Understanding the Basics of Your Drivetrain

You don’t need to be an expert in auto repair (that’s our job!) to learn the basics of your drivetrain system and the components involved. Understanding the fundamental mechanics of your vehicle can help you identify symptoms of potential problems, allowing you to get your car into the shop sooner. From the CV boot to the U-joints and axles, learn how your car turns engine power into forward motion.

What Is the Drivetrain?

In short, the drivetrain is the system that connects the axles to the transmission. This includes everything from the Constant Velocity (CV) joints to the differential–anything that transfers engine power to the wheels. When there is an issue with the drivetrain, it’s important to know what symptoms to look for. Bring your car in for a visit if you’re experiencing any of the following:

  • Clicking sounds while turning
  • Excessive vibration with speed increases
  • Grease on the tires or underside of the vehicle

Oftentimes, these symptoms point to a failure in the CV shaft assembly and may require U-joints and axle repairs, a new CV boot and other CV components.

The Importance of Constant Velocity Joints

CV joints are essential to the safety and handling of your vehicle. Their primary function is to transmit power through a variable angle at a constant rotational speed, such as when you turn the steering wheel or when the control arm moves up and down. However, these joints are under constant strain and wear out over time. Poor road conditions and other hazards can also crack and damage CV components.

The CV assembly is more commonly known as the axle. Commonly thought of as one continuous rotating bar, axles are actually comprised of a series of universal joints and shafts engineered to optimize handling and stability while driving. If the axle of your vehicle is in poor condition, you may notice excessive vibration, especially during acceleration.  

Your CV boots shields your joints from dirt and debris, keeping the joints lubricated. If you notice grease spots on the inside of your wheels, you likely have a leaky CV boot that needs replacing. Repairing the boot quickly helps prevent further damage to the CV joint itself.  

Schedule an Appointment Today

Don’t let a problem with your drivetrain go unaddressed. We offer extensive and thorough U-joints and axle repairs, CV boot installation and more. We also provide timing services including serpentine belt replacement and tensioning. Give us a call, or schedule your next appointment online today.