As you can imagine, the typical car or truck engine is very heavy. In fact, some of them can weigh up to 430 kg and will need to be securely fitted within the engine bay. But this is not a straightforward job for a number of reasons and the engine mounts themselves are quite critical components. What do you need to know about these parts, and what can happen if they begin to fail?
Give and Take
An engine mounting is not simply a metal component that is bolted to the subframe. Instead, it needs to be able to "absorb" a certain amount of movement when the vehicle is in motion. Many of them will be made from metal and rubber, but some of them can even be filled with liquid to more effectively manage vibration. Either way, there is no direct contact between the engine mounting and the chassis, but the design provides a cushioning effect instead.
For your vehicle to work perfectly every time, the engine needs to be correctly aligned and positioned. Any movements should be regulated, and when everything is as it should be, you can avoid any damage. However, if one of the engine mounts begins to fail, then you may notice some strange or repetitive problems like a broken fan belt or a split radiator hose. In this case, unusual movement is causing unwanted tension, which could lead to damage.
Signs of an Issue
You may also notice a lot of unusual vibration permeating throughout the entire vehicle, which you will certainly feel in the cabin. You may notice some unusual noises coming from the engine bay, as the metal within the mounting knocks against other components or the back end of the engine comes into contact with a chassis rail.
Causes of Failure
Engine mounts will deteriorate with age as with anything mechanical. The rubber can certainly lose its elasticity or develop cracks, and if there is fluid within your mountings, this can begin to leak out. Occasionally, poor driving etiquette can lead to mounting failure, affecting the gearbox mounting as well. So, if you have a tendency to slam the vehicle into gear or let the clutch out aggressively, this kind of trouble may be in your future.
The process of replacing engine mountings is quite involved as the motor will need to be lifted up to access the parts. Clearly, this is a job for an expert so if you suspect issues with your mountings, take the vehicle in for further advice. For more information, contact a mechanic.