Why Your Volvo Crankshaft Noise Gets Louder

There’s nothing as annoying as noise coming from your engine when you drive. It gets worse if the noise comes from the crankshaft too. Each corner you take you will be accompanied by a form of grinding or squealing noise or both. The more you accelerate the louder the noise will get. The more you’ll damage the faulty part where the noise comes from too. It won’t take long before the check engine light turns on. That’s just what Volvos do. They take no chances. But should you be worried in the first place? Truth is, you should. Your drive should be seamless, with no noise at all. This is why you hear that noise as you drive.

A Faulty Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer (CHB)

A crankshaft harmonic balancer or CHB in short, is a small device that is attached to the front part of the engine’s crankshaft. It is fitted into the crankshaft’s pulley in all Volvo models. Its main function is to absorb and sometimes reduce frequent harmonic vibrations that come off the engine as the crankshaft rotates.  With reduced vibrations, you can accelerate without worrying about wear and tear caused by vibrations. To ensure maximum vibration reduction, the crankshaft harmonic balancer is made of rubber and metal. Your crankshaft will produce noise anytime its harmonic balancer has a problem. Fortunately, a faulty harmonic balancer glitch is usually preceded by the following red flags.

Engine Vibration

This can make your driving experience extremely uncomfortable. It happens because the harmonic balancer is either old or has failed so it can no longer absorb vibrations.  The engine shakes excessively as the harmonic balancer continues to wear out. With time, the shaking and the vibrations become more pronounced as your accelerate. The best you can do to fix the problem is to replace the harmonic balancer.

Misaligned Timing Masks

Volvo’s harmonic balancers are designed as two pieces of metal each with a rubber layer in between. This makes it easy for the harmonic balancer to dampen vibrations as you drive. If for one reason or another the layers separate or they slip, the timing marks, which are usually firmly stamped on the front part of the pulley, will shift. This will throw off the accurate placement of the timing marks. Such a shift, however, minor, will make it impossible for the balancers to properly time the care engine with a timing light. Your best bet here is to get a mechanic to fix the misaligned timing masks.

Separated Harmonic Balancer

This happens when the rubber layer designed to absorb vibrations in the harmonic balancer wears out or drives. The problem is serious because it can cause the entire harmonic balancer to fail. The balancer can also separate because of worn out rubber layers.  Your car engine belts will then come off. This means all the engine accessories that depend on the belt to run wont function. In other words, your car will not move. Unfortunately, this is not a problem that calls for Do It Yourself quick fix. You have to seek professional assistance.