Blog Car Care Advice 7 Prominent Acura SH-AWD Problems (+How to Fix)
Car Care Advice

7 Prominent Acura SH-AWD Problems (+How to Fix)

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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.

However, it can be concerning for an Acura owner if the car doesn’t start or you hear odd sounds from your SH-AWD system.

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:

Let’s start.

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: 

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.

If these steps don’t work, get your vehicle towed to the nearest auto repair shop or call a mobile mechanic to help you out. 

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:

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:

Wrapping Up

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 AutoNation Mobile Service 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.