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    Thread: What can happen when a harmonic balancer fails?

    1. Member stacman's Avatar
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      09-29-2009 05:38 PM #1
      So my girlfriend's Civic was making a noise and, against my wishes, she refused to take it in. So she came over, and the battery light was on, and all her accessories were starting to fail (spedometer, radio, lights, etc.) one by one until none of them would function, and thinking there was something wrong with the alternator, I insisted she take it in. I ran inside to grab my keys, came out, and the car had stalled, battery dead, and I figured the alternator had went.

      I hooked up my jumper cables, and the car would only make a clicking noise. So we had it towed to her mechanic's from my apartment building, and it turns out something was wrong with her harmonic balancer. Would this have caused the electrical issues? And what else can go wrong if that fails? I'm trying to give her some examples of worst case scenarios, so she can understand why it's important to not let little sounds/issues become big ones. Thanks!

      PS It's just a 4 door sedan civic (1995), nothing special. It's even automatic too.

      1972 Scamp
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      09-29-2009 05:41 PM #2
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      09-29-2009 05:41 PM #3

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    4. Member Hogan's Avatar
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      09-29-2009 05:46 PM #4
      Hahaha great replies so far.

      The harmonic balancer is just a pulley, it's not an electrical device, it's just used to balance out the force of other moving parts in the engine (pistons, etc) to keep the engine from being too annoying to drive. That being said it's on the same pulley system as the accessory belt, which drives the alternator and so on, and the harmonic balancer is actually at the crank, so it's pretty much the base of the accessory belt system... I don't know... Just get a new pulley...

      1991 Mazda Miata SE/1990 GMC Sierra/1997 GMC Suburban
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    5. Member Peloton25's Avatar
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      09-29-2009 05:54 PM #5
      You have a car with a failed harmonic balancer, you have described its current symptoms, and now you are asking us what can happen when one fails?

      Just tell her what happens when the timing belt fails. That's a much uglier story if the car has an interference engine - prob not in this case, but how will she know?

      >8^)
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      09-29-2009 05:57 PM #6
      the balance can become unharmonic, severely affecting album sales
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    7. Member stacman's Avatar
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      09-29-2009 06:02 PM #7
      Quote, originally posted by Peloton25 »
      You have a car with a failed harmonic balancer, you have described its current symptoms, and now you are asking us what can happen when one fails?

      Just tell her what happens when the timing belt fails. That's a much uglier story if the car has an interference engine - prob not in this case, but how will she know?

      >8^)
      ER

      lol yeah I guess that makes sense, my mechanical knowledge simply isn't up to snuff with TCL'ers. I meant worst case scenario, but either way thanks for the reply.

      PS I was looking at the position of the alternator in the engine bay, and ho-ly MACKEREL it looks a lot more difficult to get at than in my Scamp.

      1972 Scamp
      1990 Golf Country
      2007 Lexus ES350

    8. Member Snowhere's Avatar
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      09-29-2009 06:03 PM #8
      Worst case scenario, your crank snaps in half! Seriously! The harmonic balancer does just that, it balances out forces acting on the crank. With out it, the crank is loaded in an eccentric manor and the crank can fail.

    9. 09-29-2009 06:06 PM #9

    10. 09-29-2009 06:08 PM #10
      The engine vibrates more.

      Now if half of your harmonic dampener falls off, then the car shakes like Godzilla is making love to it.


    11. 09-29-2009 06:17 PM #11
      I have seen keyways snap so the shaft spins but the pulley doesn't move thus not rotating all of the accessories.

    12. 09-29-2009 06:19 PM #12
      same thing as when you divide by zero.


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      09-29-2009 06:22 PM #13
      "devide" ...
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      09-29-2009 06:30 PM #14
      Quote, originally posted by CosmicTDI »
      "devide" ...

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      09-29-2009 10:33 PM #15
      When the harmonic balancer stops working, the belt stops, and it's the same belt that spins the alternator. When the alternator is not spinning your battery is not being charged. The battery is used for start up, once the engine is running, the alternator kicks in, but in your case the car drained the battery because it wasn't being charged so all your electrical stuff died out. Other then that, if your harmonic balancer is not working then you will screw up the engine, mess up the crank shaft, etc. etc. I had to change the harmonic balancer on my car because the lock pin snapped.
      Quote Originally Posted by ILL02GTI
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    16. 09-29-2009 10:37 PM #16
      Quote, originally posted by Snowhere »
      Worst case scenario, your crank snaps in half! Seriously! The harmonic balancer does just that, it balances out forces acting on the crank. With out it, the crank is loaded in an eccentric manor and the crank can fail.

      this

      ░░░░░░ .. R13 5
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