Q: Mechanic Says its Motor Mount, but...

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Took my 2012 Ford Explorer in for a clunking noise in the front right, noticeable when turning at low speeds and even when parked and turning the wheel. The front end service advisor says it sounds like a bad motor mount, before he even looked at it (same guys who quoted me $1,100 for four new tires - did my due diligence and got them for $700 elsewhere). Called me back and quoted me $930 to replace two bad motor mounts and one bad tranny mount. Had to order the parts. So while waiting for the parts to come in I had a family member look at at it. Popped the hood, sat in the Explorer with it running and turned the wheel back and forth. Within 11 seconds my family member had it figured out as the front right strut. Are the struts at all connected with the motor mounts that would cause this? How do I tell if I genuinely need new motor/tranny mounts?

My car has 67500 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. The struts have no connection whatsoever with the engine or transmission mounts. At 70,000 miles, it is not likely motor mounts will have failed UNLESS tremendous loads have been consistently put on the engine through, for example, abrupt acceleration.

Mounts usually fail due to oil/antifreeze contamination and cracks in the rubber. Hydraulic mounts can leak, too. If your mounts appear "dry" you are probably OK. Sometimes mounts can be tested just by looking for excessive engine motion.

In park, have an assistant abruptly raise engine speed to a couple thousand RPM. The engine should not "move" appreciably. You will see slight movement but should not be excessive. Do NOT stand in front of vehicle while performing this test.

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