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What Is a Drivetrain in a Car and How Does It Work

  • Car Care Tips
  • Renee Martin
  • 4 minutes

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We all love our cars, but do you know everything there’s to know about your beautiful machine? A little know-how about all the components in your car can help you maintain and care for it even better. And this is where we can help you. In this post, we’re letting you know everything you need to know about the drivetrain in a vehicle. From what is a drive train in a car to how it works, we’ve mentioned it all in the post. Read on to know more.¬†¬†

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What is a drivetrain in a car?  

The drivetrain in a car is a mechanical system that transfers energy from the engine to the wheels to make them move. The drivetrain includes several components like the driveshaft, transmission, axles, and wheels.   

What does a drivetrain do?   

The car drivetrain connects the engine and transfers energy to make them move. The drivetrain sends energy to the wheels through the transmission when the engine runs. The drive wheels can be either the rear wheels, rear wheels, or all the wheels.  

Parts of a drivetrain  

Here’s a list of drivetrain components and their functions:¬†

  • Driveshaft: The driveshaft is a long tube made of steel or aluminum connected to wheels on one end and the car’s transmission on the other. It allows the transmission to provide torque to the wheels.¬†¬†¬†
  • Transmission: The transmission in a vehicle transfers power from the engine to the wheels, and it also helps gear-shifting.¬†¬†
  • CV joints: CV joints, also called constant-velocity joints, are part of the driveshaft. These joints can bend in any direction ‚Äď because of their design ‚Äď and allow the axle to move with your vehicle while continuing to turn the drive wheels. CV joints are found in front-wheel drive (FWD) vehicles. ¬†
  • U-Joint: The universal or U joint is a flexible point found on both driveshaft ends. Also, when your vehicle goes over a bump on the road, the U-joint allows the shaft to pivot and move. ¬†
  • Differential: The differential is found in the middle of the axle, and it distributes equal power to each drive wheel. Therefore, for front-wheel drive, you can find it in the front axle, it’s found in the rear axle for rear-wheel drive, and it’s found in both axles for all-wheel drive.¬†¬†¬†
  • Axle shafts: The axle shafts are located on either side of the differential, and it delivers power to the drive wheels.¬†

What is a drivetrain in a car and how does it work

Is the drivetrain in a car the same as a transmission?    

No, the drivetrain is not the same as the transmission. The drivetrain includes several components like the axle shafts, driveshaft, CV joint, etc. In fact, transmission is part of the drivetrain.   

What causes a malfunction in a drivetrain?   

Multiple factors can make a drivetrain malfunction. Here’s a list of factors that can cause a problem in the drivetrain:¬†¬†¬†

How do I know if my drivetrain is not working properly?    

If your drivetrain is not working properly, you could be facing one of the issues mentioned below. Also, if you experience any of the problems mentioned here, have your vehicle checked immediately:  

  • Transmission overheating¬†¬†
  • ¬†Slipping to neutral after changing gears¬†¬†
  • If you experience grinding when you shift gears¬†¬†
  • ¬†Humming or clunking noises when the vehicle’s in neutral¬†¬†

How much does it cost to fix a drivetrain? 

The cost to fix a drivetrain depends on the type of damage, model, and vehicle’s year. Minor repairs like replacing a gasket or seal should cost you anywhere between $100 to $200. However, for major replacements, you will be spending close to $4000.¬†¬†


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