How to Find a Rattle Inside Your Car

Written by j. johnson
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A rattling inside your car could be as simple as something loose in the boot or it could point to a much more serious problem. When it comes to the safety of your vehicle, you can never be too careful. If you hear a rattling noise, try to determine what the source of the noise is as soon as possible. If you can't find the source, bring your care to a professional mechanic for an inspection right away.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Check inside your boot and back seat to make sure there's not a loose object that's causing the rattling noise. Examples could be sports equipment in your boot or a loose bottle or can rolling around the back seat.

  2. 2

    Turn on your car engine, but leave the car in park. Then, listen for the rattling noise. If you can hear the rattling noise while the car is on but not moving, you might need to check your engine oil, inspect the catalytic converter, or make sure the mounting bolts for the engine accessories, the timing belt, and the clutch fan are firmly in place. The problem could also be with your transmission or the harmonic balancer of your engine. If you're not sure how to check these various parts, consult a professional mechanic or check the owner's manual of your car.

  3. 3

    Listen carefully for the rattling noise from inside your car while it's on but not moving. If you hear the rattling noise coming from the dashboard or the doors, mostly likely one of the brackets or braces that holds components inside the car has come loose.

  4. 4

    Turn on the air conditioning after you start your car. Keep the car in park. If the rattling noise starts after you turn on the air conditioner, then the clutch that activates the air conditioner most likely has a loose or broken part. The clutch will need to be replaced.

  5. 5

    Drive your car. If you can only hear the rattling noise once the car starts moving, the problem may be with the shocks or struts, brake caliper or brake pads, tie rods, control arm bushings, ball joints, frame bushings, or sway bar mounts. If you're not sure how to check these various parts, consult a professional mechanic or check the owner's manual of your car.

  6. 6

    Take your car to a professional mechanic if you find the source of the rattling noise but don't have the expertise to fix it or if you can't locate the source of the rattling noise.

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