BMW X3 Harmonic balancer
Another preventable breakdown today.. This time on a BMW X3 diesel in Coolangatta. While driving down the highway the client complained of loss of power steering. This was a symptom due to the harmonic balancer failing and not turning the drive belt which drives the power steering pump. The harmonic balancer was reported in their last service as having cracks in the bonded rubber. This advice to replace this part was declined as they were hoping it would be ‘ok’ and and save them the expense till a later date. As we have seen many times before, putting off maintenance never saves money. Also to mention, mechanics can’t tell you how long something will last we can only estimate at best.
This breakdown required us to replace the failed harmonic balancer along with the drive belt which was damaged in the process. You can see the balancer rubber torn in the picture below. The main picture shows the 2 pieces of the balancer, This is actually meant to be 1 piece. The outer and inner pulleys bonded together by rubber to absorb vibrations. Luckily no other items were damaged when the pulley came off.
This is a relatively easy repair with the correct tools. This was quickly repaired at the breakdown location.