You’ve been having some strange problems with your vehicle and can’t figure it out.
You take it to a mechanic for an inspection and are told you need one (or more) new motor mounts.
But what are motor mounts? How long do motor mounts last, and why is the quoted fix so expensive? Continue reading to find out the answers to these questions and more.
What Do Motor Mounts Do?
Motor mounts are essential parts of your vehicle that provide stability to the engine while supplying power to the wheels. Many people don’t even think about their motor mounts because they don’t often need replacing.
Unlike other car parts, which can vary quite a bit, motor mounts are similar in both function and design. It doesn’t matter if you drive a four-cylinder or a V8 if you know what a motor mount looks like you can find them in any vehicle. There are small variations in shape, materials, and size, but nothing considerable.
Motor mounts will keep the engine securely attached to the chassis in the engine bay when the vehicle shifts. This happens when you turn corners and go up or down hills. It also occurs when navigating over rough or uneven terrain.
How Long Do Motor Mounts Last?
The motor mounts in your vehicle are under constant stress. Thankfully, they do well against that stress for long periods. Many motor mounts last the lifetime of the car.
There are certain circumstances where motor mounts may wear out quicker, however. It isn’t uncommon for motor mounts to wear out in vehicles with high mileage. The higher the mileage, the more likely it becomes.
Another situation where motor mounts tend to wear out faster is when consistently driving over rough or uneven terrain. If you often use your vehicle to go off-roading, for example, you should expect the motor mounts to last less.
Due to these factors, it’s impossible to tell precisely how long motor mounts last. Many considerations need to be made to determine an estimate for your specific purposes. If the motor mounts wear out, however, you’ll definitely know it.
How Do You Know When Motor Mounts Need to be Replaced?
When motor mounts need replacing, it’s easy to tell. There are three distinct signs of a motor mount that is going bad. These signs will typically start off small and grow worse as time continues without the motor mounts being replaced.
One of the most common signs of weakening motor mounts is constant vibrations. When the engine is running, the motor will vibrate. This, in turn, causes the entire vehicle to vibrate to some degree.
Other issues might cause the car to vibrate. If it’s an issue with motor mounts, however, the shaking will get worse when the vehicle accelerates.
The reason this happens is that one or more mounts are no longer effectively stabilizing the engine. The engine naturally shakes when it runs, but the mounts stop it from affecting the vehicle.
Hearing impact noises are another sign of bad motor mounts. These noises are clunks or clangs coming from the engine bay. When the mounts are working correctly, you shouldn’t hear these.
Impact noises occur because the engine is shifting and then falling back into place. This can cause a significant amount of noise but is sometimes less noticeable. Any bangs or clunks coming from the engine should be investigated.
You might notice movement in the engine bay when the vehicle is running if your motor mounts are weakening or have broken. Some vehicle owners may not know what this is. If you’re in tune with your vehicle, however, you’ll be able to notice the difference.
Why Are Replacing Motor Mounts Such an Expensive Repair?
One of the first things a vehicle owner will notice when getting a quote on motor mount replacement is how expensive it is to get done at a garage. The part itself is relatively cheap, however. Even performance parts like Hasport Motor Mounts are relatively inexpensive on their own.
So why does it cost so much to replace the motor mounts?
The significant cost factor is labor. Replacing the motor mounts generally means removing the engine from the vehicle. At the very least, the engine has to be jacked up to relieve pressure on the broken mounts.
Removing or jacking up the engine has to be done carefully. If something goes wrong, parts of the motor might become damaged. This amounts to an even more expensive repair.
The process of getting to the mounts can be time-consuming, and certain factors can lengthen actual replacement time. If bolts are rusted or difficult to loosen, for example, this can add an hour or more of replacement time.
Should You Replace the Engine Mounts Yourself?
Due to the high costs of labor, many people consider replacing the engine mounts on their own. This isn’t impossible, but it can prove challenging. Whether or not replacing the engine mounts yourself is a good idea depends on several factors.
If the following apply to you, you can likely do the repair yourself with confidence:
- You have at least a moderate skill working with vehicles
- You possess the tools necessary to complete the job
- You have at least one person who can help you with the repair
- You have room in your garage or driveway to work on the repair (garage preferred)
If you don’t possess a working knowledge of car mechanics, however, you might want to leave the project to the professionals.
Do You Have More Questions About How Long Do Motor Mounts Last?
Motor mounts are an essential vehicle part that helps keep the engine secure. How long they last will depend on several factors.
Do you have more questions about how long do motor mounts last?
Check out our other blog posts. You’ll find articles on various related topics.