Has the smooth rev and gentle hum of your engine turned to a rattle? If a rattle catches you off guard when starting your car, it may be time to schedule an auto repair service. The real culprit could be a number of things, so it can help to pay attention to timing. If the rattle stops once your car is moving, it can point to different auto repairs than if the rattle continues whether your car is stationary or moving. Knowing more specifics can help both you and your mechanic diagnose a necessary car repair.
Does the Rattle Stop Once Your Car is Moving?
You start your car, hear a rattle, and hope that it’ll stop once you get going. Thankfully, when you hit the gas, the rattle stops. Cue the sigh of relief! Well, that rattle still means you should schedule a trip to your local trusted mechanic. In fact, a rattle that stops once your car is moving can potentially point to a more serious repair than if the rattle continued.
Transmission Trouble or Engine Problems
Your transmission and engine are both complex systems responsible for keeping your car running. There are a lot of moving parts and if they aren’t moving in a synchronized fashion as they should, it can cause a rattle. While gear rattle can happen under different circumstances, it most often happens while a car is in idle. Any problems with your car’s transmission or engine should be diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible to prevent more damage.
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Does Your Car Still Rattle When Your Car is Moving?
If the rattle persists after you start driving your car, it can point in a different direction. Luckily, the most likely car repairs you may need are much simpler than a transmission repair. Certain parts under the hood of your car are likely to wear out over time without causing immediate problems. If your car rattles both in idle and while driving, it could point to one of these parts.
Check Your Motor Mounts
Your motor mounts, or engine mounts, do pretty much what it sounds like – they hold up your car’s engine. There’s a similar mount that holds up your transmission. If one or more of them wear out, your engine or transmission will be less secure and you may notice a rattle that doesn’t go away when you start driving. While an unsecure engine or transmission can more easily be damaged, replacing any worn or broken mounts is a relatively simple car repair. It’s also best handled by a trusted mechanic, such as those at AAMCO.
An Exhaust System Issue
Being on the underside of your car, the exhaust system is one of the most exposed of all your car’s systems. Parts in your exhaust system are susceptible to rust, especially if you live somewhere with snowy winters where salt is used on roads. Your exhaust system is also exposed to potential damage from from bumps and potholes in the road. It’s possible your tailpipe needs to be replaced or a clamp has come loose. Regardless, a trusted mechanic is best able to accurately diagnose the problem and carry out an exhaust system repair.