The Truth About Cars » flywheel The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:25:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » flywheel Piston Slap: The 3rd Clutch’s the Charm? Wed, 12 Sep 2012 12:25:29 +0000


Patrick writes:


My winter car is a 2001 Focus, 170k, duelcam, with a stick. At about 155k the original clutch was replaced. A year and a half later the replacement clutch was replaced. Now the car is in my hands, roughly a year from the previous replacement, and the clutch is in dire need of being replaced. My local trusty mechanic does not do engine and tranny work because he doesn’t want business to back up with tear downs. That’s fine, but I asked his advice anyway.

The first symptom was a clunk from the drive wheel when engaging first from a stop. Feathering the clutch and slow on the gas prevents this but is annoying. The second symptom started on the highway, in cruise control, on a rise, the clutch would start to slip. It would rise about 1500 rpm, and then slowly fall back into place. The first has not gotten any better or worse in the last month or so, and the second has gotten to be much worse.

So, my question. 3 clutches in 3 1/2 years? I have had a ’97 Probe GT and the clutch lasted 130k, ’01 Miata replaced at 120k as preventative maintenance with the water pump. My only guess about this is that the seals were not replaced when the clutches were replaced and that oil is leaking onto the clutch and prematurely burning it out. However, I smell no burning oil, I have no oil leaks, and the oil level remains steady. I have no evidence that it is oil on the clutch but I cannot explain why the clutch on this car has needed to be replaced repeatedly in such a short amount of time.

My mechanic was non-committal on is answer, but he didn’t think it was oil on the clutch. I’d like some advice before wheeling into an unknown mechanic.



Sajeev answers:

Did the flywheel ever get machined?  Did someone put on a new pressure plate?  How bad is the throwout bearing?  Why do I get a brain freeze when I shovel ice cream down my throat?

All those questions are important, and I assume you cannot answer any of them…except for the brain freeze one. Since it sounds like you can’t go back to the installer of the last clutch, the only way to know is to make sure the next person installs it correctly: machining the flywheel and replacing the pressure plate if needed.  Maybe the throwout bearing needs replacement too…might as well do it all when you go in there.

Whomever does the work next time ’round, make sure they give you a good diagnosis of all the critical parts of the clutch system.  If they do, odds are the problem will disappear.  Fingers crossed on that.

Best and Brightest, off to you.

Send your queries to Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

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Audi: Vorprung Durch Flywheel? Sun, 06 May 2012 13:54:28 +0000 This weekend, Audi’s R18 e-tron quattro hits the track at the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Spa, Belgium. Not enough that the race car is powered by a V6 diesel engine. It also uses a flywheel as energy storage. Why should we care? Audi makes noises that this technology could soon show up in production cars.

Says just-auto:

“In the R18, a V6 diesel engine sends drive to the rear wheels, while for the front axle, the energy is electrically recuperated and fed into a flywheel. This can then be returned to the front wheels during acceleration. Of interest here is that Audi has chosen this technology over batteries. Why? According to Wolfgang Ullrich who heads up Audi’s Motorsport division, even the most advanced cells would have been too heavy.”

Ullrich says that this it not just tinkering with race toys:

“I can safely state that the things we’re testing with flywheel energy storage are of interest to our production colleagues too. The combination of different systems is an aspect that will have to be considered in various applications in the future.”

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Piston Slap: There’s a Rattle on the Frontier! Wed, 12 Oct 2011 14:55:57 +0000  


TTAC Commentator Benderofbows writes:


I always enjoy reading Piston Slap and want to ask about my truck, a 2007 Nissan Frontier with the VQ40DE (4.0L V6), 6-speed manual, and 42k miles. Sometimes the truck will rattle while accelerating at around 2200 RPMS. This only happens after completing a long freeway run (an hour or more) and occurs in every gear regardless of throttle position. The noise goes away after a few shifts or always after the truck has been shut off and restarted. It has been going on for 6 months or more (it took me that long to figure out how to duplicate it) and doesn’t seem to be getting any worse, plus it doesn’t trip any check engine lights. I can’t imagine how to replicate the noise for the dealership service department. Any ideas? Computer issue with the air/fuel mix maybe?

Sajeev answers:

I hate being the armchair quarterback at times. That said, I’m putting all my chips on a transmission problem, not an engine issue. That rattle sounds like a bad throwout bearing, pressure plate or clutch. Or maybe it all needs to be replaced when going in there for a look-see.

Keep in mind the number of moving parts inside a manual transmission required to connect/disconnect with the engine. If one of them is a bit out of spec, something could throw a little rattle at a certain frequency: like maybe 2200rpm?

And this is where I stop patting my smart ass on the back and do some actual research. Lo and behold, a full 60 seconds of Googling netted a thread that completely addresses your issue. The solution? You need a new clutch and new flywheel and someone who can install them to the correct torque specs.

Good luck.

Send your queries to . Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

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