The drivetrain is one of the most vital components of your vehicle because it has a direct impact on your driving experience and safety. However, similar to other parts, it may start experiencing problems after some time. Since it’s a complex system, the drivetrain can be difficult and expensive to repair or replace. Fortunately, if you own a newer Ford vehicle, you may have warranty protection that can help you avoid these high costs. Check out this detailed guide to learn about drivetrains and the Ford drivetrain warranty to find out what it covers.
What Is a Drivetrain?
A drivetrain connects the engine to the wheels to facilitate the movement of a vehicle. When the engine is running, this system helps transfer power to the wheels via the transmission. It consists of the following components:
- Transmission: The transmission sends the engine’s power to the wheels and allows gear shifting to suit your driving needs.
- Drive shaft: Made of steel or aluminum, the drive shaft is a cylinder that connects the U-joint behind the transmission to the U-joint at the rear axle. Its function is to help the transmission deliver torque to the wheels.
- U-joint: Also known as a universal joint, a U-joint is a flexible point on each end of the drive shaft. It enables the shaft to move up and down when the vehicle goes over uneven surfaces.
- CV-joint: A constant-velocity joint, or CV-joint, can bend in any direction, making it possible for the axle to move with the car and turn the wheels at the same time. It’s typically used in front-wheel-drive vehicles.
- Differential: This is a housing that contains the differential and axle gears. Usually located at the center of the axle, it ensures that power is equally distributed to each wheel.
- Axle shaft: A rear differential has an axle shaft on both ends. These shafts help transfer power to the rear wheels.
What Are the Different Types of Drivetrains?
A drivetrain comes in several forms, including front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and four-wheel drive. If you want to know which type of drivetrain your vehicle uses, you can refer to your owner’s manual.
Note that a drivetrain works differently in front-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive vehicles. In the rear-wheel-drive configuration, the drive shaft spins rapidly to send power from the transmission to the rear differential, which in turn distributes the energy to the rear axles and subsequently the rear wheels. As for a front-wheel-drive vehicle, all these activities occur at the front. Instead of a drive shaft, a transaxle is used to deliver power to the front wheels. This component houses both the transmission and axle.
All-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive vehicles differ from their two-wheel-drive counterparts because they utilize more advanced controls to send power to all four wheels. They typically provide better traction and a more confident driving experience, especially in bad weather and off-road conditions.
What Are the Signs of a Bad Drivetrain?
If your drivetrain isn’t working properly, it can have an impact on your vehicle’s handling and ride quality. Additionally, it may cause your car to lose traction and behave in an unpredictable manner, making you more likely to get into an accident. Therefore, it’s essential to know how to detect drivetrain problems so that you can get them fixed as soon as possible. Below are a few signs indicating that your drivetrain may be going bad:
- Unusual noises
- Transmission or differential fluid leaks
- Difficulty shifting gears
- Illuminated check engine light
What Is the Ford Drivetrain Warranty?
While Ford doesn’t offer a separate drivetrain warranty, its powertrain warranty provides coverage for your vehicle’s drivetrain system. This warranty lasts for five years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. It pays for replacement parts and labor on repairs that result from workmanship or material defects. It covers virtually every component in your drivetrain system, including:
- Transmission: All internal parts, seals and gaskets, transmission case, transmission mounts, clutch cover, torque converter, and transfer case
- Front-wheel drive: U- and CV-joints, front bearings, axle shafts, and seals and gaskets
- Rear-wheel drive: U- and CV-joints, center support bearing, rear bearings, axle shafts, seals and gaskets, supports, retainers, drive shaft, and drive axle housing
- Four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive: U- and CV-joints, center support bearing, front and rear bearings, axle shafts, seals and gaskets, drive shafts, final drive housing, locking rings, and hubs-automatic front locking
What Doesn’t the Ford Warranty Cover?
The Ford drivetrain warranty coverage is only applicable if your vehicle’s drivetrain isn’t working properly because of manufacturing defects. Here are the types of damage and costs that your warranty won’t cover:
- Normal wear and tear
- Damage from misuse or accidents
- Damage from modification or alteration
- Damage due to environmental factors
- Tire wear or damage from normal operation
- Parts and labor for routine maintenance, such as oil changes, wheel alignment, and tire rotation
How Much Can the Ford Drivetrain Warranty Help You Save?
Drivetrain problems can be minor or severe, ranging from worn seals to a complete transmission breakdown. If you need to replace your transmission, you’ll probably face a repair bill that exceeds $5,000. An axle replacement, on the other hand, may cost you close to $1,000. If your drivetrain warranty is still valid, you’ll have coverage on both the parts and labor needed to get your car back on the road again.
What To Do if Your Ford Drivetrain Warranty Has Expired
As your Ford vehicle grows older, you’ll likely encounter more problems with your drivetrain. As such, it’s essential that you take the necessary measures to prevent high repair costs. If your Ford drivetrain warranty is going to expire soon, you may want to purchase an extended warranty plan to get continued coverage for your drivetrain components.
Similar to a factory warranty, an extended warranty can help you avoid expensive repairs and replacements of your drivetrain components. Additionally, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the mechanics working on your vehicle are Ford-certified technicians. This is especially important because drivetrain repairs are often highly technical.
If your Ford vehicle is experiencing drivetrain problems or any other issues and you need an expert opinion, consider calling the FIXD Mechanic Hotline. This hotline gives you access to a team of certified and experienced mechanics who can help you with any car problems or inquiries you may have.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.