Step by step instruction on how an automotive flywheel and flex plate works.
This article pertains to all vehicles.
- At the rear of every engine is a flywheel flex plate mounting flange in which these units are bolted to. Vehicles equipped
with an automatic transmission are typically fitted with a flex plate which is thinner
and lighter weight than its counter part, the flywheel which is usually designed
for standard transmission vehicles.
Step 2 - The flywheel is made of a sturdier design
to accommodate the clutch assembly which is used in manual transmission applications.
Flywheel-Flex Plate Mounting Flange (Block Cutaway)
Step 3 - Hybrid vehicles with automatic transmissions
are fitted with a flywheel which is designed to couple the transmission to the crankshaft.
Step 4 - The starter is used to turn the flex plate
or flywheel to start the engine via the ignition key.
A flex plate or flywheel is designed with a ring gear on the outer edge which
is used by the starter
These units also have the ability to help balance the engine while in operation.
A flex plate can fail by forming a crack in the main web of the unit which is accompanied
by a chipping or ticking that changes with RPM and engine load.
Standard transmission vehicles utilizes the extra spinning weight a flywheel
to help smooth shifting characteristics. A flywheel provides the friction surface
for the clutch assembly, this surface along with the clutch pressure plate creates
the engagement platform of the clutch.
Article first published 2016-02-04