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2018 XT Touring
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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning all from another not-so-sunny winter day in Baltimore :icon_sad:

I've got 9K miles on my '18 XT and have started to notice a distinct rattling sound coming from above the dash area when going over bumps. Sounds a bit plastic-y.

Anyone else experience this sound?
 

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2017 Forester XT Premium
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492 Posts
Had a rattle but at speed at or above 20ish MPH. Turned out to be the outside plastic trim on both sides of the windshield. Down where the cowl and the side trim of the windshield meet can "flutter" and make a racket. I placed a 1" x 1" piece of double sided tape in between the cowl and trim where they meet and solved the rattle. I have had to replace the tape twice in 2 years.
 

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2018 Forester Premium
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78 Posts
I had a rattle at the rear, center of my 2018 Forester dash board around the top of the center gauge area. When I pushed down on the top of the cover, it would stop. I read in another post that the rattle was coming from the center window defroster vents. You can put your fingers into the vents and apply pressure and the rattle will stop. The solution was to purchase a three foot length of small diameter vacuum hose from an auto parts store (I bought the smallest diameter hose that they had). I then found a plastic scrapper and used it to push the rubber tubing slowly and gently into the crack between the window and the plastic dashboard where the defrost vents are located. The tubbing applies constant pressure to the plastic pushing the dash snugly against the vents, stopping the rattle. In some cases you might need a second piece of rubber tubing to add a second layer on top of the first one to provide adequate pressure on the rear of the plastic dashboard. You can push the tubing down and out of sight below the dash so it cannot be seen. It is an easy and cheap fix if the dash board defrost vents are where your problem is located. IMHO, it is never a good idea to let the auto dealership rip into your dash as most do not know what they are doing and can cause more harm than good.
 

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2018 XT Touring
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Discussion Starter #5
@bigJ That is exactly where I am hearing the noise! I'll give that procedure a shot this week, and I really appreciate the detailed explanation. Will follow up afterwards... and totally agree with you on the dealership causing more harm than good!
 

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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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As soon as our weather turned cold, I developed a rattle from the instrument pod area directly behind the steering wheel. When I would push on the front edge of the dash just above the instrument pod, the rattle would stop. I took it to my local Subaru dealer last week and they pulled out the instrument pod and placed some foam material behind it. Seems to have solved the problem but I'll know for sure when I drive in some colder temperatures.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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2,153 Posts
You might be surprised.... A few miles west in the SoCal desert [Palm Springs] we can easily hit the low 40s overnight and at least a few times in winter we can be uin the low 30s...

Hit the mountains around Palm Springs and it is in the teens....
 

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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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@ForesterBill How cold can it possibly get in Arizona? :)
Here in the Tucson area it can occasionally dip to the upper 20's for an overnight low during our short winter. I frequently drive to the high country of Arizona, the White Mountains in particular, where winter temps are 20-30 degrees colder than the desert. That's where I first heard the rattle.
 

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2018 XT Touring
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Discussion Starter #10
Downright beautiful country out by where you guys live.

Temps are cold today, the rattle in the car were very pronounced... pushed down on the defrost vent and that seemed to cure it... @bigJ was spot on with his description, thanks man!
 

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2018 Forester Premium
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mynamesrickgrimes, Center dash rattle update: After pushing some vacuum tubing between the front windshield and the center gague console (see my earlier post above), the rattle stopped and has not returned.
 

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2018 XT Touring
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Discussion Starter #12
@bigJ if it's not a huge inconvenience, would you mind taking a photo of exactly where you push in the tubing? Just want to make sure I'm spot on with where to apply. THANK YOU!

p.s. great to hear it's been a success for you
 

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I just posted about this a few days ago. ( after struggling since last winter and this winter so far) . I have an 06 forester , had a misfire last spring , did kinda like you. Changed plugs , wires, coil ( I replaced the coil twice ) . Got cold during the night , cranks in morning but not firing . Wouldn’t start below 26 degrees . Started oka once going for the day. Spring and summer ran and started fine.
This winter , same thing . No start below 26. Problem solved ! Power going into coil , nothing coming out . Coil was ( both from auto zone ) , not original Subwaru . Put an original subi equipment coil in, problem solved. Talked with a friend mechanic who specializes in foreign cars , says subi’s do not like aftermarket coils, coolant temp sensors , and drive axels ( his experience). I beleave it. I took my coil back to autozone and got my money back. Was 10 degrees out this morning. No problem starting.
 

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@bigJ if it's not a huge inconvenience, would you mind taking a photo of exactly where you push in the tubing? Just want to make sure I'm spot on with where to apply. THANK YOU!

p.s. great to hear it's been a success for you
Haven't figured out yet how to attach a photo, but it is real easy so let me explain further. From sitting in the driver's seat, place the finger tips of you right hand on the top of the center gauge console. Now, slide them forward down the back of the console and across the top of the defrost vents until you touch the glass of the front windshield. At this point you will feel the small crack between the glass windshield and the plastic dash that surrounds the defroster vents. This is the location where you press the small diameter vacuum tubing. The idea is to apply constant pressure against the windshield and the plastic dashboard to stop the rattle in the defrost vent area.
 

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2017 Forester 2.5 Touring
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This is great advise. I also have rattling in my 18 Impreza from the glove box area. But perhaps its up in the dash.
 

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2017 Forester XT
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Haven't figured out yet how to attach a photo, but it is real easy so let me explain further. From sitting in the driver's seat, place the finger tips of you right hand on the top of the center gauge console. Now, slide them forward down the back of the console and across the top of the defrost vents until you touch the glass of the front windshield. At this point you will feel the small crack between the glass windshield and the plastic dash that surrounds the defroster vents. This is the location where you press the small diameter vacuum tubing. The idea is to apply constant pressure against the windshield and the plastic dashboard to stop the rattle in the defrost vent area.
Update: It has been over two months now and my dash rattle has been gone and never returned. The Subie has been to Tahoe in -2 degree temperatures and eight feet of snow and the windshield had no problems and the rattle did not return even in the extreme weather. I think I can safely say that I have found the fix for this annoying center dash rattle that so many of us Forester owners have complained about.
 

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