Symptoms and Replacement Cost: Car Flywheel

Symptoms and Replacement Cost: Car Flywheel

A flywheel is a round, metal piece with gear teeth on it that stores energy in rotation. It minimizes vibration and keeps every gear in order during clutch engagement.

With such heavy responsibilities, it can be really frustrating when it stops working. But you can’t tell if it’s working or not by looking at the car, since it’s mounted in a hidden place inside the engine compartment.

So how do you know if you have a bad flywheel? How much does it cost to fix or replace it? These are the questions we’re going to answer in this article.

Slipping Gears

When you’re shifting and the transmission doesn’t move to the next gear, or you get it into the next gear but it goes back to the previous one, you have slipping gears.

If your clutch and everything else is in working order, then you likely have a bad flywheel. Also, grinding of your plates, friction and contamination of your oil are all happening when your flywheel is bad.

Here are the two most obvious signs of slipping gears – and a bad flywheel:

  • You have a clutch pedal that’s soft when you engage it,  
  • The gear is slow in engaging when you release the clutch.

Something Smells Like It’s Burning

flywheelIf the facings on your clutch take on too much heat, they can start to “burn”. It will smell like you left bread in the toaster too long. If you encounter this, don’t just blow it off. It can get worse, causing other problems, and on top of it, more expense. Do yourself a favor and get your flywheel checked and replaced before it’s too late.

One way to prevent this in the future is to avoid overuse of the clutch. For one thing, it’s only going to wear it out long before it’s due.

Shuddering in the Clutch

Intense vibration felt on the car floor during clutch operation is a sure sign of a bad flywheel. It happens because the spring mount has failed, and it will linger every time you use the clutch.

If you have this going on with your car, you need to get it looked at right away. Don’t think you can just drive it like it is without risking further damage to the clutch.



Replacement Cost

As with most parts on cars, the cost of replacing the flywheel on one car may be vastly different from another vehicle. It depends on the make and model and several other factors.  

But if you want a few hard numbers, here they are, on a national level. Some parts are as low as $36, but can be as high as $400 or more. That’s just for parts. At current mechanic’s rates you could pay at least $500 for labor only. It’s that much for a reason. Replacing a flywheel is nowhere near as easy as replacing an air filter. It’s a difficult job inside a tight area.

Bottom line, plan your budget conservatively, from at least $500 to over $1,000. Don’t forget to add sales tax!

Of course, if you are a mechanic and you have the know-how to get it done, or you have a friend who does, you can cut your replacement expense in half or better.


A problem flywheel is a major problem, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. But many people let warning signs go too long, and then it becomes a money pit. Pay attention to these warning signs. Even if you can’t avoid the replacement cost, there are options.


Bryce Newell is an automotive enthusiast who loves to write about the latest news, products, and DIY projects. While Bryce is an amateur in the field, he is passionate about cars and has been since he spent weekends in the garage helping his dad rebuild a 68 Dodge Charger as a kid.

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