What does a harmonic balancer do?

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Harmonic Balancer Does This:

A harmonic balancer feels like an important part of a spaceship in some pulpy 1950s sci-fi story, or something you wish so you’ll be able to play music with hobos when you’re ridin’ the rails. However, it’s a crucial part of your engine that helps your crankshaft last as long as possible.

As the cylinders in your engine fire, they move up and down, generating torque that’s transferred into the crankshaft. As you’ll already know, the crankshaft is what converts the engine’s power into rotational movement, eventually turning the wheels of the car.

But consider for a second the forces that are engaged on the crankshaft — they’re tremendous. On every occasion a cylinder fires, a force acts upon the crankshaft, causing it to twist. But this force also causes vibrations in the crankshaft, and at certain frequencies, the shaft can resonate, which makes the vibrations even worse.

These vibrations from the engine can become an excessive amount for the crankshaft, in reality, causing it to fail. And when that happens, your car won’t run and you may be facing some expensive repairs.

 

Harmonic Balancer:

This is where the harmonic balancer comes in. The circular device, manufactured from rubber and metal, is bolted at the side of the crankshaft to assist absorb vibrations. It has always connected to the crank pulley, which drives accessories just like the cooling system. The rubber inside the pulley is what absorbs the vibrations and keeps them at a secure level. In essence, the device is meant to assist prevent crankshaft failure. It is also sometimes called a “dampener.”

However, the rubber material can deteriorate over time. So if your harmonic balancer goes bad, you may get rough engine vibrations, a cracked crankshaft, or maybe a serpentine belt that gets thrown off its track. Replacing one is great preventative maintenance, and that is exactly what we’ll speak about next.

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