What Does a Drivetrain Do in Your BMW?

The drivetrain of a BMW is integral to the functioning and performance levels of your BMW. It is responsible for transmitting power from the engine to the wheels. The words “drivetrain” and “powertrain” are sometimes used interchangeably. However, they do not refer to the same thing. So, you may wonder what’s the distinction between powertrain components and drivetrain components?

Driving BMW

A drivetrain isn’t a single component of your car. It is a collection of components that work together with the engine to propel the wheels and other parts of the vehicle into motion. The drivetrain commonly includes the following: the transmission, differential, wheels, axles, and CV joints.

There is only one feature that differentiates the drivetrain from the powertrain: the engine. The engine is one of the numerous moving components in a powertrain. Every moving part inside the engine and its components, including the drivetrain’s parts, is a part of the powertrain.

Its sole function is to transform kinetic energy into forward motion to propel your wheels to turn and your car to move. This is why the drivetrain is so important to your BMW. If any one of these pieces fails, you may notice odd rattling or shaking in your vehicle. Let’s take a closer look at the drivetrain’s components and signs they are malfunctioning.

5 Important Parts of the Drivetrain

The drivetrain is made up of many important systems that creates the whole:

  • Transmission: This system transmits power from the engine to the wheels, while also allowing the driver to change gears as needed.
  • The Differential: The differential refers to the housing that contains the axle gears as well as the differential itself. It’s usually located in the middle of the axle. It distributes power to all four driving wheels, sometimes at different intervals, such as around corners. This component is positioned on the axle of the driving wheels. If the car is in front-wheel drive, it’s positioned on the front axle, and if it’s in rear-wheel drive, it’s positioned on the rear axle.
  • Axle Shafts: The axle shafts are located on either side of the rear differential. The axle shafts aid in the transmission of power from the differential to the rear wheels.
  • CV Joint: A Constant-Velocity (CV) joint is engineered to bend in any direction, while continuing to move the driving wheels, allowing your axle to move with your vehicle.
  • Wheels: These circular structures are the metal hub permanently attached to the frame of your BMW. When you put tires on the wheel, the tires make contact with the road. Wheels are the final part of the drivetrain, utilizing engine power to propel your car into motion.

How does the drivetrain work?

This is the sequence in which a drivetrain generates and delivers power:

  • The engine will provide energy to a flywheel.
  • The flywheel collaborates with the gearbox to control the amount of power sent to various drivetrain components.
  • To provide power to a differential, the drive shaft connected to the gearbox spins quickly.
  • The differential then distributes power from all of the driveshaft components, and before you know it, the wheels are turning and the car is in motion.

As you can see, all of these components of the drivetrain must work properly to ensure your BMW runs smoothly.

The Most Common Drivetrain Malfunctions

You may have noticed your BMW’s dashboard display a particular error message: “Drivetrain malfunction. Drive moderately.” This notice frequently occurs in other circumstances, like when accelerating quickly, driving up a steep slope, or trying to overtake another vehicle. This error message can also come on due to a weak battery in cold weather or under atypical driving circumstances where there is a strain on the drivetrain.

If your BMW displays this error message, it’s highly recommended that you bring your BMW in right away to have it checked out by our experts as soon as possible.

BMW Drivetrain Malfunction Check

Ultimate Bimmer Service

To get the best out of your BMW, you must maintain it properly. At Ultimate Bimmer Service, our ASE-certified mechanics have decades of experience working with BMWs and offer services throughout Carrolton and Dallas, TX.

We are affordable and reliable for your complete BMW maintenance. We address all of your demands using the most up-to-date factory-grade tools and equipment. Call us at (972) 418-1800 or visit our shop today. We look forward to earning your business.

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