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Q: What does it mean when the harmonic balancer wobbles?

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The 2000 Honda Civic EX actually still runs fine but idles rough and a little loud. However, the fan belt came off because the harmonic balancer is wobbling so badly. Does this mean I need a new harmonic balancer? Or is this a indication of further internal damage and that I may be need to rebuild my engine? Is there some test that I can do to check if there is internal damage?

My car has 142000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi, thanks for writing in. When the harmoni...

Hi, thanks for writing in. When the harmonic balancer is wobbling, it would be best not to run the engine. The harmonic balancers function is to counteract the vibrations in the engine so damage doesn’t occur. When it fails, it can cause premature wear on the bearings, or lead to major engine damage. If caught early enough, you should be able to install a replacement balancer and continue driving. If you would like help with this replacement, consider having an expert automotive technician from YourMechanic come to your home or office to perform the replacement for you.

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