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General E46 Forum
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:39 PM   #1
egruber
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Mystery rattle under the car.

I hope you guys can help with this one. My 2001 325 convertible has a metallic rattle from somewhere under the car. I only hear it when the left side goes over bumps. Pressing the brake makes no difference and when the windows are up I don't hear it. Mechanics have checked all over under the car and can't find a thing. None of the springs are broken. Everything is tight in the front end. Can struts make this noise?

I'm stumped. Any ideas on this one?
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:42 PM   #2
j_block
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Re: Mystery rattle under the car.

Exhaust loose?

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Old 06-20-2013, 06:43 PM   #3
egruber
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Didn't appear to be. Seems odd that the noise is not transmitted into the car when the windows are up.

Last edited by egruber; 06-20-2013 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:47 PM   #4
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Sway bar end links?
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:48 PM   #5
egruber
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Didn't check that one. But I'm going to take down all these suggestions for the next time I get the car on a lift.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:14 PM   #6
davidwarren
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my exhaust hanger was slightly loose and it took me forever to figure out what was making the noise. It was a horribly loud metallic rattling sound. check that and check the heat shields by the exhaust manifold.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:17 PM   #7
egruber
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Mystery rattle under the car.

That sounds like a possibility!


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Old 06-20-2013, 07:26 PM   #8
davidwarren
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That sounds like a possibility!


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Actually, the hanger wasn't loose, it was just misaligned. I just hit it with a wrench and the rattle stopped. Like, I literally just hit it.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:32 PM   #9
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If the rattle is light, my money is on the exhaust system. If the rattle is heavy, then suspension is my first choice.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:33 PM   #10
egruber
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Mystery rattle under the car.

I think the noise is light. I will check the exhaust. Where exactly are the spots I should check?
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:39 PM   #11
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I think the noise is light. I will check the exhaust. Where exactly are the spots I should check?
You should be able to hit it with your hand and get it to rattle.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:39 PM   #12
jdstrickland
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You are describing either a heat shield that is loose or the internals of the exhaust are coming apart.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:40 PM   #13
egruber
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Mystery rattle under the car.

Where? Behind the rear muffler?


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Old 06-20-2013, 07:44 PM   #14
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mine was the hanger right below the passenger door.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:44 PM   #15
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Fuel filter cover maybe? Loose?
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:16 PM   #16
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Take a look at the auto headlight adjusting link on the control arm too.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:24 PM   #17
egruber
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Mystery rattle under the car.

I will have to check them again. But the mechanic said the front end was all tight.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:56 PM   #18
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Have the same problem. 100% sure it's exhaust related. Mine is also cracked, so both of those problems finally gave me reason to buy a full cat-back

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Old 06-20-2013, 10:05 PM   #19
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parking brake issue?
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:21 PM   #20
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Not to thread jack, but mine it annoying the living F out of me!
However, mine goes away when I step on the brakes even lightly.
So, Im suspecting its a brake pad?
It just has to be, but it doesnt make sense.
Can It still be suspension related if it goes away when u hit the brakes?
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