After a stressful week of hustle, a long relaxing weekend drive can be what you need. However, hearing a light rattling noise from the front passenger side when driving can be pretty disturbing. Are these sounds something to worry about?
We’ve gone ahead and listed down possible reasons why a car is making a rattling noise to help you decide if it is time to bring it to the shop.
Front Passenger Side Rattles When Driving
Nobody wants to drive while you hear a rattling sound anywhere in your car. A simple noise in your car causes you to think something is wrong with it. Normally, you check the glove compartment to see if the clamor starts from there.
You also check if it was the jack banging on the spare tire. You then start to worry if your jack is safely tucked along with other tools.
A lot of things can cause a rattling noise. It can also be simple metal banging when the car accelerates a bit. However, there are also instances when this rattling requires a mechanic.
What Causes The Rattling Sound
Timing Chain Issue
The rattling noise you hear can be because of your car’s timing chains. These chains are important components of an internal combustion engine. Each time the car makes a movement or starts shaking, a sound appears on the passenger side.
These are not common, but this is a serious issue that requires a mechanic. After the rattling happens, there is a good chance that the vehicle will die. The engine will no longer function with a broken timing chain. It would help replace these chains as they age and fail over time.
Bad Wheel Bearing
A wheel bearing is an essential part of a vehicle’s suspension, braking, and steering system. If you hear clunking noise in the hood of your car, you may have a defective wheel bearing. Bearings break like a strut, and these tiny chips of metals cause the rattle when the car hits bumps.
Mechanics can search for broken bearings and replace them. You can search for a video on how these are replaced, or you can bring the vehicle to a mechanic. It can cost you a couple of dollars, but you can start driving safely again.
Bad Shocks Or Struts
Shocks and struts are important parts of a car’s suspension system. These two minimize the movement of the springs of the suspension and steering systems. The strut helps the shock stay in contact with the pavement.
Without a strut and a working shock, a tire will bounce off the road. You can hear squeaking clatter coming out from a defective strut and shocks from the car’s front end and back. A mechanic can fix this after they test the car. Current car technology works like an X-ray video that displays all the defective pieces that need replacement.
Loose hubcaps can be the most common yet unalarming cause of rattling in cars. You can try to replace your hubcaps, one side at a time. Grab ideas from videos if you want to steer away from the high repair cost. You can grab a jack and test your skills by doing cap replacement on your tire.
These are secured with plastic clips that may have broken when your tires hit bumps. A sway bar link can also come loose if these are not installed properly. You can also use a jack to take a peek or have an expert check them for you.
Loose and unsecured wheels are dangerous but can be fixed easily. Replacing the wheel can sometimes cause misalignment of the wheel. You can do a skill test by checking if the bolts are in place and secured. These bolts can prevent shaking and unnecessary movement of the wheel.
The sway bar link can also be the cause of the rattle. If you suspect that this is the case, you can bring it to a shop to tighten the wheels for you. Mechanics typically fix this by lifting the car to one side. They then replace those with defects.
Suspensions are collective parts of an entire system responsible for the road performance of a car. A regular car movement will not cause any problem to the suspension unless you hit a pothole, bumps, or curbs.
When this happens, you hear the front end of your car make a rattling sound. It could also be the sway bar link or a damaged strut of your vehicle. Since suspensions are important, you should bring your vehicle to a shop and have it checked by an expert. Driving with a bent suspension can worsen the tire or even cause accidents.
Why Your Car Rattles At High Speeds
Your car rattle at high speeds because of many reasons. It can be the timing chain, damaged strut mount, or a piece of a hammer inside your glove box. When your car is accelerating (1), and the noise is becoming more intense, it means that you have your car tested and checked.
Something can be damaged when the car bounces because of a pothole. Hoping for minimal damage is what everyone wants, but a test is required if the problem continues to exist after you check it.
Do bad struts make a rattling noise?
Yes, a bad strut makes a rattling noise, especially if it hits a curb or a pothole. Movements like shaking can worsen the banging. You need to fix a worn strut mount to avoid more severe damage the next time you hit on bumps.
Can a bad wheel bearing make a rattling noise?
Yes, a bad wheel bearing makes a rattling noise. What happened is that the bearing may have shattered. The small chips of metals bounce against the wheel while you are driving.
A car bounce hits bumps and goes into potholes, which is normal. What is not usual is when rattling begins from anywhere in your vehicle. Regular check-ups from machine shops can prevent hubcaps or bolts from loosening. However, there are instances when the rattle begins the soonest you hit a way-deep pothole.
A rattle from the hood must be seen as a sign that something is wrong unless these are visible parts hanging from your car. If you want to avoid expensive repair fees, learning a thing or two about car parts can be helpful to you.
Robert Anderson is a world class motorhead who rebuilt his first carb at age 10, his first engine at age 15, and completed his first full hotrod build when he was just 18! Previously, he has ran a part warehouse, delivered pizzas, and managed the service department for a $20 million/year revenue dealership. Robert knows cars like few others and he is passionate about sharing his knowledge.