What is a harmonic balancer on a car?
An engine harmonic balancer, also known as a crankshaft damper or vibration damper, is a device attached to the crankshaft of an engine to reduce vibration and stress on the engine components. The balancer consists of two parts, an outer ring and a hub, which are separated by a rubber or elastomeric material. The outer ring is attached to the engine's accessory drive, such as the alternator or power steering pump, while the hub is bolted to the crankshaft.
How does a harmonic balancer work？
As the engine runs, the harmonic balancer produces vibrations that can cause the crankshaft to flex and twist, leading to wear on engine bearings, crankshaft journals, and other components. The harmonic balancer absorbs these vibrations by oscillating in response to them, which reduces the stress and strain on the engine components. In addition to reducing vibration, the harmonic balancer also helps to dampen torsional vibrations, which are caused by the twisting of the crankshaft due to the force of the pistons. The rubber or elastomeric material in the balancer absorbs these torsional vibrations, which can cause damage to the engine over time if not properly addressed.
Bad harmonic balancer symptoms
Harmonic balancer failure can be a serious issue that can cause significant damage to the engine if left unaddressed. As described earlier, it can cause engine misalignment, excessive vibrations, engine damage, and belt slippage, which can lead to decreased performance or failure. It is essential to monitor the engine's performance and address any issues promptly to prevent further damage. Then what happens when a harmonic balancer fails?
- Engine misalignment: Harmonic balancer failure can cause the engine to become misaligned, which can lead to damage to the engine or the accessories.
- Vibrations: A failed harmonic balancer can cause excessive vibrations that can damage various engine components such as the crankshaft, bearings, and seals.
- Engine damage: Harmonic balancer failure can increase stress and fatigue on the engine's internal components, leading to damage or failure.
- Belt slippage: A failed harmonic balancer can cause the accessory drive belts to slip or become loose, resulting in decreased performance or damage to the accessories.