The motor mount plays a pretty important role under that hood. Without it, your engine would not be tied down to the frame of your car. It would shake your vehicle and could damage all parts connected to it.
Most motor mounts are simple-looking structures that consist of a rubber spacer that is held firmly between two metal plates. With one metal plate attached to the engine and the other metal plate attached to your vehicle’s chassis, the rubber spacer is designed with holes that allow the rubber to compress and expand as needed.
If your Volvo is a front-wheel-drive model, the front mounts offer support to both the engine and the transmission. Front-wheel-drive vehicles are generally equipped with 3 mounts: two which support the engine and one that is usually located along the bottom-center of the transaxle. This keeps the entire unit from swaying back and forth.
Common Effects of a Bad Mount
The most common reason for a motor mount to go bad is that the rubber in the mount is breaking down and the space between the holes starts getting tears and cracks. The rubber itself could also end up drying out. This causes it to change from a springy, rubbery consistency to a very hard and brittle state, similar to a thin slice of wood.
If both of the conditions occur at the same time, the engine could end up rocking up to several inches from side to side as you apply pressure to the gas or brake pedals. Severe vibration will also be extended to the section between the engine and transmission and the chassis. In most cases, the majority of the effects caused by a bad engine mount will have something to do with the chassis itself, rather than the engine or transmission.
How Bad Motor Mounts Affect the Drivetrain
The worst thing that can arise from a bad motor mount is that the engine is able to build up some momentum before it slams to a halt on the motor mount. The first components that you will see suffer from this slamming will be your Volvo’s delicate U-joints (universal joints) and the CV joints (constant-velocity joints.) These components are designed to withstand only a specific amount of force while they bend and spin.
If your Volvo is front-wheel-drive, as most models are, its CV joints are even more susceptible to damage because the rocking or twisting of the transmission causes the CV joints to be put into odd angles. This threat from the twisting is even greater for the inner CV joints, which are not capable of handling the same degree of angles as the outer joints.
Three Signs That Your Motor Mounts Need to be Replaced
- Loud, Unusual Noises: If your motor mounts are going bad, one of the first things you will notice will be loud and unusual noises from your engine. Some common noises may include clunking, thumping, scraping, rumbling, or other unusual sounds. These come from the engine bumping against other parts nearby. Hearing any of the noises is a good indicator that you should have your vehicle inspected by a reputable automotive technician as soon as possible, maybe even have it towed there.
- New Vibrations: While it’s normal to feel a little bit of vibration while driving your Volvo, if the vibration becomes noticeably bigger, you may have an issue with your motor mount. Faulty motor mounts allow the engine to rock much more than it should. This rapid rocking could present as excessive vibrating while you’re going down the road.
- Shifted Engine: If your motor mounts are going bad, this can lead to your engine actually physically shifting to one side or the other. One of the most common ways to tell if your engine has moved is to check to see if the engine has rotated in either direction. If you inspect your engine and see that it is tilted, you need to stop driving it right away and tow it to our shop immediately. Driving in this condition could lead to serious and dangerous ramifications for your safety and your Volvo’s longevity.
Hayes European Will Repair Your Motor Mounts
If you live in the Santa Cruz, Aptos, Soquel, and Capitola, CA areas, contact Hayes European today for all your automotive needs. We will inspect and repair your motor mounts to get you safely back on the road where you can drive with confidence.