Question about 2003 Pontiac Vibe

3 Answers

Flywheel Bolts Unthreaded From Crankshaft

We had the clutch replaced in our Pontiac Vibe. Six months later, when my husband was driving on the highway, he heard a vibration noise coming from the engine and saw smoke coming from underneath the hood. He turned the car off and found that it would not start again. He had the car towed to the nearest GM Goodwrench garage, where they discovered that all of the flywheel to crankshaft bolts had backed out of the crankshaft, except one, which was almost completely unthreaded. The rest of the bolts were missing as they had unthreaded along the highway. My question is: what could have caused ALL of the bolts to unthread and at the same time? Especially since we had had the clutch replaced so recently?

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  • Master
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I hate to chime against technicians because they are working hard to make a living, however I would have to say that this was technician error when the clutch was installed.

Having been a technician I know this would be a major comeback for me in which I would have to provide the labor and possibly the parts that were damaged due to this failure.

In more than 25 years I have never once seen a properly installed flywheel come loose. All of these have a proper install procedure that includes the use of thread lock and proper torque specifications. With the vibrations associated with the crankshaft spinning, if bolts were even marginally loose or not to torque spec they would vibrate out quickly.

Hope this helps shed some light on the matter.

Posted on Jun 03, 2009

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  • Pontiac Master
  • 3,854 Answers

Improper tightening of the bolts. They should have torqued the bolts to the specific amount and use lock tight if it called for. Keep in mind that most dealers will have a few apprentice to work on cars and a mechanic will watch over the work and sign off on it. Once in a blue moon the apprentice may miss out a process and the mechanic my not notice the mistake and break downs happen. Good luck and keep me posted. be glad to help.

Posted on Jun 03, 2009

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  • Pontiac Master
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Pretty simple...whoever put the flywheel back on the crank either did not tighten them up or did not use thread lock on the bolts. Either way, there is only one way that can happen...someone did not do their job. Check the flywheel bolt holes for damage and have the clutch splines on the disc and input shaft on the transmission checked for damage. Having that stuff moving around like that can wear those parts and make the clutch "hang up" if not corrected.

Posted on Jun 03, 2009

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