Car owners habitually prioritize the components in the engine. The flexplate happens to be one of the crucial components in the engine of the car.
In case this flexplate develops a crack, you would encounter trouble while driving your car. Here, you will come to know the symptoms and outcomes of a cracked flexplate. In the end, we have also recommended some viable solutions to help you out.
What is a flexplate and how does it work?
The flexplate, which is present between the transmission and the engine of your car, is a metal plate. This plate connects to the crankshaft in the engine.
It is responsible for carrying the rotational energy to the transmission of your car from its engine. On the outer edge of the flexplate, you will come across gear teeth. The flexplate also works like a flywheel and mounts the motor (starter).
The flexplate transports rotational energy to the transmission as it spins along with the crankshaft and connects to it. When the engine of your car runs, the flexplate remains attached to its specific position on the crankshaft.
However, when the engine doesn’t run a starter ring gear replaces the flexplate. This way, the starter motor spins with the flexplate teeth while it remains engaged.
Can I drive with a cracked flexplate?
No, if you have a broken flexplate, you will not be able to drive your car. Since the flexplate establishes a connection between the engine and the transmission, a damaged flexplate will render the car useless. You need to fix this component in the engine if you want to drive your car.
When the flexplate develops a crack, operating your car would be unsafe. The metal might bend, leading to the loss of traction in your car. This can eventually cause accidents and crashes.
Besides, the flexplate might break in case there is a large crack. So, when you find that your flexplate has got a crack, call a mechanic to get it inspected at the earliest.
Symptoms of a Cracked Flexplate
If your car has got a cracked flexplate, you might notice the following symptoms.
1. Starter motor making a clicking noise
When your flexplate has some issues, the starter motor might make a clicking noise. The starter motor has some teeth, which makes this noise when it engages with the other component.
However, the flexplate teeth wouldn’t be able to engage in the normal way if it has damage. This occurs in case the teeth on the flexplate or the starter motor have sustained damage. Besides, it might happen in case the starter motor and flexplate are not aligned properly.
2. Issues with starting the car
The starter motor would not be able to engage with the engine in case the flexplate has any damage. This implies that your car wouldn’t simply start. So, if you find similar symptoms, it would be logical to get a professional to diagnose the issue at the earliest.
3. Grinding noises
A damaged flexplate may produce different types of noises from the torque and crank converter. So, you might hear strange noises occasionally.
Besides, if your flexplate has a crack or has sustained damage due to the accumulation of debris on the oil pan, it would cause different types of noises when you drive your car.
Particularly, you might be able to identify an odd squealing or squeaking sound close to the rear end of the engine. When you start the car’s engine after it sits for some time, this sound would be more pronounced. Moreover, you might hear this sound while shifting gears.
Besides, you might also hear the bottom of the car’s engine generating a knocking sound. This happens when there is a contact between the transmission housing or the engine block and the flexplate.
4. Excessive vibrations
Your car would vibrate excessively in case you have a damaged flexplate. Particularly, when you drive at a high speed, you would be able to notice these vibrations.
This also happens when the engine remains under a heavy load. The cause of the vibration is the hitting of the flexplate with the transmission housing or the engine block.
Failing to resolve the issue can inflict damage to other components of the car’s engine.
What happens if your flexplate breaks?
When the flexplate breaks or develops a crack, you would notice your car losing power. Particularly, a damaged flexplate would stall your car if it is present close to the transmission.
Besides, your car would lose oil if it has a broken flexplate. Eventually, this would lead to more severe issues in your car’s engine. Therefore, as soon as you detect an issue with the engine’s flexplate, you need to get it sorted.
Will a cracked flexplate cause vibration?
Yes, a cracked flexplate might cause vibrations. These vibrations happen in the engine, and ultimately this leads to other potential issues. Ignoring the problem can cause overheating of the engine, and eventually, it would fail.
When this vibration occurs, the engine might also lose power. This explains why automobile mechanics recommend getting the flexplate replaced at the earliest.
What should you Do if You Have a Cracked Flexplate?
If you have a cracked flexplate, you need to get it replaced. Now, you might be wondering whether you can drive with the damaged flexplate for some time.
This duration largely depends on how severe the crack on the flexplate is. Considering the risks that we have already discussed, car owners should refrain from driving with a broken flexplate.
With a cracked flexplate, the car wouldn’t be able to retain the torque that the engine produces. This would lead to adverse effects, as the driver might lose control of the car and lead to an accident.
So, if you drive with a damaged flexplate, you need to adopt additional precautions. Avoid stopping or starting the car abruptly under these conditions.
Ways to check cracked Flexplate?
If you want to check whether or not the flexplate has sustained damage, simply put aside the spark plugs. Hire an engine expert or a certified mechanic to inspect the damage and fix the issue. In general, when you have a damaged flexplate, the engine wouldn’t run in the normal way. So, you would encounter issues with the car.
You can also use a stethoscope to determine whether or not the flexplate is functioning properly.
Place the device under the bell housing. In case you get a rattling noise, it implies that the component of the engine is not performing properly. It has sustained some damage, and you need to get it replaced.
What’s the Flexplate Replacement Cost?
A cracked flexplate would fail to provide adequate support to the engine’s weight. This would cause the component to completely break. Depending on the car you own, the cost of replacing the flexplate might range between $200 and $1,000.
It would be wise to replace a cracked flexplate at the earliest. Otherwise, other crucial components of your engine might sustain damage. Also, driving with a cracked flexplate turns out to be risky.
By now, you know the symptoms of a cracked flexplate and what you need to do about it. The next time you detect similar issues, hire a mechanic to diagnose the problem and replace the flexplate.