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Question: When do I change engine mounts? Do I have to change all 3 mounts simultaneously? If I change only one, does it cause the others to fail?

Summary: I recently went to the MB dealership to have a low roaring noise diagnosed. They claimed it was due to engine mounts and changed all 3 of them, even though I said I had just had the front mount changed a year before and the transverse mount changed 2 years before. They said that all 3 are always changed together, otherwise the unchanged ones will fail. The noise continued exactly as before. By going to other mechanics, I learned it was due to feathered tires. With the tires replaced (at no charge), the noise ceased. They didn’t change the valve stems on the tires and one brand new tire was totally flat the next day, at which point they changed only that one. I lost half a day’s pay due to the flat tire. They offered me a $100 credit on future work there. Even so, I’m considering challenging their $782 charge on my credit card, or maybe just let it go. Any advice would be appreciated.

The longer story.

Time table:
All 3 of my mounts were in use for 70,389 miles.
Transverse mount on left was changed at 70,389 miles.
Front mount was changed at 89,775 miles.
Engine mount on the right was changed at 106,480 miles,, along with the other two that had previously been changed.

I kept all 3 mounts and took them to 3 different repair shops to be examined. The front mount which had only 16,000 miles of use was found to be “like new” and the transverse mount which had 36,000 miles of use was found to be undamaged and to show normal wear and be in good condition. The 7 year old engine mount that had 106,480 miles of use was found to have a cracked bushing.

 

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Question: When do I change engine mounts? Do I have to change all 3 mounts simultaneously? If I change only one, does it cause the others to fail?

Summary: I recently went to the MB dealership to have a low roaring noise diagnosed. They claimed it was due to engine mounts and changed all 3 of them, even though I said I had just had the front mount changed a year before and the transverse mount changed 2 years before. They said that all 3 are always changed together, otherwise the unchanged ones will fail. The noise continued exactly as before. By going to other mechanics, I learned it was due to feathered tires.
The dealer's story is so full of holes I don't know where to start.

Okay, yes I do. The question to ask regarding the roaring noise is, roaring noise when? If it only occurs when the vehicle is moving it certainly is not the engine mounts. Bad engine mounts do not make a roaring noise in any case. The first thing I would have checked for a roaring noise when moving would have been the state of the tires. That is basic.

The German repair method is to replace all of a set of a failed part, needed or not. If you had one bad tie rod they would want to replace both sides. Typical but not necessary. The engine mounts only need to be replaced when they fail. One bad one will not necessarily cause the others to fail.
 

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The original owner of my fortwo let the dealer replace the disk rotors when replacing the front pads...at only 40k miles! The pads had not gone to metal, but the service manager said,"we always replace rotors when replacing pads". Crooks, pure and simple. Surprised they did not also change the blinker fluid or charge him for a new catalytic converter belt.

Always take your BS meter along when going to the dealership!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK, thanks very much for the answers. I’ve decided to just pay it. The charges should have been simply:
2 tires, valve stems and all included - $248.65
1 engine mount + labor – (less than) $300.00
2 additional mounts that I didn’t need, but I’ll just keep and pay for anyway – parts alone $150.75
a credit for future use at the dealership - $100
Total $799.40
Actual charge $782.00
So it comes out sort of OK, though not really, considering that I only really needed 2 tires at about $250 and maybe 1 mount, parts cost $94.50+tax= about $100. And when I go back to get an oil change or whatever there, they will probably grossly overcharge me for it to offset the $100 credit.
In addition to your BS meter, you should always go to a dealership with a suit of mental armor on, maybe a written plan which you read from, and insist on test driving with the mechanic who will work on your car, then stay and observe and make them prove any diagnosis that they come up with. Actually mechanics I have regularly dealt with over 30 years at good, reliable repair shops have done all of that without me having to suggest it.
 
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