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Discussion Starter #1
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 ºF 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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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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Discussion Starter #4
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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Discussion Starter #5
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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Discussion Starter #7
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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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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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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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...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
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.
Wow, someone needs to grow up...are you 16? Perhaps, try getting over yourself when posting anonymously on a public forum.

Not so hard to believe as tens of thousands share the same negative view as I do about start/stop features.

Start/stop features offer owners minuscule results at best, but do create enormous EPA incentives to auto manufacturers, especially those who don't allow the feature to be permanently disengaged.

There you go, something else to attack...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
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...
Appreciate the info and I agree. We asked the dealer if we could drive it AWD full time and they agreed. We live in a rural part of a city where we can go from the paved street to off road a few times per day.

As for wear and tear, I figured with the basic 3yr/36K warranty plus the Chevy PPP 3 yr/36K warranty we purchased for $1,800 we should be okay since we typically sell our vehicles before 60K miles...
 

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Even in 2WD in winter with a set of good snow tires the Traverse is hard to beat because of its weight. I have a 2WD equipped with a set of Firestone Winter force 2 and even in the worst snow storm to the point that my front skirt is acting as a snow plow i never got stuck. Here where we live the snow amount we receive in the winter is much superieur than many regions in Canada.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Chesapeake, bottom line, 2wd vs awd, you should get the dealer to check it out.


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Yepper, appointment with the dealer is on the 9th.

Oh, today something different happened. The "Service AWD System" came on while I was in 2WD.

Hope they don't say, "We can't duplicate the complaint..."...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update:

Last night I dropped the truck off to the dealer's early bird lot for my 7:30AM appt.

By noon today the dealer decided they will replace the entire rear end, under warranty (seems it happens frequently enough to get a costly decision so quickly).

Will find out in a few days when they can get the parts - a few weeks to a few months.

Driving it further will void the warranty so I'm glad they at least have a loaner program (well sort of)...
 

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So far I've had transmission shutter and shift assembly, but it is still one of the best vehicles that I've owned.

Every brand have their issues; especially on first year models or anytime something new gets introduced (Transmissions, Hybrid Tech, Turbo, new electronics, etc...) .

I remember having an 86 Dodge Grand Caravan and they were notorious with transmission and electrical issues. I still traded for a 92 and a 96 Grand Caravans. They no longer had any of those issues (they had other issues with new tech :wink:.)

Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Mazdas 3 and 6 are now quite reliable, but they are dated models with old mechanicals and tech.

My front neighbour's newer BMW is always at the shop. He had to get both turbos replaced because of some waste gate defect.

I'm sure the 2nd Gen Traverses will continue to improve in the next few years.
 

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My Honda motorcycle is a 1986 and after 33 years never visited the garage dealer except tires replacements. Still the original radiator hoses. This is what I call reliable. Lol
 
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