The engine is the most important part of a Mini’s internal systems. It’s what provides power to every other system in the car. The engine mounts, though not often thought about, play a vital role in maintaining the health of the engine and keeping the frame of the car level and balanced.
Though Mini Coopers are generally very reliable cars, they run into problems, and engine mount failure is one of them. Instead of the engine straddling the inside of the engine bay, manufacturers mount the engine directly to the car’s body or frame. This was designed so that the engine’s torque generated by its horsepower doesn’t simply cause it to flip over inside the bay and damage all the hoses and lines and components attached to it.
The engine rests on engine mounts that are bolted to the frame. These mounts are typically made of either solid rubber or rubber filled with liquid to aid in energy absorption. Engine mounts are designed to keep the engine in place and prevent it from moving around, causing damage to itself or other components under a car’s hood.
Symptoms of Engine Mount Failure
Engine mounts are pretty hardy, typically lasting anywhere from 60,000 up to 150,000 miles (or 5-7 years) depending on how hard you are on your Mini on a day-to-day basis. If the mounts do begin to fail, there are several signs to look for that will let you know you’ve got a problem with them. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should bring your car to an expert mechanic as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the engine.
Loud noises coming from the engine may be a sign of engine mount problems. This occurs as engine mounts wear down. Their hold on the engine loosens. When you accelerate, the engine will rise up. When you decelerate or stop, you might hear a loud and abrupt bang as it falls back into place. As you can probably imagine, this is not only startling for the driver, it can also cause significant damage to the engine.
If you let this continue, the mounts will eventually break off completely, allowing the engine to move around inside the hood and bang into other components, causing extensive and expensive damage to both itself and those other parts.
Rough idling can be caused by many different problems, but one of them is engine mount failure. If the engine is not being held securely by the mounts, it can rattle around while idling, causing the car to vibrate.
One way to test if the rough idling problem is because of the engine mounts or some other issue is to step on the brake and then suddenly press the throttle. If the engine moves more than a little bit when you do this, there’s something wrong with the mounts. Just make sure to do this test in a place where it’s safe, such as an empty parking lot.
You may also be able to tell that there’s a problem with the engine mounts due to some visual queues, which you’ll notice even when the car is not running. For example, if the engine is sitting at an angle inside the car’s hood or there is clear damage to any of the hoses or belts near the engine, it’s a good sign that the mounts are failing. You should always have your car towed to a professional MINI expert if you find your engine sitting at an angle. Do not drive it in this condition, as it is a danger to you.
Motor Cars International for Your Mini’s Engine Mount Problems
If you’re having issues with your Mini Cooper’s engine mounts, you need to bring it to a mechanic as soon as possible. Engine mount failure is a serious problem that can lead to engine damage that will take a lot of time and money to repair.
If you’re in the Easton, Norton, Raynham, Sharon, or Bridgewater, Massachusetts area, Motor Cars International would be happy to inspect your MINI. Our experienced technicians specialize exclusively in European makes and models, so we’re able to give the personalized care your car needs. Call or visit us in-store to learn more or schedule an appointment. We look forward to working with you.