When you think of the critical parts of a car engine, you may envision such vital components as the engine block, drive belts, pistons, cylinders, and exhaust manifold. At the same time, you might never have given a second thought to the mounts that hold that engine firmly in position and help safeguard it against damage.
Once you understand what engine mounts do, what can go wrong with them, and how to recognize common trouble signs, you’ll know when your engine mounts need immediate attention and how to preserve their longevity. Take a look at the answers to some frequently asked engine mount questions.
Why Do Engine Mounts Fail?
A typical car engine includes three mounts that secure the engine to the chassis, with an additional mount holding the transmission in place. Rubberized fittings encasing the mounts absorb shock and vibration that might otherwise damage the engine’s sensitive moving parts.
Engine mounts will naturally fail after several years of ordinary service. Premature engine mount failure can occur if you subject your vehicle to lots of sharp turns, screeching halts, and jackrabbit starts. A collision can break the engine mounts, while leaky engine or transmission fluids can destroy the shock-absorbing rubber.
What Symptoms May Indicate Engine Mount Trouble?
Unusual engine noise often signals a failing engine mount. You may hear banging or clunking noises from the engine shifting within the engine bay. Your car may also lurch unexpectedly when you start or stop the engine. If the mount securing the transmission has failed, you may experience rough gear shifts or acceleration.
If you feel an increase in your car’s vibration level as well as strange noises while driving, suspect a failed engine mount and look under the hood. The sight of split or cracked rubber on the engine mounts will confirm your suspicions. More commonly, you’ll need to take your car in for service to diagnose this issue correctly.
Engine mount symptoms will get increasingly worse the longer you ignore them. Over time, the increased vibrations and constant motion of the engine can lead to serious mechanical damage that could endanger you and your passengers. In the worst case, the drive belts may snap or the engine block may completely disengage from the chassis.
How Do Service Technicians Deal With Failed Engine Mounts?
Automotive technicians don’t bother trying to repair a worn or broken engine mount; instead, they will simply replace it. This relatively simple solution helps to ensure that your engine will remain stable within the engine bay for years to come.
If your mechanic spots a bad engine mount that needs replacing, consider replacing the other engine mounts at the same time, even if they still work. Otherwise, you may find yourself constantly worrying about when the next engine mount will fail, since they’ve all experienced the same stresses over the same amount of time.
How Can You Protect Your Engine Mounts?
You can’t prevent natural age-related wear and tear on your engine mounts. However, you can minimize stress on them simply by driving more carefully. Avoid sudden acceleration and jarring stops whenever possible, since the momentum force these sharp movements create can strain the engine mounts.
Vigilant car maintenance also plays a key role in catching engine mount problems before serious complications develop. Ask your service technician to inspect the engine mounts periodically, replacing damaged mounts immediately. If you discover any fluid leaks, fix those leaks before they can harm the engine mounts.
Whether you believe your car suffers from an engine mount problem or you’d like the peace of mind that comes with a thorough inspection, Family Auto Service and Tire Center has the professional skill and experience to come to your aid. Contact us today to set up an appointment at one of our 5 convenient automotive centers.