Any phrase with the words ‘engine’ and ‘failure’ in them is alarming to any vehicle owner. Luckily, having an engine mount failure isn’t the end of your MINI’s running life, and it can easily be serviced. However, it is still a vital factor in the longevity of other vehicle parts. When the engine mount is no longer able to serve its purpose, it can cause excess strain on other vehicle parts, resulting in damage. There are a number of ways to easily identify if your engine mount has failed and when it needs to be fixed. Knowing the purpose of the engine mount and how to recognize possible issues are key in ensuring that no further damage will result.
The engine mount itself does not contain any moving parts. Its main purpose is to mount, support, and secure the engine to the vehicle’s chassis. This keeps the engine where it needs to be, but it also dampens the vibrations coming from the engine when the vehicle is running. One part of the mount is attached to the engine, while the other part is attached to the other side of the frame. It is made up of both metal and rubber materials, with the rubber being in the center of the mount to absorb the engine vibrations.
Over time, the vibrations of the engine on the mount can cause general wear. Since the mount is absorbing so much shock and vibration from the engine, it can become brittle over time, causing it to crack & break. Not only that, but the main problem MINI Cooper owners have is loosely-installed engine mounts. This will result in early engine mount failure because when the mount is loosely installed, it is unable to properly secure and stabilize the engine and will no longer properly absorb vibrations.
Engine mount failure is relatively easy to catch early if you know what you are looking for. Even though the engine mount does not seem like the most important part of your MINI, it is still important to repair a failing engine mount as soon as possible. If left broken for an extended period of time, it could cause major damage to your engine and/or other vehicle parts. The main things to look for if you suspect engine mount failure are excessive engine vibration, noises from the engine bay, engine movement, engine misalignment, or even vehicle maneuvering.
It is recommended that you have your MINI inspected by a professional if you suspect engine mount failure. This is to avoid missing important factors like alternative damage that could have been caused. However, if you are already well versed in your knowledge of vehicle mechanics, an engine mount is not overly difficult to repair or change.
The first thing you will have to do is assess the damage to the car’s engine mount. If you noticed any of the symptoms listed earlier, you already have a good indicator that the engine mount may be failing or loose. With a MINI, the engine can be small enough to reveal too much movement with a two-hand push-pull motion. If that doesn’t work, then you can always take a look at the engine mount itself and see if it is broken or worn out. This will require a jack and some blocks to get a clear view.
After a replacement is deemed necessary upon inspection, then you will want to check to make sure you have room around the firewall before lifting the engine. Secure the engine on a jack. Be sure to never jack an engine by the oil pan, as that will cause the pan will bend and break. With that in mind, loosen the engine from the mount bolts. You may need a long extension and universal joint for this step. Next, you will need to get under the vehicle in order to loosen the mount to frame bolts. Then, to remove the motor mount, you will jack the engine up just a little at a time.
Once the mount is removed, move any heat or drip shields that may be in place on the old mount to the new mount. Then, thread in the mount bolts before once more lowering the engine. Before you put the engine back in place, be sure that all bolts are tightened completely.
The best way to avoid engine mount failure is to perform ongoing maintenance & frequent engine checks. If you don’t already have a mechanic you trust, consider St. Matthews Import in Louisville, KY area.