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DIY: Replacing Engine Mounts

Does your engine bounce around under in the engine compartment? Do you see the cooling fan cutting a hole into the hood? Was that bump you just went over your engine falling out? Maybe you'd better read this before it does.

» Engine Mounts 101
» What?!? Leaking Silicone?
» Electronic-Hydraulic Mounts

Every time you stop at a traffic light, you can feel your engine begin to shake. It's not too bad when you are stopped, but as you accelerate you feel the engine starting to shudder and bang around. You just did a tune-up a few weeks ago and you know it should last for quite a while. Then you think, "I must have crossed a spark plug wire or left one loose and it fell off".

When you get home you pop the hood open and look around. You check all the spark plug wires, electrical connections, all the vacuum lines and intake air tube clamps. Everything looks good and there is nothing out of place. If your engine faces forward with the cooling fan driven by a belt, you may notice marks on the radiator where the fan has been hitting. Looks like it's time to check the engine mounts and struts before something major happens, like the accelerator getting stuck open.

The engine mounts today are not as simple as the ones used in the old days when they were a big slab of rubber sandwiched between two chunks of flat steel. Today they are precisely engineered with specific shapes, rubber hardness (durometer measurement) and air gaps, called "voids" that tune the mount to the engine. Some engine mounts are hydraulic in that they have chambers filled with silicone fluid. There are some engine mounts that are electronically controlled.

DIY: Replacing Engine Mounts
Typical Engine Mount

You know your car is not new anymore and that it's likely engine mounts are probably worn out. The rubber is probably soaked from the oil from the leaking valve cover gasket that you never got around to replacing. But more likely than not, especially if you're at the 60,000 or 70,000 mile mark, the engine mounts have twisted out of shape or have some serious cracks in them from the high engine compartment temperatures of today's vehicles. If the weather stripping along the cowl is damaged or missing, that will allow air to flow over the top of the vehicle instead of flowing through the engine compartment to lower the temperature and keep the engine mounts, and everything else under the hood, cool.

The mount that takes the most abuse is the one at the front of the engine, the fan belt end, in a transverse engine model. It gets pulled up and down as well as back to front. The best way to check it is with a pry bar. Look at the rubber as you move it. If the cracks open or it has no resistance, it's time to replace it.

Check the front, rear and transmission mounts in the same manner. The rear engine mount will be somewhat more difficult due to limited access, so pry the mount using the two steel plates.

» Part 1       » Part 2       » Part 3


Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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