Motor mounts, or engine mounts, serve a simple-yet-vital purpose in your vehicle. They help support your vehicle’s engine and isolate its vibration from the vehicle’s frame. Unfortunately, a bad motor mount may result in many issues that will ultimately affect your vehicle’s performance and safety.
Of course, you want to avoid this, but how are you supposed to know what to look out for to know when it’s time to take your car to the mechanic? To help make life easier, we’re going to review the top signs that your motor mounts are going bad and need to be replaced so that you can help minimize any potential problems.
Top Signs Your Motor Mounts Need Replacing
There are a few basic signs you’ll want to keep an eye on and an ear out for to find out if you have a bad motor mount. Some of the key things to look out for include the following:
1. Loud Noises
The single most common sign of a bad or failing motor mount is a lot of loud, excess noise from your automobile’s engine. Also, be sure to keep an ear out for any knocking or clunking, as these result from the motor moving around and making contact with other components, causing impact sounds.
2. Excessive Vibration
If you notice more noise and vibration than usual after starting up your vehicle, that may be a sign that your engine mounts are worn.
Once worn, they no longer resist vibration properly, resulting in increased sound and vibration, which could lead to engine damage if left unchecked.
3. The check engine light is illuminated
In some cases, the check engine light may illuminate on the dash if one or more of your motor mounts are worn out and need to be replaced. This is because the sensors that monitor engine performance can pick up on excessive vibration coming from the engine bay, which is often caused by worn-out motor mounts.
4. Difficulty shifting gears
Another common symptom of a bad motor mount is experiencing difficulty while shifting gears, especially when shifting from park to drive or from drive to reverse. This is because the motor mounts help to keep the engine in place while the transmission engages. If the mounts are worn out, it can make it difficult for the transmission to engage properly, resulting in gear slippage or grinding noises.
5. Engine Misalignment
Something else that can occur as a result of bad motor mounts is the eventual misaligning of the engine. As mentioned, a motor mount’s primary function is keeping the engine in place. As a result, if one fails, the engine may begin to lean to a particular side. If you notice excessive noise and vibration, this is one of the simplest visual checks you can perform to confirm you have a bad motor mount.
6. Damage To Your Engine and Components
If left unchecked, a bad or worn engine mount can damage it and any nearby components that can be knocked by loose movement. This is less common than other signs and is more so the result of neglect to what should have been a noticeable situation, but you still should keep it in mind.
If a motor mount fails catastrophically, your engine may be able to move around. As a result, the engine can impact the frame and surrounding components at high speeds, especially with sudden stops. This movement can ultimately result in a serious accident, major damage to your car, and in the worst cases, a potential loss of life.
Fixing Your Motor Mounts
1. What You Will Need
Before getting started, you’ll need a few basic tools and supplies. First, you’ll need a socket set with different-sized sockets and extensions. You’ll also need a ratchet wrench or impact driver to remove the bolts from the motor mount brackets. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to have some WD-40 on hand to help loosen any stuck bolts or nuts. Finally, make sure you have a new set of motor mounts ready for installation—you don’t want to be stuck in the middle of the job without them!
2. Removing Old Motor Mounts
The first step is to locate and remove the old motor mounts from your vehicle. The exact location will depend on your make and model of car, so refer to your owner’s manual if necessary. Once you’ve located them, use your socket set and ratchet wrench/impact driver to remove any bolts or nuts securing them in place. Make sure you’re careful when removing these components as they may still be connected to other parts of the engine or chassis that could be damaged if handled incorrectly.
3. Installing New Motor Mounts
Next up is installing your new motor mounts. This process is essentially just reversing what you did when removing the old ones; use your socket set and ratchet wrench/impact driver to attach each bracket securely in place before inserting the new motor mount into position between them. It’s important that everything is tightened down properly so that there isn’t too much movement in any direction—if it does move too much then it could cause problems with other components down the line.
Once everything is secured in place, double-check all bolts and nuts for tightness before moving on to any additional maintenance tasks that might be required (e.g., replacing hoses).
Keep Your Engine In Great Condition
One of the best ways to prevent a failing engine or motor mount is to have your vehicle routinely inspected and regularly maintained. Keeping up with your inspections can help catch any issues before they become problems, and getting them fixed promptly will help keep your vehicle running smoothly for years to come.
If you notice any of the signs outlined above, you must immediately get your vehicle to a mechanic for service. Failing to do so can result in extreme damage to it or yourself. Alongside servicing, consider getting an extended warranty if your car is higher in age or mileage, and look into reputable shipping services if you need to transport your vehicle.