Dash rattle help

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Thread: Dash rattle help

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    Dash rattle help

    Since I got my 2013 Impala LTZ, it has a prominent rattle that is heard at about the 10 o'clock position from the steering wheel. It sounds like loose plastic on metal / metal on metal sound, and is completely random yet quite frequent. As long as the vehicle is in motion, it can be heard. When the car is above 40MPH, and accelerating on a sharp curve, it gets really loud. I've alluded to it being a dash rattle, but I'm not so sure that's what it is now.

    Let me tell you what I've done.

    1. Ripped/taken apart the entire dash. This includes:
    • The gauge cluster
    • The radio
    • All front vents
    • All faux wood trim
    • AC control unit
    • Both A-pillar covers
    • Front plastic vent trim
    • Steering wheel kick panel
    • Shifter trim
    • Glove compartment
    • Sunglasses holder/garage receiver unit
    • Dash pad (only slightly lifted this and put foam underneath the problem area, which is to the left of the steering wheel where it curves downward)




    In every possible place that plastic touches other plastic parts or metal and lock into place, I've put felt tape and felt dots. And seriously, I mean EVERYWHERE, even down to the bolt holes. I also tightened down everything which I found loose, and there were quite a few loose bolts. Loose as in I could turn them with my fingers.

    2. Taken apart all 4 doors trim. I went out and bought rubber/foam weatherstripping, and installed them everywhere where metal/plastic could possibly rattle, and put them all back together.

    3. Front seats.

    4. Changed the tires to one of the best tires for this car (Continental PureContacts) and got a full 4 wheel alignment.

    5. Took the car to two different dealers for a total of 5 times complaining about the rattle. Each time, they say they can't reproduce it.

    6. Got underneath car to check to see if there were any wires or cables which might have came loose from their grommets. Checked the same in the engine bay, and nothing is loose, touching, or looks like it might cause the noise.

    7. Checked the rear seats. Lifted them up, and put heavy duty felt dots on all points where the seat plastic touches metal. Put felt tape on all the seatbelt mechanisms, where they touch the metal brackets they are mounted on.

    8. Checked the trunk. Found that the Bose amplifier was floating around in the cavity back there. Secured it, which got rid of the loud "clank" noise whenever the car would go over bumps.

    As a result of my efforts, I've gotten very knowledgeable on how to solve a ton of rattling in the car...but this one rattle WILL NOT GO AWAY. It is the most annoying of all the rattles, and one which is making me go mad. The dealers won't help, and despite my best efforts, I can't find it. I'm at the point now where the car is practically silent except for this rattle.

    Here's an example of how it sounds.



    As you can probably tell, I am slightly OCD ; I would appreciate any advice/suggestions anyone can give. Help!
    Last edited by ajm786; 11-22-2013 at 09:09 AM.
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    Re: Dash rattle help

    1. Are you the original owner of this car?

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    Re: Dash rattle help

    Quote Originally Posted by MrCritical View Post
    1. Are you the original owner of this car?
    No; I bought the car used. It is Certified Pre-Owned, and still has warranty coverage. Not that it's helping any, as I've already taken it to two different dealers for a total of 5 times combined between them.
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    Re: Dash rattle help

    Maybe your windshield is not seated properly or was not installed properly...

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    Re: Dash rattle help

    Quote Originally Posted by heritage View Post
    Maybe your windshield is not seated properly or was not installed properly...
    I'm definitely inclined to believe this, but I don't know how I'd ever go about convincing the dealers that this is the case. I don't even know what the definition is of having a windshield installed properly, for that matter.
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    Re: Dash rattle help

    The reason I asked about being the original owner (and yours is the second post in a week referencing either "loose bolts" or an "improperly installed" part) is that someone has had the components you have removed out before for whatever reason. Obviously they didn't do a good job reinstalling them. There is most definitely an improper way to install a windshield. First, inspect your windshield and see if it has "GM" on it anywhere. If it doesn't, it isn't the windshield that came from the factory. 99.9% of repair shops go back with aftermarket glass when the windshield has to be replaced.

    As already mentioned, I'd drop the car by a windshield shop, and take someone riding with you that installs them. It might be that they can identify the problem. PS-While improperly installed aftermarket windshield might be your dealer's problem, it is not GM's.

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    Re: Dash rattle help

    Other posts about this subject actually reference the cowl panel bellow the wipers. This is a common problem with 04-07 Malibus. The plastic panel comes loose and rattles against the windshield at high speeds thus the noise. The fix for this appears to e double sided tape to the underside of the panel and then pressed down onto the windshield. Other people use silicon to fix the problem placing a bead of silicon along the bottom of the panel and pressing it down on the windshield. I actually have this problem on my 06 Malibu and thought it was the winshield we had replaced but after doing the research last night I appear to be wrong, looks to be the cowl panel or cover vibrating on the windshield. Who knew...

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    Re: Dash rattle help

    One suggestion: My wife and I own a 2012 Impala LTZ, purchased new - never damaged or wrecked. From new, there was a rattle that I swore was coming from the dash. When driving on the expressway, the rattle was constant. One day when I checked the oil, I realized there is a very long, molded and curved hose that crosses from the driver side front to under the engine cover (about the diameter of your little finger). The hose was very loose and not held down with anything - just laying across the air filter housing and intake. I used several plastic zip ties to fasten the hose to the intake snorkel (not too tightly, just enough to hold it snug). That eliminated the noise!

    Look for the hose - and see if it is loose or just laying on top like I described. If you need more information just post and I'll look at it and describe it better. I concluded that the hose rattled against the plastic housing and also "fluttered" at higher speeds, due to under hood air turbulence. Good luck.

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    Re: Dash rattle help

    Quote Originally Posted by heritage View Post
    Other posts about this subject actually reference the cowl panel bellow the wipers. This is a common problem with 04-07 Malibus. The plastic panel comes loose and rattles against the windshield at high speeds thus the noise. The fix for this appears to e double sided tape to the underside of the panel and then pressed down onto the windshield. Other people use silicon to fix the problem placing a bead of silicon along the bottom of the panel and pressing it down on the windshield. I actually have this problem on my 06 Malibu and thought it was the winshield we had replaced but after doing the research last night I appear to be wrong, looks to be the cowl panel or cover vibrating on the windshield. Who knew...
    After much more research today, I'm leaning in this direction. As soon as I can, I'll give it a shot. My research actually lead me to something relating to removing the cowl panel to replace the air filter. From pictures I've seen, it looks like there's a huge cavity just waiting for anything (rocks, leaves, screws, etc.) to get in there and just start rattling. See the pics in this thread.

    http://www.impalaforums.com/chevy-im...-filter-2.html

    Quote Originally Posted by 1999 White C5 Coupe View Post
    One suggestion: My wife and I own a 2012 Impala LTZ, purchased new - never damaged or wrecked. From new, there was a rattle that I swore was coming from the dash. When driving on the expressway, the rattle was constant. One day when I checked the oil, I realized there is a very long, molded and curved hose that crosses from the driver side front to under the engine cover (about the diameter of your little finger). The hose was very loose and not held down with anything - just laying across the air filter housing and intake. I used several plastic zip ties to fasten the hose to the intake snorkel (not too tightly, just enough to hold it snug). That eliminated the noise!

    Look for the hose - and see if it is loose or just laying on top like I described. If you need more information just post and I'll look at it and describe it better. I concluded that the hose rattled against the plastic housing and also "fluttered" at higher speeds, due to under hood air turbulence. Good luck.
    This is also a great suggestion. I've been under the hood countless numbers of time, but don't remember seeing anything like that. I'm going to check again to see if I can find it. I would highly appreciate pics if you can.
    Last edited by ajm786; 11-12-2013 at 06:58 PM.
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    Re: Dash rattle help

    Maybe something like this would help? I know it references the Corvette, but still, feels/sounds like we may be having the issue too.

    http://www.sccorvettes.org/Portals/0...Windshield.pdf
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    Re: Dash rattle help

    Quote Originally Posted by ajm786 View Post
    After much more research today, I'm leaning in this direction. As soon as I can, I'll give it a shot. My research actually lead me to something relating to removing the cowl panel to replace the air filter. From pictures I've seen, it looks like there's a huge cavity just waiting for anything (rocks, leaves, screws, etc.) to get in there and just start rattling. See the pics in this thread.

    http://www.impalaforums.com/chevy-im...-filter-2.html



    This is also a great suggestion. I've been under the hood countless numbers of time, but don't remember seeing anything like that. I'm going to check again to see if I can find it. I would highly appreciate pics if you can.


    Sorry - I don't know how to post a picture. However, the long hose is the coolant overflow jug hose - which (on the 2012 with the 3.6 V-6) runs from the jug on the driver-side inside fender to under the engine sound cover. The hose lays across the air filter box and the air intake accordion snorkel. On my 2012, it was not fastened down with any plastic clips or ties, it just laid on top and when I moved it - it would hit the plastic air filter housing. I am convinced that was the cause of the noise, especially with under hood air turbulence or road bumps.

    I was surprised of the routing of the hose - that it was not secured. I don't know if the 2013 model has an added tie-down or clips for the hose (or changed the design or routing).

    On an unrelated issue - I do know that there have been numerous problems with hose and wiring harness routing on the 2012 and some 2013 Impala models with the 3.6. GM has issued several TSB's and one safety recall. The recall involved the poorly designed and installed routing of the power steering hose assembly. Two TSB's were issued - one for a metal clip that rubs through the wiring harness on the front of the engine, and also for the poor routing of several large wiring harnesses that rub on the engine and transmission case - causing open shorts.

    Good luck with the noise. I hope this information helps.

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    Re: Dash rattle help

    Quote Originally Posted by 1999 White C5 Coupe View Post
    Sorry - I don't know how to post a picture. However, the long hose is the coolant overflow jug hose - which (on the 2012 with the 3.6 V-6) runs from the jug on the driver-side inside fender to under the engine sound cover. The hose lays across the air filter box and the air intake accordion snorkel. On my 2012, it was not fastened down with any plastic clips or ties, it just laid on top and when I moved it - it would hit the plastic air filter housing. I am convinced that was the cause of the noise, especially with under hood air turbulence or road bumps.

    I was surprised of the routing of the hose - that it was not secured. I don't know if the 2013 model has an added tie-down or clips for the hose (or changed the design or routing).
    I will definitely check this next time I get around to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1999 White C5 Coupe View Post
    On an unrelated issue - I do know that there have been numerous problems with hose and wiring harness routing on the 2012 and some 2013 Impala models with the 3.6. GM has issued several TSB's and one safety recall. The recall involved the poorly designed and installed routing of the power steering hose assembly. Two TSB's were issued - one for a metal clip that rubs through the wiring harness on the front of the engine, and also for the poor routing of several large wiring harnesses that rub on the engine and transmission case - causing open shorts.

    Good luck with the noise. I hope this information helps.
    Do you have any of the TSB numbers you mention?
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    Re: Dash rattle help

    Quote Originally Posted by ajm786 View Post
    I will definitely check this next time I get around to it.



    Do you have any of the TSB numbers you mention?
    Read page 6 of this document: http://sandyblogs.com/techlink/wp-co...ink-2013-F.pdf


    Also read this document: http://sandyblogs.com/techlink/?s=impala+clip
    Last edited by 1999 White C5 Coupe; 11-14-2013 at 07:01 PM.

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    Re: Dash rattle help

    Tried everything, nothing helped.

    I've shot a video, which includes good sound of the noise. Please have a listen and help me try and figure this out. The area I'm recording in (left side of the dash) is where the noise is most prominent.

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    Re: Dash rattle help

    Quote Originally Posted by ajm786 View Post
    Tried everything, nothing helped.

    I've shot a video, which includes good sound of the noise. Please have a listen and help me try and figure this out. The area I'm recording in (left side of the dash) is where the noise is most prominent.


    It sounds to me like a problem with one (or more) of the HVAC actuators (small electric motors) which move various blend doors inside the HVAC ductwork. There are numerous actuators with the dual-zone HVAC system. It sounds like one keeps trying to "index" or self-adjust. The doors and some of the control arms are plastic.

    I do know that if you disconnect the battery negative cable, the HVAC system will recalibrate itself, including the actuators when the cable is reconnected. You should not adjust the HVAC controls after reconnecting the battery and starting the car until the self-calibration is complete. You may not realize it but the system will go through a calibration which takes about 60-90 seconds. I would set the HVAC controls to "off", disconnect and reconnect the negative battery cable and start the car. Let it idle for several minutes - then determine if the noise is still present.

    Good luck.

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