4 Things That Can Prematurely Age Your Engine Mounts

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The vibrations produced by your boat's engine need to be controlled if you're to enjoy the smooth, comfortable performance and avoid any issues with electronics and other mechanical parts of the vessel. The tough rubber-like material used for the mounts will harden as time passes and cease to isolate vibrations, so they will need to be replaced eventually. However, there are a few things that can cause your engine mounts to require attention sooner than expected, and here are just four.

1. Exposure to Seawater

If you own a seagoing vessel, you're almost certainly already aware of how damaging rust can be and how vigilantly you have to protect your boat from it. If seawater gets in around the engine through even minor leaks, the metal parts of your engine mounts can be damaged through corrosion. In some cases, this can get so bad that the mounting bolts fail. Rust isn't the only problem associated with seawater—it can also affect the rubber compounds of the mounts, causing them to harden faster.

2. Rougher Seas and Weather  

Continuing to cruise during rougher conditions will subject your engine to bumps and shocks. Even if the engine itself is fine, this movement may damage the mounts. This will be even more likely if you're running at high speeds or with heavy loads due to the excessive g-force that's created. Additionally, weaker vessels with more flexible hulls will be more affected by these adverse conditions.

3. Poor Installation

Sometimes mounts can be damaged simply by a poor installation. If the engine mounts were poorly aligned, the bolts may fail over time. You want to ensure every mount is carrying an equal share since they undergo more stress when unevenly loaded—additionally, unevenly loaded mounts can increase the amount of vibration your engine produces rather than reduce it. If you notice any signs of skewing, your engine mounts may need to be replaced.

4. Engine Fluid Leaks

The rubber-like material used in your engine mounts can be damaged by many of the fluids used to keep your boat's engine running properly, so any fluid leaks should be a major cause for concern. Oil, diesel, and other petroleum products will attack rubber components and seriously impact their performance. Any minor spills can be cleaned up with natural soaps, but it's best to have the engine mounts inspected if fluids have been present over longer periods. 

For more information about marine boating equipment, contact a local company.