What Is the Difference Between Driveline, Drivetrain, and Powertrain?

Drivers do not often talk about a drivetrain, and when it is mentioned, it is often used interchangeably with powertrain and driveline.

If you go by the book, a drivetrain consists of a vehicle's transmission, driveshaft, axles, and wheels. It works in tandem with the engine to move the wheels when you drive. 

Driveline, Drivetrain, Powertrain

Mechanics and motorists sometimes refer to driveline, drivetrain, and powertrain as the same thing when talking about the drivetrain system of an automobile. While it is acceptable in a casual setting, there are differences between the three.

  • The powertrain is composed of everything that makes the vehicle move. This term includes everything from the engine to the transmission to all the other parts involved in between. 
  • The drivetrain is the part of a car, SUV, or truck that connects the engine and transmission to the wheel axles. It includes all the driveshafts, axles, joints, differentials, and wheels.
  • The driveline includes everything to the drive wheels - all of the powertrain's components except for the engine.

Since the transmission is a part of the driveline, they have similar (if not the same) trouble symptoms:

  • Grinding/whining sounds
  • Shuddering
  • Fluid leaks 
  • Difficulty steering your vehicle
  • Check engine light on

The specialists at Bock Automotive can carefully inspect your driveline components to pinpoint precisely what is causing you trouble. Our team has tons of experience servicing drivelines and transmissions, so feel free to bring your vehicle to our auto repair shop in Pequannock, NJ, today!

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