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Pontiac Bonneville Harmonic Balancer

Unsettling Blunders Caused by Troublesome Pontiac Bonneville Harmonic Balancers

The harmonic balancer is probably one of the most underrated engine parts. It's a little piece that is attached to the front of the crankshaft. The purpose of the harmonic balancer is to protect the crankshaft from possible damage brought about by the vibrations caused by the pistons. This component works hand in hand with the camshaft sensor to keep engine components operating smoothly and the belts running without any gaffes. Once it goes faulty, the problem can quickly escalate to affect multiple engine parts resulting in multiple failures.

Excessive vibration

Since the harmonic balancer is responsible for maintaining vibration levels at the minimum through the crankshaft and the rest of the engine, any problem with it will lead to excessive vibrations. At the beginning the vibration won't be noticeable but as it wears away, vibration throughout the engine block will increase exponentially. This excessive vibration will be magnified once the car begins accelerating. Vibrations may upset other components. And that may lead to other engine problems such as leaks in seals and failure of other engine parts such as the A/C compressor, alternator, and pumps.

Screeching belts

Aside from being a vibration absorber, the harmonic balancer also acts as a pulley for your vehicle's drive belts. So when it begins to fail, your engine's belts may slip, producing a high-pitched noise. When the belts are put in an awkward position, they will incur damage. In addition to the noise, you may experience an inability of the engine to accelerate efficiently. Consequently, fuel economy falls and the engine begins misfiring or backfiring. Slipped belts can also cause your A/C compressor to stop operating.

Incorrect ignition timing

With the loss of a functioning harmonic balancer, your vehicle's ignition timing will be way off. As mentioned earlier, the harmonic balancer works hand in hand with the camshaft sensor and when one goes bad, the same can be said to the other. Bad ignition timing is due to an erratic signal from the camshaft sensor caused by harmonic balancer's inability to stabilize the part. The condition results in your vehicle being unable to start or the engine to stall uncontrollably.

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  • Preventive Maintenance for Pontiac Bonneville Harmonic Balancers

    A harmonic balancer or vibration damper is designed to help reduce vibration to safe levels. Comprised of two separate pieces, the harmonic balancer has a mass that connects to the crankshaft and an energy-dissipating element. These elements have a rubber insulator in the middle for dampening. Almost all vehicles nowadays are equipped with a harmonic balancer. However, don't be fooled by its fancy name. As long as the engine is running, this component undergoes stress and strain. Sometimes, this causes the harmonic balancer to crack or separate. Good thing you can extend the life of your harmonic balancer with preventive maintenance. Here's how.

    Do regular inspection.

    Ocular inspection of the harmonic balancer's condition is critical to extending its overall lifespan. Since it has a lot of moving parts, the harmonic balancer might experience failure in one of these at any given point. Looking into it thoroughly will make you prepared for any actions that will constitute either the repair or the replacement of the said piece. If upon inspection the harmonic balancer shows signs of weakness such as cracks or missing pieces, it has to be replaced or the missing parts must be filled out at the very least.

    Change busted insulators and bolts.

    The insulators and bolts are just some of the minor pieces that complete the harmonic balancers. The insulator is made out of rubber; and with wear and tear, it can become dry and brittle. Once it wastes away, the harmonic balancer will have a hard time controlling the vibration of the engine. And that will lead to more failures in its other parts. Additionally, the bolts can be corroded because of the elements inside and outside the engine block. These two parts are often in need of replacement. Change these right away to ensure smooth operation of the harmonic balancer. Use a puller to replace them.

    Make sure parts are well lubricated.

    Since there are a lot of moving parts in the harmonic balancer, it is always a good measure to lubricate it often and not let it go dry. You can use WD-40 to lubricate and protect the bolts and screws within the harmonic balancer and effectively prolong its service life.