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Motor mounts and engine mounts are the same thing. They provide some of the attachment points that keep your motor seated properly in the engine bay of the vehicle. A single bad engine mount can cause a host of problems with different systems in the engine bay, so it is important to know when to replace these critical parts.  

How can you tell when your motor mount needs to be replaced? Find out what the common symptoms for a bad motor mount are and how much it costs to replace it. 

Types of engine mounts 

Your engine mounts connect the motor to the rest of the vehicle. When you rev your engine, it will typically move slightly, but a worn-out engine mount will allow too much movement and could cause damage. There are five common types of motor mount in use today. 

Solid Rubber Motor Mounts use a combination of rubber with a steel backing plate and are probably the most common motor mount in production today. They offer simplicity and strong durability, but the rubber will eventually wear out, causing the mount to loosen. Solid rubber motor mounts also provide middle-of-the-pack vibration damping. 

Metal Motor Mounts are extremely durable and will rarely fail, but they transmit vibrations much more readily than either rubber or hydraulic motor mounts, and this is why they are not as common. 

Polyurethane Motor Mounts are stiffer than solid rubber but offer more pliability than steel motor mounts. They will also tend to last longer than solid rubber mounts, but are less resistant to heat, when compared to steel mounts. 

Hydraulic Motor Mounts use a fluid or gel like glycol within the mount to dampen vibration from the engine. The upside to hydraulic motor mounts is that they can be tuned to specifically attenuate certain frequencies and reduce vibrations. The downside to this technology is that they are more complex to manufacture when compared to solid rubber motor mounts, and therefore more expensive. The complexity of the design also means that there are more potential parts that can break down in the mount. 

Electronic Engine Mounts are sometimes referred to as Active Engine Mounts because they use positioning sensors to monitor the position of the engine, the RPMs, speed, and other factors, to tailor the amount of damping force to the mount. For example, the active motor mounts in use on several models of Hyundai, Toyota, and Honda will relax the stiffness of the mount when the engine is at idle, to attenuate some of the harshness of their 4-cylinder engines but stiffen up the motor mounts as RPMs rise. 

What does it cost to replace an engine mount?

Motor mounts can be relatively simple, or very complex, so it’s no surprise that there is a huge range of prices for different types of motor mount. If you’re asking yourself how much it should cost to replace motor mounts, you can start with these numbers as a guide. 

A very simple steel or rubber mount may start around $10 and can rise to $150, depending on the make and model of vehicle. Complicated hydraulic or active motor mounts will tend to be more expensive, starting at more than $50 and rising to the $200 range. 

The labor cost for a motor mount replacement will be dependent on how accessible the mount is. For a motor mount that is right on top of the engine it may only take 30 minutes for a mechanic to swap out the old mount and replace it with a new one. If the motor mount is buried in the engine bay, you may be looking a two or more hours to gain access. That translates to a labor cost of $100-$450 per mount. 

Symptoms of a bad motor mount 

Your motor mounts are tasked with reducing vibrations and holding the engine in place, so the symptoms of failing motor mounts tend to be related to vibrations of some kind. Here are some of the top symptoms of failing motor mounts that you may encounter: 

  • Increased vibrations when idling or driving are one of the main symptoms of a bad motor mount. Before you go out and buy a set of mounts, though, investigate to see if you have a misfiring cylinder because that can also cause severe engine vibrations. 
  • If you hear or feel a thud or lurch when starting or stopping the engine, you should check your engine mounts to see if they are providing too much play, leading to excessive engine movement.
     
  • Odd impact noises from the engine compartment might be the cause of a worn-out motor mount allowing the engine to touch other components in the engine bay. You will want to replace the failing mount as soon as possible to avoid more damage. 
  • If you can see that the motor mount is cracked or excessively worn you should plan to replace it before it causes some of the other symptoms. 

How to replace an engine mount 

Is it worth replacing engine mounts, especially if the vehicle is old? Like many preventative maintenance tasks, the answer is usually yes, because you could be avoiding more trouble and expense down the road by investing a little time and treasure now.  

  • Always start by removing the negative wire from the battery, to avoid any electrical issues.  
  • You will also need to support the engine properly so that when you remove the mount, the engine is safely suspended.  
  • Depending on which mount you are removing, you may need to use a jack to elevate the car and always use a set of jack stands to support the vehicle when you work on it.  
  • Now, with the engine supported, remove the bolts attaching the engine to the motor mount and the motor mount to the chassis. Swap in the new motor mount and if the bolts are aluminum, replace the bolts. 

For some vehicles and motor mounts, you may need to remove parts of the subframe or other engine bay parts to access the mounts, but if you take the time and have the correct tools, replacing your motor mounts is usually a Saturday job.  

You can get your motor mount replacement AutoZone, by searching for the year, make, model and engine size of your vehicle. 

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