What’s the Difference Between Drivetrain and Powertrain?

drivetrain powertrain BMW

What’s the difference between powertrain and drivetrain? In short, the drivetrain is what gives the power to move the wheels. The powertrain consists of both the engine and the drivetrain.

Drivetrain vs Powertrain

You might not know off the top of your head what the advantages are of comparing a drivetrain vs. powertrain however when you know the distinctions between both, it will offer you the advantage when car shopping, going to the auto mechanic, or when Alex Trebek asks you a Jeopardy question about automobile elements that make vehicles move.

Simply put, powertrains and drivetrains essentially do the exact same thing. They generate kinetic energy to make your car or truck ‘go’. Now, chances are that you’ve never truly thought about exactly how crucial these moving parts are. They’re the unsung heroes that get you from point A to point B and they each operate in their very own special way.


Parts of the Drivetrain: What are they?

Many times 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 parts? The biggest difference is the way power is produced and distributed to the car.

A drivetrain is not really a single part of your car – it’s a group of drivetrain parts that collaborate with the engine to move the wheels and numerous parts of the car to thrust it into motion. These components commonly consist of the transmission, differential, driveshaft, axles, CV joints, and the wheels.


How Does A Drivetrain Work?

This is the order of exactly how power is generated and delivered by a drivetrain:

  • The engine will create power to power a flywheel
  • That flywheel works with the transmission to manage the amount of power distributed to various other parts of the drivetrain
  • The driveshaft rotates to produce power to a differential
  • After that the differential delivers power from all those driveshaft parts and boom … your wheels are in motion

What’s in A Powertrain?

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

The powertrain includes every moving part that is important to the car’s success. Its single purpose is converting kinetic energy into propulsion movement. If one of these parts fail your car might experience some uncommon rattling, or shaking.


Drivetrain vs. Powertrain: What is the Difference? | BMW of El Paso

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BMW of El Paso
BMW of El Paso
6318 Montana Ave.
El Paso, TX, 79925 US
915-778-9381
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BMW of El Paso 31.7881173, -106.407489.