Dual Mass Flywheel Symptoms and Problems To Be Aware Of

Dual mass flywheels appear to be a better option than single-piece flywheels, especially due to the absence of noise and vibrations. However, the component requires a nice driving style to maintain its efficiency and reach its lifespan.

Therefore, once the component suffers from a bad driving style for a while, it will result in an unexpected malfunction in the long run. So, this article unveils all you need to learn about dual mass flywheel symptoms and how to fix the problem.

Dual mass flywheel symptoms

A dual mass flywheel failure comes with a couple of symptoms that cannot be unnoticed. The signs are obvious to the point of hindering the proper functioning of a vehicle; hence, the need to understand the effects of a malfunctioning DMF and how to handle the problem.

The following are common symptoms of a dual mass flywheel failure that you must not ignore. Ensure to pay attention to these dual mass flywheel symptoms in BMW or any car you own and rectify the problem as soon as possible.

dual mass flywheel lifespan

Clutch pedal hardness

The clutch pedal is one of the softest pedals in a manual transmission vehicle. This component is very vital in engaging the vehicle’s gear. However, if the dual mass flywheel suddenly fails, the clutch pedal will no longer feel as it used to be.

The pedal will automatically become hard, making it tough to depress whenever you try to engage it during gear-shifting. If you’re experiencing this sign already, you most likely have a bad dual mass flywheel.

Hard gear shifting

Besides the hardness of the clutch pedal, shifting gears become tough when a vehicle’s dual mass flywheel suddenly fails. The transmission process of a vehicle is usually seamless due to the smoothness of shifting gears.

However, when the DMF becomes defective, the smoothness is affected as you suddenly have a hard gear-changing process.

Vibrations and noise from the engine

One major distinguishing factor between a dual mass flywheel and a single-piece flywheel is the absence of noise and vibrations. However, when the DMF becomes defective, you will suddenly experience clunking or grinding noise and vibrations from the engine compartment.

Squeaking noise and shakedown

Furthermore, when you turn the car’s ignition off, the engine will produce a squeaking noise and shake down a little bit. This symptom begins to reveal after a while. It is one of the common dual mass flywheel symptoms in VW.

Hard start

Starting a vehicle is not supposed to be a burden, as it requires engaging the clutch, brake, and gear shifter on neutral before turning the key in the ignition. This should simply start the engine.

Unfortunately, this process can be very tough with a defective flywheel. A bad dual mass flywheel rattles on startup.

dual mass flywheel

How Do You Test for DMF?

Instead of hurrying to get a new replacement for your car’s flywheel, it is important to conduct a DMF test in order to ascertain whether you really need to replace the component.

Firstly, testing a vehicle’s DMF requires using a lever. Once you get a lever, fix the primary flywheel on a vise with two solid through holes to hold the crankshaft. Then, screw the test lever into the clutch mounting holes.

After that, rotate the secondary flywheel from the loosed position to the right and left maximum stop level. If the angles reached and the force felt during the rotation from the loose point to the maximum point on the right and left sides are the same, the flywheel is okay.

However, if the component does not meet the criteria above, you most likely have a defective dual mass flywheel. It would be best to replace the component as soon as possible.

What Causes A Dual Mass Flywheel to Fail?

Excessive heat from a defective or slipping clutch is the major factor that causes dual mass flywheel failure. Therefore, if you have a worn-out clutch, ensure to replace the component immediately before it damages the DMF.

Meanwhile, if your car’s flywheel has attained 80,000 or 90,000 miles and above, kindly change the component along with the worn-out clutch. This is due to the cost of replacing the DMF when it eventually goes bad after a while.

The cost of changing the DMF can be as expensive as the cost of replacing the clutch initially. So, it is only wise to maximize your time, energy, and money.

How Do You Fix DMF?

If your vehicle’s DMF suddenly fails, it may cause severe damage to other parts in the long run. Therefore, it is advisable to fix it before things get out of hand. However, fixing a defective dual mass flywheel requires a complete replacement of the part.

The process can be a bit complex, requiring the expertise of a professional auto mechanic. So, you may want to contact one instead of doing the job by yourself as a DIYer.

However, if you’re an expert mechanic, you can save costs by doing the job yourself. Kindly follow these recommendations to fix your vehicle’s DMF failure.

Replace the old DMF with the correct OE-spec DMF

Replacing the old dual mass flywheel is the first option for fixing a DMF failure. However, replacing the old DMF with the OE-spec can be pretty expensive than switching to a single-piece flywheel.

Nonetheless, it will restore your car’s stock performance and the exact feeling, like your old DMF never failed.

If your car’s dual mass flywheel just failed, getting a suitable OE-spec replacement for the component is worth it. However, if your budget cannot accommodate this option, you can consider the next option below.

Convert the old dual mass flywheel to a single flywheel

Converting your old DMF to a single flywheel is another amazing way of fixing the olddual mass flywheel failure. This is a perfect fit, especially if you have altered the vehicle’s horsepower by increasing it for more power output.

Also, if you engage in heavy towing or hauling, switching to a single-piece flywheel will be more durable for the job. Besides the durability of the component, replacing the component now or later in the future will be more economical than an OE-spec dual mass flywheel.

If you currently have a defective dual mass flywheel, ensure to consider both options critically before making a final decision. Kindly consider your vehicle’s major function and the financial implication of opting for an O3-spec dual mass flywheel before concluding on either option.


Q: Can you drive with a faulty dual mass flywheel?

Driving with a faulty dual mass flywheel is possible. However, it would be best if you didn’t consider it because of its effects. A faulty dual mass flywheel is characterized by rough idling and unexpected misfire.

Also, a faulty dual mass flywheel usually produces a rattling sound except when you press down the clutch. This occurrence will hinder the proper functioning of your vehicle until you fix the problem. Besides, a bad dual mass flywheel sound can be frustrating.

So, if you have a faulty flywheel, ensure to contact a professional auto mechanic to fix it. However, always remember that the extent of a car’s dual mass flywheel lifespan is dependent on the owner’s driving style.

Q: Should I change DMF with clutch?

Yes, it is best to change your vehicle’s DMF with the clutch. These two components work in synergy; hence they wear out simultaneously. However, one may wear out completely before the other.

The cost of replacing a vehicle’s clutch usually covers the replacement of the dual mass flywheel. In that case, changing the DMF along with the clutch will help you cut costs, especially if the component has reached around 80,000 to 90,000 miles.

Q: Can you replace a DMF with a normal flywheel?

Yes, it is possible to replace a DMF with a normal flywheel. However, it will alter the normal operations of the vehicle and the driving dynamics. The vehicle will require more gas, and the gear-shifting will become entirely different.

Another experience you will have to bear when you switch from a DMF to a normal flywheel is the vibration, noise, and harshness. This can really be disturbing if you’re not used to the discomfort that comes with these effects.

So, if you want a replacement for your vehicle’s DMF, kindly get another DMF that is suitable for the replacement. This will help you retain your peace of mind.

Q: What is the most common cause of dual mass failure?

The most common cause of dual mass flywheel failure is excessive heat. This is usually due to a slipping clutch. A vehicle with a slipping clutch will always generate excess heat, which can affect the DMF and cause it to fail.

One simple sign of a failing dual mass flywheel is the banging or rattling sound that comes from the bell-housing. If you’re experiencing this symptom already, kindly replace the DMF. On the other hand, if you have a worn-out clutch, ensure to replace the component before it damages the DMF.

Q: How expensive is it to replace a flywheel?

Replacing a flywheel costs around $600 – $1,100. However, the cost of replacement depends on the vehicle’s make and model. While some are relatively cheap, others can be very expensive. Also, the labor cost is another factor to consider.

If you’re an expert mechanic, fixing your new DMF may not be an issue. This can also help you cut the costs to an extent. Also, having a family or a friend who is a professional auto mechanic will be helpful at this point.

Otherwise, you may have to spend a couple of bucks fixing the component. However, replacing a defective flywheel is worth it because the bad dual mass flywheel symptoms in Vauxhall or other cars are really frustrating.

Q: What cars have dual-mass flywheels?

The list of cars with dual-mass flywheels includes Ford Focus, Acura TL, Nissan Altima, and Hyundai Sonata. These cars perform excellently well with the dual mass flywheels.

The component does not produce any harshness, noise, or vibrations when the vehicles are running. However, the component can be frustrating once it becomes defective. As a matter of fact, Ford Focus dual mass flywheel symptoms are not different from VW Golf dual mass flywheel symptoms.

The cost of replacing the DMF is pretty high compared to the replacement cost of a single-piece flywheel. So, if you drive any of those cars listed above, ensure to maintain a good driving style and a regular maintenance culture.

Remember that dual-mass flywheels are usually at the mercy of the car owner’s driving style. So, if you want the component to last long, you better keep this caution at your fingertip.

Final Words

Dual mass flywheel symptoms are very obvious to the point that they are hardly unnoticed. If you fail to notice the signs of the defection in the component, you may be running a risk of damaging other parts of your vehicle in the long run.

However, if you suspect that your vehicle’s DMF is faulty, kindly take some time to inspect and diagnose it to find out what could be wrong.

If you eventually discover a fault in the flywheel, ensure to replace the component immediately. Meanwhile, it is better to contact an expert mechanic instead of doing it yourself.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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