While simple in design, motor mounts play an important role in modern-day automobiles. Also known as engine mounts, they are the components to which your vehicle's motor attaches. More specifically, motor mounts stabilize your vehicle's engine as well as its transmission, securing it to the subframe while minimizing vibration in the process.
Overview of Motor Mounts
There are several different types of motors, including brackets, rubber elastomeric mounts, hydraulic mounts, active mounts, clamps and more. Regardless of type, they all serve the same fundamental purpose of stabilizing the vehicle's engine and isolating vibration.
When an engine is running, it vibrates as a result of fuel and air burning in the combustion chambers. Thankfully, the motor mounts minimize this vibration to create a smoother riding experience while lowering the risk of structural wear and damage to other components. Without motor mounts -- or with failing motor mounts -- the excessive vibrations created by the engine may knock nuts and bolts loose, causing significant wear to the vehicle.
Signs That Your Motor Mounts Are Failing
So, how do you know if the motor mounts in your vehicle are failing? One of the most common symptoms is excessive vibrations. Some vibrations are completely normal when driving a car and shouldn't cause any reason for concern. If it feels like you are riding a roller coaster, however, it could be a sign that your motor mounts are failing. As the protective rubber or dampening part of the mounts wear down, it causes excessive vibrations when the engine is running.
Another sign that your motor mounts are failing is loud noises. Again, no combustion engine is 100% silent, so you can expect some noise when driving your vehicle. If you hear unusually loud noises like "clanking" or "banging" come the engine bay, though, you should have your motor mounts checked.
In some cases, you may notice your vehicle's engine moving. The engine may shift just slightly to the front or back or from side to side. This usually only happens in extreme cases of failing motor mounts. Nonetheless, if you discover your vehicle's engine has shifted, there's a good chance the motor mounts are failing.
Replacing Worn Motor Mounts
Unfortunately, there's no easy way to fix worn motor mounts other than replacing them with new mounts. Depending on your automotive experience, you may be able to do this yourself. Most drivers, however, opt for the services of a professional mechanic. After all, you must physically lift and manipulate the engine onto the new mounts. This requires certain tools as well as knowledge of the engine bay and surrounding components.