Body, Paint & Styling Rattles - questions + some fixes

Discussion in '7th Generation (2003-2008) [Acura TSX]' started by eternal422, Tuesday 10th Jan, 2012.

  1. eternal422 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    After getting my 2007 Accord just before Christmas I have been initially a little disappointed at the cabin rattles. My previous two Accords were really quiet insude, although admittedly with less gadgets, etc. inside! I've searched on lots of forums about rattles, but the American forums obviously only refer to the American-built Accords and although they give useful ideas are not totally relevant to our Japanese-built models.

    Hopefully we can help each other identify and fix rattles, as going back to the dealer is both expensive (as we are not in warranty anymore) and also not guaranteed to get the problems fixed. so, to get the ball rolling, here is what I have and fixed so far :-

    Rattle from bottom of A pillars - possible fix.
    Creaking/tapping noise particularly when the cabin is warm and driving over bumps/pot-holes. This seems to come from the base of the A pillar trim covers where they meet the dash. I seem to have generally solved this problem by sliding small pieces of rubber (I'm using the Rolson matting that you get to line tool chest drawers) between the A pillar trim and the dash. If you push it down enough you can hide it well enough and it seems to eliminate most of the creaking noises from that area.

    Rattle from footwell kick panels - possible fix.
    Rattles seemed to come from the little hatches that are hinged and held with one trim panel fastener down in the footwell on the centre console area of the footwell on both passenger and driver sides. These were really loose and rattling freely. I used some self-adhesive weather stripping to pad the inside of these hatch doors so that when they were replaced they fitted firmly against the rest of the centre console trim. This seems to have stopped any further rattles from this area.

    Creak from doors - possible fix.
    This seems to be a creak from the weather stripping around the doors and happens when the car flexes going over bumps in the road. After some research I found that the American Accords suffered from this and the cure is to use some silicone grease around all of the rubber strips on the door, frame and window tracks. The recommendation is to use the Honda Shin Etsu silicone grease, but this is around £22 for a 100g tube online (from Chiltern Connections) so I opted for a cheaper brand (around £6 for a 70g tube) which is just as good in my opinion.

    Buzzing Rattle from centre console - possible fix, but not tried yet.
    This is an annoying buzzing rattle when the cabin gets warm and driving on rough aggregate road. I've finally tracked it down to the trim over the Sat Nav DVD ROM drive. Pressing hard on this trim just underneath the HVAC controls makes the buzzing rattle go away. It seems that this trim piece is very tight against the rest of the dash and is rubbing against it making the buzzing rattle. I plan to be taking this piece out altogether to fit an ipod adaptor so I'll look at putting some padding/weather strip or similar to fit between the gap here. Hopefully this will stop the rattle!

    Rattle from B pillars, especially seatbelt height adjusters - NO FIX YET
    Really looking to fix these rattles on both drivers and passenger sides as they are right in your ear and very annoying!! Whether the cabin is cold or warm doesn't seem to make any difference, the rattle comes from the seatbelt height adjuster area, yet holding this or moving it up and down makes no difference. I've tried squirting some silicone grease spray into the height adjuster but no difference.

    Does anyone have any idea about this one?
  2. RobB Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Can't help with the rattles, but if you are looking at the American forums you need to look at the Acura tsx. This is the American version of the Accord.
  3. Paul Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Touch wood I'm rattle free (at the moment). Good tips though. I have a vague recollection about a possible TSB relating to the A pillars rattling but may be getting confused with a previous car. Oh and welcome to the forum!
  4. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    Ahh rattle my favourite subject ...not really I am not that sad.

    Not to come across as giving you a lecture so if I do please don't take it the wrong way just trying to help. Before we go down to the fixes I just want to understand the condition of the car suspension and tyres.

    If these two areas are weak the cockpit takes a battering all the shock is not good for the trims. Japanese car trims unlike the European cars are not held on with huge amount of plastic and screws, but they rely on locator pins friction clips and tabs.. These are easy to install and easy to remove.However the downfall to these types of trim and fittings is if they get damaged warped, bent or even damaged they become a nuisance. Not only they don’t fit properly they start to get worse with time since they are not held in place securely.

    There are two ways of fixing this issue one replace the broken trim with a new part .. Replace the offending part problem solved. That what I love about Japanese cars and especially about Honda, replace the part and its brand new all the tolerance and back and you can enjoy the silence.

    This option is very expensive and prices of interior trim will test the resolve of your wallet . The easiest solution is pad up the area of resistance with a foamy but elastic tape. Honda dealers do sell a tape of this type which is brilliant for insulating such sources of sound. I do have a big roll of this stuff I will get a picture of this tomorrow and the Honda part number. I ran into the garage so I could post the pictures here, but couldn’t find it....

    I have been using this tape every time I remove a trim , there is no need for it but just in case. This tape is expensive but it is fantastic ,it is soft and it regains its shape very quickly after compression , even after repeated crushing the foam it is forgiving. I could give you some for you to try on the A pillar.

    The A pillar on the prefacelift model was prone to rattles this tape puts that to bed for good, this is the first I have head on a facelift thou?

    Removing the Apillar is pretty easy just take flat head screwdriver (insulate it masking tape , make sure your hands are clean otherwise you get greasy hands on the trim. Insert the screwdriver below the airbag warning tab and pull gently then look with a torch where the locator pins are and pull gently .. the pillar trim will come off to reveal the airbag be careful.

    Get the foam on the bottom part of the pillar trim and around the edges look for scuffing place foam there if pins missing or broken replace them .

    That should solve you’re Apillar issue, I am sure for the centre console there will be a loose screw from a previous fiddle , the fuse panel and kick plates are the same notoriously easy to damage the pins and tabs again the magic tape will fix it.

    Creaks from the doors depends on the life of your rubber seals, I recall Isaac username I-S on here inserting a small transparent tubing at one end and chasing it into the channel to get the profile of the seals a bit more meaty. it was a simple fix to seals which were past it.

    I sure when he finds time he will post the thread and the pictures.,

    As for the B pillar rattle are sure it coming from the locator pins and not the seat belt buckle which gets trapped between the seat and the B pillar, if the belt hasn't retracted completely. It a common irritant.
  5. eternal422 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Hi Ichiban, many thanks for your comments - very useful and informative. The B pillar rattle is coming from the seatbelt height adjuster even when the belt is in use, so it's not the buckle hitting the B pillar. I did read about someone with an Acura TSX who took off the upper trim panel and applied grease to the track of the height adjuster that is revealed underneath. Not sure whether the Acura is exactly the same as our Accords in this respect, but that may be my next task to see what is underneath the trim panel.
  6. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    The 1st Generation TSX Acura and the 7th Generation UK Accord do share a lot of common parts , yes you can try lubricating the belt pivot and see that makes a difference. But I have never heard one being so dry it caused a rattle but stranger things have happened .

    Keep us posted bud.
  7. eternal422 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Fingers crossed I've fixed the centre dash buzzing rattle! When I installed the xcarlink yesterday I noticed that the felt tape on top of the DVD sat nav trim panel (the piece with the cubby hole and door for the sat nav dvd) was not present for about 1cm on each end. Pressing on these areas (just below the HVAC controls) stopped the buzzing. So before I put this piece back I put some weatherstrip along the whole upper edge. Now the trim fits much better and doesn't flex. Going out for a run today the rattle seems to have gone!

    Amazing how much better the car feels when there's no rattle - it just seems more luxurious!
  8. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    all it needs was a dismantle and reassembly it can do wonders..nice isnt it when the things get fixed.
  9. eternal422 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Well centre dash buzzing of sat nav DVD rom cover seems to be fixed. Had a rattle today that sounded like it was coming from the upper dash. This panel rattles when tapping it and the rattle seemed to stop when I pressed down on this piece nearest to the windscreen whilst driving. Removed the upper dash panel and put some weatherstrip tape at both edges now it fits firmly. Need to do some more driving to see if that's fixed it!

    It seems that once you get rid of one rattle it just let's you hear other rattles! Oh well - I guess it's never going to be rattle free, especially on some of our rough and pot-holed roads !
  10. Beefy Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom Stoke
    it can be quite frustrating chasing rattles round a car as they arnt always in the place you think they are. foam padding is a must have as 90% of the time the trim needs to be that little bit tighter
  11. eternal422 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    You're right beefy - it is frustrating, but I think I'm getting the rattles sorted now. The buzzing from the DVD panel has gone and the recent upper dash panel rattle has been fixed by the addition of some more tape along the edges nearest the windscreen. Curiously the B pillar rattles seem to be less so I may end up living with them. I get a creak when going over potholes, this sounds like the door seals, so the next job will be to apply some silicone grease to those. Perhaps I'm being too picky, but I just reckoned that a newer car should have less rattles than my old 6th Generation coupe.

    Still, having fixed the worst offending rattles I'm now starting to really enjoy the 7th Generation. The drive is smoother than my old car, having a 5 speed AT is definitely better than the old 4 speed and the acceleration is smoother too. The ride does seem quite firm, so I may do some research on tyres when the time comes to change whats on there now to see if that makes it just a little softer.
  12. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    Hi bud, I haven't forgotten about the insulating noise pad , I will find some and get some to you . Drop e a PM with your address I will stick it in the post.

    Hopefully you can get the noise issues sorted with the pad.
  13. eternal422 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    UPDATE : Rattle from B pillars, especially seatbelt height adjusters

    After getting rid of other rattles (Rattle from bottom of A pillars - foam matting forced between A pillar trim and dashboard, Rattle from footwell kick panels - self-adhesive foam tape placed around edge of covers, Buzzing Rattle from centre console - self adhesive foam placed around edge of trim piece that fits in front of DVD ROM drive - as part of my xcarlink install) I became more and more aware of the B pillar rattle, well mainly from the driver's side, which was a rattle right in my ear and really annoying!I had thought this was from the seatbelt height adjuster especially as it sounded for all the world like a spring rattling, but after disassembling it and adding foam packing it still made the rattle especially from cold in my morning commute. But the sound still seemed to be coming from inside the B pillar so I was looking at removing the trim panels and investigating further. Then last night, on an impulse I looked at the rear driver's side door and discovered that the little plastic plate that covers the screws behind the door handle was fairly loose and rattled when hit. Removing this panel and leaving it off the car I had NO RATTLE on my way into work this morning. So it must be this piece that is rattling, especially when cold !! I'll have a go at adding some more self adhesive foam tape to these pieces - may as well do all 4 of them whilst I'm at it! I can't believe how the sound travelled from this piece and seemed to be coming from the B pillar internals - just goes to show how tricky these rattles can be to isolate.

    Anyway - if anyone else has this issue this will hopefully save a lot of hunting! Now on to the other (luckily diminishing) rattles !!
    Primarycare and Ichiban like this.
  14. justlooking Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Found the door handle rattle on mine too & fixed. Most annoying one for me is in cold weather the passenger airbag trim, can't quite figure it out but pressing any corner of the trim stops it, as does warm weather. Trouble is I've got no idea how to get under this trim to apply felt tape! Any ideas? Cheers
  15. Primarycare Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom Primary c Northampton
    Well done bud and good on you for posting your fixes :Thumbup:all help.. Glad you have it all well under control now. I know what you mean rattles in cars drive me NUTS ! but then I was quite used to that previously having vw and Audi...

    Well done with the fixes..