Cars - chasing a rattle, how far to take it

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GreiginFife

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Hi all

I've got a 2009 Suzuki swift. It's my station car and my run around to get me to golf etc at weekends... So only 3,000 miles a year, serviced every 12 months, recent Mot all passed, no issues, drives absolutely fine.

Middle of last week I noticed a "rattle" from dashboard/air vent area when at idle and is noticeable with the bonnet up. I do not notice it when driving.

Took it to local garage today for them to investigate... Total cost £94.

They tightened front and back heat shields, checked the pulleys/belts/chains and could find nothing ... Told me they don't think it's anything to worry about, but bring it back if I'm concerned.

Started the car up and immediately it's all I hear...... Exactly the same as before.

The car is worth 3k, every panel has a ding or scratch or dull paint etc and it is what it is.... A way of getting from a to b. So how far do you take hunting down a rattle, how much do you spend before enoughs enough and you just live with ?

Simple answer is no, it's not worth chasing. Unless it's affecting the driveability of the car. At 13 years old it could be a plastic cowling that's degraded and snapped at a fixing point and is vibrating. It could be a loose wire harness vibrating against a heat shield. There are, unfortunately 1001 things it could be in the engine bay alone.

I'd only be concerned if I noticed a considerable impact to driving and accept that a 13 year old car that's done, probably, tens of thousands of miles is going to be a bit rattly.

I have a 2020 BMW M340i that has a slight rattle coming from the engine bay. Probably a loose cover tray. Not going to make me loose sleep.
 

AliMc

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I had a rattle recently, absolutely convinced it from coming from behind or around the air vents, i gave it a few good thumps with my fist without success, coming back home from Inverness with my son I asked him to have a good listen and he said it's coming from around the mirror, just as a put my hand up a small plastic piece fell out, put it back in and it's gone, thank god it was so annoying
 

CliveW

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I had a rattle recently, absolutely convinced it from coming from behind or around the air vents, i gave it a few good thumps with my fist without success, coming back home from Inverness with my son I asked him to have a good listen and he said it's coming from around the mirror, just as a put my hand up a small plastic piece fell out, put it back in and it's gone, thank god it was so annoying
My son can be annoying too!
 

Piece

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It took me a year to track down a rattle in my Audi. Difficult to diagnose as it was on passenger side and only occurred whilst driving. Eventually found it was a slightly lose door card around the speaker. Two bits of sponge sorted it ?✅
 
D

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So as an answer to my question.... The answer is just shy of £700.?‍♂️

Garage took the engine apart and could find nothing really of note except the water pump pulley had some play in it, along with the belts needing replacing. So I tell them to go ahead and change it.... Phones back later that day to advise the noise still exists.

Further testing by process of elimination and running belts 1 by 1 on the alternator and air con compressor resulted in them finding that the noise was coming from the air con unit, unfortunately not cheap to recondition so ended up going for a new one.

Total cost just shy of £700.... On the plus side, I should be good for quite some time now.
 
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