Drive Train

Drive Train – The many components


The Drive train isn’t a single part in the vehicle. It is a series of parts that work collectively together to transfer the rotation power reduced by the engine to your wheels, so your vehicle moves.

Have you ever head of “Power Train” before? It is interchangeably used with Drive Train, but they are not the same thing. The power train makes up everything that makes the car go, including the engine. The drive train makes up of everything that make the car go, not including the engine. We offer drive train enhancement and upgrades.


The two most common are rear wheel drivetrains and front wheel drivetrains.


Rear wheel drive train – Power is transferred to the rear wheels to move the car. It is the drive train arrangement that has been around the longest and is still used in many cars and trucks today. It distributes weight more equal to each tire, which in turn provides better steering and control.

Rear wheel drivetrain can offer superior braking relative to front wheel drivetrain. This arrangement splits the jobs of steering and driving the vehicle, which can lead to better handling and acceleration. Rear wheel drive vehicles make the car move, while the front assist with control.


Rear-wheel drivetrains consist of the following main parts:


Transmission –  In rear-wheel drive cars, the transmission is attached to the rear of the engine by way of a flywheel. The transmission takes the spinning movement, the torque, from the engine’s crankshaft and passes it along to the Drive Shaft.


Drive Shaft –  The drive shaft is a spinning tube that connects to the rear of the transmission and transmits the spinning power that began in the engine to the back of the vehicle at the differential


Differential – The differential is the part that sits between the two rear wheels. It is the last stop along the drivetrain that is transferred to the rear wheels.


There are many vehicles today that are being made using front wheel drive. There are benefits to having that weight at the front of the vehicle, especially if you live in a place like Idaho. Due to the weight being mostly at the front, this aids the driver in driving on icy roads or wet roads. There is better traction when trying to move the vehicle. Some of the parts include;

Transaxle –  Instead of a transmission, most front-wheel drivetrains have a transaxle. A transaxle combines the transmission and differential into one single unit.

While most cars that use transaxles mount them right next to the engine, some sports cars use transaxles on rear-wheel drive trains for even weight distribution.


Half-shaft –  Because all the components of the drivetrain are in the front of the car, front-wheel drive vehicles don’t need long drive shafts to transfer torque to the wheels. Instead, a half-shaft connects from the transaxle to the wheel assembly.

In place of U-joints, half-shafts connect the transaxle and the wheel assembly with constant velocity joints, or CV-joints. CV-joints use a ball bearing mechanism to reduce friction and allow for the more complex wheel movements used in front-wheel drive cars.


To learn more about Drive Train parts and how to improve your vehicle, come talk to an expert in the shop. Come on in to RPM Wheel & Tire for all of your car and truck needs! We specialize in custom wheels, tires, lift kits, lowering kits, performance modification, interior and exterior accessories and so much more. If you are interested in receiving a quote from us, feel free to contact us at (208) 807-2316 or visit our location at 1500 North Locust Grove Road, Suite #100. Meridian, Idaho 83642-5928. We are open Monday through Friday from 9:00AM to 6:30PM, Saturday from 10AM through 3:30PM Mountain Time.