All Wheel Drive Symbol, What Does It Mean?

The powertrain is an important part of your car to propel on the road. The whole assembly from the engine to the axle assembly is part of your powertrain mechanism. The key components of the powertrain system are the engine, driveshafts, gearbox, propellor shaft, differential, and axle assembly. In other words, every component assembly that helps to propel the car on the road is the Powertrain system. 

There is a number of an advanced version of your powertrain mechanism. Those are developing according to different kinds of terrain conditions for example snow terrain where we needed more traction to avoid slipping on the road. So, all the cars have normally two-wheel-drive either in front or in the rear. But it did not create much traction to properly communicate with snow.

Here we discuss the all-wheel-drive powertrain and how it works because there is always confusion between the 4WD and AWD. And all wheel drive symbols what condition it blinks and what it tells.

What Is The All Wheel Drive?

All-wheel drive is a different kind of powertrain, that is capable to provide power to all four wheels. It performs to assist the drivability of the vehicle on different kinds of terrains. For example, snow where we have to need more traction to travel in comparison to the normal road because there are a lot of slips on the snow. That allows your vehicle wheels to lose traction and in that case, it helps the vehicle via transmitting power to all-wheel in the vehicle to maintain better traction on the road. 

Maybe is full-time or on-demand. The all-wheel drive requires the rear, front, and center differential to operate its function. This system comes in the car in two types first ie, engaged all time which meant your vehicle is assisted by the all-wheel all the time. And second is like activating on-demand of traction on all corner wheels.

And not only this, but according to the different terrain, we created the different powertrain systems:

  1. 4×2 or Two-wheel drive (conventional either front or rear)
  2. All-wheel Drive 
  3. 4×4 wheel drive

All Wheel Drive Symbol Meaning

This is the all wheel drive symbol. That place on the driver information cluster.  And illuminates when there is any problem in your AWD or if there is a service required for it.

It is also turned on when your car ignition gets switched on. This shows your AWD is working or we can say it engaged when on the ignition. But if it does not stop illuminating after some time then there is a serious problem in your all-wheel-drive system or maybe their service required for it. 

  1. Dirt in the AWD system
  2. Low lubrication in the AWD system
  3. Leakage in the AWD system 

That is also the reason behind illuminating the all-wheel-drive symbol and if it blinks then tells overheating of your AWD.

Can You Turn AWD On Or Off?

Generally, an all-wheel-drive vehicle does not come with the switchable AWD. But some of the manufacturers permit you to turn on or off your AWD system. This gives because just to save fuel economy of the vehicle. And some of the manufacturers give the electrically controlled AWD that only operates when there is any traction required to any well of your vehicle that is named as the on-demand AWD.

And it used to make vehicles more fuel economic. Because the two-wheel drive is more fuel-efficient and lesser the traction. So, they run on the two-wheel drive and whenever any wheel has required more traction it is turned on and gives power to that wheel.


Front-wheel drive is used in most cars that are out on the road. It is also the type of two-wheel-drive powertrain system that is the most fuel-efficient two-wheel-drive powertrain. It gives

  1. Better fuel economy.
  2. More interior space.
  3. Good all-season handling.
  4. Easy to service

An all-wheel-drive power train is used to give power to all four wheels of your vehicle. That makes a good amount of traction in any terrain to keep moving. Also, it makes it easy to drive cars on any terrain. It gives

  1. Best wet-weather handling.
  2. Better traction on ice and snow.
  3. Better off-road capability.


4-wheel drive is also one of the powertrain mechanisms that use to provide power to all four wheels of your car. That is a totally offroad-oriented or extremely slippery surface powertrain mechanism. It is switchable in rear two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. It makes better traction offroad and on very extremely slippery surfaces to move forward. 

An all-wheel-drive power train is used to give power to all four wheels of your vehicle. That makes a good amount of traction in any terrain to keep moving. Also, it makes it easy to drive cars on any terrain.

The major difference between the all-wheel and 4 wheels drive vehicle is whether the 4-wheel drive is generally user-dependent use or not. And all-wheel can not control by the user, it is always active.  And generally operates on the central differential. 4 wheel drive is efficient at low gears producing high torque. 

In 4-wheel drive, all wheels have their different speed and direction but whereas, but all-wheel-drive operates on a central differential or clutch pack coupling and locks the rear and front axle to operate. All-wheel drive is known as the all-season system. because it performs in all conditions.


These are the main cause that generally harms your car suspension system. And that is only controlled by the proper maintenance and scheduled services. it also helps you more to maintain the vehicle properly and you also get the proper assistance from there.

These situations are very common these days and day by day the consumption is increasing exponentially and there is the possibility of manufacturing defects, so it is mandatory to always be punctual with the service logs of vehicles. This helps you to keep far from the unusual situations because it is too low cost than repairing any part or replacement of that part and that makes you a good consumer and a good Driver.

And I hope that after reading the whole article you get to know about the all wheel drive symbol. 

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