How Your Car’s Drivetrain Works

How Your Car’s Drivetrain Works

What is the drivetrain?

The drivetrain, also referred to as the powertrain, is a group of components that provide power to the wheels so the vehicle can move. The drivetrain includes the engine (with exhaust system), transmission, driveshaft, axles and wheels. It’s a very complex system with a lot of moving parts. There are also 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 also two major car parts that you need for your vehicle to function. The engine is what provides all the power to move your vehicle. 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, allowing your engine to keep running when the vehicle isn’t moving. In a manual transmission, this is done by the clutch, while in an automatic transmission, it’s the torque converter.


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

No matter what make or model of vehicle you drive, the knowledgeable auto repair experts at Christian Brothers Automotive in Granbury, Texas can take a look at your drivetrain system to make sure everything is working perfectly. Contact us today to set up your drivetrain maintenance appointment. Discover the nice difference.