What’s up when you hear a rattle coming from under your vehicle? It may be when you hit a bump, accelerate, or are just idling. If the issue is a loose muffler or other exhaust system component, it can easily be fixed. And like most things, addressing the problem as soon as possible can prevent it from getting worse.
The first concern is isolating the cause of the rattle. Perhaps an exhaust hanger or bracket could be loose or broken. Heat shields under the vehicle can also loosen and start to rattle. These items can be tightened or replaced as needed.
Occasionally, there can be an internal problem. A baffle inside the muffler can come loose and cause a rattle. Catalytic converters can be damaged by hitting an obstacle or from overheating. Internal damage is often a result of unburned fuel and oil vapors becoming trapped in the catalytic converter and then burning off. Regular fuel system cleaning can help prevent this condition.
Mufflers, catalytic converters, and exhaust pipes are very resistant to corrosion, but over time road salt, moisture, and heat combine to cause rust. In addition to rattles, you may also hear louder exhaust sound resulting from leaks. Of course, exhaust leaks should be repaired immediately to keep dangerous exhaust gasses out of the passenger compartment. An exhaust leak can also affect your fuel economy as well as the amount of pollutants coming from your vehicle.
If you are hearing a rattle or other unusual noise coming from under your vehicle, let us know. Your local NAPA AutoCare technician will inspect it for problems and recommend a solution.
Your safety and comfort are important to us and we’d be happy to help!