What happens when Harmonic Balancer Fails

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The harmonic balancer is a key component of your engine, and it plays an important role in keeping your engine running smoothly. When the harmonic balancer fails, it can cause a number of problems for your engine The harmonic balancer’s job is to cancel out vibrations that occur as the engine runs.

If the harmonic balancer fails, it can cause a number of problems. First, the engine will begin to vibrate excessively, which can lead to premature wear and tear on other engine components. Additionally, the extra vibration can make it difficult for the driver to control the vehicle, and can even cause damage to the frame or body of the vehicle. 

The engine will likely need to be completely rebuilt if the harmonic balancer falls off. This is a costly repair, and it can be avoided by making sure that the harmonic balancer bolt is tight and secure. If it completely fails, it can cause the engine to seize up, resulting in a complete loss of power and likely rendering the vehicle inoperable. 

What is a Harmonic Balancer?

Dorman 594-803 Engine Harmonic Balancer Compatible with Select Dodge Models

The engine of a vehicle is comprised of many complex and interrelated parts, all of which work together to keep the vehicle running properly. The crankshaft and the camshaft are two of the most important components in an engine, as they work together to convert the energy produced by the engine into mechanical energy that can be used to power the vehicle. 

The crankshaft is connected to the pistons via rods, and the camshaft is connected to the valves via pushrods. The harmonic balancer is a weight that is attached to the end of the crankshaft. 

The purpose of the harmonic balancer is to cancel out the vibrations produced by the engine, which can cause damage to other parts of the vehicle if left unchecked. The harmonic balancer is held in place by a bolt, and it is important that this bolt is tight and secure, as a loose bolt can cause the harmonic balancer to come loose and fall off of the crankshaft.

9 Symptoms of a Bad Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer 

The following are nine symptoms of a bad crankshaft harmonic balancer: 

Dorman 594-127 Engine Harmonic Balancer Compatible with Select Chevrolet / Pontiac Models

1. Engine vibration

One of the first symptoms of a problem with the harmonic balancer is engine vibration. The harmonic balancer is responsible for canceling out the vibrations produced by the engine, so if it is not functioning properly, the engine will vibrate more than usual. 

2. Misaligned timing marks

As the harmonic balancer rotates with the crankshaft, it also turns the timing marks on the crankshaft. If the harmonic balancer is not working properly, the timing marks will be misaligned, and this can cause engine performance problems. 

3. Separated harmonic balancer

A clear sign that the harmonic balancer is not working properly is if it has become separated from the crankshaft. If the harmonic balancer bolt is loose, it can cause the harmonic balancer to come loose and fall off of the crankshaft. 

4. Worn Seal Surface, Causing Leaks

Another symptom of a problem with the harmonic balancer is a worn seal surface. The harmonic balancer has a seal that prevents motor oil from leaking from the engine. If the seal is worn, it can oil leak from the engine. 

Also Read: Best Oil Stop Leak in 2022 (Comparisons and Reviews)

5. Transmission Damage

Sadly, transmission damage is one of the most serious consequences of a damaged harmonic balancer. The harmonic balancer is responsible for canceling out the vibrations produced by the engine, and if it is not working properly, these vibrations can be transferred to the transmission. 

6. Stripped And Or Damaged, Damper Bolt Or Threads

An easier spot symptom is a stripped or damaged damper bolt or threads. If the harmonic balancer bolt is loose, it can cause the harmonic balancer to come loose and fall off of the crankshaft. 

7. Alternator And Or Power Steering, Pump Failure

The alternator and power steering pump are both driven by the crankshaft, so if the harmonic balancer is not working properly, it can cause these components to fail. 

Also Read: Can a Bad Alternator Cause Engine to Shake

8. A Squeaking Noise You Just Can’t Diagnose

If you listen closely, you may be able to hear a squeaking noise coming from the harmonic balancer. This noise is caused by the weight of the harmonic balancer hitting against the crankshaft. 

Also Read: Clicking Noise When Accelerating

9. Elongation Damage Of The Damper And Or, Crankshaft Keyway

Lastly, another symptom of a harmonic balancer gone bad is elongation damage of the damper, and or crankshaft keyway. If the harmonic balancer is not working properly, it can cause the crankshaft to become damaged. 

FAQs 

What happens if you drive with a bad harmonic balancer? 

Driving with a bad harmonic balancer can cause transmission damage, alternator and power steering pump failure, engine vibration, and misaligned timing marks.

What does it cost to replace a harmonic balancer? 

Different makes and models of vehicles will have different costs for harmonic balancer replacement. However, on average, it should cost between $200 and $400 to replace the harmonic balancer. 

Can a bad harmonic balancer cause overheat?

If the harmonic balancer is worn, it can cause the engine to overheat. The stress and pressure of the engine can cause the harmonic balancer to crack, and this can lead to engine overheating. 

Conclusion

A bad crankshaft harmonic balancer can cause a lot of problems for your vehicle. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of a bad harmonic balancer so that you can take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible. Ignoring the problem will only make it worse, and it could eventually lead to transmission damage or engine failure.

Replacing the harmonic balancer is not a difficult task, but it is best left to a professional. If you think your harmonic balancer might be going bad, take your car to a mechanic right away.

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