Have you ever wondered why your car vibrates when your engine is running? That is because of the enormous amount of power created by the movement of the pistons that is transferred to the crankshaft. In effect, you notice that all parts of your car seem to vibrate as well. This is normal, but what you should be aware of is that small, crucial parts may get misaligned or disoriented because of this vibration. But then again, you do not have to worry because cars are equipped with a harmonic balancer that serves as a dampener of vibrations during the power-generation of the engine. Located at the end of the crankshaft, this balancer needs to be replaced when vehicle vibration becomes alarming, when there is a noisy belt operation, or when there is bad ignition timing. This component can be replaced with original equipment parts, and one brand that you might try is Replacement. But before getting one of its balancers, let us first put the unit to the test.
- Made of steel
- Original equipment replacement
- Sold individually
- Carries a year of unlimited-mileage warranty
We tested this component on a 1997 Toyota Tacoma and a 2002 Mazda Protege, and here is what we have to say:
- We did not have any issue with the craftsmanship of the component. It was made of steel, so there was nothing to test except for hollowness. We tapped the unit with something solid, and we were satisfied with the deep sound that it gave off.
- The inner hub and the outer ring looked well-done. The retention wall was deep enough to keep the serpentine belt from being thrown off.
- We had a quite challenging installation of the component. We did not have a puller, so we just used a breaker bar to take off all of the bolts and the belt tensioner. The entire procedure took only about an hour to perform on the two cars.
- When we started the engine of the Tacoma, we listened for any noise near the hood where the unit was located. There was none. Engine vibration came back to normal; the tingling sensation that we would have when sitting inside the car for a long time was also gone.
- When we installed this component on the Protege, we found out that the sensor ring could not align with the crankshaft sensor. We did a workaround for that, but in the end, we were left with a sensor ring that was slightly not secure. The engine of the Protege sputtered and ran with problems.
This product has a very competitive price, making it a good replacement for your worn harmonic balancer. Add the acceptable performance and the quality material used to the formula, and you definitely have a unit that is worth for your money. Just make sure to purchase the unit specific to the make and year of your car, and get help with the installation.