Service: All Wheel Drive System - Chevy Traverse Forum: Chevrolet Traverse Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Service: All Wheel Drive System

I could really use your help with this. I have already researched the site (and the inter-webs), but didn't really find anything current or revealing.

We have a 2018 Traverse High Country w/24K miles (has been fine so far) that we always drive with the transmission in L9 (to avoid start/stop) and in AWD (x4). When we purchased the truck new in Feb 2018 the dealer stated we could do both full time, but the AWD full time may reduce gas mileage.

Fast forward to Aug 2019 when we began to get a "chimed" dashboard warning (pic #1):
Service
All Wheel Drive System


When this happens, the AWD amber light turns off on the rotary switch, but the x4 amber light stays on (pic #2). At this point, I'm not sure if the AWD is mechanically disengaged and I'm just in FWD (x2 mode), but the AWD light is off.

After restarting the truck, the transmission automatically reverts back to AWD (x4) mode with both amber lights on. Then after about 5 minutes of driving, we get the dashboard warning again and the same thing happens.

I can turn the rotary switch to x2 (lights with a green color) and everything is fine (just FWD). Then when I restart, the transmission automatically reverts back to AWD (x4) mode with both amber lights on and 5 minutes later, same warning and the AWD light turns off.

The manual states, "...AWD may turn off and display a message on the DIC in instances of extensive use or overheating...".

Heard about earlier versions doing this and concerns were with low outside temps, low battery voltage (<10v), etc. It's summer here with temps between 75 - 90 F and the battery reads 13v+. Asked dealership about any "tech bulletins", etc. especially any concerning "faulty wire harnesses", but none reported and no recalls to date.

Lastly, the vehicle diagnostics doesn't report the warning or any other problems.

1st appointment with the dealer is set for Sept 9th, 2019.

Questions for the well informed folks around here:
1. Any ideas as to why this warning occurs?
The manual states overheating may be the cause, but what exactly may be overheating? No temp sensors in the differential and the tranny should have an intercooler?

2. Is the truck mechanically reverting to FWD (x2) when the warning occurs?
I'm thinking it does. But, why would ONLY the AWD amber light turn off, leave on the x4 amber light and not turn on the x2 green light (to show that AWD x4 is disengaged and that FWD x2 is engaged?).

3. What's the difference in AWD and x4 with this model or are they the same?
I'm thinking they are the same and not separate modes like the "tow/haul" or "off road". Seems confusing when ONLY the AWD amber light turns off, but the x4 amber light stays on.


For speculation:
4. Should the truck not be run in AWD all the time?


I really appreciate the help from the forum, thank you...
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 11:17 PM
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I can't answer most of your questions, but personally, 99% of the time I run in 2wd. No need for all wheel drive unless conditions require. And the gas mileage is so much better in 2wd.


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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-31-2019, 11:37 AM
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You said to avoid start/stop. Can anyone explain why that bothers you so much?
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-31-2019, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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You said to avoid start/stop. Can anyone explain why that bothers you so much?
I can explain for you.

The start/stop feature in our Traverse acts just as it does in other vehicles we have owned, including a recent CTS.

It is a dangerous and untrustworthy feature to save a fraction of a fraction of gas.

Let's say I slow to a stop at a busy intersection waiting for an opening to turn left and the start/stop feature engages. When the time arrives to make the turn, the brake is released, the accelerator is pushed and the car stutters & stalls for a few seconds (which puts us in the line of oncoming traffic & leaves us completely helpless), until the engine revs up and moves us through the intersection.

I have tried other tricks to avoid the feature; after coming to a stop, release the brake until the feature disengages then reapply the brake. Now it's ready for instant acceleration, but you have to do that every time you stop and it's easy to forget.

The 2018 Traverse was one of the first GM vehicles to intentionally NOT HAVE a way to turn the feature off.

Some folks like it, some folks don't mind it, but I don't trust it with the lives of my family; that's all...
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-31-2019, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drtbk4ever View Post
I can't answer most of your questions, but personally, 99% of the time I run in 2wd. No need for all wheel drive unless conditions require. And the gas mileage is so much better in 2wd.


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I appreciate the response.

In constant AWD we average about 19 MPG across the board, year round (per the MPG tracker in the DIC).

I figured that was pretty good...
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-01-2019, 09:26 AM
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Service: All Wheel Drive System

Quote:
Originally Posted by chesapeakechevy View Post
I appreciate the response.



In constant AWD we average about 19 MPG across the board, year round (per the MPG tracker in the DIC).



I figured that was pretty good...


Try it in 2wd and you be even happier.




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Last edited by drtbk4ever; 09-01-2019 at 09:30 AM.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-01-2019, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by drtbk4ever View Post
Try it in 2wd and you be even happier.




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I have been driving it in 2WD since this started and it now averages about 24 MPG city/highway (about 20% higher).

I even drove to Busch Gardens yesterday (a 2 hour highway drive) and it averaged about 26 MPG.

What I also noticed was the big difference in the "feel" of the drive; 2WD just didn't feel like it did before. With AWD engaged it had a sportier, much more tighter feel and handling.

I live in a city where I can be on a paved road one minute and the next on gravel, dirt, mud or grass. That's just 1 reason why I leave AWD on all the time.

Overall, I'm not inconvenienced with a few more trips to the gas station.

Why buy an AWD over just a 2WD version of you can't afford the extra gas...
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-01-2019, 12:59 PM
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Let's say I slow to a stop at a busy intersection waiting for an opening to turn left and the start/stop feature engages. When the time arrives to make the turn, the brake is released, the accelerator is pushed and the car stutters & stalls for a few seconds (which puts us in the line of oncoming traffic & leaves us completely helpless), until the engine revs up and moves us through the intersection.

This is very hard to believe. To me it sounds like no one is going to tell me how to drive my car. If you can not take off as fast as with out start stop then you should take it in and have it fixed. It is physically impossible to move your foot to the gas faster than the car restarts. You just need to grow up or there are plenty of used cars without this feature, go buy one.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-01-2019, 02:39 PM
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OUCH

My opinion on the start stop feature (I have mixed feelings about it) :
-Yes it does restart faster than I can get my foot into the gas.
-However; I can also understand why many don't care for it - and I do consider myself grown up.

(When I was less grown-up; I might have made snarky comments on a forum)
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-01-2019, 08:14 PM
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I use 2WD most of the time. But when it rains I switch to AWD because for the first few minutes of rain, the roads get a bit slick as the oil and grease drippings begin to lift from the water and haven't yet been flushed to the side of the road. Later, when it rains a lot, there is the risk of hydroplaning. AWD helps in situation where hydroplaning can occur.

I live in Canada, we get snow sometimes. I use AWD and 4 Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 tires in winter. I have driven in every major snow storm on our East-Coast and haven't gotten stuck yet.

These Traverses are not Subarus or Audis. They were not designed to be "All-time All Wheel Drive" vehicles. This is not to say that you can't drive them as such, but expect more wear and tear.

Anyway, that just me...

2018 Traverse Premier Redline
2014 Mustang GT Convertible
2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT
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