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Do you have a dashboard rattle in weather under 60 degrees and with the gas pressed?

  • Yes

    Votes: 22 57.9%
  • No

    Votes: 16 42.1%
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2019 White 2.5 Premium
16 Posts
Hey all, I know this is an old thread but I thought I'd bump it because it helped me out a lot.

2016 2.5i Premium here. As the weather got colder this season I started noticing a vibration / rattle that appeared to be coming from behind the gauge cluster. It was usually between 20 and 40mph, between 1100 and 1600 RPMs, only present in Drive, and always more present on cold days and in the first 20 minutes of driving before the car is fully warmed up.

I HATE rattles, especially on new cars that shouldn't have them, and this was making me crazy! I spent hours driving around trying to locate the problem with no success. I found myself not wanting to drive because I didn't want to think about the problem any more.

I was reluctant to take it to the dealership since I've done a bunch of interior / dash work and assumed that they'd blame the rattle on the cabling and the dash / headliner disassembly work I did for my extra 12v switch, backup cam switch and dashcam install.

Anyway, I started searching for posts about similar problems, and found this thread, and the problem identified here was definitely my problem. As soon as I moved the transmission ground cable away from the air box, the problem was totally resolved.

I thought I'd bump it and post some pics and details in case anyone is new to this issue for the cold weather that's starting to come on.

The offending wire is in the engine bay against the firewall near the center. (pic 1). It's a red-black ground wire connecting the transmission to the frame. (pics 2 and 3). It rattles against the black plastic air intake ducting. (pic 4)

I suggest unclipping the nearby gray wiring connector and re-routing the ground wire to underneath the connector instead of over (pic 5). This will keep it from ever vibrating against the air box.

Hope this helps someone as much as it helped me, and many thanks to all the folks who worked hard to find this solution last winter. I never would have guessed that a rattle that seemed like it was coming from behind the speedometer was a wire in the engine bay.
This works! I had the same annoying rattle buzz, under the same scenario (1100-1600RPM, with sub-freezing ambient temps). It was making me crazy. I'd finally decided it was somehow coming up through the ventilation ducts, from who-knows-where. Found this post, secured the ground cable, and it's GONE. 2019 2.5l, BTW.

2017 Outback 2.5i Limited
146 Posts
My 2017 Outback developed a dash rattle last year. I tried the zip tie on the wire but that didn't fix it. I found a DIY fix that appears to have done the trick. I haven't heard a rattle for three months, including some temps below zero. My rattle was at the defroster duct cover just forward of the instrument cluster. I was able to duplicate it by tapping the duct cover and dash with my fingers.
  • I purchased some 25.4mm wide, 1mm thick felt tape. The only tools used were a narrow plastic spreader, small flat blade screwdriver and scissors.
  • I removed the speaker covers by the a-pillars then the defroster cover. Once the defroster cover was off, I disconnected the sensors (small flat blade screwdriver may be needed).
  • I ran felt tape along the dash where the rear of the defroster cover meets it. A small portion of the felt is on the vertical surface, most of it is on the horizontal surface below the cover. Be careful not to block any holes used by the cover retainers. I have a small amount of felt visible with the cover reinstalled.
  • Then I cut some smaller pieces (roughly half width x 50mm), and using my fingers, lifted the defroster duct up and slid the felt (adhesive side up) under the duct. I then pressed down to get the felt to stick. I believe there were four places I did this.
  • Next, I saw where Subaru had installed some felt to the underside of the defroster cover. I added some more.
  • Reinstalling the defroster cover was a little tricky. After getting the sensors reconnected, I struggled to get all the hooks on the forward edge in correctly. If you get one or more installed wrong, the cover will bulge up in that area. It took me two tries. After those hooks are in, just slide the cover forward and press down. You may need to snap the sensors back in place after.
  • Lastly, reinstall the speaker covers and clean the inside of the windshield.
If anyone in the Tulsa area has a similar rattle that can be duplicated by tapping the dash and wants to make a better write-up or video, PM me. I have plenty of felt tape!
221 - 223 of 223 Posts