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Rattle in rear interior compartment!

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Old 18 Oct 2002, 01:57 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Troutville, VA, USA.
Posts: 11
Default Rattle in rear interior compartment!

My wife's '01 developed an annoying rattle which sounded like a small steel ball inside a plastic/metal box that would roll around and bounce on the bottom when you hit a bump. It was an intermittent rattle, sounded the same with the rear seats in or out, and the sound echoed off the windows/doors making it difficult to pinpoint the exact source, as it was a quiet-type of rattle when heard from the driver's seat. Although somewhat "muffled", it was very annoying. You would hear the "ball" roll forward when you put on the brakes, and roll backward when you accelerated. I looked all around inside the car, removed the seats, took out the rear shelf, checked the rear door shaking it up and down, took out the spare tire and put it back tightly, drove around listening to every sound for a clue, yet could not pinpoint the culprit. I finally got into the back into the rear compartment (sans seats and package shelf) and had my wife drive me around so I could move around inside the back and listen for the bugger. I heard the noise seemingly coming from up high at the rear door.

I got out of the vehicle, walked around back, and noticed that the center high mount stop light was not working. Back in my garage, I removed the cover over the CHMSL and removed the assembly. BINGO! All three bulbs were blown, and two of them had broken just above the narrow part where the bulb plug into the socket. The boken top part of the bulbs were rolling around inside the light assembly. I removed the broken bulbs and installed 3 new Sylvania 921LL bulbs, and replaced the unit. No rattle.

Any one else had this experience? If you are experiencing the same, maybe this will help you find it.

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Old 18 Oct 2002, 03:27 pm
Obsessed Cruiser
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 27,758

I thought your story was going to end with you finding a ball bearing or bottle cap or something like that rolling around inside the wheel well. There used to be stories when I was growing up about disgruntled employees up in Detriot that would put broken tools, coke bottles and anything else laying around inside a cavity of cars on the assembly line. They would pass inspection but the owner of the new car would always have this annoying rattle or banging which they could never find. Don't know if the stories were true or not.

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Old 18 Oct 2002, 03:58 pm
Young Cruiser
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Clearwater, FL, USA.
Posts: 93

Glad it was only the bulb. Many of the stories of assembly line "pranks" were urban legend, but some were in fact true. Probably the basis for the embellished stories. At least one coke bottle hanging by a string inside a fender panel was true. I worked for Chevrolet Engineering between 1968 - 1973 and we had a Caprice sent to us by a local dealership with a mystery thumping in the rear quarter panel. Coke came in small thick glass bottles back then and that was what we found.

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Old 19 Oct 2002, 01:10 am
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Hammonton, New Jersey, USA.
Posts: 352

The coke bottle story is true. I worked for a Cadillac dealer back in the early seventies and there was a coke bottle with a note in it inside the front fender well of a 72 Caddy. The note read ha ha you found it. The thing the morons forgot is the factory had records of who was on the line at the time it was built. Needless to say they got fired.
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Old 19 Oct 2002, 06:28 pm
Senior Cruiser
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Riverside, Ca, USA.
Posts: 1,372

Remember we are dealing with a Mexican assembly line. Hopefully they have not picked up on Detroit tricks!

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Old 21 Oct 2002, 05:37 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Troutville, VA, USA.
Posts: 11

I had heard about the stories of different rattles and stuff in the doors, etc. That was my fear, however, this rattle developed after 15K of rattle-free miles. I didn't really believe that there would be a "delayed" rattle from something they left in it. I thought it very unusual that these bulbs would burst where it necked up from the contacts, and all three at the same time! Thanks for your replies. Hope this will help someone else pinpoint their noise!

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Old 30 Oct 2002, 10:10 am
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: .
Posts: 4

My concern would be a wiring defect that blew the bulbs.
IF the new bulbs go as quickly best to get out the multi-meter !

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