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Front Wheel Drive and Rear Wheel Drive Powertrains


Performs three functions:

  • Change the direction of the driving power.
  • Final gear reduction.
  • Allows drive wheels to rotate at different speeds when cornering.


Uses gears to transmit power from the engine to the drive wheels. Selecting different gears changes the amount of power and torque transmitted.


Transmits power from the differential to the wheel.


The clutch either transmits or isolates the power from the engine to the transmission.


A transaxle is a transmission and differential combined into one unit, used in front-wheel drive vehicles.

Propeller Shaft

On front engine rear-wheel drive vehicles, the propeller shaft transmits power from the transmission to the differential.