All mechanics understand the importance of flywheels when it comes to engines. They have to be strong, sturdy, handle the rigors of everyday hauling, yet remain perfectly balanced to provide their most efficient form of energy.
When it comes to replacing your flywheel, how involved do you get?
Do you stick to only OEM replacement or do you look for value with an aftermarket replacement?
OEM replacements are the safest way to go, as they are being supplied by the engine manufacturer directly, but they are also the most expensive way to go. If your truck is less than 5 years old, more than likely any replacements would be covered by warranty.
But what if your truck is 10 years old, or the OEM replacement isn’t available for a couple of months and you need to get your truck back on the road. These are scenarios where aftermarket replacement option would be needed.
When the situation calls for an aftermarket replacement flywheel, letting your trusted mechanic pick the option can be the easiest way to go, but do you know what you are actually getting?
There are so many different aftermarket flywheels and suppliers, one needs to be careful when choosing a type or brand. Remember, your local mechanic is running a business and while a good mechanic looks into longevity/quality of a part, there are a lot of them that are just interested in the “best price available” and hope that nothing goes wrong during the warranty period.
When comparing one aftermarket replacement to the next, you need to go deeper than just looks and if it mounts correctly. If you were to place multiple aftermarket flywheels next to each other, it would be impossible to know if one is better than the other just by looking at them. They would all have the same mounting pattern, the same specifications and be within the same approximate weight. Visually, these flywheels appear to all be the same, now what?
This is when you’d want to do some research on the companies that are providing the aftermarket replacement part you are looking for. Here are a few things to consider when researching companies:
How long have they provided the specific part you are looking for?
If one company has been providing flywheels for 20 years, while another company just 2 years, this speaks towards the experience of the company. You may feel safer going with the company who has been doing this for 20 years, but experience isn’t the only thing to consider.
What is the reputation of the supplier, their warranty terms on parts and how do they handle their warranty claims?
Some companies may only be willing to offer a 6-month warranty, while others are willing to offer 12 months or longer. Longer warranty normally speaks to better quality as the company is willing to state their product lasts longer.
How a company handles or processes warranty claims is important as well. Do they follow and uphold the terms of their warranty in a professional and ethical manner? Do they try to delay the claim process by asking questions or requesting information that may not seem related to the matter at hand? All suppliers, even top notch companies, have to occasionally deal with a faulty product. How these companies handle the situation can tell you a lot.
What country is the part manufactured in?
The quality of material from some countries have bad reputations for being so poor in quality that the U.S. has added extra fees they call “Anti-Dumping Duties”. These duties are applied to certain products that are manufactured using these poor quality materials.
Not all factories in these countries use “poor quality material”, but when you start putting all the information together – Country of Origin, Company Experience, Company Reputation & Warranty and Cost of Product, you’ll be more prepared to make the best decision.
When it comes time to replace your flywheel or any engine part and you are looking at aftermarket replacements, make sure you get involved and ask questions about the source.