What to know about the Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer:
The harmonic balancer (also known as “crank pulley damper”), linked to the crankshaft of an engine, reduces engine vibration and serves as a pulley for the drive belts. The balancer or “damper” is composed of two elements: a mass and an energy-dissipating element. The mass resists the acceleration of the vibration and the energy dissipating (rubber) element engrosses the vibrations. When the balancer fails, it is frequently due to heat, salt, and or ozone deterioration of the rubber. General wear, tear, and stress on the rubber is also a factor.
Facts to Note:
Typically a problem with the harmonic balancer means that it needs to be changed. However, sometimes the rubber insert that sits between the center and the outside of the pulley is all that is spoiled. It is also possible for the bolt that holds the balancer in place to become loose, which can cause problems even if the pulley isn’t damaged.
How to Fix:
Examine the harmonic balancer.
Take out drive belts and balancer.
Check condition of crankshaft front seal.
Change the harmonic balancer.
Reinstall drive belts.
Start car and check for proper operation.
Harmonic balancers aren’t a part of most standard inspections, so keep your eye out for warning signs. If you notice excess vibration or noise from the engine, then your balancer may be damaged, and you need to schedule an inspection.
Common symptoms indicating you may need to change the Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer:
Vibration from engine.
Loud, abnormal engine noise, which increases with acceleration.
Importance of this service:
SEE ALSO:HOW TO REPLACE A CRANKSHAFT OIL SEAL
The crankshaft harmonic balancer is linked to the crankshaft, and absorbs many of the vibrations that the engine generates. The engine produces a large amount of force that is delivered to the crankshaft, which transfers the power to the transmission. The harmonic balancer is in charge of absorbing some of the engine-created force so that the crankshaft doesn’t receive it all. When the harmonic balancer fails, the crankshaft receives all of the engine’s vibrations, and is susceptible to serious damage.