A flywheel is a large flat metal disc that is bolted to the rear of an engine’s crankshaft in a vehicle with a manual transmission.
The flywheel helps to transfer the power of your engine to the transmission. It spins with the crankshaft and interacts with the clutch disc to engage the drive wheels. The flywheel stores energy to supplement engine torque and help to balance out the power stroke of each cylinder as it fires. And it helps to reduce engine vibrations. The flywheel also has a series of teeth cut into its outer edge. These teeth mesh with the starter, allowing the starter motor to spin the crankshaft during the startup process.
A flywheel that is worn or damaged will display a variety of symptoms, depending on what has gone wrong. When a clutch assembly wears out, the face of the flywheel will commonly wear out as well. The flywheel can also become warped from excessive heat. The teeth on a flywheel can also break off and prevent proper articulation with the starter.
If you notice one or more of the following signs, your vehicle might need a new flywheel:
Flywheel replacement is a fairly involved process. It requires complete removal of the transmission from your vehicle, among other things. If the service is being done at the same time that your clutch is being replaced, the added labor is not extensive.
To replace your engine flywheel, a technician will first need to lift and support your vehicle in the air for access. From there, the following general steps are performed: