Motor (Engine) Mount
Motor mounts are what holds your engine in place under the hood. They secure your engine to the chassis, while also dampening its vibrations to ensure a smooth and comfortable driving experience.
Damaged or worn-out motor mounts may not only make your driving uncomfortable, but also put your life at risk if they fail. Let’s check the most common signs of bad motor mounts, so you can avoid such an experience.
Abnormal sounds from under the hood
Sounds caused by poor engine mounts may vary from humping and clunking to rattling and clanging. They can be caused either by the mounts themselves or by the engine moving around and hitting other parts under the hood. These sounds can be especially noticeable when idling, accelerating or braking.
Excessive engine vibrations
The motor mounts come with soft inserts that absorb vibrations, however, if they wear out, the motor mounts will not be able to perform this function properly. The engine will move around, causing excessive vibrations during acceleration or braking, or even when idling.
Your engine is out of alignment
Under normal conditions, your engine is perfectly aligned, allowing the vehicle to run smoothly. However, if at least one of the mounts fails, your engine may go out of alignment, which will immediately affect your ride and safety. If this happens, don’t drive the car as it may be dangerous to you and your passenger. Instead, you should have it towed to a repair shop.
Some of your hoses or belts are damaged
Erratic movements of the engine due to damaged or worn-out motor mounts put a lot of stress on your cooling system’s hoses and other parts under the hood. Most of them are properly secured in place, so excessive engine vibrations and movements can damage them. For instance, if this happens to a cooling hose or steering system hose, fluid leaks will become the best of a bad lot. A lack of coolant will lead to engine overheating and even cause its critical damage if you ignore the problem.
As for the engine-driven belts, they also have two strikes against them since excessive engine movements and vibrations will affect their normal operation and may cause their damage. If so, your power steering pump or water pump will fail to function. Both of them are crucial for your vehicle, so their failure will get back to you with very bad consequences.
In case your motor mounts are completely damaged, the engine will freely move up and down, left and right, causing a lot of damage to other parts in the engine bay. It can hit the radiator, coolant tank and even CV joints, making driving the vehicle extremely dangerous. Some parts may fly off, causing damage to external parts of the vehicle. In the event this happens at a high speed, you will run the risk of having serious problems on the road.
What are they made from?
A typical motor mount features a durable metal housing with a soft insert made of either rubber or polyurethane. While the metal housing usually lasts a lifetime, the soft insert is prone to wear and tear as well as can get damaged due to the influence of heat and different fluids. Besides, some of them are hydraulic, which means fluid leaks may appear. Whichever failure happens, it should be fixed as soon as possible.
How can I fix bad motor mounts?
A bad motor mount is not repairable and should be replaced with a new one. However, you should not wait until it fails. Regular checks will help you to avoid possible damage to other engine parts. Your motor mounts should be inspected for cracks, loose bolts, and worn-out rubber inserts as well as fluid leaks if you have hydraulic mounts.
Motor mount replacements should be left to a professional. Depending on your vehicle, a mechanic may need to take off some other components and parts in the engine bay to access a failed mount. Once the installation is done, he or she will reinstall all removed parts.
If your motor mounts are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, you can avoid an expensive repair.