I need to replace the harmonic balancer on my 94 buick. Is it ok to drive to go pick up the parts?

I need to replace the harmonic balancer on my mom's 94 buick regal. I have the parts ready for pick up, my destination is about 20 minutes round trip. Will it be ok to drive to pick up the parts?

My car has 200000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
If the harmonic balancer is known to be defective, the only prudent course is to not operate the engine until the balancer is replaced. There are at least two risks: 1) the balancer could completely separate causing further damage; and 2) a defective balancer can cause crankshaft and/or main bearing damage. If you desire that the balancer be replaced by a certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, please request harmonic balancer replacement and the responding certified mechanic will get this taken care of for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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How important is replacing a harmonic balancer? If you don`t replace the harmonic balancer it can cause some significant damage to the engine and even lead to engine failure. It is an item you don`t want to leave unfixed for too long as the outcome can get quite expensive and definitely be inconvenient.
Step 1: Prepare the vehicle.

Jack the vehicle up high enough to obtain access to the harmonic balancer, located on the front of the motor and attached to the crankshaft.

How Long Does It Take To Replace a Crankshaft Pulley or Harmonic Balancer? A typical crankshaft pulley replacement can take anywhere from one to one and a half hours. The duration of repairs depends on a variety of factors, including the type of vehicle and the availability of replacement parts.
If you don`t have the correct balancer (part number), that could even be an issue because your CPS will not function and the car won`t start or run.
No matter what anybody tells you, size does matter when it comes to the harmonic balancer you use on an engine. Putting an incorrectly-sized balancer on an engine will do more than just cause it to not reach its full performance potential … it will cause serious damage to the rotating assembly.
The harmonic balancers found on many vehicles are constructed as two pieces of metal with a rubber layer in between to dampen the vibrations. If the layers separate or slip, the timing marks, which are usually stamped into the front of the pulley, can shift and thus throw off the placement of the timing marks.
A harmonic balancer (sometimes called crankshaft damper, torsional damper, or vibration damper) is the same thing as a harmonic damper except that the balancer includes a counterweight to externally balance the rotating assembly.
There are three major types of balancers: elastomer, fluid, and friction. The elastomer type uses a rubber material, which controls much of the vibration. Viscous or fluid type uses fluid to absorb the flexing energy. Lastly, friction-style dampers rely on internal clutch discs to quell harmonics.
An easy way to check a suspect bal- ancer is to paint or chalk a mark across the inner and outer sections of the part. Rev the engine and abruptly release the throttle several times. Then shut off the engine and inspect the marks. If they`re misaligned, you know the balancer rubber is cracked.
The good news is, the harmonic balancer can easily be repaired with a kit that usually retails for under $10.
Over time, the crankshaft harmonic balancer can go bad from constant exposure to chemicals, the elements, or from old age. If this happens, the crankshaft may develop cracks and ultimately fail.
Most likely the harmonic balancer is not the reason for why the car is overheating. It is more likely something to do with the cooling fan or a part of the cooling system, such as the thermostat.
In essence, the device is designed to help prevent crankshaft failure. The rubber material can deteriorate over time. So, if your harmonic balancer is going bad, you could get rough engine vibrations, a cracked crankshaft, or even a serpentine belt that gets thrown off its track.
On certain engines, sometimes these last forever, last the life of the engine. And certain engines they might only last 50,000 miles or less than 10 years.
On certain engines, sometimes these last forever, last the life of the engine. And certain engines they might only last 50,000 miles or less than 10 years.
Sure can, however with everything there can be consequences. Some engines are externally balanced, meaning that they use the harmonic balancer and possibly the flywheel as the balances for the engine. The engine will be able to run, but the service life of the car will end prematurely.
In essence, the device is designed to help prevent crankshaft failure. The rubber material can deteriorate over time. So, if your harmonic balancer is going bad, you could get rough engine vibrations, a cracked crankshaft, or even a serpentine belt that gets thrown off its track.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

I need to replace the harmonic balancer on my 94 buick. Is it ok to drive to go pick up the parts?
ANSWER : If the harmonic balancer is known to be defective, the only prudent course is to not operate the engine until the balancer is replaced. There are at least two risks: 1) the balancer could completely separate causing further damage; and 2) a defective balancer can cause crankshaft and/or main bearing damage. If you desire that the balancer be replaced by a certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, please request harmonic balancer replacement and the responding certified mechanic will get this taken care of for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

The harmonic balance or went out of round and the Woodruff key tore up and they engine needs replaced
ANSWER : Hello. This is a common issue on this engine. The balancer bolt tends to come loose and causes this failure to occur. If I were choosing what engine to go with I would go with the one from Japan. Those tend to be the best because of their low mileage. I would also say it is best to replace the engine as it is cheaper then replacing the vehicle.

Do i need to replace the receiver drier and/or the expansion valve when replacing the condenser assembly?
ANSWER : Replacing the system drier is absolutely essential. If the system has been open to the atmosphere (due to the leak in the condenser), the desiccant in the drier has been fully saturated with moisture. As far as the expansion valve, replacement is not normally implicated in a leak repair, in your case a leak in the condenser. To justify replacing the expansion valve, there would have to have been a diagnostic performed which proved a fault. If no diagnostic was performed, and there is no evidence of a fault, then it is pointless to replace the valve. But, again, drier replacement is absolutely essential. To add the drier to your order, you can simply add a note to the mechanic in your order and/or add it as a service (you will see a link that you can click on to "add services" or write in specific services). If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

My harmonic balancer/crankshaft pulley broke in my 1996 3000GT. When installing new one, I noticed that part of the drive belt tha
ANSWER : Hi there. Absolutely, there is a chance that there could be a damaged timing belt or it has jumped time. However, there is also the possibility that the debris has damaged the crank/cam position sensors. With a capable scan tool/ oscilloscope the sensor signals can be inspected. I suggest having a qualified technician perform an inspection to avoid replacing unnecessary parts. Your Mechanic has several technicians that can assist you with a car does not start inspection.

Do you have to replace the ac compressor and surpentine belt when replace the harmonic balancer on a 2012 dodge journey
ANSWER : If all these components are the cause of the issue and need to be replaced, it makes more sense to replace them all at the same time to save on labor costs. There can be some overlap in labor. If for example, the a/c compressor has to be removed to replace the harmonic balancer, then there is not additional labor to install a new compressor when putting things back together. Evacuating and recharging the a/c system will be required whether replaced at the same time or separately. The serpentine belt has to be removed to replace either component so again, there should not be any additional labor to install the belt. A new belt is simply being installed instead of the old one being reinstalled. I cannot say that their diagnosis is correct or incorrect. However, I have never seen both the a/c compressor and harmonic balancer fail at the same time. Odds are either one or the other is the cause of your issue. If you are not comfortable with their answer, it wouldn’t hurt to get a second opinion. You can have the engine vibration looked at by another repair facility, or set an appointment with yourmechanic.com. One of our mobile technicians can come to your home or office to inspect the vehicle and give you an estimate for the necessary repairs.

I need to replace my catalytic converter and I wanted to see what are the main parts I will need to buy that comes with it?
ANSWER : The parts required to change out a catalytic convertor will really depend on what type of converter is going to be used. There are factory type replacements that will use a flange and just get bolted into place, that will require a new flange gasket and pipe clamp. Or there are aftermarket replacements that will require the pipe to be cut, and either welded, or clamped into place. Other than that, I would suggest that this is the perfect time to replace the oxygen sensor. Keep in mind, when removing the flange from the back of the engine, it is fairly common for the bolts and/or studs to break, due to all of the heat cycles that are associated with the exhaust/converter. As far as the rough starting issue, I would check the timing chain and tensioners. It sounds like there may be a possible issue with chain tensioner, and this can cause all kinds of problems, especially throwing off the timing and causing rough starting and running issues. If any of this sounds like something you could use a hand in diagnosing and/or repairing, contact a certified mechanic, like the mobile mechanics at YourMechanic.com.

I just got a new transmission put in my car and it drives and reverse but won’t go up hill.
ANSWER : This may be a sign of a faulty transmission control solenoid. As you know, automatic transmissions use pressurized hydraulic fluid to change gears. Every time a gear change is required, the car’s computer activates a transmission solenoid, which directs transmission fluid into the valve body to engage the correct gear. When this is faulty or not working properly, this can cause a delay in gear shifting or in some cases cause the car to not shift at all. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to take the car for a test drive to more specifically determine the cause for this.

When replacing the harmonic balancer do I need to or is it recommended to replace the crankshaft seal or anything else with it
ANSWER : Hi there:

In short, yes; when you replace the harmonic balancer you should always replace the crankshaft seal and timing cover gaskets as well. This will help reduce the potential of leaking oil after the service has been completed. I’d recommend purchasing the service manual for the 2003 Dodge Stratus; so that you follow the manufacturers recommended steps for replacing a harmonic balancer.