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OE,
If you happen to be out and about in the car and can be the passenger, try putting your palms on the A pillar. Through the trim i felt like I could feel the the resonance of the knock, whereas I couldn't feel the same anywhere else. I think I'll take the trim off tomorrow and go out for a drive.

Anyone know if the A pillar trim just pulls straight off?
 

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I also have a tapping rattle type noise coming from the front left (RHD Car). Seems to be coming from the left door / glovebox area.

Previously had a squeak which was caused by the plastic trim beneath the windscreen flexing and the clips tapping the glass, which i took off and sprayed some silicone lube on the clips, took each clip out and put them in the opposite way so they make a tighter fit between the trim and the glass which did help.

I have taken the plastic trim off twice and gone for a short drive only to find that I'm still hearing this plastic type rattle, so it's not the windscreen trim this time.
Have also removed the passenger side door card, sprayed lube on the contact points too and tightened the door card back up the best I could, and also sprayed beneath and on top of the windscreen rubber seal along the left side, still no help.

You only hear it on rough surfaces (if that helps)
 

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Discussion Starter #24
We'll have a look at the A Pillar. It's plausible if a wiring loom goes down it!
On a journey yesterday I refined the description... "a cable of about 1 metre about the size of a battery earth cable whipping a piece of metal from 1 1/2" away"
 

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I just had the centre top of dash vent out, there was a flapping connector in there, no idea what it's for, but strapped it up anyway- no change.
Went for a drive and had a good listen and feel for any thing moving, but all I get is the metal chassis as a whole. I've decided to bin it for now and just sit back and wait to see if it gets worse.
Defeated for now.
That's exactly where my rattle is coming from- how easy is it to remove that dash vent? because of the slope of the screen, it seems hard to get to?
 

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Look towards the rear of the vent and there's 2 tiny torx screws. Just take these out and then gently prise the vent up at the sides then it'll pop up. Just go steady.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I went on a short journey yesterday and there was no trace of the rattle! Very confusing because I had done nothing.

Then today a trip down to Gatwick with a lot of waiting around and very hot engine compartment. On the way back it was worse than ever. So is it temperature related?

I got my wife to hold the A Pillar but she felt nothing (maybe I should be in the passenger seat).

But then I drove over as many bumps as possible and concluded it needs the nearside wheel to hit a ridge to get the rattle. Any ridges on the offside wheel did nothing. So that makes no sense at all!
 

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Discussion Starter #29
More hunting today!
The engine tray had the middle bolt loose. Seems to be spinning the captive nut but I managed to apply pressure and get it done up.
The nearside part of the tray was rattling against the lower bumper so more foam insulation inserted.
The fuse tray beside the battery was rattling (I had high hopes on this one). When I took off the cover I could see the relay tray inside had one clip broken. Some more foam under this tightened it up.
Had a good look under the passenger seat but it's all tight.
All the suspension is in good condition and nothing moved when I levered it. This bit took a good 2 hours of checking (you need the anti roll bar to be untwisted to check the joints).

Then one thing I couldn't fix. One of the gear change cables ends up on a weighted counter balance. The pivot is very loose. Probably because most of the car's life has been stop start in London with several gear changes every 100 yds. But I can't think any noise can travel back down the cables into the cabin.

Oh. And the test drive - No improvement.
But still think it's worse when hot.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Well. If it stays like this I shall be delighted! After another day of chasing down rattles I've just been for a drive down my favourite test road and I may have heard nothing.

So today (after removing and eliminating the Radio) I concentrated on the scuttle area and it's covers.
Wipers off and the covers (2 pieces) removed to examine all the pipes and wiring. Nothing rattling there but I took the opportunity to put a brush down the scuttle drain. And water did come out of it so that's still not draining properly.
Then I had a good look at the scuttle covers and decided that they were a rattle source. So I got much better fixings to screw down rather than press down with the original 'christmas tree' force fit. But still the bits of plastic half way between the fixings was tapping. So I've applied sticky felt pads to the mid points and at the outer extremities.

Then the rubber that seals between the engine bay and the scuttle (air intake). I decided that its profile was designed to be the other way round so I reversed it and got a satisfying click as it went into place. But it still felt loose when fully seated. So I put 10 felt pads on the scuttle side of the metal pressing to tighten the rubber.

At the end of this work I tried banging the expansion bottle to vibrate the whole scuttle and confirmed everything was now tight. Just to finish off I put another piece of foam on the lower side of the expansion bottle.

Finally, I could see lower down the bulkhead, that the steering hose had a loose aluminium heat protector so I crimped it tight.

So the test drive. 1/2 a mile one way and nothing. 1/2 a mile back and on one ridge I might have heard it once. Back and forwards again for many runs and I might have possibly heard it a couple times more. But this is just single taps and maybe I'm just paranoid. If it stays like this I'm done.

But perhaps it is heat related and it will return. If it is then it must be the heater.

Anyone care to repeat my fix today and report back?
 

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A while ago when I was getting acrid smells in the cabin, I laid bike inner tube on the engine/skittle bay ridge and then pushed the rubber back on for a tighter fit.

The heat shield I've cable ties a while ago.

I bought a packet of Fir tree plugs, but there is still a tad of play, so wouldn't mind knowing what you used there. I meant to take it all off and go for a drive.

Today, I tightened a cable that I'd done before but was still knocking at the bottom of that skittle drain, just put your hand down there and possibly feel a loose cable. Not that it made any difference, so I might release it in case it's supposed to be loose.

Then I saw that there was a drain pipe or overflow hanging down all free to whack the sub frame. Cable tied, no difference.

I didn't get to go on my test road tonight, but I have a feeling it's quieter when wet.
 

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No joy without scuttle cover on and tried spinning the rubber seal around too- no joy.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
No joy without scuttle cover on and tried spinning the rubber seal around too- no joy.
Bang goes my theory then. I did tighten up the rubber seal quite well. Even at its extremities. Also another bit of foam on the expansion bottle.

And still no rattle this morning (radio off)
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Well it's still looking good!
The only other things I fiddled with were the glovebox and the passenger seat. Only opened and closed the glovebox several times. The Passenger Seat (electric) is now on it's highest setting and furthest back. Is yours fitted with electric seats?
 

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Yes, electric and heated and will be moved to their highest and furthest back setting asap! I'm also going to try padding out the bulkhead seal with pads rather than inner tube as I do have to refit part of the strip every time I open the bonnet, hmmm…there's a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
I think I'm on to something!

After a couple of weeks with virtually no rattles I had to adjust the seat down for a tall passenger and the rattle was back (remember these are electric seats).

So after I dropped the passenger off I went over my usual test road and confirmed it was almost as bad as before. A quick stop and I jacked the seat up to it's highest setting and then another test. But the rattle had not improved! Perhaps it's a sequence of adjusting that loads up the mechanism.

So was it just a coincidence? I have been driving with the radio on. I have fitted new front tyres. I have carried out other repairs. But it does seem to be something seat related. Then I looked at the Repair Disc and I see Alfa have included some helpful procedures on rattles. And one of them says "Check the seat electric motors are tight" Do they know all along what the problem is?

Off course, when you do a quick check of the seat it's not obvious where to look at the seat motors.

Do others with this problem have electric seats?
 

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My solution to this problem was to start worrying about driveshafts more, but when they're sorted, I'll take the seat out and see if the knock goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Update - Cautiously Optimistic

So I retraced my steps to look at items that previously improved the rattle. But mostly I came to the conclusion that heat plays a factor. After leaving the car face on to a blazing sun for a couple of hours I noted the rattle had nearly gone.

The part of the car that was really hot (apart from the interior) was the scuttle plastic. So I took it off again and looked at everything. The piece of foam I had put behind the main wiring loom had dropped off. And I was able to create a remarkably similar noise by waggling the heavy loom. Now it's fitted with lots of foam sleeves and foam inserts to the clips (which are way to big).

While I was there I had another look at the expansion bottle fixing. But inside the car it's knocking was the wrong noise. However, the resonance when you bang it is exactly the right frequency. The fixing is all wrong. The lower mounting is just a protrusion on the bottle that sits in a metal 'U' clip. Because the upper fixing is two horizontal bolts there is no way the bottle can sit tightly in the lower 'U' clip. So when you tighten the upper bolts it lifts the bottle out of the 'U' clip and it's then free to rattle. My fix uses a rubber hose, slit down the middle, wrapped around the protrusion on the bottle. Then when the upper fixing is clamped it forces the bottle down into the 'U' clip.

So here's the theory. The bottle resonates over a series of bumps. This starts the bulkhead at the same frequency so the wiring loom on the other side rattles in it's loose clips and dances on the metal. It seems to fit with my experience. A simple drain cover never makes it rattle but a series of ridges gets it going. I think that Alcooker was spot on when he likened it to a large long cable bouncing up and down. I think the heat in the sun just warms the wiring loom so it's not so hard when it bounces.

Now I've done 50 miles and also down my normal test road and it's clear!!

I'm thinking this problem occurs as the cars age because that metal 'U' clip bends with continued suspension movement.
 
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