Your car, truck, or SUV is only as powerful as the powertrain that you have in it. The powertrain in your vehicle consists of everything from your engine to your transmission, and it’s responsible for generating the power that your car, truck, or SUV needs to move forward. One of the many key components in your powertrain is your flywheel. If it’s not working the way that it’s supposed to, it could cause your entire powertrain to suffer, which is why you need to keep a close eye out for bad flywheel symptoms and do something about them. Find out more about your flywheel and what it does below before learning about the bad flywheel symptoms and what you’ll need to do to make them go away.
What Is a Flywheel?
Most people have heard the word “powertrain” before and have some general idea of what it means. It’s easy to guess that your vehicle’s powertrain is in charge of providing power to your car, truck, or SUV. But not everyone is familiar with each individual component in their vehicle’s powertrain, and that’s a big part of the reason why the flywheel is one of the most unheralded parts in a car despite its importance.
The flywheel in your vehicle is easy to identify. It’s a large metal disk that is very heavy. It sits towards the back of your engine and is mounted to the rear of the crankshaft in it. It has a ring gear that run-around the circumference of it, and that ring gear is designed to mate with your vehicle’s starter motor when you go to start your vehicle. Your flywheel is also closely connected to your vehicle’s clutch and works with it when you’re behind the wheel of your car.
One thing that’s definitely worth noting is that not all vehicles have flywheels in them. In fact, if you have a car that has an automatic transmission in it, you won’t have to worry about looking out for bad flywheel symptoms since your car doesn’t have a flywheel in it. Only those with manual transmissions in their cars have flywheels in them, and even then, there are some manual transmissions that don’t rely on a flywheel. You should see if your vehicle has a flywheel before getting too concerned about the bad flywheel symptoms.
What Does a Flywheel Do?
Now that you understand what a flywheel is and know whether or not your vehicle even has a flywheel in it, let’s discuss what a flywheel does when it’s working properly. As we mentioned, it sits towards the back of your engine, and its purpose is to store any rotational energy that’s able to build up. It’s also made to help smooth out all of the fluctuating forces that are created when the different cylinders in your engine are firing. It’ll do both of these things at pretty much all times when you have your car turn on.
As we mentioned a few moments ago, your vehicle’s flywheel also works in conjunction with your car’s clutch early and often. There is a steady stream of power being produced that flows from your engine to your transmission. And in order to ensure that this power moves smoothly from your engine to your transmission, your car utilizes your flywheel. It keeps this power moving along without interruption as long as it’s not being plagued by any of the bad flywheel symptoms.
How Long Should a Flywheel Last?
As you know by now, your vehicle’s flywheel plays an important part in its overall well-being. Since it’s responsible for transmitting so much power from your engine straight through to your transmission, any issues with it could present big problems for you. The wheels of your car could actually lose power altogether if your flywheel stops working suddenly. It’s why it’s essential for you to know about the bad flywheel symptoms and when they might strike.
Generally speaking, you shouldn’t have to worry about your flywheel going bad on you when you first get a car. Your flywheel should last for anywhere from 80,000 to 100,000 miles in most cases, if not more often. But since your flywheel is so closely connected to your car’s clutch, you might have to replace it more often than that if you ever have any clutch issues. There is also a chance your flywheel could give out on you sooner than that on its own if you constantly put a lot of wear and tear on your vehicle.
The easiest way to know when it’s time for your old flywheel to go is when it starts exhibiting the bad flywheel symptoms. They’ll indicate that your flywheel is no longer doing what you need it to do and that you’ll need to have it replaced as soon as you can.
What Are the Most Common Bad Flywheel Symptoms?
The last thing you want is for your vehicle to give out unexpectedly because your flywheel goes bad on you. You might not be able to drive your car around anymore if the flywheel is shot. But the good news is that your flywheel won’t usually die on you out of the blue. You’re going to start to see some of the bad flywheel symptoms in the weeks leading up to your flywheel conking out on you. You should make a mental note of them and schedule service for your car right away when you spot them.
Here are some of the most common bad flywheel symptoms:
- Your car makes strange sounds when you engage your starter motor
- Your car creates rattling sounds when step on or release the clutch
- Your car slips out of gears or goes into neutral when you try to change gears
- Your car shakes or vibrates on a regular basis when you’re driving it
- Your car’s clutch often smells like it’s burning
As you can probably tell, anytime you feel like you’re having issues with your clutch, you could also be having issues with your flywheel. Rather than ignoring these issues, you should have both your flywheel and your clutch looked at to see what seems to be the problem. You don’t want to turn a blind eye to bad flywheel symptoms and let a minor issue spiral out of control.
Can You Continue to Drive a Car With a Bad Flywheel?
If you suspect that your vehicle might have a bad flywheel in it and you keep on driving it anyway, you’re going to be playing with fire. Initially, driving around with a bad flywheel in your car, truck, or SUV might not be the end of the world. It could still be capable of doing its job effectively when it first starts to exhibit the bad flywheel symptoms.
But it’s not going to be long at all before you start to see more and more of the bad flywheel symptoms appearing. You’re going to hear sounds coming from the direction of your flywheel and feel vibrations that you didn’t feel before. It might even smell like your clutch is burning up when you have a bad flywheel. That is going to provide, without a shadow of a doubt, that you shouldn’t be driving your car with a bad flywheel anymore. If you do, it’s only going to be a matter of time before your bad flywheel causes you to lose power to the wheels of your vehicle. And that could put you and others into a very dangerous position if things get to that point.
Where Should You Take Your Car to Have a Bad Flywheel Replaced?
If you have a bad flywheel in your vehicle, there isn’t going to be any saving it. It’ll need to be replaced, not repaired. And you’re not going to want to trust just anyone to handle flywheel replacement for you. Instead, you’re going to want to call on a transmission specialist to get the job done since it’s one of the more advanced auto repair jobs that you’ll ever need to do.
In order to replace the flywheel in your vehicle, a mechanic will need to:
- Remove the entire transmission from your car
- Remove your bad flywheel from your car
- Put a new flywheel into your car
- Reinstall your transmission in your car and test it out
In addition to taking these steps, your mechanic will also need to inspect your starter, your clutch, and your transmission to make sure they’re all in good working order. They’ll need to put your powertrain as a whole to the test, too, to ensure it’s working as it should. This will force a mechanic to put in a lot of labor, which is a big part of the reason why you’ll need someone who specializes in working on transmissions on your side. They’ll be able to diagnose your bad flywheel symptoms quickly and get the problems with your car fixed in no time.
Should You Ever Try to Repair a Bad Flywheel Yourself?
If you have some experience working on vehicles, you might be tempted to try and diagnose your bad flywheel symptoms on your own and tackle a flywheel replacement project. This is never—let us repeat that, never—a good idea! As we just talked about, replacing a flywheel is a complicated job that is always best left to the professionals.
You might have some luck taking your old flywheel out of your vehicle. But when it comes to installing a new flywheel, it’s important for you to be very precise. You’ll need to put a flywheel into the exact right position and bolt it down in the right way to get the best results. If you don’t, it could lead to engine and transmission damage and force you to make more expensive repairs down the line. It’s why you should skip trying to replace a flywheel on your own and let a transmission specialist do it for you.
How Much Does Flywheel Replacement Cost?
Earlier, we touched on how the good news when it comes to flywheels is that they don’t usually have to be replaced very often. But the bad news is that they’re going to cost quite a bit of money to replace when you have to do it. While there are some flywheels that will cost less than $100, there are others that are going to run you at least a few hundred dollars for parts alone. And since replacing a flywheel is a time-consuming process, you could also be looking at paying up to $500 in labor costs alone.
When you add it all up, the average car owner is going to have to pay somewhere between $500 and $1,000 in most cases for flywheel replacement. That makes it one of the most expensive parts to replace in your powertrain. That shouldn’t stop you from still keeping an eye out for bad flywheel symptoms and scheduling service accordingly. But it should encourage you to try and be a little gentler on your car overall to reduce the chances of you having to do flywheel replacement.
Is the Flywheel Replacement Cost Worth It?
Now that you’re aware of what it’s going to cost to address bad flywheel symptoms and do flywheel replacement, you might be wondering whether or not the cost is worth it. The answer…it all depends! If you’re going to continue driving your car for at least a few more years, you won’t have a choice but to pay to get a new flywheel installed in your car. Driving around with a bad flywheel in your vehicle is just not an option.
But if you have an older car that might not even be worth the cost of flywheel replacement, then replacing a bad flywheel after noticing some bad flywheel symptoms might not make much sense to you. You should consider getting rid of your car instead to avoid having to pay upwards of $1,000 to fix a flywheel problem.
Is Selling a Car With a Bad Flywheel Possible?
A car with a bad flywheel symptoms isn’t going to drum up much interest from private car buyers. They’re going to be scared off by these symptoms in most cases and won’t want to have anything to do with your car. But that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be able to sell it. You’ll still have the option of getting rid of a car with bad flywheel symptoms through junk car buyers.
Cash Cars Buyer will purchase your old car from you, bad flywheel symptoms and all, for top dollar when you turn to us for help. We promise to pay top dollar for your car despite the problems that you’ve been having with your flywheel. And we’ll even tow it away from you for free to ensure you’re able to make the most money possible for it. Contact us today to learn more about selling your old car with a bad flywheel in it to us.