You start noticing a funny sound while driving, especially when you make a turn. Something’s going on under the hood, but you aren’t sure what. If this is the case for you, then you might suspect a bad motor mount.
What engine motor mounts do
Motor mounts have an important job to do. They keep your engine in place so that it doesn’t shift when you make turns or go up or down hills or over rocky terrain. They also reduce noise and vibration for the engine. These metal parts include rubber insulator blocks to reduce vibrations.
Because motor mounts are under stress all of the time, it’s not surprising for them to go bad in a high-mileage vehicle. Some models may seem to be more susceptible to bad motor mounts, but it can happen to any vehicle if you own it long enough or drive it over rough ground.
How to tell if a motor mount needs replaced
You will likely hear noise coming from under the hood while you’re driving if your engine is shifting around. The noise and vibrations may not be noticeable when the car is idling, but it will increase when you’re moving. A trusted mechanic can test your mounts and let you know if one of them needs replacing.
Motor mounts generally last several years, and they become more susceptible to breaking as they age. If you drive aggressively or like to race your car, you’re more likely to need to replace a mount sooner. Otherwise, the main causes of damaged motor mounts other than a collision are dry rot from the temperature changes and stress from putting the car in gear and accelerating from a stop.
It’s a good idea to have the motor mounts inspected to make sure they don’t need to be replaced. If left unrepaired, a broken motor mount can lead to other damage to your engine and components.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Do Engine Motor Mounts Last? and was authored by Joyce Morse.