What is The Powertrain on a Car?

Red Audi Q3 parked in driveway 

Wondering "What is a car powertrain?" You're not alone. At Audi Stratham, our expert service center team breaks down your vehicle powertrain and explains the differences between powertrain vs drivetrain to give you a deeper understanding of your car, truck, or SUV. So, what is the powertrain on a car? 

A vehicle powertrain refers to the complete assembly of the parts that propel the vehicle. The powertrain consists of the engine, transmission, driveshaft, differential, and axles. Let's take a closer look at each of these components before you schedule a test drive with us.

Understanding The Parts of Your Vehicle Powertrain

You can't answer "What is a car powertrain?" without understanding the basic functions of each component. There are five parts of the powertrain that have to work in unison to create, distribute, regulate, and utilize the power generated by your car. Read more about how each of these five parts contributes to the momentum of your vehicle. 

  • Engine: The engine is the source of power in your vehicle. Force is driven by pistons through cylinders and translated into rotational motion by a crankshaft. 
  • Transmission: Your transmission controls and distributes the power created by the engine to the wheels.
  • Driveshaft: The driveshaft transfers torque from the transmission to the wheels. 
  • Axels: Axels transfer rotation to the wheels and bear the weight of the vehicle. 
  • Differential: Part of the rear axle, the differential allows each rear wheel to spin at a different rate than the other. 

Concerned about one of the components of your car's powertrain? Set up a time to work with our dedicated service center team for a thorough inspection. We're proud to offer the Nashua area expert service and genuine OEM parts center to keep your powertrain in top shape!

Know The Difference Between Powertrain vs Drivetrain

"Powertrain" and "drivetrain" are sometimes confused but subtle differences set these two vehicle systems apart. The powertrain consists of the engine, transmission, driveshaft, axels, and differential, or all of the parts that generate power in your vehicle. 

The drivetrain consists of the transmission, driveshaft, axels, and differential. What is a car powertrain? It's a drivetrain with an engine. If you'd like to learn more about your Audi powertrain, reach out to our Stratham team and get the answers you need directly from certified professionals.