Back to all

Drive Train - What You Need to Know in Fort Myers

January 1, 2022



One Fort Myers automotive service issue that doesn't get much attention is driveline service. Drivelines don't get talked about very much around Fort Myers, but they're very important. First let's define what the driveline is:

Taking a small step back, the power plant is comprised of the engine and transmission. The driveline starts there and includes all of the components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels.

That's not really a lot of components, but they handle the full force of the engine. Without the driveline you're not moving. So Fort Myers residents need to take good care of it. The driveline components differ depending on whether your vehicle has front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, all wheel drive or four wheel drive. For purposes of our discussion, we're going to have to oversimplify a bit.

If you are ready to have your drive train looked at, give us a call at 239-489-0010.

Let's start with front wheel drive. The point where the transmission stops and the driveline begins is a little blurred with front wheel drive because the transaxle houses both the transmission function and the differential function. The half shafts that send power to each front wheel come out of the transaxle. The shaft is connected to the wheel by a constant velocity, or CV, joint. The CV joint is protected from dirt and water by an airtight, flexible rubber boot.

So, Tuffy South Fort Myers driveline service would include properly servicing the transaxle and inspecting the cv boot to see if it's torn or loose. If it is, it needs to be replaced and the CV joint inspected for damage. Repairs may be in order. Besides visual damage to the airtight CV boot, you might hear a clicking noise when turning. Recommended maintenance for the transaxle and CV joints will be spelled out in your owner's manual, or check with your friendly and knowledgeable Tuffy South Fort Myers service advisor.

On to rear wheel drive. The driveline for a rear wheel drive vehicle starts with the driveshaft – that long tube that connects the transmission with the differential on the rear axle. Some vehicles in Fort Myers have a two piece drive shaft. The shafts are connected to the transmission and the differential with big universal joints. Most Fort Myers residents have probably heard the term 'u-joints.' These joints can wear out, just like the CV joints in front wheel drive vehicles. You may hear some clunking or feel a jolt when shifting into drive or reverse – if you do, get your driveline inspected at Tuffy South Fort Myers in Fort Myers.

The differential on the rear axle sends power out to each rear wheel through half shafts in the axle. The differential fluid needs to be drained periodically and replaced with clean fluid. When the seal on the end of the axle is damaged or leaks, the axle will need to be serviced. The routine maintenance item here is differential service. Be sure to check your owner's manual or Fort Myers service advisor for intervals.

Now let's go on to all wheel drive. Remember that the difference between all wheel drive and four wheel drive is that an all wheel drive vehicle is essentially providing power to all of the wheels all of the time. The vehicle may be able to shift more of the power to the front or to the back depending on where you need traction. All wheel drive vehicles are designed to work well on dry pavement. Even some high-end sports cars from makers like Lamborghini and Porsche have all wheel drive.

Some all wheel drive vehicles are designed to work well off-road in Fort Myers, but all hard-core rock crawlers are four wheel drive. These guys thrive in mud, sand, rocks and hills – but they don't work well on dry pavement when they're in four wheel drive. So they have the option to shift to rear wheel drive only on dry pavement.

Most all-wheel drive vehicles are very similar to front wheel drive when it comes to the front end. They also have a center differential that transfers power to the rear differential. Connecting it all is a shaft from the transaxle to the center differential and another from the center differential to the rear differential. So all of the normal front wheel drive service is recommended as well as service to the center and rear differentials.

Four wheel drive can be thought of as a rear wheel drive vehicle that can also send power to the front axle. There's a transfer case in the middle of the vehicle that can be shifted to send power through a drive shaft to a differential on the front axle. So Fort Myers residents need differential service for the front and rear differentials and for the transfer case as well.

The bottom line for Fort Myers residents is that the maintenance schedules are in your owner's manual. Your Fort Myers service advisor can answer any questions you've got. If this is the first time you've heard some of this stuff – it's time to ask someone at Tuffy South Fort Myers if any of it needs to be done now.

Tuffy South Fort Myers
18092 S. Tamiami Trail
Fort Myers, Florida 33908
239-489-0010
https://www.tuffysouthfortmyers.com

Need Service?

Request a Quote

More articles from Tuffy South Fort Myers

Stay Safe in Fort Myers by Putting Your Cell Phone on ICE

December 4, 2022

We don't want to think about it, but each Fort Myers resident who drives or rides in a vehicle is potentially an accident victim. In the worst-case scenario, those people are unconscious and unable to communicate with Florida rescue workers. Rescue workers and Fort Myers police are well aware of ... More

Keys to a Long Lasting Vehicle

November 27, 2022

We live in a disposable society. Everything from elaborate packaging to our clothing. Even cell phones are disposable. When replacement is cheaper than repair, the term "built to last" goes by the wayside. An exception is our vehicles. They're still a very big investment and Fort Myers drivers wa... More

Your Vehicle Is NOT Maintenance Free, Fort Myers Car Owners

November 20, 2022

A generation ago, Fort Myers drivers seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle's preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Taking your vehicle in to your Fort Myers shop every year or two for repair... More