The Rattle Battle: What’s My Car Doing?

You’re driving down an endless road with the windows down and the hot sun warming your cheeks. It almost seems like paradise until you hear a dreadful sound – a terrible repetitive jangling coming from somewhere in your car. You have no clue what could be making the noise and automatically think of all the hundreds of dollars you’ll have to spend to fix your car. So what do you do in this situation? A mechanic is probably one of those things you find yourself spending too much money on. You can’t fix anything without knowing some possible solutions. Let’s discuss some various problems that can make your vehicle rattle.

Discovering The Problem

6879pFirst and most importantly, make sure your car is in an area that is safe. You don’t want to cause any traffic problems or get yourself injured. Then you can begin checking your car. It can be very difficult to find the issue just by sound alone, so leave no stone unturned and don’t overlook anything that might be out of place, look odd, or are unattached. A most common problem with any rattling sound would be your exhaust pipe. Do not touch it while it’s hot but look and see if it’s cracked or flawed. If your pipe is severely damaged then get it repaired at a car shop immediately; otherwise deadly carbon monoxide fumes could seep into your car while you drive. Also, check for a broken suspension. Is the spring detached? While this issue isn’t as serious as a damaged exhaust, it should still be repaired very soon. It is safe to drive as long as you don’t brake hard, speed, or go over bumps.

Another dilemma would be with the catalytic converter. This is located on the exhaust pipe and rattles when impaired. To fix, you must wait for the car to cool, remove the oxygen sensor on the converter, unscrew the bolts, take the old converter out, and replace it with a new one. There are many videos and tutorials available online so you can do this properly.

Pop the car hood open and look for a large sheet of metal held down by screws. This is your exhaust manifold heat shield, and a probable cause of the mysterious rattling sound. This is basically a shield for the heat that comes out of the exhaust manifold (hence the name). While your car has cooled down, see if the shield is loose or shifty. A simple solution would be to just tighten the screws. As cars get older, the shield tends to wear down and buckle. It is arguable that the heat shield can be removed completely and not cause damage to the vehicle, but has shown positive results in getting rid of the rattling noise. Therefore, remove at your own risk. Check also the various heat shields running down your exhaust, these sheets of tin can easily become dislodged and begin to rattle. Re-fasten or replace as you can.

An Alternative Solution

Things that jangle and clatter happen because something is detached or hanging awkwardly. If nothing mentioned before has been an issue, check your car up and down for anything hanging loosely. Even if something hanging is not broken or damaged, it can always be fastened down. The solution could even be as simple as an object inside your vehicle, either in the trunk or interior, that is making those odd noises. If you are truly stumped, have a mechanic look for a possible problem. If you car is truly not fixable, you can always get a loan for a new car, regardless of your credit. You might be wondering how to get a car loan with bad credit, but there are many offers that dealerships can make for you that are feasible.

To Summarize

Although your vehicle is having a few hiccups, there’s always a solution. Remember to use safe procedures when fixing, replacing, and/or inspecting various areas of your car. If you are truly worried, a car technician can easily identify the problem and work with you to create a solution. Don’t let the rattle bully you – put it in its place!