Symptoms of a Bad Flywheel
A flywheel looks like a simple part of your car, but it actually has many purposes, especially in more modern car models. If you suspect that your vehicle’s flywheel is wearing out, you need to replace it as soon as possible before the problem worsens and starts to affect other components in your vehicle.
The most common symptom of a bad flywheel is bad noises at idle. You can also feel vibrations, gear slippage, or a burning smell coming from the transmission. You may also notice other shifting issues. While there are not all of the possible signs, it’s the most common ones. Here is a more detailed list of the most common symptoms of a bad flywheel.
BAD FLYWHEEL SYMPTOMS
- Bad Noises at idle
If you have a double mass flywheel, which many modern cars have, you will probably hear a lot of noise from the transmission when your engine is idling. This can be identified as loud bangs. This does only happen if you have a double mass flywheel on your car model.
- Clutch Chatter (Vibrations)Clutch chatter can come from various problems, including worn clutch discs, pressure plates, or release bearings. However, another potential cause is a warped flywheel. While it’s not the most common cause, it’s definitely something you need to look into.
- Gear Slippage
Gear Slippage can happen if the surface where your clutch is attached is very worn or got a bad surface. Gear slippage happens when you shift to a higher gear and the engine RPMs increase, but the wheels’ speed stays the same. The longer you let the problem go on, the more likely it is that you’ll need to replace both the flywheel and the clutch!
- Inconsistent Starting
All around the flywheel, there are teeth. These teeth make up the starting ring, and it’s what your starter connects to turn over the engine. Over time these teeth can break, and when the starter tries to engage with these broken teeth, you’ll hear a grinding noise. If the teeth are the problem, once you try again it should start. With broken teeth, it’s an intermittent problem that will worsen the longer it takes you to repair it. Even worse, it will lead to damage on your start if you leave it unaddressed for too long.
- Burning Smell
While the most common cause of a burning clutch is improper use, if you’re doing everything right then, it’s a sign of a deeper mechanical problem. If you smell a burning clutch, you either need to re-evaluate how you drive or replace the clutch or flywheel.
- Problems Shifting Gears
While it’s unlikely that a broken flywheel would be the cause, it’s not impossible either. If you’re having trouble shifting gears, it means your flywheel is extremely warped, and you’ve probably had some problems you’ve been ignoring for a while. Furthermore, it’s doubtful that your only problem will be the flywheel if you’re struggling to shift gears. If the problem is bad enough, you might end up needing a new transmission too!
- Engine Stalling
An aftermarket flywheel that is too light for the vehicle (or the driver) will make it much easier to stall the vehicle and could give you a rough idle. On very light flywheels, you may even stall the vehicle simply by pushing the clutch in, just because the engine speed drops too fast for the ECU to add additional air and fuel to compensate.
Just keep in mind that replacing your vehicle’s flywheel isn’t the most straightforward job out there. Not only is it a technically complicated task, but you’ll need access to a wide variety of tools, including a transmission jack, to get the job done.
While you can save a ton of money by doing it yourself, it’s not worth the frustration and potential damages if you don’t know what you’re doing.