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Is the Dart a Rattletrap By Nature? Solutions?

Discussion in 'Dodge Dart / Viaggio' started by iNeon, May 23, 2016.

  1. iNeon

    iNeon Well-Known Member

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    The car has 15,000 on it, a 2015 AERO manual.

    I guess I didn't notice on the test drive in January because everything was so new/different and I was driving in an unfamiliar city-- but, everything rattles in this car. Everything.

    Can I 3m tape every panel to every other panel or line the backs of them with Dynamat to quiet things down? Would installing strut tower bracing and a rear anti-roll bar stiffen up the chassis and help stop the rattles?
     
  2. Scott Johnson

    Scott Johnson New Member

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    Hmm. My Dart is 3 1/2 years old and has no rattles inside. It does have a noisy front suspension though.
     
  3. iNeon

    iNeon Well-Known Member

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    It rattles more than the 110,000 mile PT Cruiser it replaced. No accidents, and it doesn't appear to have been beaten to death.

    The car feels hollow-- ever poked your finger through the carpet seam between the seat and door sill? There's nothing under there-- try it with the b-pillar trim, too.

    I almost want to get expandable foam from home depot to fill it all!
     
  4. DBY2014

    DBY2014 Active Member

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    My 2013 Limited with 65k miles doesn't have rattles. It's more of the suspension that annoys me- great on open road but any road imperfections just make a big thunk.
     
  5. iNeon

    iNeon Well-Known Member

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    It feels like a constant flat tire, especially when slowing at a stop light. I can't wait to get better tires on it!
     
  6. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    There is only one TSB (#23-009-15) for '14-'15 Dart (PF) for front window popping/clicking. The automakers try to issue TSBs for known or common problems. It helps to generate a tribal knowledge base. That may or may not help you here.
    It looks like you may have to hunt the rattles down one by one the old-fashioned way. Knowing where they are exactly will help you explain to the dealer and help them to find and fix them for you.
    Having a helper drive to reproduce the noises while you pull and push on panels will help you locate them. Pushing or pulling on panels to see if it changes or eliminates the noise is the standard diagnostic procedure for squeaks and rattles. I have had a helper sitting next to me hear a noise in a totally different perspective than what I thought was the noise source. They can be in the trunk (spare and jack tight?) or under the car (exhaust heat shield?). Is it a 'plasticy' or 'metallic' rattle?
    Thumping on panels when parked to see if you can reproduce the rattle is a good one-man method and may be good during a repair order write-up, but sometimes the car has to be in motion to get it to happen.
    Demonstrating the rattles on a road test with the technician or service advisor will benefit both of you. They need to verify and witness the rattle before they can hope to remedy it. There is nothing worse than not hearing what the customer is trying to describe.
    Loose, missing or broken fasteners can happen. Foam tape can secure loose components wire harnesses, etc. Chances are if yours has rattles, others have had rattles also. They may already know what it is and how to fix it.
     
    Dave Z likes this.
  7. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    Is it the tires? Have they been rotated regularly (about every 6000 mile (10000 km) oil change)? Any cupping, scalloping or irregular wear of the tread area? Do you have to be braking for the noise to happen?
     
  8. iNeon

    iNeon Well-Known Member

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    You're super kind! Thank you!

    The worst of the rattles is directly in the center of the dash and you can't hear it if radio or fan are above a whisper. It's that kind of rattle that infuriates you, and never lets you relax with the radio/fan down low. It's a rattle at idlegoes away when accelerating-- but when you shift and the clutch bites- the rattle makes sure to announce it.

    As far as tires-- I've only had the car 2,000 miles(4 months) and it is just approaching 15,000 miles. There are some of the internal sticky weights, and the two front wheels have a bit of curb rash(used when I bought it) but otherwise, no-- it rides fine once on the open road. I think it is the direct-mount suspension that does most of it, honestly. Didn't they do without some suspension bushings in this car? I can grab up a factory rear sway bar kit and a front strut tower brace if that might help the car feel less 'loose' but I think it might make it stiffer, and thus rattle -more- than less.

    The highbeam shutter in the driver's headlight started making a really loud popping noise upon activation last night, that, the rattle and a broken speaker will be taken care of at the car's first service-- I was just wondering if there were any DIY solutions. This is the reason I got rid of the PT Cruiser and it does bring me down a bit knowing I can't afford/have a quiet car.

    Do you know if the factory engine cover or hood mat would make an appreciable difference in sound level? I'm going to dynamat the floors and insides of the doors as I can-- but the Aero does without so much of the insulation that it almost makes the feature content pointless for me-- I do wish they'd have offered mid-level cars with all the features and soundproofing. I feel like I gave too much up with the Aero, but couldn't get the manual on the Limited-- and at the time didn't want the GT's bad gas mileage or red interior trim(though in hindsight mileage wouldn't have been much different)
     
  9. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    If the rattle is deep in the dash, it could be in the cowl (wiper area) or even on the firewall side. I have removed a radio or heater control in order to get my hand into the dash while on a road test to try and locate a culprit.
    A mis-adjusted hood can also contact the cowl. Sometimes pulling the hood release and popping the hood will stop the noise if it is related to hood hinge adjustment. The secondary hood catch should prevent the hood from flying open (You want to make sure that this is working first if you are going any faster than parking lot speeds). You may see the paint worn away in the area of contact.
    Make sure that the components mounted on the firewall are secure or isolated from movement.
     
  10. MPE426HEMI

    MPE426HEMI Well-Known Member

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    I had an annoying rattle/squeaking in my dash on a 1995 Plymouth Voyager, after a trip to the dealer to have a AC evap/core replaced. It drove me so nuts that I had to take the glove compartment out to have a look and see what it was. I knew it was on the passenger side somewhere. Guess what it was? The airbag module had the 4 nuts on the mounting studs, but they weren't even screwed all the way down the studs, let alone tightened! Imagine if that airbag had to go off in a collision. (I wonder why I don't have no trust?) Once I tightened them up the squeak was gone. As IC said, have a helper drive while you look for these and yes, they will drive you crazy.
     
  11. iNeon

    iNeon Well-Known Member

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    You're super sweet, Imperial. Thank you!

    I'll do as I can to isolate/remedy the noise prior to the service call, because I doubt they'll give me a loaner for this type of warranty repair and it'll expedite the repair process at least.
     
  12. pug-man

    pug-man Well-Known Member

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    I agree, any rattle is infuriating. Also agree on the tips posted.
    Another idea which you may have thought of is to first go thru the car and remove any personal items/objects from door pockets, etc. That is an easy and obvious potential source for annoying noises. Good luck!!
     
  13. PCRMike

    PCRMike Well-Known Member

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    Weird. I have a 2013 Limited and it has zero rattles. It DOES thump over big bumps though. Otherwise I am not sure about if there is a difference in material or insulation between Aero and Limited.
     
  14. iNeon

    iNeon Well-Known Member

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    It may be less related to the Dart specifically, and be more related to the fact that my only current frame of reference beyond the Dart are a pair of late model Mercedes cars.

    The Dart feels and sounds like I'm driving on gravel compared to those and the PT Cruiser-- what I'm calling rattles could very easily be called "reverberations" or "road noise" instead.
     
  15. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    And yet your chosen name as “Neon” in it, when the Neon was about as refined as a CJ.
     
  16. ImperialCrown

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    It is beginning to sound like loud tires. If you run your hand across and around the tread area, do you feel a ripple or sawtooth edge to the grooves?
    At 15K miles, you should be on your 2nd tire rotation. It may or may not be all 4 tires with this wear pattern. They will be loudest in the front.
    Some tire brands and sizes are more prone to cupping or scalloping type wear than others. The only real cure for this is a new set of tires. You can try and wear them evenly, but usually once they start this wear pattern, they will continue the noise.
    The Caliber tires were wearing and I could hear loud road-roar. It slapped the tar strips hard, even at the correct tire pressures. They were horrible in snow.
    A fresh set of tires made all the difference in the world. It now feels like a totally different car and is pleasant to drive.
     
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  17. iNeon

    iNeon Well-Known Member

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    Because I drove a neon from 1997 until 2009! It wasn't as noisy as this one.

    The tires are likely the largest of the harshness issue and I'll have them looked at/rotated/balanced during the next service, as well as have the front suspension inspected. The car was used, and may need some work.
     
  18. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    My Neon was fairly quiet as was the Shadow and Horizon before it. Maintenance was the normal stuff.
    The Caliber needed a lot of attention at first with only 19K miles on it. Control arms, outer tie rod ends and struts were noisy over bumps. The worn front end parts wore out the tires prematurely. 17" tires are expensive.
    After the initial disappointment, it has been a good car (not a great car) and it has grown on me with it's daily driver-duty, economy and utility.
    Looking at what I had to pack for a week's vacation once, I thought that there was no way I was going to fit all that stuff in the Caliber, but it did.
    I suppose that I could even lay down and sleep in the car if I had to.
     
  19. iNeon

    iNeon Well-Known Member

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    I expected to do those things in the PT I had prior, but it didn't feel as nervous as the Dart so early on. Another assumption that I'm making is that the AERO Dart with the turbine style wheels and low rolling resistance Kumho(Kuhmo?) tires may not be the smoothest riding version of the car.
     
  20. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    I strongly suspect so.

    But compared with a Dart?!?

    Oh, the Aero. I haven't driven one. Yes, the tires are not the best you could have, unless you only care about economy. There are many more complaints about the 1.4 than the others.
     

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