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Think your motor mounts are bad? Notice an excessive amount of vibration coming from the engine bay? Here’s how to determine if they need to be replaced, and also advice on getting the best deal on a set of new motor mounts.
First, let’s go over a few details and compare OEM to performance motor mount upgrades.
OEM vs Performance Motor Mounts
Your engine mounts are incredibly important, as they secure the engine to the chassis and good ones will give you better handling and a smoother ride. There are performance motor mounts, but unless you’re building an actual race car, it’s probably best to avoid them.
Drastically upgrading the performance of your vehicle might call for upgraded polyurethane mounts, but it’s very rare for a vehicle to need metal mounts. The all-metal motor mounts are typically designed for and used only on race cars.
OEM motor mounts are designed to secure your engine and prevent abnormal amounts of vibration and noise.
Performance motor mounts, in comparison, don’t focus on dampening the vibrations. They are designed to minimize motor movement against the chassis. Yes, they’re important for a race car, but you should avoid them on a daily driven car.
With that said, let’s get to explaining how you can check for bad motor mounts…
How To Check for Bad or Failing Motor Mounts
Start your car and pop the hood. It’s time to actually take a look at your motor mounts to see if they’re damaged. Engine mounts are located in different areas depending on the type of vehicle you own.
It’s best to just open the hood and/or lift the vehicle in the air to get a view from the bottom.
The mounts are usually located under the vehicle, however a typical 4-cylinder engine set up will have a mount near the top on the passenger side. You can also search online for more information regarding your specific car.
Check for damaged rubber, as most stock mounts are covered in rubber to dampen the vibration. Also check for leaking fluid, as this is a sign the hydraulic motor mount has failed and needs to be replaced.
When the mounts are completely gone, you will notice excessive engine movement. Carefully observe the engine to see if it moves forward, backwards or even side to side. Have a friend rev it up a little bit just to see how much the engine is moving.
Did you just find out that motor mounts aren’t the cause of your vibration problem coming from the front-end of your car? It could be your tires.
What Causes Engine Mounts To Go Bad?
Engine mounts will go bad on almost every car at some point, but when they fail will depend on a few factors. The way you drive and the age of your motor mounts are the biggest factors that come into play.
Driving like a maniac will most certainly put more strain on your mounts, as quick acceleration from a stopping point makes the engine want to jump. When your mounts are good, the whole car will jerk with the engine. As the mounts get old and start to fail, the effect becomes more subtle, as the engine starts to move separately.
Your driving style plays an even bigger role in the wear and tear of motor mounts when you drive a manual, especially from over-revving, power-breaking before taking off, etc. It might be more fun to drive a manual, but you still need to drive reasonably or you can expect to go through motor mounts quicker than most.
Motor mounts can last up to 10 years, although they should be checked routinely after the 5-year mark. It’s worth checking them every time you get your oil changed, as bad motor mounts can cause a great deal of problems.
CV axles can start to fail, a radiator hose can break, fan belts can get damaged and the engine itself can suffer from internal damage if the problem is ignored for too long.
If you think your motor mounts are shot and you want to tackle the job yourself, search for new mounts for your vehicle on Amazon here. If you don’t find a great deal there, shop around — you might find a better deal at your local parts store.
If you’re not comfortable replacing the motor mounts yourself then hire a professional as soon as possible.
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