7 Symptoms Of A Bad Engine Mount and Replacement Cost

The engine mount is one of the most important parts of the vehicle engine. Engine mounts serve two primary purposes in your system: first, they secure the engine in place, and second, they effectively absorb vibrations generated during the engine’s operation. These anti-vibration properties are crucial for ensuring the engine’s safety and optimal performance. When the motor mount goes bad, it produces different signs. This article explains the bad engine mount symptoms, causes, replacement cost, and how to replace it.

Function of Engine Mount

The engine mount is a crucial component of your vehicle’s engine, responsible for securely holding the engine in place and absorbing vibrations generated during its operation.

Engine Mount

In the latest vehicle models, the transmission and engine are installed close to each other, with approximately three to four mounts holding them in their original position. The mounts that hold the engine are known as engine mounts, while the mounts that secure the transmission are known as transmission mounts.

One end of the engine mount is connected to the engine, while the other end is connected to the vehicle’s frame. Due to the presence of numerous movable parts within the engine, vibrations are expected during its operation.

The primary function of the engine mount extends beyond merely maintaining the engine’s position; it also plays a vital role in reducing vibrations experienced while driving.

Engine mounts are designed using rubber materials to prevent metal-to-metal contact between the engine and the vehicle frame. Some manufacturers have introduced liquid-filled mounts similar to shock absorbers to enhance the dampening effect on vibrations. These advancements further improve the engine’s stability and driving comfort.

Symptoms Of A Bad Motor Mount

When the motor mount goes bad, it starts to produce different symptoms, such as unusual noises, a cracked engine block, unusual vibrations, unusual engine vibrations, or a jumping engine while idling. You may also observe the engine starting to tilt or look misaligned as the engine mounts go bad. 

Now, lets explain the signs of bad engine mounts in detail:

1) Excessive Engine Movement

Engine Movement

When the engine mount goes bad, you may observe excessive engine movement. Your engine may move forward when you press the gas pedal, though it may return to the typical vibrations once you gain speed. Another movement you might observe is a more significant shift when you turn off the engine.

Moreover, during gear shifts, your vehicle’s engine can move more than usual due to the unnecessary force applied to it. This visible jerk can be initially scary for drivers and is an indication that the engine requires attention before more significant problems arise.

If your engine is not operating efficiently, it’s advisable to promptly inspect your vehicle to prevent potential damage and ensure optimal performance.

2) Extreme Vibrations

Car Vibration

A common sign of a faulty engine mount is an increase in vibrations while accelerating. When the engine mounts become faulty, their ability to dampen vibrations is compromised, leading to pronounced shaking and unsettling movements.

These vibrations are often the cause of the unusual sounds mentioned earlier. Neglecting this issue may lead to further damage to the engine and its surrounding components.

3) Mechanical Noises

Engine Noise, symptoms of a bad engine mount

One of the common symptoms of a bad engine mount is the unusual mechanical sounds coming from the engine compartment while the engine is operating.

The main purpose of the engine mounts is to support and stabilize the engine in its designated position. However, when the mount wears out, it becomes unable to fulfill its role effectively, causing the engine to produce unsettling banging and clanking noises as it interacts with close parts. These noises are indicative of the compromised engine stability due to the worn-out mount.

4) A Shaky Start

shaky start, symptoms of bad engine mounts

A clear indication of a bad or worn-out engine mount is experiencing unsteady or uncontrolled movements upon starting your vehicle. These initial movements can convert into high-intensity vibrations that persist throughout the car. Similar unsteady movements can also be observed as you switch off the engine.

Read More: Reasons Why A Car Won’t Start

5) Engine Jumps At Idle


If your vehicle engine starts to jump or exhibits erratic movements while idling, it indicates an issue with the engine mounts. When your engine is operating but the car is stationary, you may notice this pronounced jumping sensation.  

Initially, it might be mistaken for a rough idle caused by issues like bad sensors or bad spark plugs. But upon closer inspection, you’ll realize that the actual idle is not acting irregularly; it just feels that way due to the engine’s movement caused by the bad mounts.

6) Tilted Engine

Tilted Engine

A tilted engine is one of the clear symptoms of a bad motor mount.

The motor mount plays a critical role in keeping your vehicle’s engine securely in its original position, and a broken mount can lead to misalignment issues. If you inspect your engine and notice that it is not positioned correctly or its face is in the wrong direction, it could indicate a problem with one or more engine mounts.

In more severe cases, when multiple mounts become faulty, you may observe more noticeable symptoms, such as the whole engine sagging in the engine compartment.

While examining the engine mount, you might also spot physical damage on its surface, such as cracks, warping, or corrosion.

Additionally, the rubber area of your mounts may also show signs of flaking and cracking. Given that the mounts require a solid construction and shape to adequately hold the engine, any of these issues should be taken as serious issues. Timely attention and potential replacement are essential to ensure the engine’s proper alignment and overall functionality.

7) Damaged Engine Block

Damaged Engine Block

If you ignore a bad motor mount and continuously drive with it for an extended period, it may cause the failure of the engine block. This neglect may also lead to the entire engine of your vehicle bouncing off its designated place.

When driving at high speeds with a damaged engine mount, the engine’s excessive motion may result in damage to the engine block and other engine parts. Driving under such conditions poses significant risks.

Causes of Bad Engine Mounts

Following are the most common causes of a faulty engine mount:

1) Poor Installation

The poor or incorrect installation of the engine mounts is one of the major causes of their failure. However, to install an engine mount, you must have some technical knowledge and the necessary tools.

However it is possible to install engine mounts yourself, but it is highly recommended to contact a professional mechanic as soon as you detect any signs indicating the need for replacement. Professional installation warrants that the new mounts will be fitted correctly, promoting longevity and optimal performance.

2) Accidents

After being involved in an accident, it is crucial to check your vehicle for damage, including potential mount damage. Therefore, when purchasing a new car, be aware of its road history and conduct the necessary checks to ensure safety before driving the car on the highway.

3) Aggressive Driving

Proper driving techniques are essential to prevent serious damage to the engine mounts. Avoid over-revving the gears and ensure correct utilization of the clutch to improve the service life of the motor mount and other engine parts.

4) Age

A common reason for a faulty engine mount is its age and normal wear and tear. The motor mount is usually constructed with rubber. Over time, the rubber loses its elasticity due to wear and tear.

Due to excessive stress, small cracks in engine mounts may develop, leading to potential leaks. If you observe increased vibrations and mount noise due to such wear, it’s essential to promptly change the faulty engine mount to maintain the vehicle’s performance and safety.

5) Fluid Leakage On Engine Mounts

Oil Leaking On Engine Mounts

If you observe a fluid leak in your engine, it’s vital to repair this leak as soon as possible and address any other resulting damage to prevent your engine from expensive repair. For instance, engine oil leaks may lead the engine mount rubber to become soft, potentially leading to its failure.

How To Check Engine Mounts

If your engine is vibrating excessively and making unusual noises, you should check your engine mounts. Follow the below-given steps to check the engine mount:

1) Open the Car Hood

Firstly, you need to park your vehicle on a level surface and turn off the engine. Permit your engine to cool down before working on the engine. When the engine is cold down, locate the engine mounts.

Engine mounts are positioned at different sides of your vehicle’s engine, including the back, front, and other areas. The number of mounts in a vehicle can vary depending on the vehicle’s design, with some having two mounts and others featuring three or four.

These mounts come in different sizes and designs, tailored to the specific model of your vehicle. But all of these mounts share common features, such as large bolts that connect the mounts to the engine’s bracket.

2) Get help to turn the wheels

This is a two-person task. Therefore, inspecting the motor mount requires assistance from someone who can turn the wheels and rev the engine.

With an assistant, you can inspect the engine mount on the driver’s side, which stretches when your engine is revolving.

Look for any unnecessary movement in the mount; while the engine itself may move, the mount should not shift. The presence of movement in the mounts indicates a bad bushing that needs attention.

3) Inspect the Passenger Side’s Mount

To check the condition of your engine mounts, keep turning the engine while inspecting the passenger’s side mount. In such a case, your mount should compress but not move. If it moves, it indicates a faulty bushing.

4) Check Third and Fourth Mounts

If your vehicle has a third or fourth mount, repeat the above steps for those mounts as well.

Considering that one mount is already in bad condition, it’s advisable to replace all mounts to ensure optimal performance and avoid potential issues.

While revving the engine, observe its movement. While some movement is expected, excessive movement is a cause for concern. Additionally, ensure that the engine doesn’t come into contact with the fan shroud fixed at the front of your engine.

Check other parts to ensure the engine is not marking contact with any other parts. If there is sufficient clearance, it indicates that your mounts are in good condition, and replacement is not necessary in this case.

Motor Mounts Location

The engine mounts are directly located on the engine. The engine mount is securely bolted in its place and then attached to the car’s frame.

Motor Mount Location

The number of motor mounts used in a vehicle typically ranges from two to four, depending on the engine’s power and the required level of security. In contrast, most transmissions are supported by only one mount.

Vehicle manufacturers determine the appropriate number of engine mounts based on careful considerations made by automotive engineers. They consider various factors, including the engine’s orientation within the vehicle, its weight, and the type of mount to be utilized for the specific model.

To find more information about the motor mounts in your vehicle, consult your service manual. It should provide details on the location of each motor mount, making it easy for you to identify them if needed.

Engine Mount Replacement Cost

The replacement cost of the engine mounts depends on various factors such as the labor cost; the vehicle makes and model, and the type of part’s brand.

The average replacement cost of one motor mount is from $180 to $680. In this cost, the labor cost is between $160 and $520, while the remaining cost is of mount cost.

If you want to replace more than one mount, the cost will increase accordingly.

Engine Mount Cost$20 to $160
Labor Cost$160 to $520
Total Cost$180 to $680

FAQ Section

Can I drive with bad motor mounts?

Yes, you can drive, but it is not recommended to drive with a bad motor mount due to the potential consequences of a faulty engine mount. It may lead to excessive engine vibration, leading to severe damage that can be costly to repair in the long term. It is crucial to have the motor mounts inspected promptly as you notice any unnecessary noise or increased vibrations.

Can bad engine mounts affect the transmission?

The proper functioning of both the motor mounts and transmission mounts is vital in reducing vibration. When the motor mounts become faulty, they not only affect the engine but also affect the transmission performance.

Can a bad engine mount cause shaking while driving?

Yes, bad or loose engine mounts may cause excessive shaking as the engine starts to vibrate in the engine bay. But there can be various causes for shaking, especially during acceleration. Therefore, it is essential to inspect the entire vehicle, paying special attention not only to the mounts but also to the suspension parts to identify and address any issues effectively.

Can bad motor mounts cause jerking?

Yes, a bad motor mount is one of the primary reasons for a jerking vehicle. Particularly the mount located in the rear area of your car’s engine bay may cause jerking.

How long can I drive with a bad engine mount?

Once you become aware of a bad engine mount, it is essential to avoid driving your vehicle altogether. A faulty engine mount permits unnecessary movement of the engine, which can result in serious engine damage. This issue should never be taken lightly, and immediate action is necessary to prevent further harm.

Can a bad engine mount cause a rough idle?

The engine and transmission mounts are used to reduce the vehicle vibration. When they become faulty, they cause rough idling and unusual vibrations. A broken or worn-out engine mount can be a contributing factor to rough idling and abnormal vibrations in the vehicle.  

What do bad motor mounts sound like?

When an engine mount goes bad or becomes loose, your engine may start to move around in the engine compartment, resulting in banging and clunking noises, especially during acceleration when the engine operates. These loud and disturbing sounds demand immediate attention and inspection.

How many motor mounts are in a car?

The number of motor mounts in cars typically ranges from two to four, depending on the vehicle’s size and engine power. Some car models may have four mounts due to the specific positioning of the engine relative to other car body components, while others might have fewer mounts.

Do engine mounts affect performance?

Transmission and engine mounts are components that are frequently overlooked, both in terms of performance and maintenance. However, it’s essential to note that bad engine mounts can indeed impact the performance of your vehicle.  

How long does the engine mount last?

Usually, engine mounts need to be replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles or 5 to 7 years. However, factors such as driving habits, road conditions, and maintenance can affect their lifespan.

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