A New Flywheel!!!


  • barbrbarbr Member Posts: 2
    Help! My car was making a funny noise every time I started it. I took it to the dealer where I purchased it. Turns out the flywheel has lost some teeth and will have to be replaced. I'm told the labor is nine hours. This is a 98 Ford contour with less than 58000 kilometers (Canadian) on it. That's less than 30000 miles! Should this be happening? Is this something that should still be under warranty? Should it require nine hours labor? Sounds worse than having a baby. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Barbr
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    Well it is a fine line on your repair, but it should be covered under the bumper to bumper warranty. The reason it is iffy is because usually caused by abuse, and starter grinding. Do you have a remote start or have a tendancy of holding the starter on after the engine is started.
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    welded to the flywheel in GMs. of course, that was back in carburetor days.

    and no, unless the starter motor was seriously misaligned, doesn't make a lot of sense to have run through the flywheel gear in 30,000 miles.
  • burdawgburdawg Member Posts: 1,524
    Yes I agree. This is very unusual wear at this mileage, unless there was a starter problem or some misuse of the starter. I suppose it could also be a manufacturing defect in the flywheel that is just now appearing.
  • spokanespokane Member Posts: 514
    Unfortunately, Barbr, I'm afraid the nine hour estimate is in the ball park. This is the type of job a good independent shop can handle as well as a dealer so you may want to get some other repair cost estimates. Good luck.
  • zr2randozr2rando Member Posts: 391
    Why would you even consider taking it to someone else? You obviously have an issue that needs fixing (starter alignment probably, or sticking relay on drive gear maybe..), Take it to an independent and the mfgr may void ANY more warranty work!!!
    No way you should pay for this type work. Dealers try to get out of warranty work sometimes, just tell them to get on it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Yeah, but if the teeth are ground off the flywheel, this isn't a warranty issue necessarily, unless one could prove bad metallurgy or something. Teeth don't fall off a flywheel, they need to be ground off by engaging the starter while the car is running.

    Now then, if there is a cut-out to prevent this accidental starter engagement and that is functioning on the car, then maybe yes it could be a warranty issue. Otherwise, if the teeth were broken and I was the dealer, I wouldn't do the work under warranty either because the factory will probably kick the claim back.
  • oldharryoldharry Member Posts: 413
    Most warranties are 36,000 miles or 3 Years. Wouldn't a '98 be over three years?

  • zr2randozr2rando Member Posts: 391
    If it's a 98 and it has a 3yr/36k warranty, then they probably won't touch it, too bad. If there is a starter cut switch it may need to be checked like the host says,,,,if it was still under some kinda warranty though I'd be in to the dealer quick! I've seen older vehicles that the starter could still engage while motor is running and yeah it does chew teath then!...and ears too!!!
    not sure about labor charge on the job, sorry.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    Sometimes the warranty for age runs out, but if it is a serious repair, like an engine or trans or something major the dealer can "stretch" the warranty because the car didn't meet the mileage requirements. If they won't do it and you push the issue the service manger might still approve the repair under warranty for customer satisfaction reasons. I have done it once and they do it to keep you as a customer, and so the next time you are car shopping you will go there first. Things might be different in Canada for warranties, so it can't hurt to check it out.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,878
    ...the starter or the flywheel? Since it's a lot cheaper to replace a starter than a flywheel, it would be nice to think that they'd make the teeth on the flywheel stronger, so that the cheaper-to-replace part would be the one more likely to fail.
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    the starter gear is a thick solid bar of toothdom, since frankly their alignment is ratty. wear, warpage, sliding cranks in leaky old mills that are about worn out are all compensated for by the starter gear's extra deep area. the starter is the easy and cheap part to replace, I would expect it has the softer metal of the two. the starter gear is also pushed into contact with the flywheel when the starter is cranked by a moosey solenoid, which is another reason this gear is like an inch long, to compensate for cruddy solenoid operation.

    the ring gear on the flywheel is normal thickness for a medium-power gear, the backing ring is not that deep, and at least in the 70s GMs I met them on, is heat-expanded to fit onto the flywheel and then tack-welded in place. the ring gear is heat-treated. it depends on the flywheel for stability and balance, but being tack welded, is subject to being wobbled if the starter is really mis-shimmed into position.

    I would expect a really sour alignment would crack the ring gear, not grind out the teeth, myself. but I'm a driver, not a mechanic, and I have not been knee-deep in replaced old rings to make a really educated guess.
  • oldharryoldharry Member Posts: 413
    on the starter and the ring gear are both heat treated, but the starter gear being much smaller has each tooth under load far more times than each tooth on the ring. If it were substancially weaker, it wouldn't last at all.

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