Organised by the Original Equipment Suppliers Aftermarket Association (OESAA), the seminar considered the differences in performance between OE quality replacement parts designed to do a specific job and alternative, cheaper parts, that are designed to ‘fit’ but achieve very little else.
Corteco’s business development manager Carey Owen focused on two different engine mounts: one from the Corteco range and another from well-known aftermarket brand.
Both fitted the same vehicle and from the outside they looked similar but had major differences on the inside.
Owen told the technicians that early vehicles were fitted with engine mounts that were ‘low in technology’.
He said: “Technology has marched on since then and the engine mounts on some of today’s models are far more complex.
“Modern vehicles incorporate ‘technologically rich’ engine mounts that ensure that vibrations from both the suspension and the engine are absorbed.”
Corteco is the aftermarket distribution arm of Freudenberg, one of the world’s leading suppliers to automotive vehicle manufacturers.
A cross-section of a Freudenberg-made engine mount was used to show just how complex the modern engine mount has become.
Inside, a series of chambers could be seen and it was explained that 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 engine mounts are likely to be linked to an electronic switch on the instrument panel.
Change the setting and it changes the way the engine mounts perform, taking into account new handling characteristics associated with the anticipated change in speed, different driving conditions and variations to the road surface.
A second cross-section had none of the complex design technologies of the first.
The technicians present at the OESSA meeting learned that it is currently available as an aftermarket replacement for a sport application.
Carey Owen stated that most professional motor mechanics appreciate the need for greater vibration control on the suspension, but not everyone understands that additional controls must also be applied to the engine.
He pointed out that every component that’s fitted with some form of vibration control – whether it’s the suspension, the engine or indeed, the gearbox – must be able to be stiffened if driving conditions are set to become much more demanding.
One technician claimed that some aftermarket brands “cost much less”, but Owen advised that such parts are little more than solid rubber.
Holding up a cross-section of the ‘low technology’ engine mount, Owen said: “If the inside looks anything like this one and has half the parts missing like this one, I am not surprised they cost less.
The OESAA seminar concluded, with some technicians expressing their surprise that instead of sourcing ‘technologically rich’ engine mounts like these from a dealer, they were readily available from motor factors.
Find out more about the OESAA and its member by clicking ‘More Details’ below.