Here are the seven most common symptoms of a bad flywheel column
- Troubles with slipping gears
- Difficulties changing gears
- Strong burning smell
- Clutch vibration
- Inconsistent starting
- Issues with engine stalling
- Troubles with engine vibrating
If you're driving a vehicle equipped with a manual transmission, you might be enjoying the idea of controlling your vehicle's transmission and providing the input to change the gears. It can be a lot of fun to drive this car, but these vehicles might suffer a lot of problems especially related to the different components inside the transmission.
One of the very common problems you might encounter is a bad or faulty flywheel, which is a component in the transmission. What does that flywheel? And what does it do? What are the main symptoms of a bad flywheel?
This article will answer all these questions and help you get your vehicle to work again and fix the flywheel problems as soon as possible.
What is the flywheel, and What does it do?
Before we dig into the details about the symptoms of the bad flywheel, we need to understand what the flywheel in the first place is and what it does do. Many of us might be familiar with other larger components like the engine in the transition, and sometimes it can be a little bit challenging to know every single component within each of them.
The flywheel is a metal device that stores rotational energy. This device is only available in vehicles equipped with a manual transmission; you won't see it in automatic transmissions.
The good thing with this flywheel is that it prevents overstretching your engine. In other words, this component has very high inertia, so your engine doesn't have to work so hard every time you have inconsistent torque delivery.
The flywheel is typically located next to the engine and is connected to the engine back somewhere between the engine and the transmission. So, every time you turn the key, you're sending a signal to the flywheel to turn as well.
How often should I replace the flywheel?
Your vehicle's components are not designed forever, and there'll be a point of time where you must replace them. However, the flywheel is one of the very durable components, and you don't have to replace it often unless you're changing the clutch.
There is no specific frequency for when you must replace the flywheel because it depends on how often you're changing the clutch. Changing the clutch is not something you're going to do every year because it depends on whether you're having a problem with the clutch.
7 symptoms of a bad flywheel
Although you don't have to replace the flywheel unless you're changing the clutch, there are some scenarios where the flywheel goes bad on its own and where you must replace it. Understanding these scenarios is extremely important and prevents you from dealing with further complications that could require a lot of money on repair costs.
Automotive experts put together the following short list of potential symptoms of a bad flywheel:
1. Troubles with slipping gears
The first and most common symptom of a bad flywheel is when you have slipping gears. Slipping gears indicates that you're trying to shift the gear to a different position and suddenly, this gear returns to the original position.
This can be a very stressful and scary situation because it means that you won't be able to shift the gears to reverse, and you can't probably put your car in to park.
Therefore, whenever you deal with this problem, take a closer look at your vehicle and confirm whether it's the flywheel or something else. Slipping gears are a general problem and might be related to other faulty components in your transmission.
Thus, you must first confirm the root culprit of the problem before moving forward with any potential repairs.
2. Difficulties changing gears
You might notice that you can't simply shift the gears in some other instances. It might take more effort, or it might not shift at all. In that case, you might have a problem with the flywheel.
Again, if you kill these shifting gears is not a problem only related to the bad flywheel, and it can be associated with some other faulty components here; therefore, you also need to have a discussion with your mechanic and have him perform a quick inspection to confirm what is going on inside your car and fix it.
3. Strong burning smell
Did you know that your vehicle makes weird smells when something wrong happens? That's why automotive experts always recommend that you never ignore any smell from your vehicle. Sometimes these smells might be very good and can be very frustrating and annoying in other situations.
When there is a problem with the flywheel, you might start smelling some strong burning smell from the transmission side, which becomes stronger every time you switch gears.
That's the case; you should be able to immediately consult your mechanic and have him check your transmission to confirm that there's nothing wrong with it.
When the problem is related to the transmission or any other components, you have to resolve it as soon as possible because the longer you wait, the more complicated it gets and the more money it requires to get fixed.
4. Clutch vibration
When the flywheel is not in a new condition, you might notice that the clutch is vibrating. Again, this situation could indicate critical problems in your transmission.
Whenever you realize that the clutch is vibrating, and this is something you didn't see before, you might have a problem with the flywheel that requires the media tension from your mechanic.
5. Inconsistent starting
Whenever you have a starting problem, the first thing that comes into mind is a bad battery. However, a long list of potential culprits could prevent your vehicle from starting or at least impact how your car starts.
A faulty flywheel is one of the common reasons you will deal with when your car doesn't start. The flywheel is damaged, and when the teeth are broken, the component might not engage properly with the starter motor, so your vehicle won't start.
Of course, although this is a very common situation that you might deal with, the first thing you should start with when your car doesn't start is your battery, which can be the alternator or, and some of the other more common faulty components. If none of them showed a solution, you got to look at the flywheel.
6. Issues with engine stalling
Engine stalling is one of the critical creepy situations you might get into. When this happens, you can easily get involved in major car accidents that could impact your safety and the safety of other people driving around you. Tons of potential culprits could cause your engine to stall, and one of them is a bad flywheel.
Of course, get out immediately and assume that your engine is stalling because of a bad flywheel unless your mechanic confirms with detailed inspections.
Once you confirm it's about the flywheel, fix it immediately because driving this car might not be safe. To maintain your safety and prevent dealing with more complications, go ahead and fix the flywheel.
7. Troubles with engine vibrating
Finally, in some scenarios, you might realize that the engine is vibrating whenever you engage the clutch. This could indicate a faulty flywheel as well.
Your mechanic should be able to inspect the vehicle and tell you whether it's a bad flywheel or something else.
It is important that you describe the situation carefully to your mechanic and let him know that the problem only happens when you engage the cloth. It helps your mechanic narrow down the list of attentional culprits and save time for detailed inspections on other unrelated components.
How much does it cost to fix a bad flywheel?
The costs for fixing the flywheel depend heavily on your vehicle type and the location you get the job done. Typically, it should cost somewhere between $50 and $400.00 and more in some more luxury cars.
You must know where to fix your vehicle because this has to do with labor costs, which can be a huge component.
Also, consider that your mechanic will take a closer look at your vehicle, and he might pinpoint some other troubles your vehicle is suffering from that you're not paying attention to. Therefore, the final bill will include everything and should be prepared for recommendations from here mechanic to take care of critical things.
Keep in mind that looking for ways to reduce costs on flywheel replacement might not be the best decision if you go to inexperienced mechanics.
Also, replacing the flywheel and fixing it is not something you can do on your own unless you have the right mechanical skill sets. You can easily introduce some problems that will cost you thousands of dollars on repair, and you should take a shortcut and have a mechanic fix your vehicle rather than deal with these complications.
Causes of flywheel damages
While it's very critical for you to understand the different symptoms of a bad flywheel, it is important to understand what causes that flywheel to get damaged. Many external factors could be linked to your driving habits, damaging the flywheel before it should.
According to automotive experts, here are the most common causes of flywheel damage is:
- The bad starter drive component
- Accumulation of gravel
- Cracks in the flywheel
- Poor maintenance
You must avoid these problems as much as possible, and most importantly, you must keep an eye on the regular maintenance pure, check with your owner's manual and learn how often you should inspect the flywheel.
Also, once you understand the different symptoms of a bad flywheel, you should be able to detect the problem as early as possible. This helps you talk to the mechanic earlier and provide him with alternatives to fix the problem without needing to install major components.
If you end up with some cracks in the flywheel, your mechanic might be able to fix it, but, in some scenarios, if these cracks are extreme and impact major portions of the flywheel, you might end up needing to replace it.
The transmission contains many interaction components; in any manual transmission, there is a component called the flywheel. Unfortunately, this flywheel can go bad at any point in time because of some external factors.
Whenever the flywheel is bad, you must fix it immediately because it can easily lead to major complications that could impact your safety.
As we indicated before, you should keep an eye on seven common symptoms of a bad flywheel. Whenever you notice these symptoms, you must talk to your mechanic immediately.
Depending on the root problem, fixing the flywheel might be a very simple job, but, in some scenarios, it can be extremely expensive, and that's where we must decide on whether you should sell or fix your car.
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