Drivetrain and Powertrain: What’s the Difference?

BMW powertrain and drivetrain

How are drivetrain and powertrain different? In summary, the drivetrain gives power to the wheels and the powertrain is made up of the engine and the drivetrain.

Drivetrain or Powertrain

You may not know off the top of your head what the benefits are of comparing a drivetrain vs. powertrain but when you understand the differences between both, it will certainly give you the advantage when shopping for a new car, going to the auto mechanic, or when Alex Trebek asks you a Jeopardy question concerning automobile parts that make vehicles move.

In other words, powertrains and drivetrains essentially do the same thing. They create kinetic energy to make your vehicle ‘go’. Now, chances are that you’ve never truly thought of exactly how vital these moving parts are. They’re the unrecognized heroes that get you from point A to point B and they each work in their own one-of-a-kind method.


Drivetrain Components: What are they?

Many times the terms ‘drivetrain’ and ‘powertrain’ are used interchangeably yet, contrary to popular belief, they are not the exact same. So what exactly is the distinction between powertrain elements and drivetrain components? The most significant difference is the way power is produced and distributed to the car.

A drivetrain is not really a single part of your vehicle – it’s a group of drivetrain parts that work together with the engine to move the wheels and various parts of the car to propel it into motion. These components often consist of the transmission, differential, driveshaft, axles, CV joints, and the wheels.


How Does A Drivetrain Work?

This is the order in which power is generated and delivered by a drivetrain:

  • The engine will generate energy to power a flywheel
  • That flywheel works with the transmission to regulate the quantity of power distributed to various other components of the drivetrain
  • The driveshaft spins to produce power to a differential
  • After that the differential supplies power from all those driveshaft elements and boom … your wheels are moving

Powertrain: What’s in it?

If you mastered the drivetrain fundamentals, the powertrain basics should be an easy concept to grasp, due to the reality that there is only one specifying factor that sets them apart. That variable is the engine. In a powertrain, the engine is a part of the many moving parts. If you remember from the paragraph above, the drivetrain collaborates with the engine.

The powertrain encompasses every moving component that is vital to the car’s success. Its sole objective is transforming kinetic energy into propulsion motion. If one of these parts fail your vehicle may experience some uncommon rattling, or shaking.


What are the Differences Between Drivetrain and Powertrain? | Advantage BMW Clear Lake

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