What is a Drivetrain?

There are many essential components of a vehicle. However, the drivetrain is one of the most important. Especially in the world of off-roading, drivetrains define how your vehicle will act on a certain surface or in a specific environment. If you want to learn more about what drivetrains are and what they do for your off-roading adventures, keep reading.


What Are Drivetrains and What Do They Do?


Though commonly misunderstood, drivetrains include a vehicle's transmission, driveshaft, axles, and wheels. It works together with your vehicle's engine to power and move the wheels. Rather than comprising a singular part, drivetrains are more of a system that involves multiple parts functioning together. Each part of the system must be functioning properly. The main function is to relay power from your vehicle's engine to its transmission and the drive wheels. This controls the vehicle’s torque.


What Types Are There?


There are numerous types of drivetrain arrangements. The most commonly used drivetrains in off-roading vehicles are 4WD and AWD. But what's the difference?


One of the most redeeming features of a 4WD vehicle is that most models allow you to turn the 4WD on and off. When your vehicle is in 4WD, it distributes torque equally to the front and rear when it needs it. Full-fledged 4WD vehicles use front and rear differentials as well as a transfer case to do this. It does not allow for more dynamic traction control or distribution of torque. True 4WD vehicles allow you to manually select between high- or low-range 4WD.


AWD vehicles are essentially full-time 4WD models. Where 4WDs allow you the choice to turn it on and off, AWD vehicles engage all four wheels at the same time, all the time. AWD vehicles are unlike 4WDs in that their drivetrains can automatically adapt to traction control because of its center differential.


Why Are Drivetrains Important in Off-Roading?


Drivetrains are essential for off-roading because the type of system you have will determine how your vehicle handles on the terrain. Vehicles with 4WD or AWD drivetrains are heavier, which allows you to handle off-roading conditions better. 4WD vehicles help your vehicle torque-up to get up and over anything. They are ideal for mud, deep snow, sand, and rocky terrain. AWD vehicles are great for adjusting to various surfaces, so they are ideal for the adventurer who needs control on the highway as well as snowy or muddy roads.


If you're searching for drivetrains parts for your off-roading vehicle, browse through the options at EZ Wheeler.
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