My Subaru rattles, well, it USED to rattle.

Ever since I bought my Subaru Impreza Sport it’s had a weird rattle at around 2,000 RPMs and every time I drove it I thought “As soon as I get home I’m going to find that rattle”. Well I finally did it (after a year and a half).

If something’s rattling it’s either a piece of trim, a heat shield, or some plastic cowling somewhere, right? Right. That’s why I was a little ticked that I waited a year and a half to look.

You don’t have to be a mechanic to fix stuff like this. Get a piece of cardboard or put on your junky shirt and jeans, lay on the ground a look under your car, feel for stuff that’s loose. Open the hood and poke around. It’s good to do that once in a while anyway to check fluids, so do that while you’re in there.

Basically everything on your car should feel “attached”. If there’s something that feels loose, that’s probably what’s rattling. Now find out how it’s attached and tighten it. Yeah, that’s it. I know you want to think it’s something rattling in your engine or transmission, but it’s probably not.

This was what fixed my Subaru rattling problem.

Here’s what’s under the front. Two plastic cowlings that are probably just there to keep rocks flying up into the engine or something. The one on the left jiggled more that the one on the right, bam, that’s gotta be it.

Subaru Impreza Rattle

 

Grab a 12mm socket.

Subaru Rattle

12mm socket

 

Tighten this bolt.

Subaru Rattle

 

That’s it. Rattle gone. 1.5 years of daily frustration washed away with a few turns of a ratchet. I REALLY wish I had done that on day one.

What’s something you’ve put off for a long time that could’ve been fixed in five minutes?

 

 

7 Comments

  • Romy

    I just turn up the radio! I am hoping that new shocks will keep my back rear tire from going bald again. Any tricks for getting a window to stay in? Mine’s poppin’ out.
    Every time I hear a They Might Be Giants or Beastie Boys song, I think of you.

    Reply

    • Pete Fazio

      What kind of car is it? I’m guessing it’s a 2006 Honda Civic. If it’s popping out of the guide that holds the glass it might be binding along the side channels and lifting out. First I’d buy a tube of Shin-Etsu Silicone Grease and lube the inside of the rubber channels all the way around. If that doesn’t help I’d pull the door panel off and make sure the bolts that hold the glass into the guide at the bottom are doing their job. The lube is cheap, I’d start there and just use it on every car you have and then let your friend’s borrow it. Or keep it around the house for the heck of it. You can also call the dealer and ask them if there’s a recall or service bulletin out on this issue and ask if they’ll replace it for free. Sometimes, JUST SOMETIMES dealerships will hook you up. Call every dealership you are within driving distance to and play them off one another. I hope this helps.

      Reply

  • Dan McEnerney

    Oh Pete, There’s so much more here. We have 2003 and 2005 Outbacks. The heat shields make a noise that screams “there’s no oil in the crank case!”. But its the damn heat shields on the exhaust rattling. They rust or wear out around the bolts.

    Solution: take out the bolts and futs around until you find a few wide flange washers that fit closely to the width of the bolt shaft. Place a washer over the screw hole below the heat shield, then place another above the heat shield and replace the bolt. You’re sandwiching the heat shield between the two washers. The washer hole has to have a small enough diamter to catch the flange of the bolt. Tighten securely. Works like a charm.

    Reply

    • Pete Fazio

      Nice fix, Dan. Luckily mine was just the cowling for now. But I could tell it was a plastic-y sound and I knew it from the right front. That heat shield has a distinct metal-y sound right? It’s crazy how the just right RPM makes it harmonize and rattle for just a few seconds. You’re either flooring it to get past that point or trying to accelerate very gradually to smooth through that RPM range.

      Reply

  • Romy

    Thanks Pete. Its a 2001 Toyota Camry. I’ll start with the lube and then get my uncle to take the door apart. He has a nice little shop in the backyard. Marc doesn’t have car tools, just building ones.

    Reply

    • Pete Fazio

      I think you need to edit your comment to say “Wow, Pete, You’re RIGHT, It IS a 2006 Honda Civic… AMAZING! You’re SOOOO Smart”. Does it happen rolling down only? Does it feel like it’s binding? Is it lifting out of the guide do you think? Front or back part of the window only? Like does it start to go at an angle or something?

      Reply

  • dan

    same rattle… should do this tomorrow. Ive just put up with it for like 6 months. need to find that rattle

    Reply

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