Drivetrain Service & Repair
What is Drivetrain?
In its simplest form, your vehicle’s drivetrain is the entire system that transfers power to your wheels. Comprised of every component that converts your engine’s power into mechanical energy, the drivetrain essentially allows your car to move forward or backward. It’s important to note that your drivetrain is not your powertrain, as your drivetrain system does not include your engine. Depending on your type of vehicle (manual transmission, automatic transmission, front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, or four-wheel drive) your drivetrain may look slightly different and include different parts.
Drivetrain systems commonly consist of a:
- Clutch or torque converter
- Constant velocity (CV) joints or universal velocity (U) joints
- Transfer case
With so many integral parts dependent upon one another, it’s important to have your drivetrain inspected regularly, as well as understand when elements of your drivetrain are showing early signs of wear and tear. Luckily, our certified technicians at Kennedy Transmission have shared some of the biggest signs of drivetrain issues and what parts are commonly impacted below. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms in your car, call your local Kennedy shop immediately for diagnosis.
Common Drivetrain Issues
Non-Lubricated Drive Shaft & U-Joints
Drive shafts are commonly found on trucks, SUVs, and other rear-wheel vehicles. The driveshaft essentially connects the transmission with the rear differential. It’s a strong, light steel tube that ensures the power created from the engine at the front of the car makes it to the wheels at the rear.
A common issue with drive shafts is a lack of sufficient lubrication in the U-joints, or the pieces that hold the drive shaft in place. If U-joints aren’t properly cared for, your drive shaft can actually separate from your car. Because of this, our specialists advise you to have your driveshaft and U-joints regularly checked at Kennedy location near you. Additionally, if you’re hearing a squeaking when you accelerate from a stop or while you’re driving, we recommend you bring your vehicle into Kennedy for diagnosis.
Cracked Constant Velocity (CV) Joints & Boots
CV joints and boots are in all front-wheel-drive cars, and their job is to connect the drive shaft to the wheels. CV joints enable your axles to flex—allowing your suspension to move up and down and your front wheels to turn right and left—while simultaneously transmitting energy from the engine to the wheels. CV boots are flexible, ribbed rubber caps that prevent water and dirt from getting into and the special grease inside the CV joint.
Since both your CV joints and boots can easily crack, our drivetrain specialists recommend that they are inspected with every oil change as a part of your preventative maintenance. Common signs of a cracked CV joint or boot is hearing a clicking or clunking noise while turning on your vehicle. If you think there might be an issue with your CV joints or boots, our team recommends stopping by Kennedy Transmission before the problem worsens.
Transfer Case Leaks, Cracks, or Spent Lubricant
The transfer case on your vehicle “transfers” power from the transmission to the front and rear axles using the drive shafts. Your transfer case is filled with lubricant to ensure the gears inside it stay cool. It’s important to have this fluid checked and spent lubricant changed every 30,000 miles—a simple task that can be done alongside your engine oil change.
If you are having trouble changing gears, this could simply mean that your fluids need to be replaced. But, if you’re hearing unusual noises while you shift, it’s important to get your car into the shop immediately as your transfer case could be leaking or cracked.
Service or Repair Your Drivetrain at Kennedy Transmission
Your drivetrain is the support system for your vehicle, as it allows energy to properly travel from your engine and transmission all the way to your wheels. If you think an element of your drivetrain is malfunctioning, it’s important to stop by Kennedy Transmission as quickly as possible. Small problems in your drivetrain can lead to serious complications if they are not fixed quickly by a professional. Stop by a shop near you to diagnose your drivetrain issues today!