What Is The Powertrain on A Car?

Tire Service

There are many terms and definitions relating to automobiles but two that are important to know are the powertrain and drivetrain. What is a car powertrain? What is a drivetrain? What is the difference between a powertrain vs. drivetrain? Read on to find out the difference between these terms and why they are important. Contact us if you have any questions about the parts of your car and their condition.



What Is a Car Powertrain?

The powertrain is the combination of parts that make a car move. It starts with the engine and continues down to the wheels, including:

  • Engine–The engine powers the vehicle. Most cars still have a gasoline-powered engine with pistons in cylinders rotating a crankshaft to transfer energy to the transmission, although some North Canton drivers have vehicles with electric motors.
  • Transmission–The transmission is made up of the gearbox and clutch. A car starts out in a lower gear and needs to move to higher gears as the speed increases. In a manual transmission, the driver uses the clutch to shift gears but in an automatic transmission, the car shifts on its own.
  • Driveshaft–The driveshaft extends the length of the car and transfers the energy to the wheels.
  • Axles–The axle is the part that connects the driveshaft to the wheels. There is a front axle and a rear axle.
  • Differentials–Differentials connect the axles to the wheels and control the amount of power that goes to each wheel. The differentials let the wheels move at different speeds to give the vehicle better control. Four-wheel drive vehicles, especially trucks, often have differentials that can be locked to give the vehicle extra traction for travel around Canton in difficult weather conditions.

What Is a Drivetrain?

The drivetrain is all the parts of the vehicle that move with the exception of the engine. So when you look at the powertrain vs. drivetrain, the powertrain includes the engine and the drivetrain does not.

Bring Your Car to Serra Mazda for all Your Service Needs!

If your car is making a strange noise or running rough as you drive around Hudson, make a service appointment at Serra Mazda. If you need to order parts for your Mazda around Uniontown, we can order them for you.


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