My dealer wants to replace the front motor mount (1996 Toyota Camry)--is this legitimate?


#1

Hi guys. I think this is a legitimate need because my Toyota dealer has always been trustworthy in the past–I’m just not familiar with this area of the car. The car is a 1996 Toyota Camry in great shape with 86,900 miles. When at the dealership earlier this week, they said that the front motor mount needs to be replaced. I’m thinking that since the car IS 12 years old, that things will wear out from time to time. They said that the car will begin to lose some “torque” when it starts to get urgent. Does this sound reasonable to you, oh ever-knowledgeable ones? How will this loss of torque feel/sound when I’m driving the car? Thanks for your input.


#2

Why are you taking a 96 Camry to a dealer?
Take it to a local private mechanic with a good reputation.
Let him see if the bad motor mount is legitmate.

-Matt


#3

I just sold a nice 1995 Camry. It had a severe pulse/shake in the front end. FS did several things to it… including replacing two mounts…which made absolutely no difference in anything. My problem was a corroded brake rotor, which they should have found. Unless you have a problem with the car, I would be skeptical and might ride it out for awhile.
c


#4

That sounds kind of suspicious. If the motor mount was bad, you’d probably feel a lot of vibration in the vehicle. If you aren’t feeling increased vibrations, I wouldn’t worry about it. Also, lack of torque under WOT sounds like BS.

Take it to an independant shop and see what they have to say. Just remember, dealerships aren’t affectionately known as ‘stealerships’ for nothing.


#5

A broken mount may cause a thump, vibration, rough idle, etc. but it is not going to affect engine performance at all.

If you were told this, then it was no doubt a service advisor who related this.
Very few SAs have any mechanical ability and can go off on a real tangent sometimes while trying to sound knowledgeable.


#6

Motor mounts do wear out but if your’s has is a different story. As already said, you will usually feel/hear a thump or vibration if the motor mount is bad. There will not be a loss of torque, that doesn’t even make sense. Ask the mechanic to show you the mount and why he feels it is bad. If he shows you the engine is moving around a lot at that mount while holding well at the others when revved up then it probably does need replacement. If it is just cracked some I wouldn’t worry about it, nothing catastrophic will happen if it does wear out.


#7

I agree with you 100%. My lady friend got majorly taken by her Toyota dealer with this and a trivial but $2200 oil leak. My take now is only warranty work at a dealer. Learned the hard way.


#8

Thanks!


#9

Great reminder…thanks.


#10

Good to know, thanks.


#11

Thanks for the advice. My Dad has always gone to a dealership, so…perhaps it’s time to start a new family tradition! Appreciate your input.


#12

Duly noted. Thanks!


#13

My 95 camry had a bad front engine mount. I should have gotten it replaced a year or two ago (but saw no loss in engine performance). A mechanic’s jaw did drop when he noted I had a cracked front wheel axle-which no doubt was aggravated by driving these new orleans streets dotted with numerous potholes. Take my advice-avoid the toyota dealership and take it to a local mechanic who will save you the $$$$$ I wish I didn’t have to spend…


#14

I’m going against the grain on this one and say go ahead and get it replaced. I don’t know why, but the better dealers, ones that are not known for incompetence or ADP tricks (additional dealer profit) often recommend changing the dogbone on Camry’s of this vintage. Cost is around $100. Any reasonable mechanic can change it but use only a genuine Toyota part.


#15

As noted, have it checked by an independent mechanic, but if confirmed, have it replaced. My experience on my 94 Camry was that the front mount was cracked but that the symptoms were so slight as to be not that apparent. No real thunks or clunks. Once it was replaced, though, the motor started and ran much more smoothly.


#16

The others are a bit harsh given they have absolutely no idea of the condition of your car. Not all dealers are bad nor all independents good.

I agree with them in one aspect just have a trusty independent give a 2nd opinion.


#17

I don’t know if you have already had this work done but here is my two cents. I have a 1996 Camry with the 4 cylinder engine that had a weird sound upon accelerating from a stop; no vibration at all while idling or at speed. It was found to have a bad front engine mount and a damaged dog-bone that let the engine move forward and back which was making the noice. I replaced the dog-bone myself, the part was $51.00 at the local Toyota dealer. The front motor mount was $183.00 at the same dealer and my mechanic charged me $70.00 to replace it.

The Toyota parts dept. man said (and my mechanic agreed) that the front motor mount is the one that goes out and when this goes out, it almost always takes out the dog-bone. There are two other mounts on this engine, a rear motor mount and a tranny mount but according to my mechanic, these rarely go out.

Hope this is helpful.


#18

The 16th post was the most informative. Like he said - there are 4 mounts (rear, dogbone, front and trans which is near the left front tire). I had two 1994 camrys and the front and dogbone went on both with one car needing the trans mount. The rear one almost never goes from what I was told. FWIW, don’t put in aftermarket mounts. I got the front and dogbone at autozone and had a garage put them in. They went in like 16 months or so compared to OEM’s at the dealer which last a lot longer. Also, the aftermarkets were harder rubber so the steering wheel vibrated driving out the garage. So, get the mounts at toyota and get a garage to change them. If the dogbone is going, the engine will start to twist upon acceleration. if the front one is gone, the wheel will vibrate when idling at a stop light. get this done


#19

A bad motor mount, in my experience, is VERY obvious. A motor mount is basically like two links of a chain with one link mounted to the car and the other to the engine. To smooth things out, the gap between the “links” is filled with rubber. There are variations, but that’s the basic idea.

When a motor mount goes bad, it’s usually a case of that rubber breaking about and falling out. When enough of the rubber falls out, the two “links” touch and you feel and hear the vibration very prominently, usually on acceleration or deceleration. It sounds like a jackhammer against the firewall.

But I’ve never heard of a motor breaking and the engine falling out of the car. The metal almost never fails. A bad motor mount means the rubber is gone.

So I would just leave it be until there is a definite symptom that I noticed.

If the dealer can give a specific reason why the mount needs to be replaced, hear him out. But unless he can give a very specific reason and show you why it needs to be replaced (like he gets in the car, keeps the break on, gooses the gas and the engine starts making that jackhammer noise), he’s just trying to make money.


#20

Should engine mounts all be changed when one goes bad?

How bad should one get before changing?

Should changing them be treated as routine maintenance?