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2009 Forester X Touring
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The top of the dash on my car "ticks" and "rustles" over bumps when temp is around freezing plus or minus 10 degrees. Warmer or colder it is silent. I think it would be a waste of time to complain to the dealer as it would "never" do it for them. How can I remove the top to see what I can do to fix it? I see a fastener or cover in the centre, but dont want to pry on it without knowing what it is. Can anyone tell me how to do this or give me a link?

This is a great forum - I got my door rattles fixed by taking in the tech tip about the loose baffles to the dealer. He hadn't heard of the problem, but did the fix and, sure enough they are cured. I cured rattles in the back seats with a turn and a half of duct tape on the post that the seat latch grabs. The dash is my last aggravation. I don't know why Companies build vehicles designed to rattle! They all do it!
 

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09 Limited 4EAT
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56 Posts
Hey, I have the same issue with my 09 -- when it's 40 degrees or colder, I get a quiet rattle from the top of the dash -- "ticks and "rustles" is a good way to describe it. I can't really pinpoint the source of the sound, and I can't make it stop by pressing on the dash.

The fact that it doesn't stop once the cabin warms up makes me think it isn't the dash itself. I have read that earlier Foresters had noises that sounded like they came from udner the dash but were actually wires rubbing against the firewall.

Anyone else have a suggestion?
 

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2020 Touring
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151 Posts
Beings that today marks my first week of ownership of a '10 X Ltd, and after 270 miles so far I can sympathize with you. Don't have any dash rattles, yet, just the front door ones but only when the stereo is cranked up. Took care of the rear center seatbelt buckle rattle myself, easy fix.
All-in-all this is quite the quiet ride I didn't expect from reading this forum for the past 3 months waiting for my car to arrive.
After one week, I'm a happy first time Subie owner, great vehicle. Hope that feeling lasts for years to come.
 

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I don't know why Companies build vehicles designed to rattle! They all do it!
Tell you what - you build me a perfectly straight, perfectly level, perfectly smooth road in a climate that maintains a set temperature and sun load 24/7 with absolutely no wind, and I'll build you a car that won't rattle.

Bumps, potholes, temperature changes from sub zero to over 100 degrees is more like reality. You build a car so tight it won't rattle under all those conditions, and it will just break. There has to be room for expansion and contraction, plus body flexing due to road conditions. Unfortunately, that can lead to noise and rattles. You can alleviate the noises somewhat with insulation, but that adds weight, and weight affects handling, acceleration, stopping, and fuel mileage. It's all a bunch of trade offs. If the car performs reasonably well under all those varying conditions and keeps me relatively comfortable and safe while driving it, I'll live with a little noise now and then.
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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Beings that today marks my first week of ownership of a '10 X Ltd, and after 270 miles so far I can sympathize with you. Don't have any dash rattles, yet, just the front door ones but only when the stereo is cranked up. Took care of the rear center seatbelt buckle rattle myself, easy fix.
All-in-all this is quite the quiet ride I didn't expect from reading this forum for the past 3 months waiting for my car to arrive.
After one week, I'm a happy first time Subie owner, great vehicle. Hope that feeling lasts for years to come.
There is a fix for that door rattle. You can take it to the dealer or do it yourself. Either way it will resolve your issue. The baffle in the front doors is loose causing the noise. Here is a link.......http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f88/09-door-panel-rattle-tsb-info-45992/
 

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09 Limited 4EAT
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56 Posts
Tell you what - you build me a perfectly straight, perfectly level, perfectly smooth road in a climate that maintains a set temperature and sun load 24/7 with absolutely no wind, and I'll build you a car that won't rattle.

...It's all a bunch of trade offs. If the car performs reasonably well under all those varying conditions and keeps me relatively comfortable and safe while driving it, I'll live with a little noise now and then.
While I absolutely agree that there are always design/cost tradeoffs in any manufactured product, I can't get with you on this issue. My wife's 06 Accord cost a lot less than my 09 Limited, and it is a lot quieter and smoother in general.

I love my Subie, and I am willing to put up with some minor annoyances in order to get the benefits, but I can't agree that it isn't possible to build a comfortable, safe car that performs in varying conditions without rattles.

Meanwhile, I had the door rattle (passenger front) and it was resolved, which is why I feel confident that this dash rattle is fixable.
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X
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51 Posts
Tell you what - you build me a perfectly straight, perfectly level, perfectly smooth road in a climate that maintains a set temperature and sun load 24/7 with absolutely no wind, and I'll build you a car that won't rattle.

Bumps, potholes, temperature changes from sub zero to over 100 degrees is more like reality. You build a car so tight it won't rattle under all those conditions, and it will just break. There has to be room for expansion and contraction, plus body flexing due to road conditions. Unfortunately, that can lead to noise and rattles. You can alleviate the noises somewhat with insulation, but that adds weight, and weight affects handling, acceleration, stopping, and fuel mileage. It's all a bunch of trade offs. If the car performs reasonably well under all those varying conditions and keeps me relatively comfortable and safe while driving it, I'll live with a little noise now and then.
Honestly I think you're being way too forgiving. My old 97 Outback, and other late 90s/early 00s Subies were tight as drums. Even at 13 years old and 157,000 miles that Outback interior didn't have a single rattle or buzz. In my opinion there is no excuse for designing interiors and using cheap plastic retainers that clearly will snap. I love my '10 Forester, but it definitely buzzes in a few different locations already that really make me see the clearly cut corners.
 

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2009 & Jamboree Motorhome
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347 Posts
The top of the dash on my car "ticks" and "rustles" over bumps when temp is around freezing plus or minus 10 degrees. Warmer or colder it is silent. I think it would be a waste of time to complain to the dealer as it would "never" do it for them. How can I remove the top to see what I can do to fix it? I see a fastener or cover in the centre, but dont want to pry on it without knowing what it is. Can anyone tell me how to do this or give me a link?

This is a great forum - I got my door rattles fixed by taking in the tech tip about the loose baffles to the dealer. He hadn't heard of the problem, but did the fix and, sure enough they are cured. I cured rattles in the back seats with a turn and a half of duct tape on the post that the seat latch grabs. The dash is my last aggravation. I don't know why Companies build vehicles designed to rattle! They all do it!
If you have some time.. Pull the radio out.. Not a big job.. And you will find you can reach much of the underdash.. You can also pull the glove compartment.. If some thing is loose in there odds are with a little time you could find it..

My 09 has the door rattle.. But I just do not have the time to fuss with it now.. And I am starting to get use to it and the stuff my wife throws in the glove compartment and doors.. You know pens, bottle caps, ect..

Snowdance

Flickr: snowdance38's Photostream
 

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2009 2.5X EJ253 Manual
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2,802 Posts
Also check the undercover on the passenger side of dash panel. I'm talking about the piece that is attached to the dash near where the glove box hinges are by three fasteners and it runs up under and lies above the passengers legs hiding the dash guts. But it attaches to *nothing* on the firewall end. It just sits there loose and can flop around. Unknown why Subaru did not secure it to the firewall area.

I have an insidious, diabolical, plastic on plastic rattle buried somewhere in the top passenger side of the dash. It may be the lone vertical diverter fin down in the windshield defrost grille. Or not. But there's something in that area that certain harmonic road vibes and assorted bumps cause it to cut loose and it p!sses me off that I can't zero in on it.
 

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2010 Forester X 2.0
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7 Posts
Hey guys, I´m new here. Just bought, last week, a 2010 Forester over here in Brazil and can´t figure out the exact source of a rattle that comes, I believe, from the roof, in the cargo area, near the center seat belt "nest"... or whatever you call it in english. I already pulled the belt out and connected it to the seat, but the problem continues. It seems the noise is coming from inside the roof lining, close to the window... it´s as if something is banging against something... a metalic sound... can anyone, please, help me???
 

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2009 & Jamboree Motorhome
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347 Posts
Hey guys, I´m new here. Just bought, last week, a 2010 Forester over here in Brazil and can´t figure out the exact source of a rattle that comes, I believe, from the roof, in the cargo area, near the center seat belt "nest"... or whatever you call it in english. I already pulled the belt out and connected it to the seat, but the problem continues. It seems the noise is coming from inside the roof lining, close to the window... it´s as if something is banging against something... a metalic sound... can anyone, please, help me???
Some one else said some thing about one like that.. They decided it was the plastic around the rear glass rubbing on the glass.. But that is the only one I remember in that area..

Snowdance

Flickr: snowdance38's Photostream
 

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2009 Forester X Touring
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Removing top of 09 dash

Thanks to Snowdance and to Lone Ranger for comments. I'll do some more exploration when the weather warms up a bit to see what I can see under there. I'd still like to know how to take the top of the dash off though, because if I press on it the clicking stops.

Also for those who believe it is impossible to build a rattle free vehicle, I had a 1994 Dodge minivan which ran 8 years without a single rattle. It is a matter of taking into account the expansion and contraction of the materials over a wide temperature range, or putting something suitable between components to keep them apart. There is no excuse for the '10 Forester still having the door baffle rattle when the problem and the solution for the 09's was widely known.
 

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Also check the undercover on the passenger side of dash panel. I'm talking about the piece that is attached to the dash near where the glove box hinges are by three fasteners and it runs up under and lies above the passengers legs hiding the dash guts. But it attaches to *nothing* on the firewall end. It just sits there loose and can flop around. Unknown why Subaru did not secure it to the firewall area.

I have an insidious, diabolical, plastic on plastic rattle buried somewhere in the top passenger side of the dash. It may be the lone vertical diverter fin down in the windshield defrost grille. Or not. But there's something in that area that certain harmonic road vibes and assorted bumps cause it to cut loose and it p!sses me off that I can't zero in on it.
me too! check out my previous post reply....
 

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09 Forester 2.5X
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I've also noticed a dash rattle when it's cold out...or maybe I noticed it because my radio wasn't turned up. I feel like the noise I hear comes from the drivers side. When I press on the dash, sometimes it stops, but I'm not really sure. It's not as bad as this rattling license plate thing, but I'd gladly add it to my list of 'stuff to silent' if anyone has any ideas.
 
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