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Flywheel & Flexplate at 1A Auto

What is a Flywheel and where is it Located?

The flywheel is a part of the clutch system. This metal disc is attached to the crankshaft. The clutch engages to the flywheel to transmit motion from the engine to the transmission. The flywheel is ringed by a series of teeth referred to as the ring gear. The starter motor engages this ring gear to start the engine. Flywheels are used in manual transmission cars. In an automatic transmission vehicle, a flexplate plays a similar role. 

How do I Know if my Flywheel Needs to be Replaced?

A worn out or damaged flywheel can cause problems with shifting and starting. The flywheel can become cracked, grooved, or warped, either simply over time, or through rough use. If you tend to ride the clutch, or don’t engage and disengage it smoothly, you may wear grooves in the flywheel. The flywheel can also warp from heating and cooling. City driving tends to involve more shifting, which heats up and cools down the flywheel more. Frequent city driving can reduce the life of your flywheel. If the flywheel has grooves or is warped, it won’t engage smoothly with the clutch disc. You may experience clutch chattering, which you can feel in the clutch pedal. The clutch might also feel more grabby than normal. The clutch disc might even begin to slip against the flywheel. This can make acceleration difficult and increases friction between the flywheel and clutch. 

A warped flywheel also won’t engage properly with the starter motor. When you are starting your engine listen for rhythmic bogging down of the engine during starting. The teeth of the ring gear can also become damaged over time, causing much of the same problem. If the connection between the flywheel and starter gets too bad, then you might not be able to start your car at all. Ring gear problems can damage the starter motor, so if you find you have to replace your flywheel, you might want to check your starter as well. 

It is quite difficult to access the clutch and flywheel, so it’s best to inspect the flywheel anytime the clutch is being replaced. A damaged clutch may indicate that the flywheel is also damaged. Check the flywheel for warping, grooves, cracks, missing teeth on the ring gear, or a burned or glazed appearance to the friction surface.

Can I Replace a Flywheel Myself?

As mentioned above, the flywheel is very hard to access. So, if you do not feel comfortable removing the engine or transmission from your vehicle you might want to leave this job to professional mechanics.

To get at the flywheel, you’ll have to remove the engine or transmission. Before you can do that, you’ll have to raise and secure the vehicle and may have to remove various components such as the wheels, drive axles, driveshaft, mounts, cables, or electrical connectors. Once you remove the engine or transmission you can remove the clutch pressure plate, clutch disc, and the flywheel. Then, reverse the previous steps to install everything. The job may not seem overly complicated, but the sheer number of parts that must be dealt with just to get to the flywheel is large.

What is a Flexplate and where is it Located?

In vehicles with automatic transmissions, a metal disc called the flexplate connects the crankshaft to the torque converter. The torque converter conveys motion from the engine to the transmission, while allowing the engine to keep running while the vehicle is stopped. The flexplate plays a similar role to that played by the flywheel in manual transmission vehicles. Some people may refer to a flexplate as an automatic transmission flywheel. Flexplates are thinner and lighter than flywheels, though. That allows a flexplate to respond to small differences of alignment between the engine and the transmission. The flexplate is also ringed by a series of teeth referred to as the ring gear. The starter motor engages this ring gear to start the engine. 

How do I Know if my Flexplate Needs to be Replaced?

The flexplate can become cracked over time. This can cause the flexplate to wobble. You might notice rhythmic clunking or grinding noises while the engine is running. A misaligned flex plate can also keep the engine from running smoothly, which can lead to erratic changes in engine RPM.

If you suspect you have a flexplate problem, there are a couple ways to investigate further. If you listen to the transmission bell housing with a stethoscope, while the engine is idling, any sounds coming from inside the bell housing indicate flexplate problems. Some bell housings have an inspection port. Remove the inspection port, and shine a shop light on the flexplate.

A warped flexplate also won’t engage properly with the starter motor. When you are starting your engine listen for rhythmic bogging down of the engine during starting. The teeth of the ring gear can also become damaged over time, causing a grinding sound. If the connection between the flexplate and starter gets too bad, then you might not be able to start your car or truck at all. Ring gear problems can damage the starter motor, so if you find you have to replace your flexplate, you might want to check your starter as well. 

Can I Replace a Flexplate Myself?

Accessing the flexplate can be quite difficult. In addition, flexplate misalignment is often caused by problems during engine or transmission installation. If you do decide to undertake a flexplate replacement yourself, you should probably put aside a day for the job. 

To get at the flexplate, you’ll have to remove the transmission. This will necessitate the removal of several other parts first. You will have to raise and secure the vehicle. The flexplate connects to both the transmission and the torque converter, so you’ll have to separate it from the torque converter; this is the reason for the inspection plate or hole in the bell housing. Support the transmission with a jack as you remove any wiring or hoses connected to the transmission. Then you can remove the transmission from the vehicle. Then you can reverse the previous steps to install everything. 

As mentioned above, flexplate alignment problems often have their root in engine and transmission installation, so it pays to be extra careful during that step. Be sure everything is lined up correctly and all dowel pins are installed in their correct locations. Also make sure to follow the manufacturer’s specifications for the tightening order and torque values of the bolts.

Need a Flywheel or Flexplate Replacement?

If you have a damaged or malfunctioning flywheel or flexplate, you will need a replacement as soon as possible as your driving experience will be greatly affected. Luckily, 1A Auto carries a line of aftermarket, stock replacement flywheels for manual transmission vehicles, as well as flexplates for automatic transmissions, and at great prices. Our brand new, high quality flywheels will have your gears turning like new again.

All of our high quality flywheels feature:

  • - Direct bolt-on design for easy installation
  • - Built to strict quality control standards
  • - Built stronger in vulnerable areas for great durability

At 1A Auto, we make shopping for a replacement transmission flywheel or flexplate for your car, truck, SUV or van easy - we're here to help you select the right part for your vehicle! Call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about our aftermarket flywheels and flexplates, warranty, compatibility or to purchase, or you can buy online. Add reliability to your car or truck with a new flywheel from 1A Auto!

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