The SH-AWD system is what gives your Acura TLX or RDX cat-like reflexes on winding roads and the stability to drive through stormy rides.
Well, don’t worry — we’ve got all the answers you need!
Let’s explore a few common Acura SH-AWD problems, their fixes, and address some related questions.
This Article Contains:
- 4 Critical Acura SH-AWD Problems You Should Know
- 3 Key FAQs Related to Acura SH-AWD Problems
4 Critical Acura SH-AWD Problems
If you own an Acura RDX, Acura TLX, or an Acura TL from the Honda Motor Company, here are a few common problems you may face and their possible fixes:
1. Acura SH-AWD Warning Light On
An illuminated SH-AWD light signals an issue with your Acura’s all-wheel-drive system.
Here are some likely culprits that might be causing you trouble:
- Faulty batteries: If your headlights also seem dimmer than usual, It’s a good idea to check your battery with a voltmeter. Such reported issues are often linked to electrical issues. The SH-AWD system won’t work well if the battery doesn’t provide enough power to different sensors and modules that assist your all-wheel drive.
- Bad wiring harness connection: The wiring harness connects all the SH-AWD system parts. So, a break or loose connection in the wiring harness can affect the system’s performance.
- Sensor issues: The SH-AWD system relies on multiple sensors, like speed sensors, to control the distribution of power between the front and rear wheels. A bad sensor may engage the SH-AWD at the wrong time and lead to accidents.
- Tire problems: Wheel misalignment, improper tire inflation, and irregular tire wear can disrupt the SH-AWD system. This common problem can reduce vehicle stability and reliability, especially on slippery roads.
- ECU malfunction: The Electronic Control Unit (ECU) for the SH-AWD receives data from sensors like throttle and speed sensors, monitors the health of the AWD system, and helps in its overall operation. So, any issue in its ECU can affect your Acura’s AWD.
If all these parts work fine, you may need an expert mechanic to help figure out the problem.
2. Acura’s Steering Wheel and Brakes Locked Up: Car Won’t Start
A locked steering wheel can stop your push start from working and won’t allow you to crank your engine, regardless of whether it’s an Acura TL or Acura RDX.
How to fix it?
Gently turn the steering wheel in one direction, hold it there, and push the start button. If it doesn’t start, let the wheel slowly come back to its original position while you press the start button. And if your brakes are stuck, don’t worry — in most cases, you can push the brake pedal enough to turn the brake lights on and start your car.
3. Acura Shows “SH-AWD Diff Temp High” After Driving for a While
“SH-AWD Diff Temp High” usually means overheating differential fluid on any Acura model, like the Acura RDX.
If the differential fluid gets too hot, it can cause transmission problems by damaging internal transmission parts and other vital components like the torque converter. In such cases, you should pull over immediately, shift into park mode, and let the engine idle until the light turns off.
To prevent the differential fluid from overheating, avoid making sudden starts or stops and racing your engine. You can also use air conditioning to keep the coolant temperature low while driving in hot weather or heavy traffic.
4. A Strange Noise from Acura SH-AWD’s Differential Area
If you hear a strange noise or notice a drop in gas mileage in your Acura, you might have low or dirty differential fluid. Your differential gear may also wear out sooner than it usually does.
To fix it, you’ll need to top up the differential fluid or flush and refill it with fresh fluid. You may also have to replace the differential seals and gaskets if leaks have already developed.
It’s a good idea to check all vital fluids, like engine oil, during routine maintenance to avoid these problems.
Note: If you notice the noise coming from your rear differential, accompanied by a gear grinding sound or a vibration in the driveshaft, you might have a bad rear differential.
Have more questions?
Let’s tackle them next.
3 Key FAQs Related to Acura SH-AWD Problems
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about the Acura SH-WD system:
1. Can I Drive with the SH-AWD Light On?
Although you can, it’s not safe to drive with the SH-AWD light on.
A malfunctioning SH-AWD system can reduce your car’s traction, reliability, and stability. This can make it tough to steer in bad weather or swerve to avoid crashes in traffic.
If you continue driving with a broken SH-AWD system, it can also cause damage to other vital drivetrain parts like the torque converter.
2. How Much Does it Cost to Fix A SH-AWD Problem on Acura?
Repair costs can vary based on your vehicle, type of problems (like electrical issues), components, and labor charges.
Based on what’s causing the issue, here are some repair cost estimates:
- Differential fluid change: $79-$93 ($20–$24 for parts and $59–$69 for labor)
- Speed sensor: $248 ($101 for parts and $146 for labor)
- Car battery: $79-$496 ($79–$450 for parts and $36–$46 for labor)
- Wiring harness: $1,300-$1,700 ($100-$300 for parts and $400-$500 for labor)
3. How Can I Prevent SH-AWD System Problems?
Here are a few tips for an Acura owner to avoid a SH-AWD system-related issue:
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. This will help you catch a problem quickly before it becomes an expensive fix.
- Check for leaks and change vital fluids, like the engine oil and transmission fluid, regularly.
- Ensure your tires are well-aligned, in good condition, and properly inflated.
- Don’t overload your car, as the SH-AWD system is designed to handle a specific load capacity.
- Avoid driving in harsh weather conditions and off-road.
Anything from transmission issues to simple tire wear can cause SH-AWD system troubles, and some of these problems might need a professional to diagnose and fix them.
That’s where RepairSmith can help.
We’re a mobile auto repair service available seven days a week. We offer upfront pricing, convenient online booking, and a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty on all repairs.
All you need to do is contact us, and our experts will fix any SH-AWD problem right in your driveway.