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A drivetrain is a crucial part of a vehicle that works to transmit power from the engine to the wheels, enabling the vehicle to move. The operation of a drivetrain depends on the type of vehicle (e.g., front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, four-wheel drive), but the basic principles remain similar.

How does a drivetrain work?


  1. Engine generates mechanical power by burning fuel.
  2. Transmission manages power and offers different gear ratios.
  3. Gear shifting occurs to match speed and power requirements.
  4. Driveshaft transfers power from the transmission to the axles.
  5. Differential allows wheels to rotate at different speeds during turns.
  6. Axles transmit power from the differential to the wheels.
  7. Wheels and tires provide traction and propel the vehicle on the road.

Parts of a drivetrain


  • Transmission: Transfers power from the engine to the wheels and allows for gear shifting based on driver input.
  • Driveshaft: A tubular structure (usually steel or aluminum) connecting the transmission's U-Joint to the rear axle's U-joint, enabling torque transmission to the wheels.
  • CV Joint: A flexible joint that allows the axle to move in various directions while still turning the drive wheels, commonly found in front-wheel drive vehicles.
  • U-Joint: A flexible point on the driveshaft that permits it to pivot and adjust when the vehicle encounters bumps or road irregularities.
  • Differential: The housing containing axle gears and the differential mechanism, distributing equal power to the drive wheels based on the drivetrain configuration.
  • Axle Shafts: These components are located on either side of the rear differential and are responsible for transferring power from the differential to the rear drive wheels.
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