Back to Basics: The Drivetrain

Steering system auto repair

Back to Basics: The Drivetrain

There’s a phenomenon that can be seen in every kingdom in nature, a process borne out of generations of evolution, trial and error, and the will to survive. It is called symbiosis and it refers to the behavior of two opposing species to provide one another with some sort of service that they can’t accomplish for themselves, creating a strong relationship of mutual benefit. In the animal kingdom, this can be in the Egyptian Plover bird that lands in the mouth of the crocodile; it picks food and other detritus from between the croc’s teeth, freeing it from infection, and in return is allowed an easy meal without danger. 

Symbiosis can also exist as part of the plant kingdom as well. Millenia ago, plants were getting their seeds eaten by animals, thus not allowing them to germinate. As a defense mechanism, plants started growing berries around the seeds to protect them from being destroyed completely in the jaws of the animals. The animals get a meal of juicy berries and the plants get the benefit of the animal dispersing and fertilizing their seeds as being part of the animal’s droppings. In this way, both species survive and thrive.

Mechanical Symbiosis

Symbiosis is a miracle of evolution and of ingenuity. When it is truly working well, it is impossible for someone to say which party is more important in keeping the relationship beneficial. Is the bird who cleans the crocodile’s teeth more important than the crocodile who feeds the bird? 

Such is the case with cars. It is impossible to definitively say which part of the vehicle is more important when every component is working perfectly in tandem. If there is one aspect of the car that best exemplifies the symbiotic relationship (and is, therefore, one of the most important systems to always keep in good condition through regular auto repair checks) it is the drivetrain.

Understanding the Drivetrain

The drivetrain is a complex system of parts that must all work together to keep the car running. For our team at Shulz Auto Garage, keeping the drivetrain in peak condition is one of the most important things that we do. Below is a list of all the components that we will inspect when you bring your vehicle in for a car repair, as well as what they do. 


  • Transmission: The gearbox in the center of the cabin gives the driver control over how much energy is delivered from the engine to the wheels, via the crankshaft. The transmission ensures the power of the engine (which is substantial, thanks to the combustion aspect of the internal combustion chamber) doesn’t overpower the car as it starts, drives, or tries to stop.
  • Driveshaft: The driveshaft utilizes gears and belts to transfer the power from the transmission to the wheels. It is a long tubular component that travels the length of the car, connecting the torque of the gearbox to the axles.
  • Axles: The axles directly turn the wheels, through influence from the transmission, on large metal rods. Axles, with the help of shock absorbers, mitigate the stress of driving on uneven roads and carry the overall weight of the vehicle. 
  • Differential: The differential connects to the axles at both ends of the car in order to regulate the difference in speed that the outside wheels must travel as opposed to the inside wheels whenever the car turns. There are numerous types of differential that coincide with different types of transmission systems.
  • Various Joints: The driveshaft needs to remain somewhat flexible underneath the car while it turns the axles. Parts like the U-joint and CV joints give it that suppleness. 
  • The Wheels: The literal rubber that meets the road, the wheels are the beneficiary of this entire system. The drivetrain works and the wheels on the bus go round and round.


So many of mankind’s greatest inventions took their cues from nature and in many ways, the car is no different. In many ways, we look at our business as a symbiotic relationship with you, our customers. You allow us to work on your car, thus helping us earn a living by keeping Utah’s roads safe, and you get back about your business quicker. 

In order to promote this symbiosis, it is our job at Shulz Auto Garage to keep the vehicle you’re driving in as perfect a condition as we can manage. That’s why you can expect the very best in auto repair from us; we wouldn’t give you any quality of car repair that we wouldn’t want to receive, ourselves. Come in today and let’s get you roadworthy again.