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.

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Customer Reviews
Took my 2012 Nissan Altima...
Jasbir Singh
Took my 2012 Nissan Altima to the dealer in Mississauga because the car wouldn't pick up speed properly. They said the transmission needed replacing and gave me an estimate that was really expensive. Another customer in the waiting area at the dealer recommended I try Mister Transmission so I called the store in Brampton because it was close to my work. I am very glad I did. They fixed my problem for a lot less and they were very professional in explaining what was wrong. I picked up my car 3 days ago and it is working great now. Thank you Mister Transmission.
Date: September 20, 2020
Website: Google
Great place. Fast delivery on...
Christine Dickson
Great place. Fast delivery on parts.
Date: September 19, 2020
Website: Google
My truck transmission blew out...
J
My truck transmission blew out on a Saturday morning, I contacted them early afternoon. Mark (owner)told me best to get it towed asap to the shop,which I did.He contacted me on the Monday and informed me the damages.Was a major rebuild.On the following Friday the truck was ready and drove like new.They contacted several times informing me about prices,very professional and knowledgeable. Always answered my questions and the price was amazing compared to anyone out there.I wouldn't hesitate to send anyone to this place,top notch service and very friendly service!!
Date: September 19, 2020
Website: Google
If your looking for the...
S OB
If your looking for the best service and work ethic, in Alberta, these guys are it. Transmission shops are notorious for bad reputations. I own a 2003 custom land rover and trust it with basically no one but these guys now. I waited for 3yrs to find the right people to do the work. They not only did what I asked, but way over and above. Mel is an absolute pleasure to deal with.I was referred to Excel by Family that own Popo and Sons on Lacombe. Best advice in yrs.
Date: September 19, 2020
Website: Google
Excellent service
Michael Gardner
Excellent service
Date: September 18, 2020
Website: Google
Was convinced I had a...
Jonathan Campbell
Was convinced I had a transmission failure and was prepared for a big bill but they spent the time to diagnose that it wasn't transmission related. Let me know where to go with no charge. Very honest.
Date: September 17, 2020
Website: Google
Called Friday afternoon and booked...
Clarence Benson
Called Friday afternoon and booked me in for 8am Monday.👍
Date: September 17, 2020
Website: Google
I remember my father always...
Chris W.
I remember my father always saying go to Mr. transmission and luckily for me I didn’t need their services until 20 years later.They’re still solid, knowledgeable, professional & very helpful. Steve offered recommendations but wasn’t trying to sell or push services on me. Will return in the future.
Date: September 15, 2020
Website: Google
Gary at North Bay transmission...
Colleen Whalley
Gary at North Bay transmission was amazing. My 2016 Rogue had some major issues. He was able to find a second hand one. These are common issues with the Nissans CVT transmissions. Which after speaking with Nissan doesn't seem to be a concern. Repairs all total $7600 plus rental $575. Gary ensured that i received their rate from Enterprise. It was suspected that the awd unit had leaks/issues. When I went back for the 10 day check after repair. It was confirmed the awd needed some repair. When I brought it back in for that repair. Gary did not charge me the cost of taking the unit out again. He absorbed the almost $600 i would have been charged. I was treated with respect and fairness! Their estimatex time frames for work completion were kept. Keep up the good work Mister Transmission in North Bay!
Date: September 15, 2020
Website: Google
It is a rarity when...
Renee Lauzon
It is a rarity when you come across an honest mechanic who puts looking out for your vehicles safety and longevity as well as the the owners best interests firsthand. Although I was not happy with the news that I received from Kris (honest mechanic) he did help me get my lemon (my SUV) on the road again and even offered to inspect my next used vehicle prior to purchasing it FOR FREE!!! When was the last time you received a diagnostic check on your vehicle without having to pay?I thought Kris was a straight forward, no BS, and very kind mechanic that everyone wit a vehicle needs!!! Thank you Mister Transmission, You are my newest BFF!!!🤗
Date: September 13, 2020
Website: Google
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