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Engine mount: how it works, problems, symptoms, replacement

Engine Mount: 
how it works, problems, symptoms, replacement

An engine mount is a part that holds the engine in your car.

In most cars, an engine and transmission are bolted together and held in place by four or three mounts.

The mount that holds the transmission is called the transmission mount, and others are referred to as engine mounts.

One part of the engine mount is bolted to the frame or car body. Another part holds the engine.

An engine is a source of vibration, as it has many rotating and moving parts.

The function of the engine mount is not only to keep the engine in the correct position but also to reduce the engine vibration felt in the car.

Engine mounts are made with a rubber material. Therefore, there is no direct metal-to-metal contact between the engine and the car body.

Some engine mounts are filled with fluid, which can further reduce vibration.

That way, A liquid-filled engine mount works like a shock absorber.

Some car manufacturers (e.g.Honda, Toyota) use active vacuum-controlled engine mounts that vary dampening as needed.

Actively reduce engine vibration transferred to the body, Porsche offers electromagnetic mounts.

An engine mount doesn’t need regular servicing or any maintenance.
It only needs to be replaced when it, wears out or fails.

How long can an engine mount last?

In some vehicles, engine mounts can last the life of the vehicle.

We see most of the problems with engine mounts starting to show in 5-7-year-old vehicles. Transmission mounts last longer.

Transmission mount
Transmission mount

Engine mount problems

The most common problem with the engine mount is when the separates or rubber part breaks or when liquid starts leaking out of the liquid-filled mount.

Common symptoms of a failed engine mount are the increase in engine noise and vibration felt inside the car.

Even with the transmission engaged, the excessive vibration becomes more apparent at idle.

For example, in some 07-08 Honda Civic models, a failing passenger side mount can cause a growling noise and vibration felt in Reverse when the engine is started cold.

In the Mazda 3, a broken top engine mount can cause vibration at idle, and especially noticeable when the transmission is in Drive.

In some cars, a broken engine mount can also cause a thump or noticeable jolt when shifting into Drive or Reverse or when accelerating or decelerating.

New vs broken engine mount.
New vs broken engine mount

For example, a failed front engine mount in Honda Accord V6, Pilot and Odyssey can cause harsh transmission engagement, when shifting between Drive, Park; and Reverse, as well as vibration at highway speeds.

The solution to this is, replace the front hydraulic engine mount.

In some Mitsubishi cars (ex: CB8, CB1, CK2), a failed engine mount can cause vibration felt in the steering at idle when the transmission is in Drive.
The vibration disappears when shifted to Neutral.

A bad transmission mount may also cause squeaking during a gear shift.

Leaking engine mount
Leaking engine mount

For example, in some manual Mazda cars with a manual transmission, a rubber insert inside the transmission mount may cause squeaking when starting the engine or shifting gears.

In some cars, a bad engine mount can cause rattling noise when the engine is shut down or started.

How a failed engine mount is diagnosed

Visible signs of a failed engine mount include cracks, separation, and tears in the rubber, as well as leaking liquid.

See the photos above. A worn-out engine mount may appear sagging.

Before a bad engine, the mount is confirmed, all other causes must be eliminated.

Of example, if one of the hangers in the exhaust pipe is broken, it can cause the same symptoms as a bad mount.

When a bent or damaged exhaust pipe touches one of the chassis components, it also creates vibration and rattling noise when shifted to Drive or Reverses noticeable inside the car.

When one of the mounts is bad, Often an engine may appear sitting lower on the side of the bad mount. Also when one engine mount goes bad, it adds more strain on all other mounts.

For this reason, it’s not uncommon to see two mounts that need replacement at the same time.

Volkswagen top engine mount
Volkswagen top engine mount

Engine mount replacement

Replacement costs vary. A new engine mount (part) costs from $80 to $550. Labor charges depend on complexity.

Example: The top engine mount replacement in Mazda 5 / 3 costs $150-$290 (labor and part), while for two broken mounts in Honda Odyssey the local dealer quoted.

Although after-sales stock prices are low, there are reports of some after-sales mounts failing prematurely or causing more vibration.

When using an aftermarket part, must be doing some research on part quality.

For example, we are searched for the engine mount for the 06-11 Honda Civic on Ali express and found several brands with ratings ranging from 3 to 4.5 stars.

In our view, it’s worth paying a little extra for a better-rated brand.

For many cars, an engine mount is covered by the Powertrain warranty, which is 60,000 miles or 5 years for most cars.

You can verify this with your car warranty booklet.

Is it easy to replace an engine mount as a DIY (Do it yourself) project?

We recommend that you hire your technician to do this job.

The reason for this is, replace an engine mount, the engine needs to be supported from underneath.

It’s easier to do this job in the shop on the lift, but might not be safe to do in the driveway.

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