Your drivetrain is an integral part of your automobile. If your drivetrain malfunctions, you’re going to have problems. But what causes a drivetrain to malfunction? And what should you do about it?
The drivetrain is not simply one part of your vehicle. It is actually a set of different components working together in order to make your vehicle go.
The drivetrain is a series of components that transfers power generated by the engine to the wheels, thus providing the torque for your vehicle to move forward or in reverse. The key components of the drivetrain are the driveshaft, the axles, the transfer case and the transmission. Because the wheels and engine will rotate at different speeds, your vehicle needs to find the right ratio to make the two compatible. The transmission changes the gearbox ratio to keep the engine speed relatively constant.
Without a drivetrain, the power your engine generates has no way of reaching the wheels and thus, your car won’t go. As you can imagine, that means drivetrain malfunctions are quite problematic.
As with any problem, the sooner you spot a drivetrain malfunction, the better. Knowing what to look for could end up saving you a lot of money and headaches in the long run. With that in mind, let us look at some of the most common drivetrain problems and their most common causes:
- Intense shaking and vibrating – If you experience excessive shaking and vibration when you change gears, or just when driving generally, you likely have a burgeoning problem with your drivetrain. The most common cause of this problem is worn out U-joints. As they loosen, your drivetrain will shake more and more until, if left unchecked, it can eventually just fall apart.
- More bad vibrations – Excessive vibration is one thing, but clunking and grinding are other matters, suggesting worse problems. If you hear or feel clunking as you drive or change gears, this suggests worse loosening of the U-joints or possible worn-down solenoid packs. Friction surfaces will wear down over time and these can cause problems like clunking and grinding when you shift gears. The latter could also be caused by a lack of quality transmission fluid. Which brings us to . . .
- Transmission fluid leaks – Transmission fluid leaks can be disastrous for drivetrains. You need transmission fluid to keep your transmission cool and lubricated. If you have a leak, you could be doing damage to your transmission every time you drive. If you see patches of reddish liquid underneath your vehicle after you park, bring it in for service. Thankfully, the fix is relatively simple: transmission leaks need to be resealed.
To learn more about drivetrain malfunctions, please contact us. Back
The drivetrain is an integral component of your vehicle and it is related to your transmission. You don’t need to know the inner workings of your vehicle to be able to drive it responsibly. But the more you know about your vehicle, the better care you will be able to take of it. The more you know about how your vehicle works, the better able you will be to assess and notice symptoms of problems. And the more you know about your vehicle, the better able you will be to make informed decisions when it comes to the maintenance and repair of your vehicle. With all that in mind, this article will look to impart some information relating to the drivetrain.
The drivetrain of a vehicle is not merely just one solitary component. A drivetrain is actually a group of components that deliver power to the driving wheels, whether that’s in a front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive vehicle. With the exception of that last example, many vehicles only have one set of wheels that actually power locomotion. The other pair merely coasts. But regardless of which type of wheel-drive you have in your vehicle, it’s your drivetrain that delivers power to the driving wheels. The power is generated by the engine, typically an internal combustion engine, but drivetrains are also present in hybrid and electric vehicles as well. The drivetrain just delivers the power, so the engine is not part of it. The term “powertrain” can be used to encompass both the engine (or motor) and the drivetrain.
The Function Of The Drivetrain
The drivetrain transfers power from the engine to the driving wheels. The wheels then use that mechanical power to rotate the axle. For this connection to work, the two have to be physically linked, even if they are at opposite ends of the vehicle. In such cases a long propeller shaft or drive shaft is needed. The operating speed of the engine and wheels are also different. To solve this problem you need the correct gear ratio to match the speeds. As the speed of your automobile changes, the ideal engine speed has to remain more or less constant for efficient operation. To facilitate this, the gearbox ratio must also be changed, either manually, as in a manual transmission, or automatically as in an automatic transmission or a CVT transmission.
The Drivetrain And The Transmission
Although they must work in concert, the drivetrain and the transmission are actually quite different. Think of the transmission as being akin to the chain on a bicycle: it keeps the engine turning in time with the wheels, regardless of which gear the vehicle is in. The drivetrain represents everything that is behind the transmission involved in propelling the vehicle. The drivetrain must convey power from the vehicle’s engine, through the transmission to the drive wheels.
If you have any questions about drivetrains, Mister Transmission would be happy to answer them. If you suspect that you’re experiencing a problem with your drivetrain and would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us. Back