Imagine buying a car and finding out just a few miles down the road that one of its quirks is actually a creak. Interior rattles can be maddening, especially to those of us with sensitive ears attuned to details. Short or long drives can seem like torture. Luckily, EricTheCarGuy has a guide to help track down phantom noises in a brand new step-by-step video that can be applied to any car on the road.
The first step to hunting down a dash rattle is to replicate it off the road with gentle bumps on the dash to zero in on the problem piece. Once the rattling pieces are identified, try removing them from the dash to see if the rattle disappears. If the noise disappears when you remove a certain part, you’ve found the problem area.
Sometimes, a squeaking or rattling component needs “flocking” or “noise canceling tape” to seat it properly and prevent it from noisily wiggling. Foam, fabric, fluff and standard tapes are available. Use it sparingly — overstuffing foam could crack the edges of the part. Use just enough to quiet the noise.
Experiment with different types of flocking tape, and be careful not to damage or break plastic clips of trim pieces.
It may take several attempts to fully tune out interior squeaks or dash rattles, so take heart and don’t give up. Get a friend to drive while you continue to diagnose the problem and zero in from the passenger seat. Plastic trim tools will help protect outward-facing surfaces from scratches, so be sure to work carefully.
Weak or broken clips will not hold as snugly, which can cause rattles. Many interior trim pieces can be found at Pull-A-Part, so if your dash bezel, air conditioning vent or interior garnish clips are broken, find an intact piece on the yard and replace it yourself.