Dual Mass Flywheel
Flywheels are an integral part of any vehicle’s ignition and transmission. Although they are mostly known for their role in clutch transmissions, but they are found in automatic transmissions as well, and are a central part of both. To put it simply, the flywheel starts the engine and helps the gears shift. Problems with the flywheel can cause massive problems, and your car not starting is actually the best of these.
When you turn the key in your ignition, what you’re actually doing is sending an electronic signal to your car that tells the starter gear to begin turning. This is a small, wheel-like object that has ridges (or teeth) around the edges. The ridges of the starter gear are designed to fit perfectly within the ridges of the flywheel, so when the starter gear starts spinning, it moves the flywheel in turn. The flywheel is connected directly to the engine’s crankshaft, so it moves the entire engine with it, and this movement is what starts the car. Basically, the flywheel is what carries the electronic power needed to turn the starter gear into the force needed to start the engine.
There are two major types of flywheels in cars: dual mass and single mass. Single mass flywheels are essentially performance parts for most cars. On the plus side, they provide more power to the engine, and they’ll just feel more powerful, because single mass flywheels create more force and vibration when the gears shift. They are also more reliable at extreme use levels, although this can vary depending on the quality of make on whichever kind of flywheel you choose to get. On the other hand, that force causes more stress on the engine and the driver, as the shift is harder to make.
Dual mass flywheels are more lightweight and compact. Because of this, they require much less power to turn from both your starter gear (and battery) and your transmission while driving. For this reason, they are usually recommended for cars that will only be undergoing normal use. If you’re not going to be putting a lot of force on your transmission as you shift gears, there is no reason to get a single mass flywheel; it’s just a waste of money. They make it easier on both you and your car as you shift, because they create much less vibration while you’re driving, and they’re much easier to shift.
Dual mass flywheels are also good for performance driving for lightweight vehicles. Because dual mass flywheels are so much lighter and create less force, they’re much easier on very light cars. Dual mass flywheels can create problems at high stress levels, but if you get a high quality model, they shouldn’t be a problem at all. If you get a cheap model, though, you’ll risk breaking the flywheel from overloading it if you race a lot. However, that is one of the downsides to the dual mass type. Another downside is that it doesn’t create as much power when shifting as a single mass flywheel, but that is also an upside. Because it is creating much less vibration, it is much easier on your transmission.
If you’re looking to buy a new flywheel, it shouldn’t cost more than $100 on its own. However, getting to your flywheel and replacing it is an intense job that is really best left to a professional. This is especially true because if it’s not installed correctly, it can cause damage to your engine and transmission. On the other hand, if you’re looking to change the type of flywheel you currently have, that can cost up to $600, because you’ll probably have to switch your entire clutch/torque converter system.