What is a Power Train?

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  • Written By: Harriette Halepis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2019
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The many parts that contribute to a motor vehicle's power are often referred to as the "power train." These components include the engine, transmission, and various other parts of a vehicle. Within recent years, the type of power train that is inside of a vehicle has begun to gain importance for numerous reasons.

Companies that manufacture vehicle components are under immense pressure to produce power trains that are environmentally and economically friendly. Thus, many companies are now manufacturing vehicle pieces that are lighter and more efficient, yet still extremely powerful. Consumers want cars and trucks that will last longer, perform well, and save money in the long run. Therefore, the competition between power train manufacturers is quite fierce.

Component designs have changed drastically over the past fifty years due to consumer demands. While all vehicle components once looked and acted the same, this is no longer the case. Instead, certain components are shaped differently in order to achieve maximum performance. This has prompted manufacturers to instill stricter quality control through the use of advanced quality control technology.


Within recent years, diesel engines have gone through a massive overhaul. While diesel engines used to be relatively straightforward, various companies began developing diesel engines that are far more efficient than their older counterparts. In addition, certain companies are attempting to make engines that run entirely on synthetic fuel, since this type of fuel is environmentally friendly. Certain manufacturers are also in the midst of formulating engines that run on bio-diesel and fuel cells, though this type of technology is still in the works.

Occasionally, auto manufacturers only include the engine and transmission of a vehicle when commenting on a vehicle's power train. This is largely done for marketing purposes, though some argue that the engine and transmission are the two most important components of a vehicle. Frequently, a vehicle's drive train is also included in the power train category, though this is not always the case.

As consumers become more aware of a vehicle's many parts, automobile manufacturers have begun issuing power train warranties. These warranties cover a number of different parts including a vehicle's transmission and engine. The type of power train warranty that a vehicle has greatly fluctuates from manufacturer to manufacturer. Still, consumers are far more aware of a vehicle's power train parts than in the past. As manufacturers continue to experiment with different engines and components, the many parts that make up a vehicle's power train may also change.


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