Every vehicle has a mechanical device called a flywheel. This is a round-shaped device which generates energy from rotating and then stores that energy for later use. In situations where the engine torque is intermittent, the flywheel will supplement this with its own stored rotational energy. You would often find flywheels in cars with manual transmissions rather than automatic transmissions. The flywheel ensures that the gears of a manual vehicle are functioning properly as the driver is using the clutch. It also keeps the vehicle from vibrating so much as well.
Bad Flywheel Symptoms
If the flywheel of your vehicle starts going bad, there are easily recognizable symptoms that you can watch out for. Firstly, as you go to change gears in your vehicle, the gears may slip. Once this happens, then you won’t be able to change gears. Either that or the gears may shift on their own without your control. Most drivers experience their current gear shifting to the previous gear that they had it on before. This is an example of what gear slippage looks like. As it continues to happen, the pressure plate will grind and the engine oil will become contaminated. This only causes the gear slippage problem to happen more frequently and get worse. Soon the grinding noises will become louder and you won’t even be able to change gears after you start the engine.
Aside from gear slippage, you will notice a burning smell that will consume the interior of the vehicle. This smell is generated when the clutch is being used improperly, whether from a bad flywheel or an inexperienced driver. The facings of the clutch produce a lot of heat and the odor becomes quite extensive as time goes on. Along with this, there will be vibrations coming from the floor each time you operate the clutch. These vibrations indicate that the flywheel’s spring mount feature has gone bad. As you probably know, the spring mount is what normally reduces the vibrations that are generated from the clutch being used. This is only more proof that you have a bad flywheel and it needs to be replaced.
So far, we’ve discussed the most common symptoms of a bad flywheel. There may be other symptoms too but they are harder to diagnose because there are other problems which could cause them to occur. One of which is a chattered clutch that is the result of grooves or damage done to the flywheel. But the easy thing about recognizing the symptoms of a bad flywheel is that they’re almost all the same, no matter what type of vehicle you are driving. The best thing for you to do is to bring your vehicle to a professional automotive technician if you notice any of these symptoms happening.
Flywheel Replacement Cost
The replacement cost of a flywheel can range considerably. There are some flywheel parts which only cost $35 while others cost as much as $400. It all depends on what type of car you drive and how durable the flywheel is. Then, of course, you have to consider the labor costs of doing the replacement job. Since most auto mechanics charge about $90 to $110 per hour, you could be looking at paying close to $500 just for labor. The reason for this is that the flywheel is located on the engine and it is harder for the mechanics to take out and replace. This requires more time which means you’ll be paying more money.
In total, you could be looking at anywhere between $550 and $1,000. If you’re an experienced mechanic who knows how to replace a flywheel or you have a friend who is, then it would be better to use this option rather than paying for the labor. It will save you a lot of money this way.