The drivetrain is the system of interconnected parts that unites the engine to your vehicle's wheels, which as a result, helps the vehicle move. As our engine runs, the drivetrain helps send the power from the engine through the transmission to the drive wheels. You may often hear the terms front wheels, rear wheels, or all the wheels, and they relate to your drivetrain.
How Can I Tell What Type of Drivetrain I Have?
You can find this answer quickly by looking in your owner's manual. If you are not able to find it there, then you can inspect your vehicle. If the engine is mounted sideways, it usually means your belt is sideways too. If the belts are positioned left or right, it is a front-wheel drive. If the engine is set front-to-back with the belts facing your body as you stand in front of the vehicle, it is probably a rear-wheel drive.
What Parts Make Up the Drivetrain?
Transmission - The transmission moves power from the engine to the wheels and enables gear-shifting according to your driving needs.
Axle Shafts- These are located on both sides of the rear differential. The axle shafts assist by delivering power from the differential to the rear-drive wheels.
Differential - The differential is located in the middle of the axle and allows your wheels to turn at different speeds. The differential plays a vital role in how your car makes turns.
Driveshaft - The driveshaft is a steel or aluminum cylinder that attaches the u-joint at the back of transmissions to the u-joint near the rear axle. The driveshaft enables the transmission to provide torque to the wheels.
CV Joint - The CV Joint is made to bend in any direction, allowing your axle to move with your vehicle while still spinning the drive wheels. The CV Joints are usually found on front-wheel drive vehicles where the drive shaft connects the front axle to the front driving wheels.
U-Joint - The U-Joint is a flexible point on the driveshaft that allows the shaft to pivot up and down with the suspension. In other words, it is used to adjust the shaft when vehicles go over bumps or dips in the road.
For all your automotive needs, we invite you to come to Hometown Tire and Auto. It is essential to know the drivetrain's purpose and components, but it is arguably more important to understand how to maintain it. Our technician team is trained to recognize your vehicle's needs based on make and model to help you get the proper care! Please give us a call or visit today if you have any questions.