Four Types of Drivetrains and What They Mean

Four Types of Drivetrains and What They Mean

types of drivetrainsIf you’ve ever seen a car or truck commercial, you’ve likely heard about a car’s drive. Many SUV’s boast “four-wheel drive” or “all-wheel drive”, while other vehicles may advertise their front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive.

While the terminology may not be new, it can be a challenge to understand what these terms mean. In a vehicle, the drivetrain connects the engine to the wheels. Today, the auto repair experts at Christian Brothers Automotive Jackson are going to explain the four different types of drivetrains and what they mean.

Front-wheel Drive (FWD)

  • All of the engine’s power is sent to the front two wheels
  • The drivetrain pulls the car down the road
  • Gives the car more traction
  • Expect more stability, predictability and dependability during the winter

Vehicles with front-wheel drivetrains include the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord.

Rear-wheel Drive (RWD)

  • All of the engine’s power is sent to the back two wheels
  • The drivetrain pushes the car down the road
  • Not recommended in areas with icy winters due to low level of traction
  • Expect good balance and superior braking and handling

Examples of rear-wheel drivetrains include the Lexus IS Series and the BMW 3 Series.

All-wheel Drive (AWD)

  • A more complex system than FWD or RWD
  • The engine’s power is sent to all four wheels
  • Has fluid-filled differentials or gears and advanced electronics
  • Expect superior capability for winter driving on slippery and wet roads

Examples of vehicles with all-wheel drive include the Subaru Legacy and the Acura RL.

Four-wheel Drive (4WD)

  • Similar system to AWD
  • The engine’s power is sent to all four wheels
  • Typically more robust
  • Designed to handle off-road driving

Examples of four-wheel drive vehicles include the Range Rover or the Ford F150.

These are the four different types of drivetrains, and the capabilities you can expect from each. Despite the unique differences with each, the ASE-certified technicians at Christian Brothers Automotive in Jackson, Tennessee are able to handle whatever drivetrain your vehicle is equipped with. Call our Jackson drivetrain repair shop for an appointment today, and we’ll show you the Nice Difference!