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Old 05-20-2023, 11:47 AM   #1
CelicaJoe
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Rattle behind drivers side dash

About 2 years ago I noticed a rattle coming from behind the dash. It happened around the same time I had an issue with my key fob not working (never really found out the cause, issue just eventually went away. Wasnít the battery, sensors, ignition switch, etc). However, the dealer did switch the ignition switch and had the car for a couple days trying to find the cause of the issue. I didnít notice the rattle immediately but it was about the same time.
It sounds plastic to me, like a piece of plastic the size of a quarter or larger rattling against something. Doesnít happen at idle or when driving on smooth roads, but you hear it anytime the front drivers wheel hits a bump, or the whole car hits a big bump. When driving on slightly uneven brick roads you can hear it basically the whole time.
Iíve removed the center console area including radio and wiggled everything back there. Imagined maybe a screw came loose and was stuck in some plastic. Removed the drivers seat so I could lay under the wheel and removed all the plastic trim without removing the actual dash. Tried shoving a magnet down the ac tubes. The rear view mirror mount has been replaced and if I hold that steady the rattle persists. Also ensured itís not the couple clips by the headlight controls.

I know rattles are very hard to diagnose, Iím just at a loss here after really searching every area. I know itís coming from the drivers side for a fact, but canít pinpoint how high up or low it is. Any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated. Hoping to avoid the dealer but Iíll take it to whoever I think could find it.
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Old 05-21-2023, 01:23 AM   #2
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YIKES, you have put a lot of effort into trying to track down that noise -

I checked with Bubba and he says to try to isolate where the sound is coming from then bang on things around there till you hear the sound, then put a few BIG banks in that area till the sound stops.

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Old 05-21-2023, 10:05 AM   #3
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back in the 90's, there's tons of stories of GM and chrysler employees doing stuff like this on the assembly line.

one was a dodge b-series van. customer kept coming back in for 'a banging sound when turning left"

they finally got authorization to tear the entire dash out, and they found a large bolt on a piece of string under the passenger side dash, near the pillar. on it was a note "how long did this take you?"

another story i know of was a customer coming in for a "crunching sound when rolling down the window"

they opened up the door panel and found a beer can set in the bottom corner that the window track would hit every time the window rolled down...
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Old 05-21-2023, 12:50 PM   #4
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YIKES, you have put a lot of effort into trying to track down that noise -

I checked with Bubba and he says to try to isolate where the sound is coming from then bang on things around there till you hear the sound, then put a few BIG banks in that area till the sound stops.

Thanks! Iím fortunate enough to not have too many other big problems in my life so that something this simple is driving me nuts. Itís more a bother because I canít figure it out over the noise. Just really would like to know haha.
Unfortunately I havenít been able to recreate the sound except when Iím driving. No matter what I pound on or what I do in there I canít get anything to make a similar sound.
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Old 05-21-2023, 01:06 PM   #5
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I had something of a rattle like that. Turns out my 14mm socket had found its way under seat and carpet. It knocked against the metal floor.


But that didn't solve the one related to clutch operation, nor the rattle between 3-4.5k rpm in gear. Only 40k miles, smh.
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Old 05-21-2023, 09:06 PM   #6
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back in the 90's, there's tons of stories of GM and chrysler employees doing stuff like this on the assembly line.

one was a dodge b-series van. customer kept coming back in for 'a banging sound when turning left"

they finally got authorization to tear the entire dash out, and they found a large bolt on a piece of string under the passenger side dash, near the pillar. on it was a note "how long did this take you?"

another story i know of was a customer coming in for a "crunching sound when rolling down the window"

they opened up the door panel and found a beer can set in the bottom corner that the window track would hit every time the window rolled down...
Thatís pretty wild. I canít only imagine the level of frustration felt.
Iíve had the car for a few years before this started. Granted someone couldíve done something at the dealer when I took it in, but I donít think they went that deep in there to be able to mess with too much. Iíve definitely looked further in than they likely went.
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Old 05-21-2023, 11:25 PM   #7
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Thanks! Iím fortunate enough to not have too many other big problems in my life so that something this simple is driving me nuts. Itís more a bother because I canít figure it out over the noise. Just really would like to know haha.
Unfortunately I havenít been able to recreate the sound except when Iím driving. No matter what I pound on or what I do in there I canít get anything to make a similar sound.
Well, now, I'm going to refer you to our "rattle" expert @Tcoat . NO, I didn't mean "rattled" expert -

He has had considerable experience driving rattle traps, so, I'm sure he has some ideas -
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Old 05-22-2023, 02:34 AM   #8
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I'd say it's a losing battle.

The most annoying one I have is when the AC is on (since I bought the car brand new). It literally sounds like a marble somewhere in the fans/ducting is rattling around. EXCEPT if I press the clutch in. Then it stops, and when I clutch out it's 50/50 if it starts again. My passenger door also makes a rattling noise. I guess if I weren't lazy I could remove the door card and stuff to see about finding it but...
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It sounds to me like the delicate, metallic sounds of piston skirts slapping against the cylinder walls
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Now, if it was three feet long and you were using all that leverage
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Old 05-22-2023, 03:52 AM   #9
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I guess it's part of twins charm. Mine rattles near driver window/speaker but only when ambient temps are above 15į celsius. I've tried insulating it in the past but it didn't help much. It even got worse when I got brake master cylinder stopper installed. There is also occasional metallic rattle under dash which sounds like the engine is about to die but only when track wheel/tire setup is installed
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Old 05-22-2023, 10:43 AM   #10
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I'd say it's a losing battle.

The most annoying one I have is when the AC is on (since I bought the car brand new). It literally sounds like a marble somewhere in the fans/ducting is rattling around. EXCEPT if I press the clutch in. Then it stops, and when I clutch out it's 50/50 if it starts again. My passenger door also makes a rattling noise. I guess if I weren't lazy I could remove the door card and stuff to see about finding it but...
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I guess it's part of twins charm. Mine rattles near driver window/speaker but only when ambient temps are above 15į celsius. I've tried insulating it in the past but it didn't help much. It even got worse when I got brake master cylinder stopper installed. There is also occasional metallic rattle under dash which sounds like the engine is about to die but only when track wheel/tire setup is installed
Iíve had the classic window switches rattle from the bass since I got the car, and just recently took the door cards off to secure everything real tight and throw some sound deadening in there. To my surprise it was a pretty straight forward and easy fix. Everything in there is at least fairly easy to work on. Not sure if both of your guys rattles are coming from elsewhere in there, though.
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Old 05-24-2023, 11:24 PM   #11
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Any chance it's actually the speaker grill?
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Old 05-25-2023, 03:05 PM   #12
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Any chance it's actually the speaker grill?
I donít believe so. Iíve tried pressing on everything on the door card while Iím driving and Iíve never had it make a difference. It truly sounds somewhere right behind the steering wheel.
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Old 06-05-2023, 03:04 PM   #13
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I donít believe so. Iíve tried pressing on everything on the door card while Iím driving and Iíve never had it make a difference. It truly sounds somewhere right behind the steering wheel.
Still haven't found the rattle?

Back in the day when I would have a dash rattle, I'd get a few thin, cheap sponges and cut them into 1" squares. Then reach up under the dash and find anything that would move against something else and stick a piece of dry sponge between the two pieces.

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Old 06-05-2023, 08:03 PM   #14
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I don’t believe so. I’ve tried pressing on everything on the door card while I’m driving and I’ve never had it make a difference. It truly sounds somewhere right behind the steering wheel.
Right behind the steering wheel?



Could be the EPS coupler/bushing: https://www.ft86club.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133606
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