A good rule of thumb is to resurface your flywheel every time you have your clutch worked on. Many clutch manufacturers refuse to accept warranty claims if this isn’t done, but this may or may not pertain to your driving habits and needs. There are some signs you and your mechanic should look for to see if the flywheel needs a resurface job or a complete replacement. These signs can help you decide whether resurfacing or replacing the flywheel is appropriate, as worn or badly damaged flywheels can often lead to expensive clutch repairs.
Is there glazing or discoloration? If so, your flywheel needs to be resurfaced. Glazing and discoloration are signs of wear and can prevent it from meeting the clutch smoothly. A resurface job should never cost more than about $50, and will help keep the clutch from slipping or abnormal wear.
Are there signs of cracking? This would be bad because it means the part is unsafe for continued use. Cracked flywheels can actually explode while in use, making this a very dangerous situation. Additionally, cracked flywheels also mean that the shift mechanisms could wear out quickly.
Is the part “cupped” or unevenly worn? “Cupping” is caused by the interior surface of the part being worn down by constant contact with the clutch. Uneven wear indicates another problem, such as a misaligned part or one that has too much “play” between it and the contact point. Your mechanic can tell you if this is a problem that can be solved by a resurface job or if a replacement is more appropriate. A lot depends on how badly worn the part is and how uneven the wear is. Beyond certain factory tolerances, the part has to be replaced for continued safe operation.
If you’re a DIY mechanic, be sure you have the right part for the job. Although flywheels on different makes and models of vehicles from every major manufacturer may look the same, they aren’t. The tolerances and “play” profiles are completely different, and using one where you need another can result in improper wear on key components, not to mention expensive repairs and possibly even serious personal injury.
A trained, reputable mechanic should always be your first stop when you have a vehicle issue of any kind. They know and understand what the factory specifications are and how everything in your vehicle works together to keep you on the road mile after mile. A resurface on this part, while relatively simple, requires special tools that the average DIY mechanic isn’t likely to have. Even more, improper resurfacing can actually do more damage than not resurfacing the part at all. If you have any doubts or are unsure whether you have the right tools, leave it to the professionals. Rocky Mountain Driveline resurfaces flywheels…It’s a whole lot cheaper than a transmission overhaul!