A vehicle flywheel, simply put, is a mechanical component that can store rotational energy. It also assists reduce the vibration and keeps the gears working when the clutch is engaged. Thus, it is a very vital part of the car, especially in manual transmission engines, and just like any other machine components, there will be times when the flywheel stops functioning properly. So, what are the signs that your engine’s flywheel is bad?
1. GEAR SLIPPAGE
Gear slippage is the inability of the car to change to the next gear. The car may also shift to the next gear but slip back to the previous gear or increase speed slowly. This can be linked to a bad flywheel, which creates plate grinding, amplified friction, and oil contamination. When these things occur, the inner machinery of the flywheel is prone to gear slippage.
A soft pedal and/or delay in engagement after the clutch releases are often the recognizable signs of gear slippage.
2. BURNT SMELL
One of the major indicators of a bad vehicle flywheel is a burning smell, like that of burnt toast. The burning odor is the effect of too much heat in the clutch facings, which is usually caused by unnecessary clutch driving.
3. CLUTCH VIBRATIONS
When you feel an intensified rumbling or vibration while you use the clutch, it can be a sign of a bad flywheel. Usually, these vibrations can be felt on the floor of the car, and they occur due to failure of the spring mount mechanism of the flywheel, which then leads to an inability, to diminish the tremors as the driver uses the clutch.
OTHER THINGS TO CHECK
Away from these three major symptoms, there are still other signs that may show a problem, although they are not always a direct result of a flywheel failure.
You may notice some clutch drag, the opposite of slippage, wherein the clutch will fail to release correctly. It can start as a mild grinding sound when shifting gears, but as it gets worse, you could have trouble engaging first gear upon starting. This situation is sometimes caused by a failing pilot bearing or brushing in the flywheel, but it can also be produced by issues with the crankshaft assembly.
Clutch chattering can also be a sign of a damaged or bad flywheel. Many causes of clutch chatter starts with the clutch disc, but grooves in the flywheel or missing or damaged dowel pins can be the source as well.
There are different types of flywheels for diffferent makes and models of cars, but these symptoms will remain fairly universal. Damaged and faulty car parts will eventually mean trouble for the rest of your car’s machinery, so learn to recognize these signs and fix the issue immediately.