In Summary
  • According to Ronald Lubega of Grace Lubega Garage in Kampala, an engine mount is the part that holds the engine in your car.
  • Since engine mounts hold a lot of the weight pressure and are made out of rubber and steel, most problems will begin showing when the rubber part breaks or separates or when liquid starts leaking.

Most drivers have at one point been told by their mechanics about a broken or faulty engine mount that needs replacement. Today we explore what the mount is, its uses, and the different types of car mounts and the symptoms of faulty mounts.

According to Ronald Lubega of Grace Lubega Garage in Kampala, an engine mount is the part that holds the engine in your car. In a typical car, the engine and transmission are bolted together and held in place by three or four mounts. Ronald further explains that an engine mount is made of rubber and steel. It has two purposes; to secure the engine and transmission to the frame of the car, and to absorb the road shocks and engine vibrations so that the driver does not feel any engine movement. There is also the transmission mount that secures the transmission.

Placement
One part of an engine mount is bolted to the car body or frame. Another part holds the engine. The engine is a source of vibration, as it has many moving and rotating parts. The job of an engine mount is to not only hold the engine in place, but to reduce the engine vibration felt inside the car. Engine mounts are made with a rubber material so that there is no direct metal-to-metal contact between the engine and the car body.
To further dampen the vibration, some engine mounts are filled with liquid. A liquid-filled engine mount works like a shock absorber.
Lubega says some car manufacturers such as Toyota and Honda use active vacuum-controlled engine mounts that vary dampening as needed. Electromagnetic mounts actively reduce engine vibration transferred to the body.
An engine mount doesn’t need any maintenance or regular servicing. It only needs to be replaced when it fails or wears out. Christopher Mukiibi, a car mechanic and owner of a spare parts shop in Kisekka market, says engine mounts can last the life of the vehicle if you are a lucky and careful driver.

When faulty
According to Lubega, most of the problems with engine mounts start to show in five to seven year-old vehicles. However, transmission mounts last longer than the engine mounts.
Since engine mounts hold a lot of the weight pressure and are made out of rubber and steel, most problems will begin showing when the rubber part breaks or separates or when liquid starts leaking.

Noise
The first symptom of a failed engine mount is increase in engine noise and vibration felt inside the car. Lubega says the excessive vibration is more noticeable at idle with the transmission engaged. For example, in some cars, a failing passenger side mount can cause a vibration and growling noise.
In some cars, a broken top engine mount can cause vibration at idle, especially noticeable when the transmission is in drive. In some cars, a broken engine mount can also cause a noticeable abrupt shake or forward push when the engine is in a strong gear.
In automatic cars, the shake will be noticeable while shifting into drive or reverse or when accelerating or decelerating. Lubega adds that in some Mitsubishi cars, a failed engine mount can cause vibration felt in the steering at idle when the transmission is in drive. The vibration disappears when shifted to neutral. He adds that a bad transmission mount may also cause squeaking when shifting gears.

Cost
Car mounts or commonly referred to as gear box mount will cost Shs60,000 for the commonly driven sport utility vehicles (SUV). A new transmission mount will cost Shs30,000 or Shs40,000. A second hand side engine mount will cost Shs50,000 and Shs30,000 for a new one. However, Lubega says that according to his experience, second hand mounts perform better. He adds that brand new mounts sold in Uganda break easily.