Maintain an efficient combustion process by simply getting a quality flywheel.
Flying is impossible for a normal human being to do. But did you know that there's one part of your engine that can do this feat in a different manner? Sure, it can't fly but the flywheel fulfills a more important purpose than soaring the skies. This engine component is responsible for providing the crankshaft with inertia. This inertia is what helps the crankshaft to turn and maintain an efficient combustion process.
To do this job, flywheels should be made from a high-quality material such as aluminum. An aluminum flywheel is very durable, can handle the pressure inside the engine, and is also light-weight. This means you won't have to worry about additional weight or load that makes the engine work harder. What you'll be getting is an improved performance from your engine every time you drive your car.
Aside from providing inertia for the crankshaft, the flywheel also acts as a base for the starter, ring gear and the clutch assembly in manual transmission vehicles. The clutch flywheel connects these parts together and helps them work in unison. Without the function of this drivetrain component, the entire operation of your vehicle would come to a halt. So if you experience problems shifting gears or power loss from your engine, you may have a bad flywheel. Better have it checked for any defects right away. If you need a replacement, just go to a local store or better yet, do your shopping online.
Flywheel Buyer's Guide
- A car flywheel refers to a heavy metal disk that is usually installed on the rear of the crankshaft, located between the engine and transmission.
- Flywheels are usually sized between 12 to 15 inches. A manual transmission flywheel is bolted to the clutch pressure plate. The clutch disk is installed between the two components. On automatic transmissions, it is referred to as the flex plate.
- A flywheel’s main function is to store rotation energy and stop the vehicle from stalling. It is also essential to maintain smooth engine speed and engine balance.
- Symptoms of a bad flywheel may be similar to those of a bad clutch. If you notice anything wrong with your clutch or crankshaft assembly, have your vehicle checked by your trusted mechanic.
- A replacement will cost you around $50 to $500. To ensure that you are getting the right fit, enter the correct year, make, and model into our search engine.
There are a lot of moving components and mechanisms in the engine that are responsible for keeping your car running. A flywheel is a vital component in this process. Did you know that the idea of having a flywheel is not exclusive to cars? To understand what a car flywheel is, we would have to understand the concept of a basic flywheel and the law of inertia.
Devices as simple as a sewing machine or a toy car makes use of flywheel and the concept of inertia to operate. In a foot-operated sewing machine, for example, we supply kinetic force via the pedal to rotate the big wheel that is then connected to a smaller wheel which serves as a pulley that makes your sewing machine work. However, it is observed that even if we stopped supplying kinetic force via pedal, the wheel will continue to rotate for some time. That is because of the stored energy in the big wheel caused by inertia.
What does a flywheel do? In general, a flywheel is defined as a mechanical device designed to store kinetic energy. What does this concept have to do with your vehicle? Know more about the automotive flywheel, where it is installed, its specific function, and the symptoms of a faulty one with the help of this guide.
What is a flywheel?
Since we’ve already defined the general concept of flywheels, let us now focus on the flywheel as a car part. A car flywheel is a heavy metal disk that is usually installed to the rear of the crankshaft, located between the engine and transmission. On a manual transmission vehicle, it is bolted with the clutch pressure plate. The clutch disk is installed between the two components. On automatic transmissions, it is referred to as the flex plate. Flex plates are lighter than flywheels that are found on manual transmissions.
Flywheels are usually sized between 12 to 15 inches. You can distinguish flywheels from other automotive discs because of its toothed edge surrounding its circumference. These gear teeth play an important role in engine starting. Aside from engine starting, flywheels also play a vital role in other factors such as engine speed, balancing, and drivetrain stress reduction.
Discussing the specific functions of a flywheel will help us understand how flywheels and the concept of inertia help in overall engine function.
Your vehicle engine’s starter motor has a small gear called a Bendix gear. When you turn the key on, the Bendix gear mates up with the flywheel. The Bendix gear/starter motor combination spins the flywheel which will then turn the crankshaft. This begins the needed compression cycle to start your engine. After successfully starting your vehicle, the Bendix gear will withdraw from the flywheel to let it spin freely.
Flywheels provide the rotational inertia to keep your car running. Without it, your engine will stall when you remove your foot from the accelerator.
Smoother Engine Speed
Aside from being an important component in engine starting, it also plays a vital role in ensuring that your engine runs smoothly. Once your car is running, the crankshaft translates your piston’s up-and-down motion into rotary motion. This process may produce a lot of jolting since power is generated only a few times during an engine revolution: twice for a four-cylinder engine and four times for an eight-cylinder. Thanks to physics and the law of inertia, the flywheel can keep the crankshaft turning at a constant speed in between piston firings, resulting in smoother engine speed.
Since we’re already talking about piston firings, let us discuss the role of a flywheel in engine balance. Each engine piston fires at a different angle which then results in vibrations and wobbles. Thankfully, the weight of the flywheel counters this side-to-side motion, resulting in a more stabilized and balanced engine.
Drivetrain Stress Reduction
The above-mentioned functions of a flywheel result in lesser strain on drivetrain components. Flywheels help reduce wear and tear on drivetrain joints, making in an important asset to the drivetrain.
Transferring power to the wheels
Aside from all things mentioned above, flywheels also play a vital role in transferring power to the vehicle’s wheels. It does this by connecting the engine to the transmission through the clutch.
Symptoms of a bad flywheel
Just like any other car component, flywheels can get damaged over time. Thankfully, there are signs you should watch for that are clear indications that your flywheel needs replacement. Usually, symptoms of a bad flywheel involve the vehicle’s clutch.
Burning Smell from the Clutch
You will usually notice this smell when using your clutch. However, this symptom is not exclusive to a malfunctioning flywheel. Sometimes, the burning smell coming from the clutch may be a result of improper clutch use.
Clutch Slipping and Dragging
When you change gears while driving and suddenly notice a lack of power or a surging engine, this may indicate a slipping clutch. Although this is a result of a worn clutch, it may also mean that your flywheel is worn out as well. A malfunctioning clutch may cause your flywheel to get worn out easily too.
Another problem with the clutch that is associated with the flywheel is clutch dragging. Most often, this symptom results in gear grinding or a complete failure to put your car into the first gear when starting your stopped vehicle. When this happens, a bearing or a bushing either in the flywheel or crankshaft assembly is starting to go bad.
Clutch Pedal Vibrations
Springs of any kind are designed to reduce vibration. If you feel excessive vibrations coming from the clutch pedal or the floor of your vehicle when you use your clutch, this may be a sign that your flywheel’s spring mount has gone bad.
Difficulty Changing Gears
A cracked flywheel can make changing gears difficult. However, this symptom can also be caused by other reasons such as lack of clutch fluid or a worn-out clutch release bearing. In some cases, it may also be caused by failing pilot bearings.
Differentiating a worn-out flywheel symptom from other worn-out gear symptoms in the clutch or crankshaft assembly may be difficult. Since these components are interconnected, symptoms may be a result of a combination of worn-out components inside your engine. If you suspect that something is wrong with any of these components, have your vehicle checked by your trusted mechanic.
How much does a flywheel replacement cost?
A typical flywheel replacement will cost you around $50 to $500. They may be sold individually or as part of an assembly. Usually, a flywheel replacement can be made of materials such as metal, steel, iron, or cast iron. The price of your replacement will depend on the kind of flywheel that is compatible with your vehicle as well as the brand you choose.
Finding the right fit for your vehicle
There are not many variations to the flywheel, making it easy to find a compatible replacement for your vehicle. Take note that there are two types of flywheels: single and dual-mass. The type of flywheel you should buy will depend on the kind of vehicle you have. To ensure that you are getting the right fit for your vehicle, enter the correct year, make, and model into our search engine.
Important Facts You Need to Know About Flywheel
Speed demons, watch out. Before you step on that gas pedal, you better be sure that the flywheel's in good shape. A cracked flywheel is a ticking bomb. Rev your car's engine too high and you may end up having shrapnel-like fragments blasting out of the engine bay. To keep this mechanical part in good shape, you have to understand its function.It's basically like a battery. If you charge a battery for too long or overload it, it may explode. The same goes for this part. It converts the engine's kinetic energy into potential energy and stores it. Through time, the flywheel can wear out due to storing high loads of energy from high-rpm (revolutions per minute) driving. You should regularly check the flywheel's body for damage.Once you start feeling weird vibrations along the drivetrain, that's your cue to get a replacement flywheel for your vehicle. Don't worry. CarParts.com offers a lot of durable flywheels at more affordable prices.
• Made from lightweight yet sturdy material
• Perfectly balanced for quicker engine revs
• Specially designed for specific vehicle makes and models
Get a New Flywheel to Spin Your Engine Better
The flywheel transfers mechanical energy from the engine to the clutch plate. Gear shifting takes place when they make contact, whether you drive a manual or automatic transmission. If your car's flywheel us broken, it will cause your car to stall because you wouldn't be able accelerate. This portion will show the things you need to know when you're searching for a replacement.
The right size of the flywheel
Determine the size of the flywheel that is fit for your car. You should give the specific make, type, and year of your car when you shop so it will be easier to find. Another thing you can do is to remember the size of flywheel your car. You can easily compare it to know if it will fit on the flywheel holder or not.
The comparison between the two flywheel systems
The two kinds of flywheel systems are single and dual mass. The difference between the two systems is mostly about effect on your vehicle handling. Here's a more detailed approach on both systems:
A single mass flywheel system performs well in a very high usage level. The design for a single mass flywheel and clutch is also easier for most vehicles. However, it produces more vibration to the drivetrain which can feel rough when you drive.
The advantage of a dual mass flywheel system is its smooth driving from lesser engine vibration. It can also decrease difficulty from the transmission and the drivetrain. These are all possible if the vehicle's engine is still made from stock parts. Otherwise, the modifications that give more power to the engine will make it difficult for a dual mass flywheel to reach the same level.
If you still have the original engine parts on your car, then the best option is the dual mass. For those vehicles that had been modified, the single mass flywheel is the best selection. For the single mass, the appropriate flywheel size would still be determined depending on the engine.
Aluminum or steel flywheel
These are the two typical materials used in a flywheel. To know which one is better, consider what type of car you drive. An aluminum flywheel is lighter, and gives better horsepower, so it's applicable for most race cars or a vehicle similarly designed. A steel flywheel on the other hand, is heavier and it will yield a higher amount of torque. This type of flywheel is good for off-road or utility vehicles.
Place a New Flywheel Back in Order
The flywheel is a car part responsible for transmitting energy from the engine to the transmission system. It may be a part rarely seen or heard, but this is very vital for performance. Luckily, here's guide to help you install a flywheel in your own garage.
Difficulty Level: High
Tools you'll need:
- Impact wrench
- Wrench set
- Screwdriver set
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Oil pan
- New flywheel
Step 1: Park your vehicle on a level surface, and engage the parking brake.
Step 2: Jack the car in front until it is possible to slide under and work comfortably.
Step 3: Use the impact wrench to remove the lug nuts and the front wheels of your car. Afterwards, remove the entire wheel hub for both wheels. Be careful when you place down the wheel hubs because the brake lines attached to them are sensitive.
Step 4:Remove the oil drain plug using the impact wrench, and place the oil pan below. Make sure the reservoir is empty before moving to the next step.
Step 5: Locate the lug nuts that hold the strut assembly to the axle, and remove the front struts. The axle should also be loose when you have separated it to the struts.
Step 6: Remove the stabilizer rods that hold the car's transmission. Use the pliers for small pins that are attached to each rod.
Step 7: Disconnect the wires attached to the engine that lead to the battery. The small screwdrivers are helpful in this part. Make sure you can still snap back the connections later.
Step 8: Locate the tranny in front of the engine. Make sure it is supported before you remove the bolts that hold it. Place it down and you will see the pressure plate covering the flywheel.
Step 9:Remove the pressure plate, the clutch disc and the flywheel.
Step 10: Install the new pilot with the bearings that came into the kit.
Step 11: Place all the parts back in order until you have dismounted the vehicle, and refill the engine oil.
Step 12: Start the engine, test drive, and observe if there are necessary adjustment to the installation.
This process will take an expert car junkie 5-6 hours for completion. It will probably take an average handyman 8-9 hours to complete this task.