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So, here’s the deal: Engine motor mounts are mounts for your car’s motor. Bet you couldn’t have seen that one coming. Your car has a few engine motor mounts (usually referred to as “engine mounts” or “motor mounts”). The mounts have two responsibilities that are extremely important for your car. The first task of the motor mounts is to hold your car’s engine in place. One side of each mount is attached to the engine itself, while the other side of each mount is attached to the frame of the car. By acting as the connection between the car and the engine, the motor mounts keep the engine from...well, from sitting on the ground, which makes it pretty hard for the car to drive. Just take my word on that one, and don’t try it at home. The second task of the motor mounts is to limit the vibrations and noise that are in the cabin of the car. Your car’s engine generates a lot of power, and, if left on its own, would vibrate all over the show. But the motor mounts, which are made in large part out of a very durable rubber, absorb the bulk of those vibrations. As the engine bucks around, the mounts absorb the movement and shaking, and keep it from making its way to the frame of the car, where you would have the displeasure of feeling it. So, the mounts are kind of like a bouncer, to keep the vibrations from bothering you. Many modern cars even have liquid in the center of the mounts, which acts as an ever stronger level of absorption. By absorbing the vibrations, the mounts also make the drive quieter for you, as you don’t have to hear the engine clattering and vibrating all over. Motor mounts are extremely durable. There’s a pretty good chance you’ll never have to replace the mounts that are holding up your engine. But, as you know all too well, nothing is invincible. Motor mounts can wear out over time, eventually cracking, breaking, or otherwise ceasing to work. And when that happens, suddenly your engine won’t be very well supported, and you’ll be on the receiving end of more noise and vibrations when you drive.
Have you ever tried driving on a gravel or dirt road at a high speed? Hopefully the answer is “no,” unless you were somewhere safe and using an off-road vehicle. You probably noticed that ride had about as many vibrations as a wooden roller coaster, yeah? Well, that’s not the greatest sensation. But if one of your car’s motor mounts calls in sick to work, you could end up with a very bumpy ride. I shouldn’t have to explain why, if you’ve been paying any attention. The motor mounts absorb the vibrations from the engine, and keep them from getting to you in the cabin. If you’re feeling those vibrations, with a seat, steering wheel, and center consoles that are bouncing all over the place, then you very well may have a busted motor mount. This isn’t a massage chair at the mall. Vibrations while you drive might sound kind of enticing, but they really, truly are not.
If the motor mounts in your car are beginning to go, the engine will shake and rattle more than usual, because it’s not held firmly in place by something that’s absorbing the movement. When this happens, the car will begin to make some rattling noises, that hopefully get your feelers up. If the mounts aren’t fixed, that will lead to a clunking noise whenever you put your car in gear, which will eventually evolve into a clunking noise whenever you use the gas pedal, brake pedal, or drive over any bumps. When your car talks, listen.
Leaks under your car, or under anything really, are a bad sign. Hopefully that's not news to you. Many new cars have liquid-filled motor mounts, to aid in absorption. So, what do you think happens when the mount breaks? That’s right, the liquid spills out. There are a lot of different car issues that cause leaks, and, if we’re being honest, a malfunctioning engine mount is one of the least popular ones. But it can happen.
If one of your car’s motor mounts is fully busted, then you absolutely should not drive your car. Don’t drive it even an inch. If one of the engine mounts is only just starting to go, then your car is safe to drive in short spurts.
But don’t push it pal. Get this handled immediately.
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