How to Stop a Car From Rattling

by William Zane
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convertible car interior image by Christopher Dodge from

As cars get older and their miles increase, rattles can develop in the interior as a result of being driven over bumps and rough pavement. What was once a nice, quiet, rattle-free car can become a noisy, annoying vehicle as interior panels squeak and rattle. Rattles are usually caused by missing or loose screws and clips that hold interior panels in place.

Step 1

Determine the source of the rattle while driving.

Step 2

Park the vehicle and verify that all of the screws that hold the interior panels and trim are installed and tight around the area where the rattle is coming from. Check all of the panels, including the door panels, footwell kick panels, rear interior panels and the panels located in the trunk or around the rear hatch if it is a hatchback.

Step 3

Tighten the screws with the appropriate screwdriver (flat head or Phillips) and replace any missing screws with new screws. If your interior uses clips to hold panels on, make sure all of the clips are present and not broken. Replace any clips that are missing or broken.

Step 4

Install sound deadening material. Cars are manufactured with sound deadening, some more than others, depending on the manufacturer. A trick that many stereo installers use is installing more sound deadening behind interior panels that usually do not have sound deadening.

Step 5

Remove the interior panels where you think the source of the rattle is coming from. Cut the sound deadening to fit behind the panel with scissors or shears. Spray adhesive on the back of the sound deadening or use brush-on adhesive. Put the sound deadening in place and press it firmly on. Replace the interior panel over the sound deadening, ensuring that none of it is exposed past the edges of the interior panels. You can also add sound deadening behind all of the interior panels to make the interior more quiet and solid feeling.

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