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RIP
RIP, Lead Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 5591
Experience:  A.S.E Certified Master Technician, AC Delco service training, Ca State Smog License, L1 level
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I have replaced my harmonic balancer 2 times now ...

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I have replaced my harmonic balancer 2 times now on a 99 Chevy Venture and getting ready to replace it again and this has happened in the last 2 1/2 months.
My question is what could cause 2 brand new harmonic balancers go bad so fast?

Hi, how many miles are on this van?

How exactly does the balancer break? Does it make a noise?

-Rip

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to RIP's Post: There are appx. 112,000 miles on it.
What I mean when I say it breaks is that the balancer either comes away from the rubber seal or comes apart completely, into 2 pieces.
The outer ring pulls completely off the inner ring.
The last time it did this the balancer was in 2 pieces, but the belt stayed in place.
The first time I replaced it was because the balancer was worn out.
The second time was when the balancer came off in 2 pieces.
This time it is doing the same thing.
The outer ring is a good 1 1/2" away from the inner ring.
Sorry so long, I am just frustrated.
Thank you so much
Karla

Karla,

What brand Balancer are you replacing with? Is it from the factory/dealer?

Just to clarify, how many times have you replaced the balancer? And did it come apart in two pieces the first time? Thanks,

-Rip

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to RIP's Post: I am not sure what brand.
I got the first one off on the internet and I got the second one from O'Reilly's.
I have replaced it 2 times.
The first time I replaced it the old one was wearing out I believe. What had happened was my serpentine belt came off and that's when I was told I needed a new one. The strange thing is when the belt came off I put it back on and continued to drive even though it squealed. After I put the new one on it wasn't but 2 weeks later that the new one came apart. This latest one was put on just last month on the 6th.
Hope this helps.
Thanks,
Karla

Karla,

There are some issues which can cause the Harmonic Balancer to fail in the manner you've described, but they include internal faults in the engine or transmission which can become costly to repair. From your description of the problem, I believe you've received a couple of faulty/inferrior Harmonic Balancers. Often aftermarket parts can do this, or it is not being improperly installed and thus causing premature failure. Your going to need to purchase a factory Balancer first, and have it installed by a quality facility, the crankshaft has to be inspected as well, for any damage from the removal and installation of the original balancer. If the factory unit has the same results, we can assume the problem lies internal to the engine or transmission, but these are rare occurances, and your descriotion of the events more likley entails infferior parts or incorrect installation. Let me know your outcome.

-Rip

RIP and 2 other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to RIP's Post: The balancer was put in by a certified mechanic both times so I know that it couldn't be the installation. Anyway, just letting you know.
Thank you so much for answering my question. I appreciate all the time you have taken to answer and listen to me rambling on about my problem.
Do you know how much a harmonic balancer from the factory costs? Just curious.
Again thank you I really appreciate it.
I will let you know my outcome.
Karla

Karla,

The Balancer at the dealer is $110.12. It is a special order item at most dealers, so it will take a day or two to get. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX accept, and I have a good feeling this should cure your problem. It's very rare to have a Balancer fall apart under other conditions related to the engine or transmission.

-Rip