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 Inside story

At a seminar held in association with the Original Equipment Suppliers Aftermarket Association, Corteco told garage technicians why the choice of engine mounts is crucial to reliable repairs and satisfied customers.

Price, availability and OE quality were among many issues debated by technicians at a seminar that highlighted differences between aftermarket parts that deliver on performance and alternative cheaper parts that simply ‘fit’.

Corteco’s business development manager Carey Owen focussed on two engine mounts. They both fitted the same vehicle, but from the inside they looked very different indeed.

It seems that early vehicles were launched with engine mounts that were little more complex than a block of rubber, with a bolt sticking out of either side. Technology has marched on.

The engine mounts on today’s models are far more complex.

“What you have now are very complex components that ensure that the vibrations from both the suspension and the engine are absorbed,” he explained.

A cross section of the Corteco OE engine mount, which available to the aftermarket from distributors, showed just how complex the technology inside has become. Inside is a series of chambers. An alcohol-based substance moves between these chambers according to the speed and movement of the suspension and the engine under load. If the driver happens to be behind the wheel of a sport model, the mounting may be also equipped with an electronic switch. Press this and it changes the way the mounting performs in preparation for a change in handling conditions associated with the anticipated changes in speed and road surface conditions.

“You will appreciate the need for greater vibration control on the suspension, but not everyone expects to find that there are additional controls that are also applied to the engine,” the technicians heard.

In fact, every component that’s equipped with some form of vibration control – whether it’s the suspension, the engine or indeed, the gearbox – needs to be able to be tightened/ stiffened if the driving conditions are set to become much more demanding. That’s why Corteco – the distribution arm of the Freudenberg group, which is one of the world’s largest OE manufacturers – was advocating OE quality part replacement every time. That’s when the issues of price and availability are usually raised.

One technician was surprised to learn that, rather than sourcing them from a dealer, these parts are also available through motor factors. Another pointed out that there were certain aftermarket brands that were always much cheaper:

“You can get them for up to half the price.” he claimed.

“I’m not surprised,” said Carey Owen, holding up just such an engine mount:

“If on the inside they are anything like this, they have half the parts missing and cannot possibly do the job. In this case, you are not paying for OE quality, you are paying for forty year old quality.”

..ends


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