What is a Drivetrain?

By Mister Transmission

A drivetrain may be the least understood part of a vehicle. This is due to several factors, including the fact that the term “drivetrain” is often used interchangeably with powertrain and driveline.

The drivetrain includes the transmission, the driveshaft, the axles, and the wheels. Simply put, it works in conjunction with the engine to move the wheels. The drivetrain system is an essential component of a vehicle and the transmission is an integral part of the drivetrain.

The Drivetrain and the Transmission

The drivetrain and the transmission are actually two very different concepts. The main function of the transmission is similar to the chain on a bicycle: it keeps the engine turning in time with the wheels, regardless of what gear the vehicle is in. The drivetrain represents everything that is behind the transmission involved in propelling the vehicle. The main function of the drivetrain is basically to convey power from the vehicle’s engine, through the transmission to the drive wheels on the vehicle to control the amount of torque. “Torque” is turning or twisting force.

Parts of a Drivetrain

The drivetrain is comprised of a collection of components in a vehicle that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels/ drive it forward. These components include the driveshaft, CV joints, the differential, the axle shafts and the U-joints.

  • A driveshaft is a long tube of steel that is linked to a car’s transmission at one end and the wheels at the other. It transfers the mechanical power from the transmission to the other components of the vehicle.
  • A U-joint, or universal joint, is a flexible pivot point that transmits power allowing for varying angles of the driveshaft.
  • CV joints, or constant-velocity joints, are part of the driveshaft. These joints are designed to be able to bend in any direction while continuing to turn the drive wheels at a constant velocity.
  • The differential is where the power makes its last stop before spinning the wheels (see ‘How Differentials Work’).
  • Axle shafts are a single rotating shaft, on either side of the differential, which delivers power from the final drive assembly to the drive wheels.

Driveline, Drivetrain, Powertrain

Technicians sometimes refer to driveline, drivetrain and powertrain interchangeably when referring to the drivetrain system of an automobile. This can cause confusion, but in essence, all of these terms describe the same system within the vehicle.

The powertrain in a vehicle is composed of everything that makes the vehicle move. This includes everything from the engine to the transmission to all the parts that allow the power from the engine to get to the wheels. A vehicle’s driveline consists of all of the powertrain’s components except for the engine.

The drivetrain is the part of a motorized vehicle which connects the engine and transmission to the wheel axles.

The driveline includes everything in the chain from the engine to the drive wheels, but the drivetrain consists of everything after the transmission — all driveshafts, axles, joints, differentials and wheels.

Mister Transmission technicians are all certified drivetrain and transmission specialists who service drivetrain and transmission issues in all modern vehicles.

Want to know more?
Visite one of our locations!

image-reviews image-reviews
Customer Reviews
Steve and his team were...
Christian Melis
Steve and his team were fantastic to deal with. They replaced the transmission on my 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan and now drives better than when we purchased it.EXCELLENT customer services .
Date: September 7, 2021
Website: Google
Know that they want to...
Diane Kennedy
Know that they want to give the best prices as well as the best quality of service and quality of repairs they care
Date: September 7, 2021
Website: Google
Trustworthy. They communicated throughout the...
Dave Bergmuller
Trustworthy. They communicated throughout the whole process.
Date: September 7, 2021
Website: Google
Franchise owner Jason’s professionalism is...
Russell Forsyth
Franchise owner Jason’s professionalism is exemplary as practical honest solutions are discussed with his team of highly experienced mechanics offering inciteful customer service that is respected.
Date: September 6, 2021
Website: Google
Worth every penny.The folks at...
Paul Creaser
Worth every penny.The folks at Mr. T are friendly, capable and accomodating. They were able to able to see me on short notice and were even able to tell le what was wrong, and gave me a paper copy of what my car needs.Not loads of places to park because of yhe construction next door taking half of their lot, clearly not their fault.
Date: September 6, 2021
Website: Google
Absolutely recommended! Hardworking, humble people...
Bjoern Ewald
Absolutely recommended! Hardworking, humble people who clearly know what they are doing. I wish every business was like that. Repaired the CVT on my 2014 Subaru and it runs like new. Price was reasonable. Glad I did not trade in the car at the dealership. Christina in the office sets a model of courtesy and professionalism, and the owner even drove me to the car rental after I dropped off the car. Can't say enough good things about these guys!
Date: September 5, 2021
Website: Google
On time. Awesome service.
Ugesh Chand
On time. Awesome service.
Date: September 4, 2021
Website: Google
Great and fast service! Will...
Dave Chen
Great and fast service! Will definitely come back in the future. Love the fact that you can text the business admin regarding services instead of playing phone tag like other shops.
Date: September 3, 2021
Website: Google
Great service!
Fernanda DeCarolis
Great service!
Date: September 3, 2021
Website: Google
Kyle at Mister Transmission was...
Ben Kennedy
Kyle at Mister Transmission was incredibly professional and helpful. They diagnosed some issues in my vehicle and gave me recommended next steps.They offer a free transmission inspection which is rare to find in Ottawa nowadays. It’s often a fee just to take a look, not these guys.Highly recommend if you need your transmission worked on!
Date: September 1, 2021
Website: Google
Featured Services
Transmission Repair

The evolution of transmissions has made these machines and systems increasingly complex. When transmission repairs are required, determining the cause and cure for what ails can be tricky.

Read More
Transmission Technology

At Mister Transmission we have access to leading-edge diagnostic equipment, enabling us to offer you the fastest and most accurate findings about what’s going on inside your vehicle’s transmission.

Read More
Transmission Maintenance & Service

Just as you have other parts of your car serviced, your transmission needs maintenance to ensure a long life and avoid transmission problems.

Read More
Recent Blogs
3 Major And 3 Minor Transmission Repairs
Transmission repairs are not all equal. There are minor and there are major
Read More
August 2, 2021
What You Need To Know About Torque Conve...
Torque converter repair is something that comes up fairly often in comparison to
Read More
July 28, 2021
What Are Some Common CVT Transmission Pr...
CVT transmission problems aren’t all that different from other automatic
Read More
July 21, 2021
The Top Ten Models With Major Transmissi...
Which transmissions have the most problems? Here are the ten models with the most
Read More
July 14, 2021
“How Can I Tell What Kind Of Trans...
“What transmission do I have?” It’s a question we hear a lot at Mister
Read More
July 7, 2021
4 Common Transmission Maintenance Mistak...
Transmission maintenance is absolutely imperative to ensure long and efficient life
Read More
June 25, 2021
How A Transmission Shop Can Actually Sav...
Transmissions are expensive. And they can be expensive to fix. That’s why any visit
Read More
June 23, 2021
The Benefits Of A Transmission Fluid Cha...
When done at the right time, a transmission fluid change can really benefit your vehicle.
Read More
June 17, 2021
RAM Differential and Driveability Issue
You are enjoying a drive in your 2012 - 2018 Ram 1500 pickup truck and all of a sudden,
Read More
May 19, 2021
7 Common Transmission Problems
We all want to avoid transmission problems. To do that, it helps to know what some of
Read More
May 10, 2021