Georgia Auto Techs Answer: How Does a Drivetrain Work?

When you visit your local Georgia auto repair shop, you probably hear a lot of terms you’re not entirely familiar with. While it’s easy to understand the basics of regular maintenance – oil change, tire pressure, brake check – other aspects of vehicle maintenance may be more difficult to understand.

At our Sharpsburg auto repair shop, we’ve noticed many drivers aren’t comfortable discussing one particular aspect of the vehicle. The drivetrain seems complex, but it’s actually quite simple. To clear up some of the confusion, the ASE-certified technicians at Christian Brothers Automotive Fischer Crossings are going to break down what a car’s drivetrain is, and how it works.

What is the drivetrain?

The drivetrain (also called the powertrain) is a group of car parts that sends power to the wheels so the vehicle can move. The drivetrain includes the transmission, driveshaft, axles, wheels, engine, and exhaust system, among other things. It’s a very intricate system with a lot of moving parts. There are four types of drivetrain arrangements: rear-wheel, front-wheel, four-wheel, and all-wheel drive.

Engine and Transmission

Two major parts of your drivetrain are essential for your car to even function. The engine is what provides all the power to move your car or truck down the road. The transmission allows your engine to operate within a range of speeds whether the car is stopped, accelerating, or cruising.

Clutch or Torque Converter

Between your engine and transmission is the component that allows the engine to be decoupled from the transmission. This helps your engine keep running when the vehicle isn’t moving. In a manual transmission, this is done by the clutch. In an automatic transmission, it’s the torque converter.


From the transmission, the power then moves to the differential. The differential allows your wheels to move at different speeds. This is important when you’re going around a corner, because the inside wheel is traveling a shorter distance than the outside wheel. This means the outside wheel needs to move more quickly to make up the difference.

Whether you drive a Chevrolet or Ford, the knowledgeable auto repair experts at Christian Brothers Automotive Fischer Crossings can make sure your car’s drivetrain system is working as it should. Call our auto repair shop near Peachtree City today to set up a drivetrain inspection, and discover the nice difference!