A drivetrain warranty is one of the several types of extended car warranties available on the market. As its name suggests, a drivetrain warranty is designed to protect the components that make up a vehicle’s drivetrain. The drivetrain consists of a driveshaft, universal joints, constant-velocity joints, a differential, axles, and wheels. It’s common for drivers to mistake a drivetrain warranty with a powertrain warranty, as both provide coverage for crucial vehicle components.
There are key differences between the two that are extremely important and must be understood before committing to an extended auto warranty. Explore what makes up a drivetrain warranty with DriveSmart to better understand if a drivetrain warranty is for you.
What is a Drivetrain?
A drivetrain is one of the essential parts of a vehicle and without it, a car will not move. It refers to everything that comes after the engine in a vehicle such as:
- The Driveshaft – Typically made out of steel or aluminum, the driveshaft is a long rod that runs down the vehicle’s center. It is responsible for transferring power from the transmission and to the wheels of the vehicle. Driveshafts are often referred to as “propeller shafts.”
- The Constant-Velocity Joints – Commonly referred to as “CV joints,” these joints are designed to be able to bend in any direction while simultaneously turning the drive wheels at a constant velocity.
- A Universal Joint – Commonly referred to as a “U-joint,” this joint is a flexible pivot point that transmits power throughout the drive shaft. It gives the driveshaft the ability to position itself in several angles.
- The Differential – This component is where power makes its last stop before ultimately spinning the vehicle’s wheels with the use of axles.
- The Axles – The shafts used to rotate a vehicle’s gears or wheels. There are several types of axles, such as a live axle and dead axle. Axle shafts are attached to either side of the differential.
- The Wheels – Not to be mistaken with the rubber tires, the wheels are metal or aluminum alloy components that a rubber tire fit onto.
The Drivetrain and the Transmission
In addition to the drivetrain parts listed above, the transmission is also included in the components that make up a drivetrain. However, despite the role it plays in an overall drivetrain, the transmission is an entirely different concept than the drivetrain itself. The main function of the transmission is to keep the engine turning in sync with the wheels, regardless of what gear the vehicle is in.
The drivetrain’s main function is to transfer power from the vehicle’s engine, through the transmission to the drive wheels. It controls the amount of torque transferred from the engine as well. The term “torque” refers to a force that twists or turns.
These two components are integral to each other as they collaborate to make a vehicle properly function.
Since the term “drivetrain” is used interchangeably with “powertrain”, or “driveline”, it can be easy for many to find the drivetrain warranty protection plan confusing. As stated earlier, it’s very common for drivers to mistake a drivetrain warranty with a powertrain warranty. Failing to understand the key differences between these two types of warranties and committing to the wrong type of plan can potentially cost a driver thousands of dollars in the event of an unexpected future breakdown.
Drivetrain Warranty vs. Powertrain Warranty
The biggest difference between each warranty plan is that a powertrain warranty provides coverage for a vehicle’s engine, while a drivetrain warranty does not. With the engine aside, drivetrain warranties are almost identical to powertrain warranties, as both provide coverage for the driveshaft, drive axle, transmission, and wheels.
Is a Drivetrain Warranty Right for You?
Drivers seeking to equip their vehicle with only the most essential coverage will typically have to decide whether to go for a drivetrain warranty or a powertrain warranty. While the drivetrain warranty lacks providing coverage for a vehicle’s engine, it provides the advantage of lasting significantly longer than other types of extended auto warranties.
However, if you’re like most drivers and would like to get the most value out of such an essential protection plan, the powertrain warranty will be the warranty that is best for you. Not only would you save more money in the event of an unexpected engine failure, but shopping with an extended auto warranty provider like DriveSmart will allow you to receive above and beyond what is defined in the standard powertrain warranty definition.
The Powertrain+ Plan
Our Powertrain+ plan is the most comprehensive and affordable powertrain warranty available on the market. Not only does it provide standard powertrain coverage which includes the driveshaft, drive axle, transmission, wheels, and engine, but for the following components as well:
- A/C & Heat – Accumulator dryer, expansion valve, condenser, compressor, compressor clutch, and evaporator.
- Cooling system – Cooling fan, fan motor, and fan clutch.
- Fuel system – Fuel delivery pump, fuel injection pump, metal fuel lines, fuel pressure regulator, fuel sending unit and fuel gauge.
- Electrical system – Alternator/generator, A/C blower motor, horns, windshield wiper motors, windshield wiper pump, power antenna motor, power window motors, window regulators, power door lock actuators, power trunk release, starter motor, starter solenoid, starter drive, and all manually operated switches.
Also, all of DriveSmart’s extended auto plans come with benefits that include
- Free Introductory Maintenance – This includes three complimentary oil changes, a cooling system drain and refill, a pressure check and inspection, and a free brake replacement.
- Roadside Assistance – This includes lock-out assistance, fuel delivery service, flat tire assistance, and a battery jumpstart.
- Car Rental Assistance – In the event your car was unable to be repaired the same day, DriveSmart will cover the cost of your rental car for up to 5 days.
- Trip Interruption – If your car is kept overnight and you’re more than 100 miles from home, DriveSmart will cover your lodging and meal costs.
How it Works
There is no limit to the number of claims you can make with DriveSmart’s protection plans, which can be used at any dealership or licensed repair shop throughout the United States and Canada. After you receive your DriveSmart ID card in the mail and you have completed your 30-day enrollment period, simply bring your ID card and vehicle to any licensed repair facility, pay your low deductible, and DriveSmart will take care of the rest.
DriveSmart’s plans eliminate reimbursement scenarios by dealing with the mechanic directly. Once DriveSmart negotiates the lowest price on your behalf and obtains your approval to proceed with the repair, DriveSmart pays your mechanic, and your vehicle will be ready to be picked up.