volante do motor

Flywheel: Everything you need to know

Everyone knows the engine and clutch, but few know the piece that connects them. The flywheel of the engine is a key part of this connection and the proper functioning of the vehicle. In this article we give you everything you need to know about this component.


What is the flywheel?

The engine steering wheel , as stated above, is the connecting part between the engine and the clutch. This part normally made of steel is located on the back of the engine and has as main objective to direct the force from the engine to the transmission through the clutch.

This piece has a smooth back surface and, on each side, has holes to relieve the pressure that constantly suffers. In vehicles with manual transmission the engine steering wheel is the component that has the responsibility to soften the power coming from the engine and distribute it to release pression on the transmission making the process of driving a smooth operation.


Types of flywheels

Until the early 1990s, the vehicles had only one single-mass engine flywheel(also known as the “conventional engine steering wheel”).

Over the years the bimass flywheel has been developed. The main difference between them, as words say is mass. While the  monomass  steering  wheel has only one steel disc, the  bimasd  has two steel discs. But let’s go in parts:

Single-mass flywheel

  • It has only one steel disc which makes it lighter
  • Allows direct contact of the clutch with the engine
  • Some models have springs to remove vibrations
  • Models that do not have these springs have lots of vibrations
  • More resistant to wear because it is only a disc
  • More economical in case it is necessary to exchange for having just one disc



Two-mass flywheel

  • Better to remove vibrations by having two discs.
  • Minor long-term transmission damage.
  • Noise reduction.
  • Heavier compared to monomass disc;



Currently on Portuguese roads, the vast majority of vehicles that circulate have a bimass steering wheel. This is essentially due to the use that most people give to their cars.

If a car circulates most of the time at low revs, the best solution is a bimass steering wheel, as it removes more vibrations in a stop-start situation.


What are the signs of flywheel wheel problems?

  • Changes to “bounce off” – when it circulates in the vehicle with a geared change and this turn to neutral can be an indicator signal that the engine steering wheel is in poor condition.
  • Can’t change gears;
  • Smell of burning – this smell can be a problem for other components. It can be generated from excess friction on the steering wheel .
  • Excess vibration on the clutch pedal.
  • Clutch pedal down.
  • You can’t start the car.



Flywheel price

The change/installation of  the engine steering wheel, being  it  monomasd  or  bimasd, is a time consuming and expensive process.

The price of a new bimass  wheel varies between 150 and 500 euros. The biggest cost is the replacement time since it is a part that is on the back of the engine requires that other parts be removed. If you are going to change the bimass  steering wheel of your vehicle you could have a total cost well above 1000 euros.

Whether BMW, Mercedes-Benz , Ford,  or other car manufacturer the engine steering wheel requires a lock before being removed so that the part is in a static position to facilitate the work.


What type of flywheel should I use: Bimassa or monomass?

The type of motor steering wheel to be used is once again related to the use that will be given to it. If you drive daily you should use a  bimass steering wheel, as you will drive in better conditions in traffic situations.

If you use your car to do some trackdays, you should use a monomass   steering wheel, not only for the smaller weight, but also for the more direct contact with the engine.

If you still have questions this video  can help.

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