What is the Powertrain?

Giulia Nigrini
Giulia Nigrini
Vehicle Service Contract Specialist, Traveler, Car Enthusiast
November 15, 2021
min. read
white suv on a rural road lined with hills and mountains

The powertrain of your car is all about getting the power to the drive wheels (the wheels propelling the car). Essentially these are the parts that ensure that the car goes forwards, backward, and corners safely. This includes the transmission, driveshaft, front and rear axles, and differentials. All of these components work together to transfer the power to your drive wheels.

What parts make up the powertrain?


The engine is the main source of power for your car. Standard combustion engines burn fuel and convert it into mechanical energy which is then applied to the drive wheels as torque. The rest of the components listed are where the torque needs to travel through before going to the drive wheels, moving the car forward.


Not all transmissions are the same, some are manual and some are automatic with a few other variations. Each has slightly different parts but all ensure that the correct gear ratio is maintained as the car accelerates and decelerates.


The driveshaft is what manages the torque from the car’s engine to the differentials before reaching the drive wheels. Torque is essential to engine power and correct management limits twisting force placed on your car while driving.


The front and rear axles are hugely important in your car. They support the weight of the car and assist in the transfer of torque to the drive wheels, making them rotate.


Another important component of your car’s powertrain. When driving around a corner, the drive wheels on the outside need to travel faster than the drive wheels on the inside of the corner. The differential allows for the wheels to do this. This also happens to be the last stop for the car’s torque before moving into the drive wheels.

Do you need cover for your powertrain?

Many of these components can stack up to heavy repair bills, On the lower end of some minor repairs you are looking at around $200 to $500 depending on the make, model, and car part damaged. On the other end of that spectrum, you might be looking at a full replacement for a component such as an engine replacement or a transmission replacement, both of which could end up costing anywhere between $2,500 and $4,000, depending on the make and model. Some more high-end makes could have bills at much higher rates. Especially if the type of repair requires a specialist.

Though you are not likely to use the coverage very often I would argue that you would be happier having it in place in the event of a mechanical problem. Mechanical repairs are often sporadic events that make planning rather difficult. Think of an extended warranty as a way to stay ahead of the game and have peace of mind that your car is covered.

Powertrain Warranty Options

Powertrain warranties are vehicle service contracts, that are between the provider and the car owner, providing coverage for your vehicle’s powertrain. The powertrain is made up of the parts listed above and is covered by the majority of powertrain plans.

A powertrain warranty offers protection against unforeseen mechanical bills that are often in the hundreds to thousands of dollars. You have the option of getting an extended car warranty through your manufacturer but they are typically very limited and do have the added benefits of third-party providers.

Third-party providers have greater flexibility in terms and provide better benefits to the customer. Benefits such as roadside assistance, towing services, car rental services, and fuel delivery. You will have far more options to find what is better suited to your circumstances rather than through a dealership or manufacturer directly.

Use Chaiz’s search tool to find the powertrain warranty best suited to your needs.

A powertrain extended car warranty is designed to alleviate the stress of having the repair bills occurring under unforeseen circumstances. Taking into account that mechanical issues do tend to happen in an unpredictable way it may be beneficial to shop around for an extended car warranty that will suit your needs.

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