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What is a Drivetrain?

You’ve likely heard the term ‘drivetrain’ used in the auto industry, but what exactly does this term constitute? In short, a vehicle’s drivetrain is a system that comprises every moving part that directs power to the wheels. This system applies the engine's torque to the tires, resulting in your vehicle’s ability to move under its own power! 

Drivetrain Parts and Components

So, what constitutes a vehicle’s drivetrain? 

The drivetrain is a complex system comprising every moving part that transfers power to the wheels. While not all vehicles feature the same drivetrain components, as 2WD and AWD/4WD drivetrains tend to differ from one another, this system typically consists of: 

  • Transmission: The transmission, or gearbox, is a metal case with several internal gear sets. As torque is applied by the engine, the transmission shifts through different gear ratios (either manually or automatically) to ensure the perfect blend of power and efficiency at all speeds. 

  • Transfer Case (4WD/AWD): The transfer case sends power to the driveshafts of AWD or 4WD applications, splitting power between the front and rear differentials.  

  • Driveshaft(s): Driveshafts transfer motion from a vehicle’s transmission or transfer case to the differentials. 

  • Differentials: Differentials are complex gear sets that transfer the rotation of the driveshaft to the wheels. Differentials include a differential case, pinion gear, ring gear, carrier, and carrier gears (spider gears).   

  • Axle Shafts/CV Axles: Axle shafts of CV axles transfer the motion of the differential gears to the wheels.

Shop Drivetrain Parts at RealTruck

At RealTruck, we carry all the drivetrain parts and components you could ever want or need! Whether you’re upgrading a drivetrain for high-intensity racing and rigorous wheeling or replacing worn components, we have it all! 

Check out our top selection of drivetrain components from all the leading manufacturers, including Yukon Gear and Axle, USA Standard, Rugged Ridge, and more!