- Repairing or replacing your balancer can be a complicated process because there’s a risk of damaging other engine components if you install it incorrectly.
- One of the most common signs that your harmonic balancer is faulty is unusual rattling or knocking noises coming from your engine.
- Other signs of a bad harmonic balancer include a worn rubber insulator and ignition timing issues.
A bad harmonic balancer can cause a plethora of issues that can make driving your vehicle hard. That’s why it’s important to have this component replaced as soon as you confirm it’s faulty.
Before buying an aftermarket harmonic balancer, it’s good to equip yourself with knowledge about the component.
What Does a Harmonic Balancer Replacement Entail?
Repairing or replacing your balancer can be a complicated process because there’s a risk of damaging other engine components if you install the component incorrectly.
On some vehicles, the pick up for the crankshaft position sensor is at the back of the balancer. Also, some vehicles do not have a keyway to lock the balancer to the engine. You’d have to lock the camshaft and crankshaft before removing the balancer. If you unbolt the balancer without following the proper procedure, you might risk damaging your engine.
It’s also important to note that the crank bolts on some vehicles can be tight, so you might need a special gun and several holding devices to have it removed. If you don’t have the tools to get it done, your best option is to ask a mechanic to do it for you.
The crank bolts on some vehicles can be tight, so you might need a special gun and several holding devices to have it removed.–Anthony Harlin, ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician
Before you gain access to the balancer, you may need to remove the belts in front of your engine. You may also need to drain and remove your radiator, depending on your vehicle’s make and model.
Once you gain access to the balancer, it’ll have to be removed by a puller. After you’re done with the whole process, you’ll have to reinstall the pulleys and belts that you removed.
If you’re unsure about anything, the best course of action is to take your ride to an auto repair shop and have a trusted professional do the installation for you.
What Kind of Noise Does a Defective Harmonic Balancer Produce?
One of the most common signs that your harmonic balancer is faulty is unusual noises coming from your engine. You may hear rattling, knocking, or squeaking—depending on the speed of your vehicle.
A bad harmonic balancer can disrupt your drivebelt’s operation, so expect squealing noises as you drive your vehicle.
Noise from a defective harmonic balancer can sometimes be so bad that it can be mistaken for a bad engine.
Take your vehicle to a shop right away to determine whether your harmonic balancer needs to be repaired or replaced. If it’s fine, chances are something else is wrong with your ride.
Other Signs of a Bad Harmonic Balancer
Your balancer has many rubber materials that can degrade over time. Once the rubber insulator begins to wear, your balancer will begin to separate, causing it to wobble.
A bad balancer can also cause ignition timing issues. Vehicles with distributors have an adjustable ignition timing. The timing marks are on the outer part of the balancer. So once the balancer starts to fail, expect problems with ignition timing.
If you’d like to know more about the symptoms of a bad harmonic balancer, you can read this article.
What Is a Harmonic Balancer?
A harmonic balancer is a circular device connected to your ride’s crankshaft. Its main function is to absorb the vibrations caused by the torsional twisting of the crankshaft. Also called a torsional vibration dampener, this component is usually found at the front of the engine.
How a Harmonic Balancer Works
During your engine’s power stroke, the crankshaft twists and turns, resulting in torsional vibration and resonance. Modern vehicles are equipped with a harmonic balancer that’s specially engineered to remove unwanted vibrations applied to the crankshaft.
A harmonic balancer is equipped with a center hub, an inertia ring, and a rubber insulator. The center hub is bolted to the end of the crankshaft. This center hub can be keyed on some applications. A hub that doesn’t rotate will help absorb unwanted torsional vibration. Meanwhile, the role of an inertia ring is to absorb the harmonics through an elastomer sleeve.
Can I Drive With a Bad Harmonic Balancer?
No. It’s not recommended to drive a vehicle with a malfunctioning balancer. A bad harmonic balancer can damage your drive belt and other engine-driven accessories.
Your crankshaft may also damage your main bearings if you continue to drive your vehicle. A worn harmonic balancer can also disintegrate, damaging components under the hood.
In some cases, the balancer can defect and go towards the engine. Your engine can get damaged once this happens. To avoid dealing with major engine repair, make sure to have your harmonic balancer replaced once you find out it’s faulty.
How Much Does a Harmonic Balancer Replacement Cost?
You can get an aftermarket harmonic balancer replacement for around $60 to $200. You’ll also have to factor in the labor rates applied in your area. The exact time it’ll take to replace your balancer will also depend on the specific vehicle that you own. But to give you an estimate, most harmonic balancer replacements last around 1 to 2 hours.
Things to Consider When Buying a Harmonic Balancer
Looking for a harmonic balancer replacement can be challenging—especially if it’s your first time having this component replaced.
Here are some things to consider when buying a harmonic balancer replacement:
The first thing you should consider when looking at an aftermarket harmonic balancer is its compatibility with your vehicle. Harmonic balancers can come in different sizes. So you have to check which size fits your vehicle. Look for a harmonic balancer that’s specifically made for your year, make, and model.
Most harmonic balancers are made of rubber and metal. They can be made of nodular iron, steel, and aluminum. If you own a racing car, your harmonic balancer is usually made of materials like forged steel.
If you’re not sure what material is fit for your make and model, you can ask a mechanic or talk to your dealer.
Harmonic balancers are crucial to the operation of your vehicle, so it’s only reasonable to choose an aftermarket harmonic balancer that’s made of high-quality materials. Source your harmonic balancers from trusted brands in the industry.
If you don’t have a go-to brand yet for auto parts, you can check out product reviews online. Find out what other drivers have to say about how a certain brand or product performs. There are also blogs that recommend good harmonic balancer brands, so you might want to check those out too.
A good harmonic balancer replacement doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many top-notch harmonic balancers out there that are sold at competitive prices. You just have to source your replacement from legitimate sources like our site. Find a harmonic balancer that fits your budget without sacrificing quality and functionality.
Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.