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I have a 2018 T350 XLT Wagon with 149,000 miles, that I bought about four months ago. I posted a few weeks back saying I was feeling a bit of “slop” in the driveline, when I would come to a stop and then start off again. Felt to me like a bad U-joint.

Finally took it into Theodore Robins Ford—the dealer I bought it from—and they charged me $180.00 to diagnose that the engine mounts had “become soft.” They say there is nothing wrong with the driveline and that this “soft” engine mount issue is not dangerous, but will cost $2,000.00 to replace two engine mounts and one transmission mount.

Now, I’m a big boy and understood that I was buying a heavily used vehicle, well out of warranty, so I’m not crying the blues here. I would just like your thoughts on engine & transmission mounts getting soft. Anyone ever have that problem or hear of it before? Also, why is it so expensive to fix?

Would appreciate your thoughts and advice. Thanks.
 

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Petroleum products will make rubber soft and spongy. Spilled oil from oil changes, Diesel fuel spills or leaks. This is all I have experience with, Gasoline may do it too.
 

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Thanks ranxerox for the info. I am assuming that in addition to the transmission mount you show in that link, the two motor mounts are the two number 4 parts? What do you think?
 

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Thanks ranxerox for the info. I am assuming that in addition to the transmission mount you show in that link, the two motor mounts are the two number 4 parts? What do you think?
There have been several posts on this site about difficulties removing that subframe due to rust. You might want to find out if the dealer has assumed replacement of more parts than just the mount. Get the written quote from then dealer. If it was me I'd go to a good independent mechanic. If the transmission sub frame is dropped, it might be a good idea to change the transmission fluid and filter.
 

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The engine mounts that support the engine are "hydraulic" this means that your engine is effectively supported by a rubber cushion with hydraulic fluid in-between to dampen engine vibration. This fluid can slowly leak out and or the rubber can come apart over time, resulting in clunking or engine vibration felt through the cabin.


The transmission mount is also a hydraulic mount but is less likely to actually fail in my experience.

My recommendation would be to ask for a quote to get the engine mounts replaced but not the transmission mount. These repairs can be performed separately. I would not be surprised if the engine mounts are worn out and that alone fixing your noise complaint.

I think it's always a good idea for major repairs like this to use factory motorcraft parts and dealership techs to do the repairs, we will be able to do the repair without damaging the vehicle and all the one time use hardware will be replaced as necessary. Mom n pop shops will not know what hardware to replace and will likely use aftermarket mounts that will be sub-par quality.

Luckily once the mounts are replaced you won't have to think about it again for a long long time.

It never hurts to ask for the old parts back as well, although you may not be able to see anything obviously wrong with them externally.

This repair is expensive because the mounts are "fancy" not just rubber, the repair requires lowering of the subframe and this is a time consuming process. They will also have to replace a bunch of hardware that is adding to the total cost.

I would also request they inspect your oil pan and transmission pan prior to the repair on case there are leaks they can fix while they are down there.

My suggestion is to always ask the advisor to text you pictures of fluid leaks prior to approving repairs. The leak may not be bad enough for you to actually want to fix, especially considering the high cost of dealership repairs.

Best of luck!
 

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I think it's always a good idea for major repairs like this to use factory motorcraft parts and dealership techs to do the repairs, we will be able to do the repair without damaging the vehicle and all the one time use hardware will be replaced as necessary. Mom n pop shops will not know what hardware to replace and will likely use aftermarket mounts that will be sub-par quality.
Please note, I had no intent to disparage dealer techs in general. I hope you will accept my sincere apology if I offended you. Since the Ford dealer in my area that I had issues with went out of business quite some time ago :unsure: I will certainly go in with an open mind to the dealer(s) I choose for any warrantee/service going forward.

IMO the issues I have encountered in the past have been the result of the way service is structured and compensated Service writers who are commissioned and mechanics who are paid flat rate can result in dishonesty and shortcuts if not well managed. Unfortunately I have encountered the former at dealers of several brands and the latter at the Ford dealer mentioned (the rear seat should not be damaged and floor underneath cut opened to replace a fuel pump)

The mom n pop mechanic I use (it actually is a husband and wife) will use whatever parts I request or supply. He will also advise me in this regard when asked. I have never had to go back on any repairs he has made on my cars. He is a factory trained (pre-Ford) Volvo mechanic, but my cars are Japanese brands.

As I have mentioned before, the insight you bring to this forum is invaluable and is greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The engine mounts that support the engine are "hydraulic" this means that your engine is effectively supported by a rubber cushion with hydraulic fluid in-between to dampen engine vibration. This fluid can slowly leak out and or the rubber can come apart over time, resulting in clunking or engine vibration felt through the cabin.


The transmission mount is also a hydraulic mount but is less likely to actually fail in my experience.

My recommendation would be to ask for a quote to get the engine mounts replaced but not the transmission mount. These repairs can be performed separately. I would not be surprised if the engine mounts are worn out and that alone fixing your noise complaint.

I think it's always a good idea for major repairs like this to use factory motorcraft parts and dealership techs to do the repairs, we will be able to do the repair without damaging the vehicle and all the one time use hardware will be replaced as necessary. Mom n pop shops will not know what hardware to replace and will likely use aftermarket mounts that will be sub-par quality.

Luckily once the mounts are replaced you won't have to think about it again for a long long time.

It never hurts to ask for the old parts back as well, although you may not be able to see anything obviously wrong with them externally.

This repair is expensive because the mounts are "fancy" not just rubber, the repair requires lowering of the subframe and this is a time consuming process. They will also have to replace a bunch of hardware that is adding to the total cost.

I would also request they inspect your oil pan and transmission pan prior to the repair on case there are leaks they can fix while they are down there.

My suggestion is to always ask the advisor to text you pictures of fluid leaks prior to approving repairs. The leak may not be bad enough for you to actually want to fix, especially considering the high cost of dealership repairs.

Best of luck!
The engine mounts that support the engine are "hydraulic" this means that your engine is effectively supported by a rubber cushion with hydraulic fluid in-between to dampen engine vibration. This fluid can slowly leak out and or the rubber can come apart over time, resulting in clunking or engine vibration felt through the cabin.


The transmission mount is also a hydraulic mount but is less likely to actually fail in my experience.

My recommendation would be to ask for a quote to get the engine mounts replaced but not the transmission mount. These repairs can be performed separately. I would not be surprised if the engine mounts are worn out and that alone fixing your noise complaint.

I think it's always a good idea for major repairs like this to use factory motorcraft parts and dealership techs to do the repairs, we will be able to do the repair without damaging the vehicle and all the one time use hardware will be replaced as necessary. Mom n pop shops will not know what hardware to replace and will likely use aftermarket mounts that will be sub-par quality.

Luckily once the mounts are replaced you won't have to think about it again for a long long time.

It never hurts to ask for the old parts back as well, although you may not be able to see anything obviously wrong with them externally.

This repair is expensive because the mounts are "fancy" not just rubber, the repair requires lowering of the subframe and this is a time consuming process. They will also have to replace a bunch of hardware that is adding to the total cost.

I would also request they inspect your oil pan and transmission pan prior to the repair on case there are leaks they can fix while they are down there.

My suggestion is to always ask the advisor to text you pictures of fluid leaks prior to approving repairs. The leak may not be bad enough for you to actually want to fix, especially considering the high cost of dealership repairs.

Best of luck!
 

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True, it's probably not just the mounts that need to be purchased. There may be a few specified single use bolts, and really most bolts should be replaced when working under the van. It's pretty cheap peace of mind.
 

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You often have to cut the bolts holding the Suspension Subframe on, These bolts are often said to be costly to be replaced. There are a number of forum threads on how to do this and I have read them all at one time or another.
It has been said that rust ruins these bolts, and new owners in the past have covered these bolts with grease to try to protect them from rusting.

Post #31 of this thread tells how to drop the Subframe.

 

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Yep, when they replaced my torque converter they broke bolts and made the A-arm unsalvageable, so they had to order a new one. All because of rusty bolts.
 

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True, it's probably not just the mounts that need to be purchased. There may be a few specified single use bolts, and really most bolts should be replaced when working under the van. It's pretty cheap peace of mind.
I was thinking about touching the suspect subframe bolts on a annual basis or add some anti-seize. Guess, I better find out if any of them are torque to yield (single use). Likely the case.
 

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I think it's always a good idea for major repairs like this to use factory motorcraft parts and dealership techs to do the repairs, we will be able to do the repair without damaging the vehicle and all the one time use hardware will be replaced as necessary. Mom n pop shops will not know what hardware to replace and will likely use aftermarket mounts that will be sub-par quality.
Just because it's manufacturer dealer tech doesn't mean it'll be done right. I had two different dealer tech experiences (with a Jeep, not a Ford) that told me otherwise. First, one Jeep dealer replaced a rear output seal on my transfer case, and what I found down the road is that they actually broke a chunk out of the aluminum housing when doing so, filling the gap with silicone. Another Jeep dealer replaced axle seals, and cut the new seal when reinstalling them. That led to differential fluid getting into my brake pads, and the dealer subsequently charging me $330 to replace the low-mileage brakes that THEY were responsible for ruining.

"Dealer tech" doesn't equate to quality repairs in many cases. They're just pumping work through like any other shop.


This repair is expensive because the mounts are "fancy" not just rubber, the repair requires lowering of the subframe and this is a time consuming process. They will also have to replace a bunch of hardware that is adding to the total cost.
I would definitely get a line-item breakdown of the quote! From there, I would decide if I would do the work myself. There's no way $2K for engine mounts passes the sniff test for "reasonable" in my book.
 

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Just because it's manufacturer dealer tech doesn't mean it'll be done right. I had two different dealer tech experiences (with a Jeep, not a Ford) that told me otherwise. First, one Jeep dealer replaced a rear output seal on my transfer case, and what I found down the road is that they actually broke a chunk out of the aluminum housing when doing so, filling the gap with silicone. Another Jeep dealer replaced axle seals, and cut the new seal when reinstalling them. That led to differential fluid getting into my brake pads, and the dealer subsequently charging me $330 to replace the low-mileage brakes that THEY were responsible for ruining.

"Dealer tech" doesn't equate to quality repairs in many cases. They're just pumping work through like any other shop.




I would definitely get a line-item breakdown of the quote! From there, I would decide if I would do the work myself. There's no way $2K for engine mounts passes the sniff test for "reasonable" in my book.

I won't argue with you that techs at a dealership can make mistakes just like any other tech. My point was not that they are undoubtedly going to perform the repair perfectly, but dealership techs do work on the same vehicles all the time so they have the most experience with those vehicles. Dealer techs have all the correct special tools and the correct up to date factory online manuals to review before and during repairs. This helps in ordering all the 1 time use hardware and performing the repair correctly. Anyone can make a mistake or do something shady but your more likely to run into shady repairs and damaged components at a mom and pop shop as compared to a dealership.

As for the repair being 2k, you must consider that a large portion of that repair is going to be labor at 180$ per hour. You will most likely not be able to do the repair yourself unless you have some serious tools on hand because the front subframe must be pulled down in order to access the mounts. This is time consuming job that requires heavy lift equipment.

I appreciate your concerns and I fully understand why your not confident the dealer is the best option, but it is going to be the most likely to do the job correctly, although not cheap.

In the automotive field we have a saying, you can have your repair done with two of three options. cheap, fast and good. The repair can be done good and cheap but its not going to be very fast, you can have it done fast and cheap but its not going to be very good or you can have it good and fast but its not going to be very cheap.
 
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