Engine mount: how it works, symptoms, problems

For example, in some Mazda cars with a manual transmission, a rubber insert inside the transmission mount may cause squeaking when starting the engine or shifting gears.

In some cars, a bad engine mount can cause rattling noise when the engine is started or shut down.

How a failed engine mount is diagnosed

Visible signs of a failed engine mount include cracks, tears and separation in the rubber, as well as leaking liquid. See the photos above. A worn-out engine mount may appear sagging, or seating off center.

Before a bad engine mount is confirmed, all other causes must be eliminated.

Engine mount
Volkswagen top engine mount. Click for larger photo

For example, when one of the exhaust pipe hangers is broken, it may create the same symptoms as a bad engine mount.

When a bent or damaged exhaust pipe touches one of the chassis components, it also creates vibration and rattling noise when shifted to Drive or Reverse noticeable inside the car.

Often, when one of the mounts is bad, an engine may appear seating lower on the side of the bad mount.

Often when one engine mount goes bad, it adds more strain on all other mounts. For this reason, it's not uncommon to see two mounts that need replacement at the same time.

Engine mount replacement

Replacement costs vary. For example, the top engine mount replacement in Mazda 3 / Mazda 5 costs $150-$215 (part and labor), while for two broken mounts in Honda Odyssey the local dealer quoted us $1,800 parts and labor. Aftermarket parts are cheaper, but there are reports about some aftermarket mounts failing prematurely or causing more vibration.

When using an aftermarket part, do some research on part quality. For example, we searched for the engine mount for the 06-11 Honda Civic on Amazon and found several brands with ratings ranging from 3 to 4.5 stars. In our view, it's worth to pay a little extra for a better-rated brand.

For many cars, an engine mount is covered by the Powertrain warranty, which is 5 years or 60,000 miles for most cars. you can verify this in your car's warranty booklet.

Is it easy to replace an engine mount as a DIY project? We would recommend to leave this job to your mechanic. This is because to replace an engine mount, in most cases the engine need to be supported from underneath. It's easier to do this job in the shop on the lift, but might not be safe to do in the driveway.

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