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
Frank and the crew in Coquitlam did
Harold P
Frank and the crew in Coquitlam did a great job and very quickly repaired my Jeep.
Date: July 2, 2020
Website:  
Andrew Ouellette was amazing. Serv
Steve R
Andrew Ouellette was amazing. Service was booked the next day. dropped the car off at 1pm. Received a call on the work required by 2pm and picked up the car by 4pm. A great service experience!
Date: July 1, 2020
Website:  
Great customer service
Darin K
Great customer service
Date: July 1, 2020
Website:  
Great service
Greg K
Great service
Date: June 30, 2020
Website:  
Ken is great - knowledgeable skille
Kyle T
Ken is great - knowledgeable skilled friendly and honest and fair. What more could you want?
Date: June 30, 2020
Website:  
Chris & Kurt were Awesome they both
MARC M
Chris & Kurt were Awesome they both went above and beyond ! From Kurt using the Diagnostic tool before they opened as I needed to get to work by 8:50 AM to Chris looking into my options & working on my Transmission They are both incredible ! you have a set of Ambassadors for Mister Transmission that live a vision of caring for the well being of their clients. I will defiantly refer people to them as they are without a doubt the best of the best ! Thank you again Kurt and Chris ! You guys deserve an Award ! Regards Marc
Date: June 29, 2020
Website:  
Pleased with professional and frien
Kim G
Pleased with professional and friendly service and same day repair
Date: June 27, 2020
Website:  
As always the service was great, th
Tyson T
As always the service was great, the right work that needed to be done was done.
Date: June 27, 2020
Website:  
So far, repair seems fine
Betty H
So far, repair seems fine
Date: June 26, 2020
Website:  
The team communicated each step in
Tracy D
The team communicated each step in the process. They quoted higher than what it actually cost me. They brought out the hardware to explain and show us what the issues were. They answered all questions that my son and I both had. It definitely made is less stressful as the vehicle in question has been a huge cost factor.
Date: June 26, 2020
Website:  
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
Can A Transmission Be Repaired?
Transmission repair is a tricky business. That is because transmissions themselves
Read More
June 17, 2020
How Long Can You Drive With A Bad Transm...
Procrastination: it’s something we’re all guilty of. Why do today what you can
Read More
June 10, 2020
How Do I Know If My Transmission Needs T...
If you can avoid it, you really do not want to replace your transmission.
Read More
June 3, 2020
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Transmissio...
Low transmission fluid can cause multiple issues with your automobile’s
Read More
May 27, 2020
How to Check Transmission Fluid
Regular checking of your transmission fluid is a vital practice to keep up the health
Read More
May 1, 2020
Is Transmission Service Necessary?
When dealing with automotive professionals, regular people sometimes get nervous.
Read More
April 27, 2020
What Can Cause A Drivetrain To Malfuncti...
Your drivetrain is an integral part of your automobile. If your drivetrain
Read More
April 24, 2020
What Is The Purpose Of The Drivetrain?
The reason that we at Mister Transmission dedicate ourselves specifically to the
Read More
April 20, 2020
Car Disinfection: 5 Tips For Sanitizing ...
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s best to stay indoors as much as possible. If you
Read More
April 10, 2020
Is A Drivetrain The Same Thing As A Tran...
Most of us have visions of being something of a grease monkey. Who wouldn’t want to
Read More
February 12, 2020