The automotive drivetrain is a mechanical system that transfers energy from the engine to the wheels to make them move1. The drivetrain includes several components like the driveshaft, transmission or gearbox, universal (U) joints, constant velocity (CV) joints, wheels and axles.
The importance of the automotive drivetrain lies in its function of coupling the engine that produces the power to the driving wheels that use this mechanical power to rotate the axle1. This connection involves physically linking the two components, which may be at opposite ends of the vehicle and so requiring a long propeller shaft or drive shaft. The operating speed of the engine and wheels are also different and must be matched by the correct gear ratio. The drivetrain also incorporates the differential, which allows the wheels to rotate at different speeds when turning.
The drivetrain is essential for the performance, efficiency and safety of a vehicle. A well-maintained drivetrain can improve fuel economy, reduce emissions, enhance handling and stability, and prevent breakdowns or accidents. A faulty or damaged drivetrain can cause vibrations, noises, leaks, overheating, loss of power or control, and even fire hazards.
Repairing an automotive drivetrain depends on the type and extent of the damage, as well as the specific component that needs to be fixed or replaced. Some common drivetrain problems include:
- Vibrations from underneath the vehicle, which may indicate an out-of-balance driveshaft or worn out U-joints or slip lines.
- Abnormal noises, such as clunking, rattling, scraping or squeaking, which may indicate a damaged or loose driveshaft, differential, axle or joint.
- Turning problems, such as difficulty steering or shuddering during acceleration, which may indicate a faulty differential or CV joint.
- Leaks, cracks or damage to the housing, seals or gaskets of the drivetrain components, which may cause fluid loss and affect the lubrication and performance of the system.
To repair an automotive drivetrain, bring your vehicle into one of our experienced technicians who can inspect the drivetrain and diagnose the potential problem and get you back on the road safely.