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rattling sounds

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Hi all,

That infernal rattling sound that has plagued my car for the past year has just gotten louder. Some of you may recall me complaining about a rattle coming from somewhere below the dash or the central tunnel area....


Well, the sound has gotten quite loud now and seems to be coming from behind the passenger's seat -- somewhere around the gas tank. It sounds like a metal on metal rattle -- kind of like taking a small nut or bolt and banging it against the bottom of the rear firewall.

The rattle happens under the following conditions:

1) driving up onto driveways. When entering 1 wheel at a time, it creaks and rattles.

2) When cornering hard towards the right. It rattles when entering the turn and it rattles again when exiting the turn. It does not happen when making a hard left turn.

3) Backing up. Seems strange, but it sometimes rattles when I backup.


It rarely happens when going straight. Bumps on the road do not seem to reproduce the problem.

Ive already taken the rear interior trim panels off and checked for loose items, wires, etc and it all seems secure. Plus the sound distinctly seemed to come from the outside. Ive gone under the car twice to check for loose bolts, hoses, and wires and nothing seems loose.


So, if anyone has any ideas or past experiences, please pass on the info.

Thanks in advance.
 
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I ran into the exact same problem and performed the exact same steps you took to search for the "rattle". I finally found it last month and it was the REAR GLASS HATCH hinge of the passenger side. I removed the bolts and tried to bend and tighten the hinge housing but with no result. I finally put in a 1 mm screw to get rid of the free- play and now no rattle. Good luck.
 
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If it creaks when entering driveways wouldn't that be chassis flex? I've never had that happen in my X and I've had to enter/exit some really steep ones, well steep for a car with no ground clearance!

The only time I've heard chassis flex is in my old Suburban. Could a chassis brace start to come loose? Maybe you should check all your suspension bolts and torque them to spec. Just a suggestion.
 
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Originally posted by PUREVIL:
If it creaks when entering driveways wouldn't that be chassis flex?


Thats what I thought too. But what puzzles me is that potholes or bumpy roads should provoke the rattle just the same -- but it doesnt seem to happen nearly as often.


Anyway, I will try to see if I can get it onto a lift to torque down the rear subframe. I couldnt get the car more than a foot off the ground and its pretty hard to turn a 2 foot long torque wrench down there
smile.gif
 
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Originally posted by CHOICE:
I finally found it last month and it was the REAR GLASS HATCH hinge of the passenger side.

Hmmm... I'll check into that one tomorrow morning. I hope it turns out to be the culprit.
 
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Oh, I just remembered I forgot to mention the circumstances that I first noticed the rattle last year.


It all started after I brought the car in for the 4yr/60k service. The rattle was NOT present before the service. I noticed the rattle when driving it home from the dealer and brought it to their attention the next day. As a result, I had them look at it on 2 occasions, and even took their service guy around the block to demonstrate the problem. Not much came out of this.

Logic would dictate that something had happened during the service since the sound was not there before. But after checking over everything that should have been done during the service, I could find nothing wrong. A couple of plastic hose clips were loose, but putting those back in place didnt fix the sound.

I dont know what else to try. The first couple years of ownership were great, but this last year has been nerve wracking. Imagine cruising through some hills and taking a tight right hairpin and then... CLICK CLICK rattle rattle.... powering through and then... CLICK rattle creak. Kind of ruins the whole experience. Its gone from a source of fun to a source of much frustration.


If anyone else has had any similar experiences, PLEASE let me know how you fixed it! All I want is to turn that loose bolt 1/2 turn and get back that driving satisfaction!
 
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Hi all,


Well, the rattle has gotten REALLY loud these past few days. Several new things Ive noticed:

1) Now rattles both during left and right turns.

2) Rattle seems louder if a passenger is riding in the car.

3) Rattles slightly when driving straight and come accross potholes, etc.


My worst fear is that the rear subframe is loose and that its all going to come apart some time soon. It seems to corner just fine, but the noise is quite prominant. Sometimes its as loud as when pebbles strike the bottom of the floorpan or inside of the wheel wells.

Again, any further ideas or suggestions are appreciated. In the meantime, Im trying to line it up to take to the dealer. (they probably wont find jack shit as usual)
 
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Originally posted by Dr.Lane:
Could it be a heat shield?

Hmmm... as in the one for the front exhaust manifold? I'll have to give that a good shake tonight and see if its the cause.

It seems to come from behind the passenger somewhere, so there's a chance.

I'll take a look. Keep your fingers crossed.

Thanks for the response...
 
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My experience with loose frame components is that they "thud" and "clunk" more than they rattle.

Nevertheless, I've had a number of ideas about your problem... some have been addressed... Dr. Lane maybe on the right track (check all shields, including the ones around the brake rotors, too).

I was once plagued by a rattle... didn't remember until late last night... I dropped a tool (a socket) and it fell into a crevice of the engine.

Hmm... Could it be you are the proud owner of some mechanic's Snap-On tool?
 

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I've been plagued with the same problem myself. I've had my mechanic tear apart the entire dash at least twice and I STILL have rattle from in front of the steering wheel. It bugs the living daylights out of me but No one seems to be able to find it..so I am sympathetic to your predicament. Maybe you ought to try checking the exhaust itself. If it is off kilter it MAY rattle against something else in the car. I know that a few times the rods that the exhaust hangs on were not in the rubber mounts all the way, and that caused some rattle under cornering...
 
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I've had rattles caused by a loose wing nut (the one that holds down the spare tire).

Also ones caused by a loose bolt that holds the top of the vertical support that the spare is bolted to.

[This message has been edited by nsxtasy (edited 08 March 2001).]
 
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Originally posted by nsxtasy:
I've had rattles caused by a loose wing nut (the one that holds down the spare tire).

Also ones caused by a loose bolt that holds the top of the vertical support that the spare is bolted to.

Yeah, Ive check one several times as well.
Ive pretty much eliminated the front bay because Ive checked it over 4 or 5 times in the past year.

As an aside, the battery box handles will emit a rattling sound if they bang into the 2 tiedown rods on either side of the battery tiedown bar. Slipping some silicone hose around the tiedown rods usually solves it. Rags and wire ties also works.
 
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Originally posted by Edo:
Maybe you ought to try checking the exhaust itself. If it is off kilter it MAY rattle against something else in the car.

I'll try checking these tonight if I get a chance.
 
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Originally posted by nsxman:
My experience with loose frame components is that they "thud" and "clunk" more than they rattle.

Yeah, you *could* say its a clunk. I actually get anything from a rattle (like something hanging loose under the car) to creaking to loud clunking sounds. Thats whats got me so concerned.


Nevertheless, I've had a number of ideas about your problem... some have been addressed... Dr. Lane maybe on the right track (check all shields, including the ones around the brake rotors, too).

I'll check those as well the next time I under there (maybe tonight even). Probably do the exhaust pipes, etc as Edo suggested.



Hmm... Could it be you are the proud owner of some mechanic's Snap-On tool?

Hahahah... could be. You never know
smile.gif
Another couple visits and I will have all his sockets!


I keep picturing one of the old sparkplugs from the service fell into the crevice in the rear firewall (the hole where the fuel line comes out). I had specifically asked to save all the old parts. I ended up with 6 boxes and only 5 plugs... kind of makes you wonder.
 
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Hi again,


Well, I just spent most of the evening under the car checking over some of the leads you guys provided. Came up empty.

Everything feels tight or were secured properly. I didnt check every fastener (not enough clearance for wrench) but most there werent any obviously loose ones.

The exhaust heat shields were ok. The pipes were on their hangers OK. Everything looks ok.


I did notice a lot of creaking coming fom the suspension though when I was lowering the car. I cant remember if it used to be quite that loud or not. (I usually use a pair of ramps for oil changes.) How much creaking is there normally when you put the right rear corner down?


Only thing I found was a small oil leak coming from the other cam plug. Damnit... there goes another 300-400 bucks.

Any other leads? Im gonna bring it into the dealer next week... perhaps they will have better luck finding it this time.
 
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Hi again,


Well, took it into the dealer to get it looked at. They werent sure what was causing it, but they retorqued the lower half of the rear subframe anyway. Most of the creaking went away.

There's still some slight twisting in the upper half which causes the area behind the passenger's side to squeak. Hopefully I can retorque those this weekend....

I guess the moral of this story is -- retorque the rear subframe after any engine work because those bastards at the dealer are probably eyeballing it.
 
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Originally posted by bill:
Just curious. Los Gatos Acura or Sunnyvale?

Actually, it was the Stevens Creek Acura.

I was originally going to boycott them, but then I found out that the service manager had been replaced. I decided to see if it was a change for the better and took it in. They found the problem this time and the service rep seemed to go out of his way to get things right.


Apparently, the previous service manager went to the Lexus dealership on Stevens Creek, so Lexus owners beware.


But, I would be suspicious about anything anyone has gotten fixed there before January this year. Another customer waiting with me was complaining about clutch problems and found out that it had been installed incorrectly last year.


BTW, this was the same dealer that recommended that I replace the power window bits when in fact a simple lube job would do. This wasted me ~$1K in parts and my entire Sunday.


Oh, anyone know of a better dealer in the south bay? I havent tried Los Gatos nor Sunnyvale. Better/worse than Stevens Creek acura?
 
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Tried LGA and wasn't happy. My opinion is that the basic problem is the Service Mgr is not the guy working on or driving your car after you leave it. If you have ever seen the way that dealership employees drive cars, rest assured that your NSX will be driven the same way. All of my future service will be at Hill Top Auto where the owner, Don, is the guy working on your car and he knows and appreciates the NSX.
 
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Originally posted by bill:
My opinion is that the basic problem is the Service Mgr is not the guy working on or driving your car after you leave it.

Yup...

My theory is that the service manager ceases to care after 6-12 months and service goes to hell. The mechanics out back start slacking because their boss doesnt care. They do just enough to get the car out of the shop. Then, the customer complaints mount and the service manager is replaced. The cycle starts again.

All of my future service will be at Hill Top Auto where the owner, Don, is the guy working on your car and he knows and appreciates the NSX.

Hmmm... that seems a bit far for me.

But I agree, the owner cant just quit and move so he has a reputation to uphold.
 
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Relief! I've found the cause of a rattle that has been annoying me since 1996. My car had a rattle similar to the one described by edo.

Something in the dashboard that sounded like a little piece of metal rattling somewhere in front of the driver turned out to be just that. One of the screws holding the front defroster garnish to the body (part #25 here) wasn't tightened down all the way. That allowed the metal washer to rattle against hard plastic and annoy me to no end.

Now the defroster garnish has a lining of felt where the instrument panel lies on top of it so it doesn't squeak and that rattle is gone. Much better. The fix requires removing the dashboard but hey, what are weekends for?
 
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