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Drivetrain & Powertrain – Know the Difference

BRAND drivetrain powertrain

What is the difference between powertrain and drivetrain? In brief, the drivetrain is what provides the power to move the wheels and the powertrain consists of both the engine and the drivetrain.

Drivetrain & Powertrain

You may not know off the top of your head what the advantages are of contrasting a drivetrain vs. powertrain but when you understand the differences between both, it will certainly provide you the upper hand when vehicle purchasing, going to the mechanic, or when Alex Trebek asks you a Jeopardy question concerning automobile components that make cars move.

In short, powertrains and drivetrains essentially do the exact same thing. They create kinetic energy to make your vehicle ‘go’. Now, chances are that you have never actually considered how vital these moving components are. They’re the unsung heroes that get you from point A to point B and they each work in their own one-of-a-kind method.


What are the Drivetrain Components?

Often times the terms ‘drivetrain’ and ‘powertrain’ are utilized interchangeably yet, contrary to popular belief, they are not the same. So just what is the difference between powertrain elements and drivetrain components? The biggest difference is the way power is produced and distributed to the car.

A drivetrain is not actually a solitary part of your vehicle – it’s a team of drivetrain parts that collaborate with the engine to move the wheels and numerous parts of the vehicle to thrust it into motion. These components typically include the transmission, differential, driveshaft, axles, CV joints, and the wheels.


Drivetrain: How Does it work?

This is the order of exactly how power is created and provided by a drivetrain:

  • The engine will produce power to power a flywheel
  • That flywheel works with the transmission to regulate the quantity of power dispersed to other parts of the drivetrain
  • The driveshaft rotates to create power to a differential
  • The differential then delivers power from all those driveshaft components and boom … your wheels are moving

What’s in A Powertrain?

If you mastered the drivetrain fundamentals, the powertrain basics should be a simple idea to understand, because of the fact that there is only one specifying factor that sets them apart. That variable is the engine. In a powertrain, the engine belongs to the many moving parts. If you remember from the paragraph above, the drivetrain collaborates with the engine.

The powertrain includes every moving part that is important to the vehicle’s success. Its sole function is converting kinetic energy into propulsion motion. If one of these parts fail your vehicle might experience some unusual rattling, or shaking.


Drivetrain vs. Powertrain: What’s the Difference? | Bob Howard Toyota

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