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Crankshaft Damper Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

The average cost for a Crankshaft Damper Replacement is between $209 and $668. Labor costs are estimated between $79 and $222 while parts are priced between $130 and $446. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
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What is a Crankshaft Vibration Damper?

As the engine is running, the crankshaft is being turned under great force, and by several different connecting rods. This creates some vibration in the crankshaft that can cause crankshaft bearing or main seal failure. To reduce or eliminate this vibration, the crankshaft damper is used, and is typically in combination with the crankshaft pulley.

How do Crankshaft Vibration Dampers work?

The crankshaft pulley and damper combination is mounted to the end of the crankshaft. It is fairly heavy, so when the crankshaft spins it distributes its weight in all directions, and causes the vibrations to fade. Also, the weight of the damper counterweights the imbalance from the rest of the crankshaft, providing linear as well as rotational balance.

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What are the symptoms of a bad Crankshaft Vibration Damper?

Vibration is the number one symptom of a bad crankshaft damper or pulley. The vibration is felt throughout the vehicle, and can be very severe. Aside from this, the check engine light may illuminate due to inconsistent readings from the crankshaft position sensor. If this occurs, the crankshaft bearings have likely failed. Lastly, some engines are programmed to their specific balancer, and this learning process is done to eliminate discrepancies in the harmonic balancer position. This will also cause the check engine light to illuminate in the event the balancer has separated.

Can I drive with a bad Crankshaft Vibration Damper?

This is an engine mechanical component, and all engine mechanical failures should be addressed immediately. Failing to remove the vehicle from service, towing it the service location, and having it repaired immediately will result in damage to more costly internal engine components.

How often do Crankshaft Vibration Dampers need replacement?

These rarely fail in the first few years of service life for a vehicle. In most instances of failure, slow deterioration over many years of operation is the cause. There is no way to extend the life of the harmonic balancer (crankshaft damper), and when it fails is practically random.

How are Crankshaft Vibration Damper issues diagnosed?

Diagnosing the damper as failed happens in only one of two ways. If the damper is obviously damaged, it will be replaced. Also, if a timing light, for older models, shows the timing marks have rotated, it will be replaced. In many cases, these will be replaced when a timing chain service is completed.

How are Crankshaft Vibration Dampers replaced?

Replacing the harmonic balancer will require either removing a set of several retaining bolts, removing the pulley by hand, and replacing the pulley and bolts. Otherwise, the crankshaft pulley bolt, a large central bolt, will be removed before the crank pulley and harmonic balancer can be pulled off with a crankshaft pulley pulling tool. It will be reinstalled by applying heat to the pulley to expand the central mounting orifice, and slid onto the end of the crankshaft in the proper position before it shrinks. The pulley bolt will be replaced and installed with thread locking compound before being torqued to specification.

RepairPal Recommendations for Crankshaft Vibration Damper issues

We recommend using the OEM crankshaft balancer if the check engine light illuminates. This is because some vehicles computers have learned the particular crankshaft damper installed on the vehicle, and a relearn procedure will require the exact specifications the computer expects. Failure to install the correct pulley and damper will result in a failed relearn procedure.

What to look out for when dealing with Crankshaft Vibration Damper issues

Some crankshaft pulley bolts are reverse threaded, so turning in the wrong direction will result in breakage of the bolt, stripping the bolt head, or damaging the crankshaft. In all situations involving the crankshaft bolt, ensure you have the service manual to determine which direction to turn the bolt. Also, there are specific means of locking the engine against turning, and the weight of turning the crankshaft pulley bolt should not be placed against the parking pawl or transmission gearset.

Can I replace the Crankshaft Vibration Damper myself?

This is an easy repair for the well informed DIY mechanic. There is no reason to expect failure on this project so long as proper safety procedures, lifting and supporting procedures, and instructions are followed exactly. In the event the vehicle needs to relearn the pulley and damper, the job should be left with a professional technician.

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