All its components must be in good condition for a vehicle to run smoothly. But how would you know if all your vehicle's parts are in perfect shape? Simple, you must be familiar with your diesel truck parts. Maintaining your ride does not end in taking care of and cleaning the interior and exterior of your vehicle. To ensure your car's longevity, you must also know the perfect diesel engine maintenance. One important truck part that we will touch on today is the flywheel.


What is a flywheel?


car-engine-and-clutch-system-flywheel


The flywheel is located on one end of the crankshaft. It mainly acts as the storehouse of energy. It also is what the starter engages to start your engine. As the name suggests, it is a wheel specifically designed to store rotational energy efficiently. The flywheel has a very high level of inertia, making it hard to stop once it is in motion.  Typically, an automotive engine will have four strokes called intake, compression, combustion (power), and exhaust, but only one stroke produces power. An engine will run because of compression and decompression, and the energy to keep it going is generated only through the power stroke. The three others take power away from the crankshaft, and while the engine is going through these strokes, it is the flywheel's responsibility to store and provide the energy back to keep the vehicle's motor running. This is more prominent in engines with fewer cylinders.


Functions of Flywheel


Any machinery that needs to store or maintain energy through the power stroke needs a flywheel. And a lot of machinery has that. A flywheel is an essential component for machines and engines simply for these reasons.


● Engine Balancing


Each engine has a piston, and when an engine starts running, each piston fires at a different crankshaft angle. And because of this, the pistons are offset from the center of the crankshaft vibration, and wobbles will occur. During this process, the flywheel must help to suppress the side-to-side motion, and it is achieved because of the flywheel's heavyweight. Flywheels reduce the engine's vibration, which results in the engine being stabilized and balanced. They do not do this alone, as the harmonic balancer also helps with some vibration dampening. That is a subject to touch on another time.


● Engine Start


The flywheel is also greatly needed when an engine is starting. The flywheel's gear teeth allow the starter motor to engage and crank the engine.


● Drivetrain stress reduction


The drivetrain system is an essential car component that includes transmission, driveshaft, axles, and wheels. In connection, the flywheel helps to smoothen out and reduces the wear and tear on the drivetrain system.


● Engine speed soothing


When the crankshaft converts the movement of the piston into a rotational motion, it is going to be shaky. This is because of how the power was generated. Without the flywheel, the rotational speed of the crankshaft and the engine cannot run smoothly. The flywheel's mass applies inertia that keeps the engine's crankshaft spinning equally between each piston firing.


● Weight manipulation


An engine's performance is determined by weight. Like in physics, it is natural that heavier objects will need more energy to move compared to lighter ones. And that rule also applies to flywheels. A mismatched flywheel would significantly reduce an engine's performance. This is why big trucks are ok with heavier flywheels, while sports cars and some commercial vehicles are perfect for lighter flywheels.


Signs that your flywheel is in a bad shape


Knowing about all the flywheel's functions, you probably have an idea now about how important this part is for a vehicle. With that in mind, you should always keep your flywheel in perfect condition, and to help you with that, here are some of the signs that will tell you if your flywheel could be in bad shape.


● Slipping gears


When driving a manual truck, you have to shift gears to match the engine speed to the speed you desire to be traveling. But in an instance where your engine revved and did not shift gears, it indicates clutch trouble. Your flywheel and the clutch were both designed to have friction surfaces to grip when you disengage the clutch. And if you experience slippage, you may need to check whether your clutch or flywheel has been glazed over or worn.


● Vibrating clutch


A vehicle with a perfectly conditioned flywheel will have a smooth pedal experience as you step on the clutch. On the other hand, if you have a faulty/warped flywheel, you may feel a vibration when you press down on the clutch.


● Burnt smell


A burning smell will never be a good sign, and if ever you encounter a burning scent as your shift in or out of your gears, that is a telltale sign of a damaged clutch and/or flywheel. The burning smell will be unlikely to be noticeable if you open your hood, but it can be more detectable in your vehicle's cabin. A smell similar to brakes will be a good indicator of the issue.


● Clutch Chattering


Clutch chatter happens when you release the clutch to switch gears. But instead of smoothly shifting, you may experience vibrating or chattering. You will most likely feel that your truck might stall when this happens. And on some occasions, it will stall. A chattering clutch most likely occurs when you take off from a complete stop and may occur every time you switch gears. This problem may be caused by broken engine mounts, a glazed clutch, damaged discs, or a damaged flywheel.


Where to find diesel engine parts?


Looking for a diesel performance shop may be quite challenging given that many shops offer the same products and services. However, if you are searching for a trustworthy diesel engine shop that can provide you with quality truck parts at a competitive price, Pure Diesel Power is a perfect choice.

For all your diesel trucking needs, be sure to visit Pure Diesel Power, where you can browse through their massive selection of diesel engine products. Contact us at 715-254-1833, email us at [email protected], or visit our website, puredieselpower.com.


Read More: How to Take Good Care of your Engine's Crankshaft