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Understanding Motor Mounts: Symptoms and Repairs

Motor mounts are essential. They are literally what fastens two hundred horses to your car’s frame! Think of them as the saddle for your engine. Without being securely fastened, you could be in for a very bumpy ride.

What are motor mounts?
Motor mounts (also known as engine mounts) are brackets that attach the engine to the vehicle’s steel frame. These heavy steel brackets come with a stiff, rubber shock-absorbing dampener that soaks up vibration from the explosive lateral movement of pistons. These brackets ensure the smooth operation of the motor.

Having the motor solidly mounted to the car allows for the smooth transfer of power from engine to a transmission which then transfers this motion into drive shafts, axles, and wheels without vibration.

Why are motor mounts important?
A faulty or broken motor mount can lead to engine damage. When motor mounts wear, this always produces performance issues. Fresh motor mounts help protect the power train from shock and vibration. Worn motor mounts cause wear and tear on the drive train, which leads to costly repairs.
Signs of Worn Motor Mounts
Heavy Vibrations: One symptom of a bad motor mount could be heavy vibrations. This might make you feel like your car is “bouncing” down the road.

Clunking and Shaking: Another symptom of a bad motor mount could be clunking or shaking when driving over bumps in the road.

Engine movement: With someone in the driver’s seat and the hood open, have the driver depress the gas pedal momentarily. If the engine visibly shakes in response, this is a good indication that mounts are in need of repair. This engine movement can be felt by the driver in the pedals as vibration.
Possible Causes of Motor Mount Failure
The most common causes of broken motor mounts are either from normal wear and tear or from extensive driving on rough roads with loose debris.

Harsh conditions such as extreme weather (-30°F) and salt are other potential causes of broken motor mounts. Cold weather fatigues the rubber dampening compound found in motor mounts.

How much does repairing motor mounts cost?
The cost of repairing or replacing a broken motor mount varies depending on the make and model of your car, as well as on the cost and availability of the motor mount itself.

An auto mechanic can easily replace your motor mounts, but it may also require more extensive repairs depending on how bad the damage is.

If you think you may be having motor mount issues or are facing these symptoms, it’s important to have your engine looked at by one of our expert mechanics. Call our office to schedule your appointment.