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What is the Difference Between Powertrain and Drivetrain?

Toyota powertrain and drivetrain

How are drivetrain and powertrain different? Essentially, the drivetrain delivers power to the wheels. The powertrain is made from the motor and the drivetrain.

Drivetrain & Powertrain

You may not know off the top of your head what the benefits are of comparing a drivetrain vs. powertrain however when you understand the distinctions between both, it will give you the advantage when cars and trucks shopping, visiting the technician, or when Alex Trebek asks you a Jeopardy question regarding car elements that make vehicles move.

Basically, powertrains and drivetrains basically do the same thing. They create kinetic energy to make your car ‘go’. Now, chances are that you have never truly considered exactly how important these moving components are. They’re the unsung heroes that get you from point A to point B and they each work in their own distinct way.


What are the Drivetrain Parts?

Oftentimes the terms ‘drivetrain’ and ‘powertrain’ are used interchangeably however, contrary to popular belief, they are not the same. So what exactly is the distinction between powertrain elements and drivetrain components? The biggest distinction is the way power is created and distributed to the vehicle.

A drivetrain is not really a single part of your car – it’s a team of drivetrain parts that work together with the engine to move the wheels and different parts of the vehicle to drive it into motion. These components usually include the transmission, differential, driveshaft, axles, CV joints, and the wheels.


Drivetrain: How Does it work?

This is the order in which power is produced and provided by a drivetrain:

  • The engine will create energy to power a flywheel
  • That flywheel works with the transmission to control the quantity of power dispersed to various other parts of the drivetrain
  • The driveshaft spins to generate power to a differential
  • The differential then provides power from all those driveshaft elements and boom … your wheels are in motion

What is in A Powertrain?

If you understood the drivetrain fundamentals, the powertrain basics ought to be a simple concept to comprehend, due to the reality that there is just one defining variable that sets them apart. That variable is the engine. In a powertrain, the engine belongs to the many moving parts. If you keep in mind from the paragraph above, the drivetrain works with the engine.

The powertrain encompasses every moving component that is critical to the automobile’s success. Its sole function is converting kinetic energy into propulsion movement. If one of these components fail your car might experience some unusual rattling, or shaking.


Drivetrain vs. Powertrain: What’s the Difference? | Miller Toyota of Anaheim

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