Reprinted from CarCare.org
Your car's drivetrain is a vital power-transmitting component ,and key to dependability. It's responsible for transmitting the flow of power from the engine to the wheels. The components include the clutch, torque converter, transmission, driveshafts (or axle shafts in front wheel drive), Ujoints, CV joints, differential and axles.
Most motorists take these components for granted until something goes wrong. That "something" can range from leaks or strange noises to shifting problems to total failure. If you do a lot of stop-and-go-driving, tow a trailer or otherwise subject your vehicle to unusual service, check your owners manual for recommendations. With regular checks and maintenance you can expect two bonuses: a more dependable car, as well as fewer and smaller repair bills.
See how much you know about your vehicle's drive train.
1. If you hear a loud clucking sound as you shift your rear wheel drive car from drive to reverse, you probably need:
a) new universal joints.
b) universal joints tightened.
c) transmission mounts tightened.
2. The most common cause of damage to an automatic transmission is
a) driving too fast in second gear.
b) failure to have bands adjusted.
c) overheating due to improper use.
3. The drive train most commonly used in new cars is
a) front engine, front drive.
b) front engine, rear drive.
c) rear engine, rear drive.
4. Most automatic transmissions are cooled by
a) the vehicle's air conditioning system.
b) a fan driven air cooler.
c) the engine cooling system.
5. A lock-up torque converter is a
a) theft-proof device built onto an automatic transmission.
b) torque converter that serves as a parking brake.
c) torque converter in which the fluid coupling is mechanically locked out, providing a solid, nonslipping connection for better efficiency.
ANSWERS: 1. a) By the time the noise has become noticeably loud universal joint failure may be imminent. You could be stuck on the side of the road. 2. c) Improper use can range from heavy duty trailer towing without adequate cooling to excessive "rocking" out of a snow drift. 3) a) is correct. 4) c) is correct. 5) c) is correct.