Rattling noises in or on your car can be unnerving to say the least and can be caused by a wide number of issues. Perhaps you only hear the rattling when you first start your vehicle, or only what you’ve stopped. The rattle may only occur when accelerating, decelerating, hitting bumps, turning or it might be constant. Whatever the cause is, you undoubtedly want to correct the issue right away.
While some rattles may be due to minor, easily fixed issues, others might be symptomatic of much more serious problems that only a mechanic should tackle. Read on to try to get to the bottom of the rattles on your vehicle.
Where is the rattling noise coming from?
The first thing you’ll want to do is to narrow down the exact location of the rattling. There are four main areas, and if you can figure out which area the sounds are coming from, you can be that much more informed.
The four main areas of your vehicle are as follows:
- underneath your vehicle
- inside the wheel wells
- under the hood
- inside your vehicle
Loose Exhaust System
The exhaust system on your vehicle runs from your engine all the way to the rear of your vehicle. It is composed over several different components including the catalytic converter, sections of the tailpipe, and the muffler. As time passes, the parts can become worn down and the joints that hold them into place can loosen causing rattling noises from underneath your vehicle.
You might notice that the rattling seems to be coming from under the vehicle rather than the tailpipes themselves. Furthermore, if your exhaust system is loose, it may bang against the underside of your vehicle causing a momentary rattle.
Bad Catalytic Converter
When speaking of exhaust systems, the catalytic converter could also be responsible for the rattling you hear. The job of the catalytic converter is to convert toxic gas and pollution into less dangerous substances. This device can either be damaged by thermal shock or impact, both of which can lead to broken and rattling parts. A faulty catalytic converter could either be a slight rattle noise or extremely loud. Aside from any obvious rattling, another sign of a bad catalytic converter could be a warning light in your dashboard.
Loose Heat Shielding
Due to increasing emissions regulations, engines and exhaust systems must operate at higher temperatures than before. This increase in temperature means that heat shielding has had to be added to exhaust components like catalytic converters, mufflers, and exhaust pipes. This shielding is designed to reflect extreme heat away from the bottom of your vehicle. Made of thin pieces of metal, heat shielding is located between your exhaust system and the underfloor of your vehicle. Over time, this shielding can rust out or become loose and rattled against other parts.
Inside the Wheel Wells
Your vehicle’s suspension system contains many different components which include the springs, struts, sway bars, and links. Your steering system is also an important part of your suspension system. Over time wear and tear can cause any of the parts to become rusted and/or loose which could lead to shaking and rattling. Other parts that end up causing rattling noises include your brakes, your wheels, and your tires.
Under the Hood
If the oil level in your vehicle gets too low, your oil pump may end up sucking in air and sending through the engine with any remaining oil. This can cause either a ticking or rattling noise from your engine.
Another source of rattling from under the engine could be due to low-octane fuel. Low octane fuel can cause carbon deposits, a bad knock sensor, overheating, or incorrect ignition timing. Another result of low-octane fuel could be rattling.
Inside the Vehicle
Rattling noises that are coming from inside your vehicle may be less serious than exterior rattling but just as annoying. If you only hear the rattling when you hit a bump or go around a tight curve, it’s likely that the rattling is coming from an area that opens and closes, such as your glove compartment, doors, or interior storage areas like the console.
Where to Take Your Vehicle in Sarasota
If you can’t locate or fix the rattling on your own and you live in the Bradenton, Ellenton, Nokomis, Osprey, Parrish, Venice, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Siesta Key, University Park, or Sarasota, FL areas, stop by Encore Motorcars so our experts can take a look at your Acura to resolve the rattling noise.
* Acura Car image credit goes to: Vicky Gosselin.