In this article and video, we explain the signs of bad engine mount (may also be referred to as motor mount). An Engine Mount is a rubber and steel component that prevents excessive engine movement during driving or reversing.
The purpose of the engine mount is to absorb engine vibration, engine torque and also support the engine.
Also, it allows the engine to flex to a certain degree but not so much to the point it put stress on the transmission and drivetrain. In this guide, you will learn how to check if your engine mounts are bad.
Vibrations are the most typical symptoms of faulty engine mounts. However, there are other symptoms of a defective engine mount which can differ based on an automobile’s model and make, such as the following:
- Steering wheel or cabin vibrations worsen when stopped
- Engine feels loud
- Car bangs when placed in gear
- Thump or clunk when you press the gas pedal
- Excessive movement of transmission or engine
- Noisy sounds when the vehicle is put in gear.
- Excessive vibration when driving uphill or accelerating.
- Oil leak from the mount in case of hydraulic oil-filled motor mounts.
- Failure of the motor mount will result in uncomfortable rides for passengers. Further, it can add extra pressure that can damage other areas of the vehicle.
These symptoms may differ based on the extremity of the engine mount’s damage, as well as the design and configuration of the engine. Typically, vibrations are more apparent when the automobile is initially started and tends to be less noticeable once the engine warms up.
Other common symptoms of a bad engine mount are clunking noise while shifting from park to drive or shifting from park to neutral. The clunking noise is heard because the rubber component on the engine mount has deteriorated and allowed the engine movement.
Rubber Motor Mounts
There are a few variations of an engine mount. One variation of the engine mount is made up of solid rubber and steel, and the other variation is made of solid rubber, steel and is oil-filled.
This variation of the engine mount is also known as a hydraulic engine mount.
A solid rubber mount is cost-effective, and it is excellent for reducing noise and decreasing vibration transmitted by the engine. Also, the solid rubber engine mount is durable and can last a long time without needing to change one for many years.
Hydraulic Motor Mounts
A hydraulic filled engine mount is expensive and typically used in most luxury vehicles. It is excellent is noise and vibration reduction.
The downside of hydraulic filled mounts is that it can leak so that is one problem that must be looked for.
Always start by conducting a visual inspection. With the hood open, use a flashlight and look for the engine mount. There are a few locations where the engine mounts will be located. Engine mounts are usually located on the side of the engine, back of the engine and front of the engine.
Location of engine mounts on 6, 8 and 12 cylinder engines.
Location of the engine mounts on four-cylinder engines.
On the passenger side, near the front right strut tower. If this is oil-filled, inspect it for oil leaks. If it is a rubber mount, inspect it for cracks.
Here is shown an engine bottom mount. Inspect it for cracks.
Don't forget to inspect the transmission mount as well.
Shine the flashlight on the engine mount and visually inspect it. The rubber should be in good condition and not torn.
Sometimes it can be difficult to visually determine if an engine mount has failed because the separation often happens inside the mount.
Oil leaks for a hydraulic engine mount mean it has failed.
Oil leak from a hydraulic motor mount.
An alternative approach to assessing a 4-cylinder engine is to put the vehicle in gear without the engine on. Watch for movements as you rock the engine forward and backward. This assessment isn’t always effective on bigger engines.
The engine shouldn’t excessively move. If there is minimal engine movement, engine failure might still be a possibility due to the mount’s design limitations.
How do you change a bad motor mount?
Changing the engine mount on a four-cylinder engine is easy and can be performed at home. You will need to support the engine while at the same time being careful not to crack the oil pan.
A transmission jack works best for this procedure.
- Park vehicle and set the parking brakes. Allow the engine to cool down.
- Use a transmission jack to support the engine. A woodblock can be placed between the jack and the pan to avoid damage to the oil pan.
- Jack up the engine about .5 to 1 inch. Do not raise the engine any higher or you risk damaging the wires or cracking the oil pan.
- Remove the bolts that secure the engine mount to the engine.
- Remove the bolts that mount the engine mount to the frame.
- Install new mounts in reverse order.
- Torque the bolts to your manufacturer's specification.
Bad Engine Mount Replacement Cost
Generally, it is expensive to replace the engine mount since the engine mount itself supports the engine.
A transmission jack and engine support is needed to support the engine while the engine mount is being replaced. On average, it cost about $150 labor to replace each engine mounts on a typical economical passenger car.
Special tools required to remove the Mercedes engine mount.
On a luxury vehicle, it can cost as much as $500 labor to replace each mount. Some engine mounts are buried deep in the engine bay that it is required to remove a lot of components to get it thus justifying the labor cost. Engine mount price will vary depending on whether the shop used an OEM part or aftermarket parts.
Motor mounts can last up to 200,000 miles as they often do. In a few cases, we have seen hydraulic mounts fail as early as 60k miles. Often the owner may not even know or only start to notice vibrations when your car hits around 100k-120k miles.
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