: Should rear wheels spin freely on an AWD when lifted?



9192champs
02-08-13, 02:31 PM
Hello all,

I recently purchased a slightly-used 2011 SRX with AWD, and until it snowed last week, I had been 100% satisfied with it. However, when I tried driving up a medium-grade hill with about an inch of snow on the road, it barely made it up. My wife's 2013 AWD CTS coupe made it up the hill with no problems at all, so I am wondering if something is wrong with the AWD system on the SRX. The tires seemed to be spinning and I never saw any lights on the dash come on for Traction Control or anything like that. (Unfortunately, no one else was around to tell me if all four tires were spinning or just the front ones.)

This morning, I jacked up one of the rear corners of the vehicle, and the wheel spun pretty freely with only a little bit of resistance. I thought that the SRX had all-the-time AWD, so this does not seem right to me. I had expected the wheel not to turn (which was the case when I tried this in the front).

Does anyone know if this is normal, or is this an indication that my AWD system is not working? Any help would be greatly appreciated. (If I have to take it in to the dealer, I want to make sure I am educated first.)


Thanks,
Paul

TheCaptain
02-08-13, 03:12 PM
The AWD SRX does not actually have full time AWD. It is FWD anytime throttle response is light and the Stabilitrack and yaw sensors haven't sensed any difficulties. Over 40% throttle position it kicks on the AWD and any time it senses any wheel slip.
As for when it is parked, I would say the rear axle is probably neutral. I know when I switch tires, the rear tires move a bit, but nothing that has me thinking they are in neutral/uncoupled from the transfer case...

DTurmel
02-08-13, 03:57 PM
Hello all,

I recently purchased a slightly-used 2011 SRX with AWD, and until it snowed last week, I had been 100% satisfied with it. However, when I tried driving up a medium-grade hill with about an inch of snow on the road, it barely made it up. My wife's 2013 AWD CTS coupe made it up the hill with no problems at all, so I am wondering if something is wrong with the AWD system on the SRX. The tires seemed to be spinning and I never saw any lights on the dash come on for Traction Control or anything like that. (Unfortunately, no one else was around to tell me if all four tires were spinning or just the front ones.)

This morning, I jacked up one of the rear corners of the vehicle, and the wheel spun pretty freely with only a little bit of resistance. I thought that the SRX had all-the-time AWD, so this does not seem right to me. I had expected the wheel not to turn (which was the case when I tried this in the front).

Does anyone know if this is normal, or is this an indication that my AWD system is not working? Any help would be greatly appreciated. (If I have to take it in to the dealer, I want to make sure I am educated first.)


Thanks,
Paul

I have had a lot of questions myself on the AWD type / behavior on the SRX - not many people know about the awd system on their own cars and each manufacturer is different - I found some good info on Wikipedia about it (search on Haldex Traction - the SRX apparently uses the Fourth Gen - there is a great description in there).

I also found a great video on youtube where they test awd systems with what they call the "roller test" - they tested the MB GLK, Audi Quattro, BMW X3, Lexus RX and Cadillac SRX.....the SRX came out as one of the best systems along with the X3 - the Lexus? well see it for yourself... :)

Don't think I can fully answer your question but I thought the video and Wiki source could help explaining some of it - it sounds like the rear wheel should still spin but but moderately as seen on the video.

I am sure others will chime in - I am interested to learn about that as well.

----------


I have had a lot of questions myself on the AWD type / behavior on the SRX - not many people know about the awd system on their own cars and each manufacturer is different - I found some good info on Wikipedia about it (search on Haldex Traction - the SRX apparently uses the Fourth Gen - there is a great description in there).

I also found a great video on youtube where they test awd systems with what they call the "roller test" - they tested the MB GLK, Audi Quattro, BMW X3, Lexus RX and Cadillac SRX.....the SRX came out as one of the best systems along with the X3 - the Lexus? well see it for yourself... :)

Don't think I can fully answer your question but I thought the video and Wiki source could help explaining some of it - it sounds like the rear wheel should still spin but but moderately as seen on the video.

I am sure others will chime in - I am interested to learn about that as well.


I forgot the Youtube link!!!!

here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcYUUEPBFAw

TheCaptain
02-08-13, 04:32 PM
Sweet link! And 'not enough power' in the SRX my a**. How about using the pedal on the right?
Noseheavy? A bit...

DTurmel
02-08-13, 09:00 PM
Sweet link! And 'not enough power' in the SRX my a**. How about using the pedal on the right?
Noseheavy? A bit...


Hi Captain, sweet video indeed....I've been looking for an AWD test comparison for a long time...the srx kicks ass in this test. Amazing to see the Audi Quattro not coming even close to it.

Also here's the wiki link about the Haldex system that the SRX has.....however it says that it is a permanent AWD (I also read that in other articles) and the rear wheels are always put in use from a standing start and reduced to 5-10% at cruising speed..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haldex_Traction#Fourth_generation_-_2007

Cheers,
DT

TheCaptain
02-09-13, 08:54 AM
Ok, that is more correct than the info I have, and makes more sense too. I think I got the Haldex confused with the AWD system from the Equinox/Terrain.

DTurmel
02-09-13, 12:37 PM
Sweet link! And 'not enough power' in the SRX my a**. How about using the pedal on the right?
Noseheavy? A bit...


I had the same reaction.....This is a BMW dealership making this test so he is going to say / find something negative to say on each competitor...he clearly says the AWD on the SRX is as good as the x3 - which is clearly demonstrated by the test - so he says the srx has no power since he has no other arguments and doesn't want his potential clients to go test drive the SRX. :) .... The SRX is more stylish, better looking, cheaper, better value than the X3

TheCaptain
02-10-13, 09:36 AM
Indeed.

e004698
02-10-13, 11:49 AM
Paul,
Here is my earlier post under SRX in snow. I believe you may have lost the traction control and not even known it because the lamp for some reason didin't come on to tell you it was inoperative.
I have a 2010 AWD that is usually good in the snow, but on two occasions I have had it back to the dealer because the traction control was not working AND there was no dash indication lamp that it was not working. Twice they have fixed it for this: "TEST DROVE WITH CUSTOMER. STABILITRACK NOT ENGAGING ON SNOWY SURFACE. NO LIGHTS ON. NO STORED FAULTS. FOUND BRAKE POSITION SENSOR NOT LEARNED DURING FULL SCAN. RELEARNED POSITION AND TEST DROVE.OPERATING OK AT THIS TIME. " If this can happen on AWD, it can happen on FWD. I believe it is the loss of traction feature which is causing problems. My AWD was terrible when I lost the traction and you don't get a warning lamp for this failure mode. Try it!

paid4c4
02-10-13, 06:38 PM
I had the same reaction.....This is a BMW dealership making this test so he is going to say / find something negative to say on each competitor...he clearly says the AWD on the SRX is as good as the x3 - which is clearly demonstrated by the test - so he says the srx has no power since he has no other arguments and doesn't want his potential clients to go test drive the SRX. :) .... The SRX is more stylish, better looking, cheaper, better value than the X3

Thanks for a great link. I've described our 2012 SRX4 Premium as a jeep with leather seats in the snow. That maybe a little exaggeration but I've had great luck in the snow with our SRX. I'm going to post the link on my Toyota Tacoma forum and listen for weeping.
Bill

DTurmel
02-10-13, 09:47 PM
Thanks for a great link. I've described our 2012 SRX4 Premium as a jeep with leather seats in the snow. That maybe a little exaggeration but I've had great luck in the snow with our SRX. I'm going to post the link on my Toyota Tacoma forum and listen for weeping.
Bill


LOL !!!

I have never owned a car that perform that great in the snow and we have a lot here in cold Ottawa....based on other great posts here on this forum, if you feel your car doesn't perform that well this is maybe an indication of an issue.

Cheers
DT

9192champs
02-13-13, 10:30 AM
Thanks for all the replies, guys! A few days after I made my initial post, the "Service Rear Axle" message came up on the DIC along with a little graphic that appears to indicate something is amiss with the passenger-side rear wheel. The Owners Manual says this message means that something is wrong with the AWD system, so it seems likely that this is related to the poor performance I observed in the snow. The vehicle is currently at the dealer, so I will let you all know what they find out.

- Paul

Cadillac Cust Svc
02-13-13, 03:38 PM
I'm pleased to see you're already working with your dealer towards a resolution, Paul! Thank you for keeping us up-to-date, and don't hesitate to email me if you would like our Customer Service team to contact your dealer for you at any point. (I'm reachable at Katie_Lucille@gmexpert.com.)

Best,

Katie
Cadillac Customer Service

9192champs
02-14-13, 10:34 PM
Vehicle is back from the dealer. They ended up having to remove the whole differential to replace the clutches and apply pistons. They also re-flashed the diff module. The service manager said that my AWD system definitely could not have been working properly with the problems they found, so this explains why I experienced such poor performance in the snow. I can tell a difference already in the way the vehicle drives. It definitely "feels" more powerful and grounded to the road, if that makes any sense. The real test will come the next time it snows, but from the obvious difference in feel, I am pretty sure that the vehicle was operating in FWD mode for a while even before the "Service Rear Axle" message began to display.


Thanks again to all for the advice and info,
Paul

DTurmel
02-15-13, 07:52 AM
Vehicle is back from the dealer. They ended up having to remove the whole differential to replace the clutches and apply pistons. They also re-flashed the diff module. The service manager said that my AWD system definitely could not have been working properly with the problems they found, so this explains why I experienced such poor performance in the snow. I can tell a difference already in the way the vehicle drives. It definitely "feels" more powerful and grounded to the road, if that makes any sense. The real test will come the next time it snows, but from the obvious difference in feel, I am pretty sure that the vehicle was operating in FWD mode for a while even before the "Service Rear Axle" message began to display.

Thanks again to all for the advice and info,
Paul

Glad they found your problem....believe me you won't be disappointed next time you drive in the snow. also glad to hear that the car properly displayed an alarm.

Cheers
DT