What Is an Engine Mount? Uses, Facts, & FAQ
Car enthusiasts typically rave about different parts of their cars. Some talk for hours on end about their engines, transmissions, or fuel injectors. These are certainly important parts of the car and could be the difference between having a beast and a clunker.
That said, some very critical car parts don’t often get the spotlight, like the more engine-centric parts. Take engine mounts, for example. Most car owners don’t even know they have engine mounts, let alone what they do or how important they are to the function of their car. An engine mount is a part of your car that, quite literally, mounts the engine to the frame of the car.
Here’s a look at what an engine mount is, what it does, what it looks like, and why it’s so important for your vehicle.
What Is an Engine Mount?
It’s made up of three parts: a metal bracket, rubber bushings, and sometimes hydraulic fluid.
The engine produces a lot of vibrations when it’s running. These vibrations can cause all sorts of problems if they’re left unchecked. The engine mount helps to reduce these vibrations by absorbing them using rubber bushings.
The engine mount also has another very important function. It keeps the engine in place so that it doesn’t move around too much while you’re driving. This is especially important when you’re going over bumps or taking turns at high speeds.
How Do Engine Mounts Work?
Engine mounts have a simple build to carry out their core function. They work by sandwiching the engine between the metal bracket and the rubber bushings. The engine is usually mounted to the frame of the car using four engine mounts.
The engine mount has two primary purposes. The first one is to reduce vibrations from the engine by absorbing them with rubber bushings. The second purpose is to keep the engine securely in place so that it doesn’t move around too much, which could cause damage.
What Do Engine Mounts Look Like?
Engine mounts are typically made up of three parts: a metal bracket, rubber bushings, and hydraulic fluid (in some cases).
The metal bracket is what actually attaches the engine to the frame of the car. It’s usually made out of steel or iron and is very strong to ensure that the engine is securely in place.
The rubber bushings are what help to reduce vibrations from the engine. They’re usually made of a variety of different materials, like natural rubber, neoprene, or polyurethane.
Hydraulic fluid is sometimes used in engine mounts to further reduce vibrations. It’s typically used in engine mounts that are designed for high-performance cars that produce a lot of vibrations.
Why Are Engine Mounts Important?
Engine mounts play a critical role in keeping your car running smoothly. Without them, the engine would vibrate excessively and could eventually become damaged. Additionally, the engine would also move around a lot without engine mounts, which could cause all sorts of problems.
Common Engine Mount Issues and How to Fix Them
Like any other car part, engine mounts are predisposed to wear and tear. After all, they have to deal with a lot of stress and vibrations on a daily basis. Here are some of the most common engine mount issues and how to fix them.
Rubber Bushings Deterioration
The rubber bushings in engine mounts can deteriorate over time due to constant exposure to engine vibrations. This can cause the engine mount to become less effective at reducing vibrations and, eventually, fail entirely.
Metal Bracket Breakage
The metal bracket that attaches the engine to the frame of the car is also susceptible to damage. It can break if it’s hit by something or if it rusts.
Hydraulic Fluid Leakage
If your engine mount uses hydraulic fluid, then it’s possible for the fluid to leak out over time. This can cause the engine mount to become less effective at reducing vibrations and eventually fail.
How to Diagnose a Failed Engine Mount
There are a few signs that can indicate that your engine mount has failed.
If you notice that your engine is vibrating excessively, then it’s likely that the engine mount has failed. You might also hear strange noises coming from the engine area.
Unusual Engine Movement
Another sign of a failed engine mount is if the engine seems to be moving around more than usual while you’re driving. This can be dangerous as it can cause the engine to come loose and eventually fall out of the car.
If you suspect that your engine mount has failed, then it’s important to take your car to a mechanic so they can properly diagnose the problem. In severe cases, a failed engine mount can cause damage to the engine, so it’s best to get it fixed as soon as possible.
The following are some commonly asked questions about the engine mount.
Can You Replace Your Engine Mount if Damaged?
Yes, engine mounts can be replaced if they are damaged. You should take your car to a mechanic so they can properly diagnose the problem and determine if you need to replace the entire engine mount or just a part of it.
What Causes Engine Mounts to Fail?
Engine mounts mostly fail due to wear and tear but can sometimes fail due to engine damage as well. In both cases, it’s important to take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible.
How Often Should Engine Mounts be Replaced?
Engine mounts don’t usually need to be replaced unless they are damaged. However, it’s a good idea to have them checked by a mechanic on a regular basis so you can catch any problems early on. The earlier your mechanic can catch a problem, the easier it is to fix.
What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Engine Mount?
The most common symptom of a bad engine mount is excessive engine vibration. You might also hear strange noises coming from the engine area or notice that the engine seems to be moving around more than usual.
As we’ve seen, engine mounts play a critical role in keeping your car running smoothly and preventing engine damage. Make sure to have your engine mounts checked regularly by a mechanic and replaced if necessary.
It’s also important to be aware of the signs that indicate a failed engine mount so you can take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible.
Featured Image Credit: Setta Sornnoi, Shutterstock