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Rear Passenger Rattle

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I have a 02 S currently with 103k miles. I have noticed lately there seems to be a rattle when I go over bumpy roads. It sounds like it is coming from the rear back passenger side of the car, but I know that can be misleading. I have checked the underside and I do not see anything loose that could rattle at all. I still have the large heat protection shield under there, but it is bolted on tight and does not move from what I can tell. It is only heard at lower speeds on a road with lots of small bumps in a row. (when I turn on my road to come home). At higher speeds there is no rattle, and it is very weird because it sounds more like plastic hitting something than anything else. You could also describe it as more of a vibration sound like if you play loud bass and the car rattles. Any suggestion of what to check ? It does not effect the car in any way other than driving me batty when I am forced to go slow :)



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The sounds you describe sound like what I was getting with worn out control arm (track arm) bushings.  I replaced mine at about 100k and those low rumbling (especially at low speeds on rough roads) and vibrations have disappeared.  I thought maybe that noise had been coming from the engine heat shield cover as it always sounded to me like that thing vibrating right behind my head, but after I replaced the control arms it all went away, and came with a much smoother ride overall.  That would be my guess.  I don't know of a good way to check the condition other than taking them off and inspecting.  Once I got mine off, it was clear that the bushings were shot.  P/N 986-331-043-07 for me.  I am slowly working my way through all of the rear suspension components which have never been replaced and I am guessing that all the rubber stuff is in need of replacement after 16yrs and 100k mi+.

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