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waterpump, harmonic balancer


littlefitz's Avatar
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08-11-03, 08:38 AM   #1  
waterpump, harmonic balancer

I dove my 1993 Buick Century about 150 miles on Saturday. I noticed it was running very rough and making a whining sound when I arrived at my destination. While in park, the motor sounds like it is straining and when you turn it off you hear a knocking for a few seconds after you turn the key. I was told by a mechanic at a service station that the knock was my harmonic balancer and that the whining sound was my water pump. My first question is what is a harmonic balancer and what does it do? Second, this mechanic seemed to place a screwdriver on the water pump to determine that it was bad. Could someone please explain this? I appreciate your help.

 
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08-11-03, 08:47 AM   #2  
Joe_F
The harmonic balancer sometimes houses the lower crankshaft pulley and helps equalize out vibration and noise to some degree.

I suppose the mechanic was using the screwdriver as a stethoscope to see if the noise was coming from there.


Have both fixed without delay to avoid a breakdown.

 
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08-11-03, 03:52 PM   #3  
Ummmmm...... How does a harmonic balancer knock??? This is a new one on me. If the harmonic balancer is "knocking" then you have.......nevermind..... I dont think it is possible, Unless it is warped or lost the rubber in the middle and "knocking" against SOMETHING ELSE.
As for the screwdriver, considering what Joe stated, that is possible if it were a LONG screwdriver and he put it to his ear!!! Did he do this or did he pry on the pump without the engine running?
Billy

 
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08-11-03, 05:26 PM   #4  
Joe_F
Assuming you are now at home or near your regular mechanic, I'd agree here. Get it looked at again to get a second opinion.

Some mechanics $ee cu$tomers from out of town as $$$.

 
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08-11-03, 11:09 PM   #5  
it is possible.....

depending on the engine, if the crank bolt loosened up and backed out, the balancer would be making a pretty loud racket bouncing on the keyway, and as it walked forward off the crank, the crank position sensor reading off the shutter wheel behind it would have a weak to no signal, it's very common on the slightly earlier buick/corporate 3.8L v6 as the balancer is not a pressed on one. if that same style is used here, he should look for a loose bolt first, then worry about the water pump.

if that's the case, time for a new balancer by now(once it's noisy)

let us know what you find.

 
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08-12-03, 09:22 AM   #6  
I appreciate all the advice. The problem with the harmonic balancer is the rubber. It is not intact. The screwdriver was placed on different parts on the motor and somehow by putting the screwdriver up to his ear, the mechanic determined that it was the water pump making the noise. This mechanic is a friend of a friend of mine. He said if I purchased the parts, he would change them out for me. I want to pay him for the labor but he refuses to quote me a price. Could you guys help me determine what to give him for his trouble? Again, thanks for the advice.

 
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08-12-03, 10:31 AM   #7  
Joe_F
If he's your friend and you trust him, it's a moot point. Whatever he's going to charge you is well worth it because you know it's going to be done correctly.

Average labor is $65 an hour or so, depending on the part of the country.

He probably doesn't want to commit to # of hours in case there is a problem and he'll sell himself short.

In short, pay whatever his asking price is for labor if you trust him....sounds like you do.

 
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08-12-03, 06:43 PM   #8  
Yes, I've seen this many times (balancer seperating).. It's kinda particular to Buicks..And they do make a heck of a racket when your first shut off the engine..Sounds like the whole engine wants to fly apart..The crank signal gets irregular, and the knock sensor tries like heck to retard the timing..
As for paying the man, the harmonic balancer is worth about .5 (hour) and the water pump about 1-1.5. As for actual cash, as Joes said, whatever the going rate is where you live.. We get $68.00 hour where I work..By the way, how's the serpentine belt? Good time to replace it.

 
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08-13-03, 10:01 PM   #9  
You are so right about the serpentine belt. As a matter of fact, the mechanic doing the work suggested replacing it. He said it still looked ok, but since he was doing the other work he would just replace it now. Thanks for all the advice. It's good to know that you guys are there for people like me.

 
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08-13-03, 10:07 PM   #10  
You are so right about the serpentine belt. As a matter of fact, the mechanic doing the work suggested replacing it. He said it still looked ok, but since he was doing the other work he would just replace it now. Thanks for all the advice. It's good to know that you guys are there for people like me.

 
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08-14-03, 06:07 AM   #11  
Joe_F
Let us know the outcome.

 
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