Just imagine driving along, when suddenly you hear a clunking sound coming from your car’s engine compartment. This noise, which usually occurs when you accelerate or slam on the brakes, may seem harmless at first But in reality, it can signal that something is wrong with one or more of your vehicle’s motor mounts.
Motor mounts are important because they support the engine and isolate it from the vehicle’s frame. A bad motor mount can result in issues that can affect both the performance and safety of your vehicle.
5 Signs Of Bad Motor Mounts
Although a bad motor mount sound (usually a clunking or banging noise) is typically the first indication of failure, there are other signs you need to be mindful of as well.
Here are some of the most common broken motor mount symptoms:
The rubber or liquid-filled portion of the motor mount helps absorb vibrations from the engine. As such, when one or more motor mounts fail, vibrations from the engine may travel through the chassis and into the cabin of the vehicle.
As mentioned, a failed motor mount may make a clunking or banging noise. Often, the sound is most noticeable upon abrupt acceleration or deceleration. You may also hear the noise when going over bumps.
Irregular engine position
Another sign of a bad motor mount is a misaligned engine. As you now know, one of the functions of the motor mount is to make sure the engine is securely situated and won’t serve as an obstruction to the other components.
Consequently, if one or two of your motor mounts get damaged, your engine may shift or sag.
You may not notice the shifting or sagging, so it’s best to take your vehicle to an experienced mechanic for a thorough inspection.
Damage to the engine
In some cases, if multiple motor mounts fail completely, they can cause damage to the engine. Without support from the mounts, the engine will be free to move around, leading to potential damage.
Damage to other components
A failed motor mount can put the engine at an extreme angle, and that can cause other components, such as wiring or belts and hoses, to stretch beyond their limits and break.
Can You Drive with Bad Motor Mounts?
You can, but not for long. At first, a bad motor mount may just make some unnerving noises. But the mount will continue to deteriorate over time, and that can lead to bigger problems that can make your vehicle unsafe.
Replacing a bad motor mount as soon as possible is a smart choice. The action is likely to save you from more costly repairs in the long run, while also helping to keep your vehicle safe.
Should I Replace All Motor Mounts?
Typically, there are three to four mounts holding the engine and transmission in place. But in most cases, you don’t need to replace them all at once. In the event that one of the mounts gets worn out or busted, you can usually just change out the one that needs replacement.
In some cases, however, you may want to replace all the mounts at once as a preventative measure. Often, when one mount fails, it will put additional strain on the other mounts, leading to their early demise.
Even though motor mounts are designed to last the life of the vehicle, that doesn’t always happen. On average, replacing a motor mount can cost you around $220 to well over $1,000 if you have a professional do the job for you. The cost of mounts themselves depends on the quantity, brand, and fitment.
Once you know what to look for, broken motor mount symptoms become quite easy to spot. While it is still best to leave the diagnosis to an experienced auto mechanic, it still pays to educate yourself so you’ll be able to answer questions such as, “what does a bad motor mount feel like,” and know how to respond.
Usually, motor mounts just deteriorate after years of use and exposure to the elements. Though in some cases, other issues can cause the mounts to fail prematurely. For example, an engine oil leak might trickle down onto the motor mount, causing the rubber portion to fail.
Whatever the reason, be sure to give your motor mounts proper attention so you can enjoy a safe and smooth drive.