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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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Any thoughts on what is going on here?

I have a 2016 Outback Limited. When I am driving in the 20-40 miles per hour range over rough pavement (washboard, cracked, bumped, gravelly, cobblestones, etc.), there is a fairly loud chattering sound that comes from somewhere between the space behind the steering wheel / under the instrument cluster and the space behind the touchscreen for the stereo. It is a bit hard to pinpoint the exact location because it sounds a bit different depending on whether I am sitting in the driver's seat or passenger's seat.

As best I can describe it, the sound is one of pieces of plastic (or perhaps rubber) slapping together; the sound is low frequency, not buzzy. It sounds almost like an under inflated basketball being dribbled very fast. When it is very cold outside I don't hear it as much. If I go over an isolated bump in the road the sound lasts for a second or two and then stops; if I am on rough pavement, it is continuous. I don't know where exactly the noise is coming from - whether dashboard or elsewhere.


They replaced the "kick panel" (the plastic panel under the steering wheel), which they found had broken tabs on it, and also tightened the straps holding the wiring harness behind the steering wheel and adjusted some foam pieces in that vicinity that had slipped out of place. None of this addressed the problem.
 

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2016 2.5i Limited
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40 Posts
For the time being, my dashboard rattle has mysteriously disappeared with no action on my part. Or it moved to the back of my car.
 

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16 OB 3.6 LTD/ES
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470 Posts
I have a 2016 Outback Limited. There is a fairly loud chattering sound that comes from somewhere between the space behind the steering wheel / under the instrument cluster and the space behind the touchscreen for the stereo.
That is 100% exactly what I have. 4 times at dealer so far first three times 3 left car three days each time at dealer, and last 4th time 9 days, and still they could not figure that. I suggested everything I read here about possible solution, and they tried all and could not find the problem. And they removed my dash so many times now, I don't want to touch it anymore. Even I still have to go for a fifth time next week, as when they installed back the dash last time, it looks that they missed some clips or something as the middle of the dash under the windshield behind the Auto light sensor is a little warped up and there's some loose clip that keeps popping. I've been getting a loaner every time, but this is now very annoying and frustrating.
 

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2015 Outback 2.5 Limited Carbide Grey
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125 Posts
Discussion Starter · #144 ·
I had a similar problem, it ended up being the transmission ground wire vibrating against the airbox. I was surprised it was that, based on the location of the sound, but apparently it vibrated up into the steering column and into the dash area.

It is worth having them take a look, since they dont have to remove the dash to do it. I know 8 others who had the same issue and the fix worked.
 

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16 OB 3.6 LTD/ES
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470 Posts
I had a similar problem, it ended up being the transmission ground wire vibrating against the airbox. I was surprised it was that, based on the location of the sound, but apparently it vibrated up into the steering column and into the dash area.

It is worth having them take a look, since they dont have to remove the dash to do it. I know 8 others who had the same issue and the fix worked.
I read your post from before and told them that, and they said they looked at it and nothing wrong. Did you have the rattle coming from this area ( between instrument cluster and navigation ) ? By looking at it, the ground wire is not close to the airbox in my 3.6. I guess it's different on the 2.5
 

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2015 Outback 2.5 Limited Carbide Grey
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125 Posts
Discussion Starter · #146 ·
It was more from the instrument cluster down to the bottom of the steering wheel. Perhaps the 3.6 has a different dash sound rattle "feature". Good luck!
 

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'15 OB premium
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3 Posts
Well, that was quite a long read! As you might guess, I have a '15 outback that has the same symptoms. I notice around 1100 rpm. Thanks to all that posted - it gives me an idea of where to look. I avoid going to the dealer as much as possible, but I may be taking mine in if I can't resolve it. The vibration is maddening!
 

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Just piced up my '15 Outback and rattling is completely gone. Was absolutely driving me crazy and very happy that they took care of it without the back and forth. Turns out they had to replace the "Cowl Panel." It's the black plastic piece that runs in between the hood and windshield on the outside of the car. Wipers are connected to it. Just wanted to share, just in case some of y'all are still going back and forth to dealership. Best of luck going forward!

JC
 

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16 OB 3.6 LTD/ES
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470 Posts
Just piced up my '15 Outback and rattling is completely gone. Was absolutely driving me crazy and very happy that they took care of it without the back and forth. Turns out they had to replace the "Cowl Panel." It's the black plastic piece that runs in between the hood and windshield on the outside of the car. Wipers are connected to it. Just wanted to share, just in case some of y'all are still going back and forth to dealership. Best of luck going forward!

JC
Thanks for posting possible solution. Was the Cowl panel broke or loose or what ?
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R CVT
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For those that wondered about the 3.6R, I just picked up my 2016 3.6R. It has less than 1,000 miles on it. And I've had the offending rattle, as follows:

I get a rattle/buzz that sounds like it's coming from the base of the steering column, specifically the right side. It sounds more like a buzz than a rattle, almost bordering on a grinding noise. It happens at lower speeds (20-30 mph) and lower RPMs. The frequency of the rattle/buzz is directly related to how hard I'm accelerating and will go away if I let my foot totally off the gas. Here's an odd thing that I haven't seen mentioned in this thread: it's more prevalent when turning right. If I'm turning left it's pretty rare and I really have to play with the speed/RPM combinations to find it, but if I'm turning right it occurs at a wider MPH/RPM range. It is not dependent on road conditions. Only temperature. And it usually goes away after about 8-10 minutes of driving.

Glad I found this thread. I'm going to check both the transmission ground wire and the AC hose tonight. I'll report back with what I find.

Thanks for everyone's help in this thread.
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R CVT
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11 Posts
Sure. I think this hose deal might be specific to the 3.6. This is what I did:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/3511273-post112.html

Since doing that, I took the car in to the dealership today to pick up my plates. I told them about the noise and showed them my fix. First they just bent the hose down a bit to create space. No more foam needed. Then they wrapped the two yellow cone things with foam as mentioned in this post :

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...te/20514/topics/294193?page=13&postid=3519809
 

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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.
 

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2018 3.6R Limited
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552 Posts
Tyler, thanks from me as well. I have described rattle problem. It appears to be coming from the center speaker. But that might be so because it lets more sound from the outside to come in. I've looked at the cable and it is definitely loose and it can touch black plastic enclosure next to it, and make the rattle.
 

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2017 OB 2.5 Premium w/ES 2002 2.5 OB 142k mi
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301 Posts
I started hearing a rattle behind the instrument panel or steering wheel in my new 2017 2.5 Premium 2 weeks into driving it. Who knows it may have been there before but I was too distracted by trying to figure out controls especially climate control. It's intermittent over rough road and there's plenty around here. A rattle like my '02 OB dimming rear view mirror developed inside it 2 months ago and was driving me up a wall. My thoughts are no way the dealer will find it and once stuff gets taken apart it's never the same. (Like the poor OP here who took it in 3+ times and ended up with grease and grime and more) I'll look into the simple stuff posted here before taking it to the dealer. And will update
 
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