snow). If you’ve manually turned off traction control, then all you need to do is turn it back on when you’re done using it. However, if it’s turned off automatically, then there may be an issue with one of the sensors or other components of the system.

In this case, again, taking your car into a mechanic is the best option so they can figure out what’s going on.

What Does It Mean When It Says Check Awd System

When your car’s check engine light comes on, it’s telling you that there’s a problem with one of the engine’s systems. The “Awd” system is the all-wheel drive system, and when it has a problem, it can affect how your car drives. Here’s what you need to know about the Awd system and what it means when your check engine light comes on.

The all-wheel-drive system is responsible for transferring power from the engine to all four wheels of the car. It helps to improve traction and stability, especially in slippery or wet conditions. When something goes wrong with the Awd system, it can cause problems with how the car drives.

The most common symptom is that the car will pull to one side or feel like it wants to go straight when you turn the steering wheel. If your check engine light is on and you’re experiencing these symptoms, then it’s likely that there is a problem with your all-wheel drive system. You should take your car to a mechanic so they can diagnose the problem and make any necessary repairs.

In some cases, simply resetting the all-wheel drive system may fix the issue. However, if there is more serious damage, such as a broken axle or CV joint, then replacement parts may be needed.

How to Check Awd System Toyota Highlander

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about your all-wheel drive (AWD) system very often. But if you live in an area with snow and ice, or if you frequently take your Toyota Highlander off-road, it’s important to know how to check your AWD system and make sure it’s working properly. Here’s a step-by-step guide to checking your Toyota Highlander’s AWD system:

1. Start by putting the vehicle in park and turning off the engine. 2. Then, open the hood and locate the front differential. It should be on the driver’s side of the vehicle near the front wheels.

3. Once you’ve found the front differential, check the fluid level. If it’s low, add more until it reaches the “full” line on the dipstick. 4. Next, move to the rear of the vehicle and find the rear differential.

It should be on the passenger side of the vehicle near the rear wheels. 5. Just like with the front differential, check the fluid level in the rear differential and add more if needed until it reaches “full.” If your Highlander has a center diff lock switch, make sure it is turned OFF before proceeding to step 6. With the center diff lock switch OFF… Center differentials typically come factory filled with synthetic 75W90 gear oil so no need to add any unless there is a leak.

. Check for leaks at this time too.

There shouldn’t be any 6…Now turn ON The ignition but DON’T START THE ENGINE yet 7…while still in PARK, shift from the 2HI position thru ALL THE OTHER POSITIONS including 4LO back to 2HI. You should hear/feel each position engage as you go thru them… 8…Once done shifting positions, now START THE ENGINE 9…As the engine is running, recheck both differentials for proper fluid levels again …shouldn’t have changed since earlier checks but just want to double-check check everything ok while the engine is running 10.

How to Fix Check Awd System


What Causes the Awd Light to Come On?

When the All Wheel Drive (AWD) light comes on in your car, it means that there is a problem with the system and it needs to be checked by a mechanic. There are a few different things that can cause the light to come on, so it’s important to have it diagnosed as soon as possible. One of the most common reasons for the AWD light to come on is because there is low fluid levels in the system.

The fluid helps to keep the components cool and lubricated, so if it’s low, it can cause damage to the system. Another possibility is that there is a problem with one of the sensors or actuators. These components are what tell the system when to engage and how much power to send to each wheel.

If something isn’t working correctly, it can trigger the light. If you see the AWD light come on, don’t ignore it! Bring your car to a mechanic so they can diagnose and fix the problem.

Can I Drive With Awd Light On?

AWD stands for all-wheel drive. It’s a system that allows all four of your vehicle’s wheels to receive power from the engine simultaneously. The main benefit of AWD is that it improves traction and stability on slippery or uneven surfaces.

However, if you see your vehicle’s AWD light turn on while you’re driving, it’s important to take heed. This typically indicates that there is a problem with the system and it needs to be serviced as soon as possible. Continuing to drive with the AWD light on can lead to further damage and may even render the system useless.

So, if you see that light come on, play it safe and bring your car in for a checkup.

What Does Awd System Problem Mean?

An AWD system problem can mean a variety of things, but usually indicates an issue with the transfer case or drivetrain. The most common symptoms of an AWD system problem are grinding noises, decreased fuel economy, and difficulty accelerating. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it’s best to take your car to a mechanic for diagnosis.

How Do I Check Awd?

Assuming you would like tips on how to check if your All Wheel Drive (AWD) system is functioning properly, here are a few things you can do: First, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual. There should be specific instructions on how to test your particular make and model of car, SUV, or truck.

Next, look for any visible signs of damage or leaks underneath your vehicle. If you see any evidence of fluid leaks, this could be a sign that your AWD system is not working correctly. Another way to check is to take your car out for a spin – literally.

Head to an empty parking lot or open stretch of road and accelerate quickly from a stop. If you feel that all four wheels are gripping the pavement equally and propelling the vehicle forward smoothly, then your AWD system is likely in good working order. However, if you notice that one wheel seems to slip or lose traction while the others keep going, this could indicate a problem with the AWD system.

If you have further concerns about your AWD system, it’s always best to consult with a certified mechanic who can perform diagnostic tests and repairs as needed.


The All Wheel Drive (AWD) system is a vital component in many vehicles, providing improved traction and stability in various driving conditions. However, like any other part of your vehicle, it can experience problems, ranging from minor wear and tear to more significant mechanical issues.

Recognizing the symptoms of AWD problems is the first step in addressing them. This can include unusual noises, poor handling, or an illuminated AWD warning light. Once you’ve identified a potential issue, a step-by-step approach to troubleshooting can help isolate and rectify the problem, whether it’s a simple fluid top-up or a more complex component replacement.

Specific cases, such as the Toyota Highlander and Lexus Rx350, illustrate how these issues can manifest in particular vehicle models. By understanding these cases, you can better identify potential problems and their solutions.

Preventative maintenance is also key to the longevity and performance of your AWD system. Regular checks and timely replacements of worn-out components can prevent more serious issues down the line.

However, always remember the importance of safety. Any work on the AWD system should be done with proper precautions to avoid personal injury or further damage to the vehicle.

Finally, keep in mind that this guide, while comprehensive, does not replace the advice and expertise of a professional mechanic. Always consult with a professional if you are unsure about any aspect of your AWD system’s operation or maintenance.

In conclusion, a well-maintained AWD system can provide years of reliable service, offering enhanced vehicle performance and safety. By recognizing and addressing issues promptly, and by following a consistent maintenance schedule, you can ensure that your AWD system stays in peak condition for the life of your vehicle.

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