The Importance of Your Vehicle’s Powertrain

Why is your vehicle’s powertrain so important? Your vehicle relies on it to keep it going. The main functions of your vehicle is controlled by the powertrain. If the powertrain is not working properly then your vehicle is at high risk for breaking down.

Powertrain Basics

The powertrain is the mechanism that transmits the drive from the engine to the axle. The components of the powertrain are the engine, driveshaft, rear axle, transmission, and differential. These parts all work together to connect to the drivetrain. The powertrain generates the power between the engine and the transmissions to generate the power to the wheels also known as the drivetrain. These components work together to make the vehicle run properly.

Image of disassembled car showing the different parts that make up the car.

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Powertrain Parts

The powertrain consists of the engine, driveshaft, rear axle, transmission, and differential.


It is the heart of your vehicle causing it to run.The engine is the central of the vehicle, it takes fuel, air, and spark to cause the horsepower that makes your vehicle run. The piston goes up and down the crankshaft (the pedals and chainwheels) to power the car by turning into a circular motion.


The driveshaft, also known as, the propeller shaft, is a long rotating shaft that bridges the gap between the engine and the transmission. The drive shaft transmits torque to connect other components of a drivetrain. The rear axle is a central shaft for a rotating gear. The driveshaft causes the wheels to move.

Rear Axle

The wheels of an vehicle is connected to an axle. The rear axle is a central shaft for a rotating gear. This is how the wheels turn in different directions.


The transmission provides the power through the gearbox to provide gear and torque conversions from a rotating power source. Within the transmission the gearbox and the clutch transmits and converts the power between the engine and to the wheels. Once it converts to the wheels, it allows the rotation between the axles causing the wheels to move at different directions. The clutch engages or disconnects with the engine from the gears, so they can shift in the various directions such as: shift up, down, or neutral. A low gear produces more force at lower speeds. A high gear produces less force at high speeds.

Types of Transmissions

  • Manual
  • Semi-automatic
  • Duel Clutch
  • Continuously Variable Transmissions


Located on the center of the axle is the differential. The differential drives a pair of wheels while allowing them to rotate at different speeds. The differentials split the power out between two wheels, so they can go in different speeds.

Close up of an BMW Engine.

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Powertrain Engines

A powertrain engine offers many advantages. The powertrain engine will include all of the parts you need for the vehicle to run properly. Buying a complete powertrain engine can prevent problems that buying different parts separately could cause. When buying a complete powertrain engine it will include the main engine, driveshaft, rear axle, transmission, and differential. This should help everything run smooth.

Drivetrain VS Powertrain

The main difference between the drivetrain and the powertrain is that the powertrain is the part that consists of engine and everything that works together to make it run and the drivetrain is the wheel and the gears. The drivetrain refers to all of the parts that is needed to propel the vehicle excluding the engine, it includes the steering column and the driveshaft and the powertrain refers to all of the parts that make the vehicle run including the engine but not the engines accessories. 


What Is Your Powertrain?
The part of the vehicle that transmits the drive of the engine from the axle.

What Does It Mean When Your Powertrain Light Come On?
It comes on when there is a problem with the engine or the transmission. It also is warning you to get it fixed immediately and be cautious when driving since further problems can persist once you are driving. If you see your powertrain light come on contact Bimmer Repair for assistance.

What Is A Powertrain Malfunction?
When there is a problem with the engine, transmission, or drivetrain.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Powertrain?
Between $450-$1,630. The cost of labor should be between $45-$125. The cost of a replacement for a powertrain or powertrain parts can be between $400-$1,500.

How Does A Powertrain Warranty Work?
It usually covers the transmission, engine, and drivetrain. If these parts are damaged or defective within the time frame within the warranty the manufacturers will repair or replace these items.

It is important to know about the different parts of a powertrain. It also is important to know what the difference in the powertrain and drivetrain is so when you buy a warranty you know what is included in a powertrain and in a drivetrain, some warranties may only include parts included in a powertrain. Knowing some main functions of your vehicle can help you have a frame of reference for your vehicle and it helps you take better care of your vehicle. When you need electrical repair for your BMW in [nw_datafield=seo_city] [nw_datafield=seo_state], and call 469-904-0734 for assistance.