Q: Why would a 2007 Hyundai Getz (a 1.4 S model) need its engine mount replaced at 59651 miles?

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I am looking at purchasing a 2007 Hyundai Getz (a 1.4 S model) second-hand. The owner has told me that its engine mount has recently been replaced; although she insists it has not been in a car crash at all. Why then has it needed replacement so soon? Thanks.

My car has 59651 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Motor mounts fail due to separation or tearing of the rubber isolation components and/or failure of the internal hydraulic component if the mount is of the hydraulic type. Premature failure of mounts can occur due to abrupt acceleration, such as jack rabbit starts, occurring over a long period of time. Also, oil saturation of the rubber, from engine oil leaks, will cause early mount failure. If a motor mount failed due to a collision, the collision would typically have to be fairly severe and many other vehicle components, possibly including the frame, would have been damaged. You can ask the owner why the mount was replaced and he or she may know the answer and that would address your concerns. Replacement at 60,000 miles is generally premature though.

A good way to protect yourself in a used car transaction is to request a pre-purchase vehicle inspection. That inspection, carried out by a certified Mechanic, dispatched to your location, will give you very specific data regarding any current problems that the car has. You have additional opportunities, too, to in evaluating particular used car models. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains a database of consumer complaints, official recalls and factory service bulletins for all makes and models, by year. I encourage you to go to the NHTSA website and enter the vehicle’s year, make and model and review the existing reports which will give you an excellent idea of what has been experienced by other owners insofar as faults in the particular make, model and year you are interested in. In addition, "Consumer Reports" publishes system by system vehicle reliability data for all years, makes, and models. This data is available free in the library or on-line if you are a paid subscriber. That reliability data will give you an excellent indication of the relative likelihood that key systems on the model (and year) of interest will fail at greater, or lesser, frequency compared to those rates reported for other vehicles. Obviously, what you want to be looking for in that database is an indication that the vehicle "make and model year" is not a "lemon" insofar as reliability. If you are unable to access any of these resources, or desire data of a different type, please do not hesitate for a moment to re-contact YourMechanic and we will assist you further in your attempts to make a wise used vehicle purchase.

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