Cars with internal combustion systems have between six and eight systems, and some of the noises they may emit when they malfunction tend to be unique. Engine noises, for example, tend to be of the knocking, rattling and squealing kind; on the other hand, creaking, squeaking, rumbling and grinding are more commonly associated with the drivetrain.The power generated by the engine is put to work by drivetrain for the purpose of moving the wheels and actually getting the car moving. When you combine the engine with the drivetrain, it is referred to as an entire system called the powertrain. In automatic transmission vehicles, the drivetrain system is quite complex, and it features the following components:
In the case of four-wheel-drive vehicles, the drivetrain is even more complex. Manual transmissions are simpler, and use to be more efficient and reliable than their automatic counterparts. However, modern auto tech enables automakers to offer automatic vehicles boasting excellent fuel efficiency. Newer drivetrains with automatic shifting are not only more powerful but also highly efficient. And improvements in this area are seemingly constant.
Volkswagen, for example, plans to introduce a limited-edition classic Beetle equipped with an electric drivetrain in 2019. When reviewers began reviewing the 2019 Camry, the hybrid’s powertrain is all they could talk about.
Drivetrain System Troubleshooting
Faulty drivetrain systems tend to be noisy. Let’s say you are driving to work or school in the morning and hear a rumbling sound that increases after you accelerate past 25 miles per hour; in this case, this is indicative of a problem with the carrier bearings. When you sense a metallic smell along with grey smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe, this could mean that the transmission fluid is either very low or leaking.
Howling sounds suggest that gear lubrication is deficient. This is also a symptom of overloading the drivetrain. Clunking noises that are actually felt when the gears are shifting may be related to driveshaft joints that need to be replaced.
A mechanically efficient drivetrain is the key to enjoying a smooth ride. The praise concerning handling and responsiveness of a vehicle relates directly to the engineering of the drivetrain system. Keeping this system in good condition is paramount. And not only because of the driving experience but also because major repairs or complete replacement can be very expensive.
Minimizing Drivetrain System Repair Through Proper Maintenance
Modern drivetrain systems can be incredibly resilient, but this can be a problem unto itself when drivers ignore warning signs. You certainly want to avoid major problems with your drivetrain. And this is something you can accomplish with routine maintenance.
Auto service technicians know that keeping drivetrain components lubricated is essential…
For this reason, they will look at the gears, bearings, and joints whenever you report hearing certain noises. Greasing the constant-velocity (CV) and universal (U) joints, for example, is a very small cost. One that goes a long way towards extending the life of the drivetrain system.
The rubber boots housing the CV joints is a simpler and more affordable repair than having to replace the axle. Keep in mind that these boots keep the grease in place. If they crack the lubrication eventually seeps out. And no lubrication on the joints can certainly cause damage.
In addition to keeping the transmission fluid at recommended levels, the differential or gearbox requires replacement of oil plus additives at intervals recommended by the automaker. During this type of service, technicians look at the condition of the gasket. Similar to the CV joint boots, the gasket keeps the lubricating fluids within the differential. This is important for the purpose of reducing gear friction. This type of maintenance service involves more detail. But keep in mind it does not cost the thousands of dollars you would have to pay for a transmission replacement.
Finally, modern drivetrain systems have an array of electronic sensors and controllers that may require replacement from time to time. A diagnostic scan can unveil and report on the status of a sensor and whether it requires replacement. Drivetrain maintenance is something you do not want to skip. Complete replacement of major components in your vehicle’s drivetrain system is something certainly a cost should avoid at all costs.