Q: Broken engine mounts due to lifting the car

asked by on November 19, 2016

I took my car in for a oil leak. The service station found that I had two. One was an Oil Pressure Sender or Switch, the other was the Oil Filter Gasket located at the engine itself. Repairs went rather quickly, though they had a few issues clearing a bolt on the filter system. Once the work was done I drove off and felt a hard hit going into 2nd gear. I took the car back. They drove it and put it on the lift. 20 minutes later they came and got me to go into the garage. They showed me the engine kicking when changing gears. They then told me an engine mount had broken because it was put on the lift. I had watch them do the work, and they actually lifted the car at least 7 times. They said it wasn't their doing / problem, and suggested I let them give me a quote for the repairs. I took the car and left. Now I have a broken engine mount(s) and my car is no longer idling properly. The RPM needle drifts up and down while idling where it didn't before. Is this a common issue? 150K miles
My car has an automatic transmission.

I am not aware of any type of motor vehicle lift, or accepted (i.e., standard, manufacturer permitted) lift practice, that would damage the mounts that hold the engine and/or transmission to the vehicle frame. Of note, if the shop is telling you that the mount broke "because" the vehicle was placed on the lift that is a virtual admission that they used the lift improperly and broke the mount simply because, again, auto lifts, properly used do not break parts on cars, any parts. Motor mount can be forensically examined to determine the mechanism of failure. I know that is involved but that is technically the only way this mystery can be resolved unless an employee testifies that they damaged your car or you saw the vehicle placed improperly on the lift. Upon mere physical examination, a mechanic could possibly determine if the mount fractured due to impact or improper loading versus ordinary "wear". If it makes you feel any better, mounts are often not hugely costly to replace so you can get it fixed and just chalk up the experience to be careful who you deal with in the future. The idle issue, if you are sure it commenced immediately after this visit, is also a little inexplicable unless they really broke something "further". If a mount is severed, you will usually get more engine movement and possibly more vibration than before but the idle speed itself, in RPM’s, should not be affected. At any rate, that problem too, is resolvable. Maybe they disconnected something in the area of the idle air control valve or throttle controls (look for disconnected terminals) but if you see nothing a standard Diagnostic will reveal the issue. Sorry to hear of this: you can file complaint(s) against the shop and once you have the mount removed, if it determined that it was broken outside of normal use, obviously the complaints could be pursued more vigorously. To get your car restored to proper order, if you desire that a certified specialist from YourMechanic look at the motor mounts and inconsistent idle problem, by all means, please re-contact us.

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