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How Does Power From The Engine Get Delivered To The Wheels?

How Does Power From The Engine Get Delivered To The Wheels? | Nixon Automotive

Ever wondered how your car, a marvel of modern engineering, takes the raw power of its engine and puts it to the ground, propelling you forward?

This process, which might seem like magic to some, is actually a fascinating journey of power transfer within your vehicle. Buckle up and explore how the engine's roar becomes the wheels' motion!

The Engine

The journey begins in the heart of your car – the engine. Whether it's a roaring V8 or a more modest 4-cylinder, the engine's job is to convert fuel into mechanical power. This happens through a series of controlled explosions (combustion), which push the pistons up and down. The pistons, connected to the crankshaft, turn this linear motion into rotational force, creating the power needed to move your car.


Next up is the transmission, an essential component that often doesn't get the limelight it deserves. Think of the transmission as a power distributor. It takes the engine's rotational force and adjusts it based on your speed or the need for more power (like climbing a hill). Whether it's a manual or automatic transmission, its primary role is to ensure that the engine is operating at an efficient speed while providing enough power to the wheels.

The Driveshaft

Once the transmission has done its part, the power needs to travel to the wheels. This is where the driveshaft comes in. It's a long spinning tube that connects the transmission to the differentials. The driveshaft's role is to transmit the rotational force from the engine and transmission to the wheels.


Now, let's talk about differentials. They might sound complex, but their job is straightforward and crucial. Located at each axle, they allow the wheels to rotate at different speeds (which is particularly important when turning). The differential adjusts the power distribution to the wheels, ensuring smooth turns and efficient power delivery.

Axles and Wheels

Finally, we reach the axles and wheels – the final destination of our power journey. The axles, connected to the differentials, transfer the power to the wheels. This rotational force is what makes your wheels spin, moving your car forward or backward.

Caring for Your Car's Transmission

The transmission is one of the most stressed components in a vehicle, crucial for the process we just looked at. Proper care is vital to avoid costly repairs and ensure smooth performance. Here are key tips:

Regular Fluid Checks and Changes
Keep the transmission fluid clean and at the right level. Change it every 30,000 to 60,000 miles, or as recommended by your car's manual.

Prevent Overheating
Avoid aggressive driving and towing heavy loads that strain the transmission. Consider installing an additional cooler if you frequently drive in demanding conditions.

Gentle Driving Habits
Avoid sudden starts and stops. Use appropriate gears in hilly terrain and allow your car to warm up before driving.

Regular Servicing
Stick to your car's maintenance schedule, including professional inspections for any early signs of transmission issues.

The team at Nixon Automotive is here to help with all of your car's maintenance and repairs - the only thing you have to do is to book an appointment!

We service the following areas:

  • Vancouver, Delta, Coquitlam
  • North Vancouver, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody
  • West Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge
  • Burnaby, Abbotsford, Mission
  • New Westminster, Chilliwack
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