Difference Between
versus

Crankshaft vs. Driveshaft: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed & Hifza Nasir || Updated on March 4, 2024
Crankshaft converts reciprocating motion into rotational motion inside an engine, while driveshaft transmits power from the engine to the wheels.
Crankshaft vs. Driveshaft

Key Differences

A crankshaft is a crucial component of an engine, converting the reciprocating motion of the pistons into rotational motion that powers the vehicle. This conversion is essential for the engine's operation, allowing it to drive the vehicle's wheels indirectly. On the other hand, a driveshaft is a mechanical component designed to transmit the rotational power from the engine, or more specifically from the gearbox, to the wheels or other parts of the vehicle, such as the differential in rear-wheel drive vehicles.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024
The crankshaft operates within the engine block, directly interacting with the pistons through connecting rods. This close interaction is key to its function of converting motion types, making it integral to the engine's internal combustion process. Whereas the driveshaft, located outside the engine block, serves as a critical link in the power transmission chain, extending from the transmission to the vehicle's axle(s) to deliver the power needed for movement.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024
Crankshafts must be incredibly strong to withstand the forces generated by the engine's pistons. They are made from forged steel or cast iron, materials known for their durability and strength. Driveshafts, while also needing to be strong, are designed for flexibility and lightness, often made from aluminum, carbon fiber, or steel, to efficiently transmit power over a distance while accommodating the vehicle's suspension movement.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024
The design of a crankshaft is focused on converting motion, featuring journals and counterweights to balance and manage forces. Driveshafts, however, are designed to maintain torsional strength and minimize vibration, incorporating universal joints or similar features to allow for flexibility and angle changes between connected components.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024
The crankshaft and driveshaft serve distinct but complementary roles within a vehicle's powertrain. The crankshaft's primary function is to convert motion within the engine, while the driveshaft's role is to transmit that power to where it's needed for vehicle propulsion.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

Primary Function

Converts reciprocating motion to rotational motion
Transmits rotational power to wheels or other parts
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024

Location

Inside the engine block
Between gearbox and wheels or differential
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

Interaction

With pistons through connecting rods
With transmission and axle(s)
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

Material

Forged steel or cast iron
Aluminum, carbon fiber, steel
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024

Design Focus

Converting motion, managing forces
Torsional strength, flexibility, minimizing vibration
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Crankshaft and Driveshaft Definitions

Crankshaft

Features journals and counterweights for balance.
The crankshaft's design optimizes engine smoothness.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

Driveshaft

Connects transmission to the differential.
A broken driveshaft means power can't reach the wheels.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

Crankshaft

Directly interacts with pistons.
The crankshaft and pistons work in tandem for engine operation.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024

Driveshaft

Outside the engine, integral to power transmission.
The driveshaft plays a key role in vehicle propulsion.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024

Crankshaft

Converts pistons' up-and-down motion into rotational motion.
The engine's crankshaft ensures efficient power conversion.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Driveshaft

Transfers engine power to the wheels.
The driveshaft's integrity is crucial for vehicle movement.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

Crankshaft

Integral to an engine's functionality.
A damaged crankshaft can halt engine performance.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

Driveshaft

Designed for lightness and flexibility.
Carbon fiber driveshafts reduce weight and improve efficiency.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024

Crankshaft

Made of durable materials for strength.
High-performance engines often feature forged steel crankshafts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

Driveshaft

Incorporates joints for flexibility.
Universal joints in the driveshaft accommodate suspension movement.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

Driveshaft

A rotating shaft that transmits mechanical power from a motor or an engine to a point or region of application.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Driveshaft

A shaft used to transmit rotary motion.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Driveshaft

A rotating shaft that transmits power from the engine to the point of application.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

How are crankshafts and driveshafts different in material composition?

Crankshafts are typically made from forged steel or cast iron for strength, while driveshafts are made from lighter materials like aluminum or carbon fiber for flexibility.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

How does the design of a crankshaft contribute to engine efficiency?

The crankshaft's design, including its journals and counterweights, optimizes the balance and management of forces, contributing to engine efficiency and smoothness.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

Can a vehicle operate without a crankshaft or driveshaft?

No, both are essential for a vehicle's operation; the crankshaft for converting motion within the engine, and the driveshaft for transmitting power to the wheels.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024

Is the crankshaft visible from outside the engine?

No, the crankshaft is located within the engine block and is not visible without disassembling part of the engine.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

What does a driveshaft do?

A driveshaft transmits rotational power from the engine or gearbox to the vehicle's wheels or other parts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

Why are universal joints important in driveshafts?

Universal joints allow the driveshaft to flex and accommodate angle changes between the transmission and axle, ensuring smooth power transmission.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

Can driveshaft issues affect vehicle handling?

Yes, problems with the driveshaft can lead to vibrations, noise, and handling issues, impacting overall vehicle performance.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

What role does the driveshaft play in four-wheel drive vehicles?

In four-wheel drive vehicles, driveshafts are used to transmit power to both the front and rear axles, enabling four-wheel propulsion.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

How does the weight of a driveshaft affect vehicle performance?

Lighter driveshafts can improve vehicle performance by reducing overall weight and improving power transmission efficiency.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024

Why is the crankshaft considered a critical engine component?

It is critical because it directly converts the engine's power into the rotational force necessary for the vehicle to move.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

Are crankshafts and driveshafts interchangeable?

No, they have distinct functions and designs specific to their roles in the vehicle's powertrain system.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024

What is the primary function of a crankshaft?

The crankshaft converts the reciprocating motion of pistons into rotational motion necessary for powering the vehicle.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Mar 04, 2024

What are common signs of driveshaft problems?

Common signs include unusual noises, vibrations, and difficulty turning the vehicle, indicating potential driveshaft issues.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

What happens if a driveshaft fails while driving?

If a driveshaft fails, the vehicle would lose power transmission to the wheels, effectively immobilizing it.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

How do maintenance needs differ for crankshafts and driveshafts?

Crankshafts require monitoring for wear and balance, while driveshafts need checks for alignment, joint flexibility, and potential wear.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Mar 04, 2024

Share this page

Link for your blog / website
HTML
Link to share via messenger
About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.
Hifza Nasir
Co-written by
Hifza Nasir

Popular Comparisons

Trending Comparisons

FPTP vs. PRFPTP vs. PR
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 16, 2024
FPTP (First Past the Post) is a simple plurality voting system where the candidate with most votes wins; PR (Proportional Representation) allocates seats based on the proportion of votes each party receives.
Japanese Eyes vs. Chinese EyesJapanese Eyes vs. Chinese Eyes
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Japanese Eyes and Chinese Eyes refer to linguistic structures in Japanese and Chinese respectively, each reflecting unique aspects of grammar and syntax.
Poster vs. InfographicPoster vs. Infographic
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
A Poster is a large printed image or notice for public display, while an Infographic is a visual representation of information or data.
Pulley vs. SheavePulley vs. Sheave
Hifza NasirHifza Nasir
April 4, 2024
A pulley is a wheel on an axle designed to support movement and change of direction of a taut cable, while a sheave is the wheel part of a pulley system that specifically interacts with the cable.
Extent vs. ScopeExtent vs. Scope
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
"Extent" refers to the degree or range something covers, while "Scope" relates to the breadth or range of coverage, influence, or effect.
2 Pole Motors vs. 4 Pole Motors2 Pole Motors vs. 4 Pole Motors
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
2 Pole Motors have one pair of magnetic poles and run at higher speeds, while 4 Pole Motors have two pairs of poles and operate at lower speeds, offering higher torque.
Login vs. LogonLogin vs. Logon
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
"Login" and "Logon" are often used interchangeably to describe the process of gaining access to a computer system, but "login" can also refer to the credentials used for access.
Poem vs. PoetryPoem vs. Poetry
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
A poem is a piece of writing that expresses ideas and emotions with a distinctive style and rhythm; poetry is the art form of writing such pieces.
Nuclear Family vs. Joint FamilyNuclear Family vs. Joint Family
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 9, 2024
Nuclear Family is a family unit consisting of parents and their children. Joint Family is a larger family structure comprising parents, children, and other relatives living together.
NM3 vs. M3NM3 vs. M3
Hifza NasirHifza Nasir
April 19, 2024
NM3 measures gas volume under Normal conditions (0°C and 1.01325 bar), while M3 measures volume under the conditions at which it is measured, without standard adjustment.
Vital Proteins Collagen vs. OrganikaVital Proteins Collagen vs. Organika
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 9, 2024
Vital Proteins Collagen is a brand offering collagen supplements for health and beauty, while Organika is a broader health and wellness brand with diverse products including collagen.
Data Roaming vs. Cellular DataData Roaming vs. Cellular Data
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Data Roaming allows usage of mobile network services outside of the home network area, while Cellular Data is using mobile services within the home network.
Slazenger Logo vs. Puma LogoSlazenger Logo vs. Puma Logo
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 15, 2024
The Slazenger logo features a panther, symbolizing agility and tradition, while the Puma logo depicts a leaping puma, representing speed and strength.
Catapult vs. TrebuchetCatapult vs. Trebuchet
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 4, 2024
A catapult is a ballistic device using tension or torsion to launch projectiles, while a trebuchet is a type of catapult using a counterweight for greater force and distance.
Pycharm Community vs. Pycharm ProPycharm Community vs. Pycharm Pro
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 4, 2024
PyCharm Community is a free, open-source IDE for Python development, while PyCharm Pro is a paid version with additional advanced features like web development support and database tools.
Fluid vs. LiquidFluid vs. Liquid
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 13, 2024
Fluids encompass all substances that flow (including gases and liquids), while liquids specifically refer to fluids with a definite volume but no fixed shape, adapting to their container.
Gorilla Glass 3 vs. Gorilla Glass 5Gorilla Glass 3 vs. Gorilla Glass 5
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 1, 2024
Gorilla Glass 3 offers improved scratch resistance and durability compared to its predecessors, while Gorilla Glass 5 focuses on enhanced drop protection and toughness.
5'11" vs. 6'0"5’11” vs. 6’0″
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 4, 2024
The difference between 5'11" and 6'0" is one inch, with 5'11" being 71 inches and 6'0" being 72 inches tall.
DDR3 vs. DDR3LDDR3 vs. DDR3L
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 29, 2024
DDR3 is a type of RAM with standard voltage (1.5V), while DDR3L is a low voltage variant (1.35V) compatible with both 1.5V and 1.35V slots.
PPM vs. PPMVPPM vs. PPMV
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 10, 2024
PPM (parts per million) measures the concentration of one substance within a million parts of another. PPMV (parts per million by volume) expresses gas concentration as volume per million volumes of air.
NDM vs. FTPNDM vs. FTP
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 15, 2024
NDM (Network Data Mover) automates and secures data transfers across networks, while FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a standard network protocol for transferring files between computers.
Traditional Trade vs. Modern TradeTraditional Trade vs. Modern Trade
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Traditional trade involves local, small-scale, often personalized commerce; modern trade is characterized by large-scale, technology-driven, and impersonal retail environments.
Crane vs. HeronCrane vs. Heron
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
June 24, 2024
Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds known for their elaborate dances, while herons are typically more solitary, stealth hunters with a distinctive S-shaped neck.
Explain vs. DefineExplain vs. Define
Dua FatimaDua Fatima
June 22, 2024
Explaining involves detailing or clarifying a concept, often including context and examples, whereas defining means stating the exact meaning of a word or phrase, typically in a concise manner.

Featured Comparisons

New Comparisons