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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there are multiple threads on this issue, and I've read all of the relevant ones I could find on this and "another forum," but I'm still looking for ideas here before I give up and bring my car to the dealer.

I have a rattle coming from the area of the dash speaker on the left/driver's side of the car. It's been there since I got the car brand new (~1100 miles now). At first I thought it was the speaker grill, so I ignored it until I got around to getting a set of interior panel removal tools and some free time this past weekend. I pulled the grill, the mid, and the tweeter out, and the rattle is still there (and on that note, it's there with the stereo on or off). It seems to happen most often in the 35-45 MPH range (possibly more so during engine braking), but it happens other speeds as well. It usually pops up for a few seconds and then goes away, making it extremely hard to pinpoint.

It's really, really annoying, and I want to avoid bringing it to the dealer if possible due to the hassle and I doubt they'll give me a loaner car for something like this while they keep my car, so I'm looking for any help I can get. Does anyone have any clue what it could be? I know these rattles are notorious for being hard to track down. :(
 

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Is it predominant during engine braking or under 1.5k-2.5k hard acceleration? If so, I deduced my rattle to be flywheel chatter. My ears deceived me into thinking it was coming from around my clutch pedal but I narrowed it down to behind the center console. It's not a very loud rattle though, and usually only appears after a hard driving session. Perhaps if you could catch it on video and/or sound we could help out more?

It could also be something as simple as gear knob rattle that some people have been experiencing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Is it predominant during engine braking or under 1.5k-2.5k hard acceleration? If so, I deduced my rattle to be flywheel chatter. My ears deceived me into thinking it was coming from around my clutch pedal but I narrowed it down to behind the center console. It's not a very loud rattle though, and usually only appears after a hard driving session. Perhaps if you could catch it on video and/or sound we could help out more?

It could also be something as simple as gear knob rattle that some people have been experiencing.
It happens during engine braking, but not really during acceleration in that RPM range.

Since I posted this, I've held my phone above and below the dash during rattles to record the issue. It's barely audible above the dash, but clearly audible below the dash. It seems to be coming from the area with all of the wires and wire bundles near the fuse box. I stuffed towels down there, taped up a few things, but no luck; still rattles. I took a video of the rattles and myself speaking after each rattle and saying where I'm holding the phone. This is driving me crazy. I'll post the video in an edit (gotta upload it). Hope someone can help. :(

Edit: here's the video: http://youtu.be/oKsXN6YZ0sk
 

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Oh that is indeed a strange noise. Not the rattling I imagined it to be. From the video, the sound is similar to the buzzing you might get from old speakers and interference and/or bad grounding.

It's pretty high frequency so maybe it's something that is very tightly (but not tight enough?) rubbing against something else?

:c There simply isn't anything I can think of short of actually crawling into your car to find it. Perhaps anyone else can shed light on it? I'll keep my ears open and see if I get it too.

Maybe some more detective work will help. Try correlating the sound to outside events. For example, is it completely random? or does it happen predominantly when the car is over rough roads, or during a certain RPM range when the engine is making the car buzz etc etc. Your best bet would be to try to recreate the conditions in which it's most severe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh that is indeed a strange noise. Not the rattling I imagined it to be. From the video, the sound is similar to the buzzing you might get from old speakers and interference and/or bad grounding.

It's pretty high frequency so maybe it's something that is very tightly (but not tight enough?) rubbing against something else?

:c There simply isn't anything I can think of short of actually crawling into your car to find it. Perhaps anyone else can shed light on it? I'll keep my ears open and see if I get it too.

Maybe some more detective work will help. Try correlating the sound to outside events. For example, is it completely random? or does it happen predominantly when the car is over rough roads, or during a certain RPM range when the engine is making the car buzz etc etc. Your best bet would be to try to recreate the conditions in which it's most severe.
It's not completely random. It is typically on certain roads (not smooth but not awful roads, just normal, slightly bumpy ones), at a certain speed (above 40 MPH), usually while engine braking (I don't think it happens during acceleration). I am pretty sure a combination of road + engine vibration is causing it. I can easily replicate the sound on at least 2 roads where I live because I travel down those two often, but it happens on many roads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quick update for anyone who happens to stumble upon this thread with a similar issue: I took my car to the dealership last Wednesday. They used a device that tracks down where sound issues originate from and it looks like it's coming from the steering column. That's all I've got right now. Will post resolution here when it's found.
 

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Did you ask them what the device they used to track down the sound is called? I'd like to know for future reference when I need to take a car in. That way I can ask them to use a "_______" and try to find out where the sound is coming from.

I listened to your video and can feel your aggravation from here. That kind of stuff drives me nuts too.
 

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I second wanting to know the name of the device.

Also, I watched your vid and have the same exact rattle from the same area. I try to tell myself it's not annoying when it happens. The truth is however, when you get this fixed please let me know how/what it is! I would love to get rid of it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
It's called a Steelman Engine ear. Also, all fixed! :) Someone on ft86club with the same issue tried the fix after I posted it and reported that this is very easy to do yourself. Remove two bolts, pull out accelerator assembly, put felt, put assembly back, tighten bolts.

sub_report.jpg
 

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I had this noise and traced it to the gas pedal. I took the pedal assembly apart and noticed that there are two concentric springs with a rubber insulator between them. The insulator had bunched up allowing the springs to rub against each other and produce the annoying vibration (it would only do it when my foot wasn't on the pedal - having my foot there dampened out the vibration). Stretching the insulator back into place solved the problem.
 
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