Driving With Broken Motor Mounts: What Are the Implications?

Driving with broken motor mounts can be tempting, especially when you are low on funds to repair them or you just detected it in the middle of nowhere. These situations leave you wondering whether you can still drive the vehicle until you can repair it.

Driving With Broken Motor Mounts

Well, we decided to do the research and find out if it’s ok to drive when your engine mounts are damaged and the answer may surprise you. Also, we included the tell-tale signs your motor mounts are going bad and why motor mounts get damaged over time.

Is Driving With Broken Motor Mounts Advisable?

No, driving with broken motor mounts is not advisable. You can only drive with broken motor mounts in extreme circumstances like emergencies. It is advisable to get the motor mounts fixed as soon as possible because the effects on the engine and the car can be devastating.

In fact, you may even have to replace engine if this happens.

– How Long You Can Drive With Broken Motor Mounts

You can drive for a few hours with broken motor mounts, but that should only be during emergencies or when you’re taking the car to the mechanic. Better still, hire the services of a tow truck to help you get to the house or mechanic instead.

How do you know if your motor mount is broken? A car with a damaged motor mount would lurch strongly when the engine is started. The lurch would then transition into excessive vibrations and the lurch would repeat when the engine is switched off.

What Are the Effects of Driving With Damaged Motor Mounts?

The effects of driving with damaged motor mounts include movement of the engine, uncomfortable noises, and vibrations from the engine and damage to components of the engine. Broken motor mounts can also cause road accidents and permanent damage to the engine if not resolved in time.

– Movement of the Engine

The motor mounts hold the engine in place to prevent it from moving while the vehicle is in motion. Therefore, a broken motor mount would cause the engine to move within the car and this can disrupt certain functions like changing gears or applying the brakes.

Movement of the Engine

Depending on the severity of the car’s damage, the engine can shift to one side of the car and this can shift the entire car as well due to the weight of the engine. The movement of the engine could be so severe that it might interrupt driving, slightly swaying it from side to side.

– Damage to Components of the Engine

The excessive vibrations could damage some of the engine components such as radiator hoses or fan belts. These components could either snap or break, causing the engine to malfunction and leading to overheating.

Some bolts and nuts may also come loose or the gasket may break, leading to fluid leakages within the engine. All these are dangerous to the engine, therefore the best method to try is to replace motor mounts immediately after they are broken.

– Road Accidents

The movement of the engine may interfere with the alignment and handling of the car and this might pose a danger to other road users as well.

Road Accidents

Though this is an extreme example, it can happen as any slight mishap on the road poses a risk to motorists and pedestrians.

This is why you need to make sure the entire vehicle is in tip-top condition before driving on the road. 

– Sounds Coming From the Engine

The vibrations and movements of the engine would generate uncomfortable sounds, especially when you are accelerating or decelerating. Also, applying the brakes or shifting the gears can cause some rattling sounds, which may be uncomfortable.

This is because nothing is holding the engine in place and the slightest function could generate clangings and bangings within the engine.

– Unpredictable Car Movements

Also, the constant engine movements due to the absence of the motor mounts could cause unpredictable movements of the car. The engine’s movement could also counter the car’s movement, which could confuse both the driver and other road users as well.

What Are the Signs of a Damaged Motor Mount?

The signs of a damaged motor mount are increased vibrations coming from the engine bay, a rough engine start, noises on impact, and corrosion of the motor mount. These motor mount symptoms could be due to other problems, but check the mounts to make sure they are not the source.

– Vibrations From the Engine

If you experience excessive vibrations when you start the engine or during driving, then the motor mounts could be damaged. The motor mounts have anti-vibration properties that keep the engine steady, thus when the mounts are damaged, they lose those qualities.

Vibrations From the Engine

Excessive engine vibrations also cause more sounds in the engine than usual and this can damage the engine. Thus, be sure to check engine motor mounts whenever you feel strong vibrations from the engine.

– Rough Engine Start

When the car makes a strong lurch after you start the engine, then a possible cause could be broken motor mounts. The lurch, which is stronger than usual, would then transition into strong vibrations and cause damage to the engine. In some circumstances, you would also experience a strong lurch when you turn off the engine.

The damaged engine mounts may not directly affect the transmission, but you’ll still need to replace engine mounts to keep the engine safe.

– Noises on Impact

When the motor mounts are broken, the strong vibrations could lose some bolts and nuts within the engine, which could make noise whenever the car hits the road. It is also possible for the car to vibrate while braking at high speed.

The movement of the engine would also make a clang whenever the car hits a speed bump. These bad engine mount sounds can be unsettling and distract you while you’re driving, therefore, it is best to have the motor mounts checked.

– Cracks and Corrosion of Metal Parts

One sure sign of bad motor mounts is the cracks and corrosion of the metallic parts. Corrosion is caused by air mixing with water and reacting with the metal to produce rust.

If the rust is not checked, it would eat into the metal and weaken it and before long, the mounts would crumble. Once you see that the metallic parts are corroding, then it’s time to change the motor mounts.

– Cracks and Tears in Rubber Parts

If the rubber parts begin to show crack or tear signs, then it’s time to replace the motor mounts. Even flaking is not a good sign as it (along with the cracks and tears) can weaken the mounts and impede the engine’s performance.

This is because the efficiency of the engine relies on the form of the mounts, thus any change to the mounts could spell danger for the engine.

What Causes Broken Motor Mounts?

The causes of broken motor mounts include driving on bumpy roads, potholes and even roads. Also, aggressive driving, improper shifting of gears and natural wear and tear are all agents that cause damage to motor mounts. Unfortunately, some of these are not avoidable.

The causes include bumpy roads, accidents, improper installation, incorrect changing of gears and an aging engine mount. Take note that the engine mount replacement cost varies from $20 to $200, depending on the type of mount.

– Bumpy Roads or Roads Full of Potholes

When cars hit a bumpy road or pothole, there’s a slight shift of the engine, though the motor mounts absorb most of the impact. This shift, though slight, is increased over several bumpy roads or potholes and causes a break or tear in the mounts.

Bumpy Roads or Roads Full of Potholes

Therefore, as much as you can, avoid bumpy roads and potholes and you’ll be lengthening the lifespan of your mounts.

– Improper Shifting of Gears

Changing gears at the wrong time may put extra stress on the engine causing it to vibrate. The vibrations of the engine, in turn, put more stress on the motor mounts and cause them to break.

Thus, you’ll need to learn when to change gears, how to change gears and when to maintain the same speed. However, this problem is only prevalent in cars with manual transmissions.

– Aging Problems

The motor mounts, like any other mechanical device, undergo wear after a long period of usage. The mounts won’t last forever even if you are careful to avoid all the causes mentioned in this article.

Experts even recommended that you replace the motor mounts between 5 to 7 years of usage. This would keep your engine anchored and performing at its peak, delivering maximum power to keep your vehicle going.

– Incorrect Mount Installation

If the motor mounts are not fixed the right way with everything improperly screwed, it would start shaking when the vehicle hits a bumpy road. We recommend that you send the car to a professional who would ensure that the mounts are properly installed.

However, if you feel confident to install it yourself, then make sure you do it properly to save the life of the mounts and the engines. Otherwise, you can do a temporary motor mount fix and later have a mechanic fix it permanently for you.

– Motor Accidents

Cars that are involved in head-on collisions are likely to have motor mounts failure. Therefore, if you get involved in an accident, make sure you examine the vehicle for any internal damages. The worn-out motor mounts may not cause loss of power, but take note that it may cause the vehicle to slide from one side to the other when the car accelerates, leading to accidents.

Also, when you purchase a used car, be sure to check the car’s history to see if it has ever been involved in an accident. Better still, you can let a professional mechanic check the car for you before you buy it to avoid purchasing a vehicle with a damaged motor mount.


So far, we’ve discovered the implications of driving with damaged motor mounts and the factors that damage the motor mounts.

Here is a summary of all that we’ve read so far:

  • You can drive for a few hours with broken motor mounts, but that should only be during emergencies or when you’re taking the car to the mechanic. It would be better not to drive it at all.
  • Motor mounts are the structures that anchor the engine and absorb bumps that can cause damage to the engine, thus they need to be checked constantly.
  • A damaged engine mount would cause the engine to sway from one side to the other, interfering with driving and posing a danger to other road users.
  • Broken motor mounts can cause excessive vibrations in the engine and break some essential components, causing engine malfunction.
  • Some signs of damaged motor mounts include rough engine start, vibrations and noises in the engine, corrosion of metallic parts and cracks in the rubber parts. Some causes of broken engine mounts are driving on bumpy roads, incorrect shifting of gears, accidents, improper installations and aging of the mounts.

To extend the life of your engine mounts, avoid driving on bumpy terrain as much as possible, learn how to change gears properly and get a professional to install the mounts. If your car starts shaking at 60 Mph you should check out our troubleshooting guide. 

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