Explanation of Floating Flywheels

Written by elizabeth roberts
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Explanation of Floating Flywheels
Floating flywheels prevent damage to your car's transmission gears. (gear image by Pali A from Fotolia.com)

A floating flywheel, also known as a dual mass flywheel or DMFW, is a double weight that sits on your car's crankshaft, next to the pistons. It prevents the force of the pistons from jarring the engine and damaging it. It is mostly found in diesel engines.

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When you drive your car, the movement of the pistons produces a force that can cause the engine and the crankshaft to vibrate. This force is called torque. The flywheel reduces torque by weighing down the crankshaft, preventing vibration. The floating flywheel, unlike the standard flywheel, also contains springs that further defuse torque.


Vibration of a car's engine and crankshaft can cause damage to the transmission. Specifically, it can damage the gears in the transmission. By preventing vibration, the floating flywheel protects the transmission and its gears.


Aside from the floating flywheel, used in diesel engines, there is also a standard flywheel. The standard flywheel is simply one weight placed on the crankshaft. The floating flywheel is two weights, joined by interlocking springs. However, only diesel engines require that level of protection.

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