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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the last week or so I have noticed a slight rattling sound coming from the rear of the car. It is only noticible when I am doing less than say 10 MPH, like slowing down for a light or just barely moving in a line of traffic. I can hear if quite easily when the radio is off.

This morning I sat down at the rear tires and gently shook them in and out. The rattling noise was easily heard on both sides and seems to be coming from the rear shock tower. In fact, I could feel a slight "banging" that was being telegraphed to the wheels/tires. Has anyone else heard this noise?
 

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Nice to see you back, DSM, but sorry it's about a problem!

In the hundreds of posts about rattles that we've seen on TSX sites, I don't recall ever seeing anything quite like what youre saying -- not from the shocks or suspension, and not even (more generally) from the wheels. I even just did a quick re-check, using some searches as well as looking at the main threads on the subject, and found nothing.

A lot of people, though, have noted rattles coming "somewhere from the rear." It's possible that some of them had what you have, but just didn't pin it down as you did. (Great job of that, BTW -- very impressive indeed.)

I would think that your having "diagnosed" it so specifically should help a lot in getting it resolved.
 

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That's the first time I've heard that type of rattle. As Larch said, mine comes from somewhere in the rear...possibly the sunshade/moonroof. (more like a ticking noise) I hear mine every time I go over a bump with my pass rear tire...and sometimes my driver rear tire. I had my dealer put in insulation by the rear headliner and it's gotten rid of some, but not all of it. I might have them check out my moonroof mechanism also...but it'll be at a different dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I occasionally have the ticking/cracking/snapping type of rattle that seems to come somewhere inside in the moonroof/headliner area. This noise I am referring to definitely comes from the rear suspension and not from inside the car. It sounds like shock absorber rattle. It does it on both sides. Others of you might try gently shaking your rear tires in and out while keeping your ear turned inward toward the shock tower to see if you hear any type or rattle/clunking sound.
 

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DSM said:
This morning I sat down at the rear tires and gently shook them in and out. The rattling noise was easily heard on both sides and seems to be coming from the rear shock tower.
I have not experienced this either, but what you mentioned above has me very curious.
As Larch said, you seem to pretty much have it diagnosed. At this point, I would put it in the hands of your dealer, and see what they come up with.
Joker - who is very interested in hearing what you find out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Rear suspension rattle - further diagnosis -

I crawled under the rear of the car and began gently pushing up on various parts of the underbody. No matter where I pushed I heard the rattle on both sides. I next opened the trunk and started pushing gently but rapidly on the lower part of the opening, and the sound was easy to hear. The sound seems to come from the top of the shock tower, which is why it is so easy to hear inside the trunk. What is strange is that it is exactly the same on both sides. Maybe some of you can try this to see if you hear anything. I'll take it to the dealer as soon as I can next week.
 

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Re: Rear suspension rattle - further diagnosis -

DSM said:
.....The sound seems to come from the top of the shock tower, which is why it is so easy to hear inside the trunk. What is strange is that it is exactly the same on both sides. Maybe some of you can try this to see if you hear anything.....
That has to make us wonder if it's normal and maybe even unrelated to your rattles, doesn't it? I mean, we wouldn't expect a defect to be exactly the same on both sides. Understand, I have no idea if it's not ridiculous to suggest what I'm saying, that something like that might be "normal" -- I just don't know about these things. But in general you wouldn't expect a defect to be exactly the same on both sides.

So, IS it possible, even theoretically? Do you (and/or others) know for sure that this normally DOESN'T happen when you shake a car's rear tires?

Sorry in advance if it's ridiculous. I'm more thorough than I am knowledgeable. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No, I don't know if it is normal or not. What I do know is that I only started hearing it while driving within the last week. So I decided to investigate and found what I have reported. If it is normal, then your and other's TSX ought to make the same noise. If it isn't normal, then I'd like to know what has caused it to appear and is there a fix for it.
 

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That's right -- if it's normal, ours should make the same noises -- and probably so should some or many other makes of cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have just gotten back from visiting my dealer about the rattle. A mechanic listened and he definitely heard it also. He said he has not heard such a rattle in another TSX. Anyway, I'm scheduled to take it in Thursday morning for them to see what the problem is and, I hope, fix it. I'll report back on what they find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Rear suspension rattle - solution

Well, my suspension rattle problem has been found and fixed. I took it to my dealer today and here are the results, quoting from the repair document:

"Diagnose rattle in rear area of vehicle.
Removed and replaced rear seat, rear shelf, plastic panels, door weatherstrip, and kick panels on both rear doors. Found strut towers missadjusted and strut mounts loose. Realigned strut towers and tightened strut mount."

The result is that the noise is gone. No more rattle at low speeds or a slight clunk when accelerating from being stopped. The car feels much more solid and tight, and it handles better. I guess I am now experiencing how the TSX is supposed to handle.

Also, with all those pieces removed and replaced I was worried that I would have more rattles. I spoke of my concerns about this to the mechanic who did the work, and he said he would feel the same way about his own car. He said he was very careful to gently remove everything so that all clips, etc. were not bent or broken and he put them back carefully. He must have known what he was doing because there is not a hint of any new rattle.

I guess I am most surprised that the problem existed in the first place. The mechanic said that it obviously came from the factory that way. This is surprising since the car is built in Japan. Maybe the rear suspension was put in by an exchange worker from Marysville, OH! Anyway, I am very please that it is fixed and with the service I received.
 

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Good news, I guess.

But.....I think you're probably going to mostly agree with this: In view of what you "diagnosed," and in view of their agreeing it wasn't normal and that it appeared to be a very possible source of the rattle: WHY DID THEY DO ALL THAT OTHER STUFF? I mean, if you have acute abdominal pain and they find a ruptured appendix, they're not going to take out your gall bladder and your pancreas and your stomach and colon too. :donno:

When you find something abnormal that seems related to the complaint, common sense says you take care of that first, and only that -- and you see if it fixes the problem. Or at least that's usually the best rule -- in anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I asked the mechanic about this and he said in order to get to the shock tower to be able to realign it and retighten from the top it was necessary to remove all that was listed. The trim and panels around the door opening probably had to be removed to completely take out the rear shelf.

As an addendum, I went out to the garage and looked up into the rear wheel opening, and it is obvious that the top of the strut tower is directly under the area where the rear shelf meets the top of the back seat. So I can see that to get to it and have the leverage to readjust and tighten it that the seat and shelf would have to be removed. I'm just glad that it is now fixed and seemingly handling more solidly.
 

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"Replaced," or "RE-PLACED"???

Good answer!

In view of that, as I look back at your prior post, it looks like part of it -- that account of what they did -- means something different than it seemed to mean. When you said they "removed and replaced," all those pieces, I just assumed that "replaced" meant, got rid of the original pieces and put in NEW (i.e. "replacement") pieces. And maybe that's what you assume, and maybe that's what they did. But it's ambiguous, and from your last post, my guess would be that that's NOT it, but rather that they put back ("re-placed") the ORIGINAL pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, what I did was just spell out the "r & r" on the repair report. I guess I assumed that most people who have had enough cars (and particularly if they had body work done on them) would know that "remove and replace" meant taking a piece off and then replacing it after the repair is made. Of course, with body work it could mean putting a new piece on if it had been damaged.
 

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OK, so it DOES mean "re-placed"!

I do think most people would have imagined the other. But, as they say, "OCICBW."
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I am resurrecting this thread because of some new developments on the rear suspension rattle I have had (and still have).

After the mechanic tightened the bolts on the top of the shock absorber, the rattle came back after a few days. I went back again and he then replaced all the top bushings, sleeves, collars, bolts, etc. on both rear shocks, but it still made a rattle/clunking sound at very low speeds or when pushing gently on the tires or back end of the car.

So, I took it back this past Monday for them to search for the source of the noise by using what I guess would be called an electronic stethoscope that uses a headset to hear noises. The mechanic found that the rattling noise was coming from inside the shock absorber itself on both wheels. He planned to order two new shock absorbers and they were to be in this Thursday.

I got a call this morning from the service advisor who said that they received information back that there is a nationwide backorder on these shock absorbers. Evidently there was a bad lot of rear shock absorbers that went into a number of TXSs and the problem is now being found nationwide. There is no immediate danger with this problem other than the annoying clunking/rattling noise.
 

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DSM said:
I am resurrecting this thread because of some new developments on the rear suspension rattle I have had (and still have).

After the mechanic tightened the bolts on the top of the shock absorber, the rattle came back after a few days. I went back again and he then replaced all the top bushings, sleeves, collars, bolts, etc. on both rear shocks, but it still made a rattle/clunking sound at very low speeds or when pushing gently on the tires or back end of the car.

So, I took it back this past Monday for them to search for the source of the noise by using what I guess would be called an electronic stethoscope that uses a headset to hear noises. The mechanic found that the rattling noise was coming from inside the shock absorber itself on both wheels. He planned to order two new shock absorbers and they were to be in this Thursday.

I got a call this morning from the service advisor who said that they received information back that there is a nationwide backorder on these shock absorbers. Evidently there was a bad lot of rear shock absorbers that went into a number of TXSs and the problem is now being found nationwide. There is no immediate danger with this problem other than the annoying clunking/rattling noise.
Nice work, nice write-up -- but sorry to hear you're still having to deal with this!

Sounds like this is a different kind of rattle/whatever than the usual. Not that the "usual" hasn't been quite a variety, but this seems like it's in a different realm.

But most importantly: Who is that avatar? My first thought was Freud, but then I thought it looks more like Jung. I guess I think it's a psychoanalyst.....

Which, in turn, makes me wonder if DSM stands for "Diagnostic & Statistical Manual." But I basically assume it's just your initials.
 
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