Cracked Flexplate Symptomsby Robert Alley
A vital part of an automobile engine equipped with automatic transmission, a flexplate consists of a piece of thick sheet metal that bolts to the crankshaft and torque converter. Similar in function to a flywheel in manual transmission engines and called a flexplate due to its expansion, or flexing, during the operation of the engine, flexplate usage presents opportunities for cracks to develop.
The classic and most obvious symptom of a cracked flexplate involves the sound it makes while the engine is running. Descriptions of the sound include clanking, chirping and a light knocking. The reason for the sound involves the flexplate's location and its function. Those factors ensure that when the engine starts and the driver puts it in drive, the cracked flexplate's movement will create a noise.
At high speeds, the flexplate -- like most engine parts -- endures a considerable amount of strain and stress. When it develops a crack, it cannot function as intended and one consequence involves a loss of power at high speeds.
Poor Fuel Mileage
Like loss of power, this symptom could be caused by many factors other than a cracked flexplate. However, a cracked flexplate has been reported to reduce gas mileage, due to the inefficiency it creates in the engine when it cannot perform as intended.
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