Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2002 Ford Ranger Rattling Sound at Highway Speed on Warm, Windy days

Help! I have a very large rattling/vibrating sound when I am driving highway speeds. This only happens when the temperature is warm, and when a wind gust hits my truck (or if I am passing a Semi). When I drive to work in the morining, there are no issues. When I drive home in the afternoon, it will start within 5-10 minutes of hitting the highway. I have checked for any loose bits and pieces but I cannot find any. I have attached a sound recording of the issue. Please help!

PS: I forgot to mention that I have tried turning off the radio and the air, and that does not stop the sound. I do not FEEL any vibration either.

A Ranger is a truck, right? I guess if it were my truck, first thing, I’d check all the doors and tailgate to make sure they don’t rattle when I shake them. I have a Ford truck, and sometimes I get some rattling from the tailgate handle. You know, the handle you pull on to open the tail gate.

But first things first. What part of the truck is it coming from? Inside the passenger compartment? Outside? Front? Back? Corner?

sorry, I forgot the other details. It seems like it is coming from the passenger side, maybe in the wheel well or up in the engine compartment near the dash. Hard to say really, it just gets so loud that it fills the entire cab.

Most rattles with speed or wind are near impossible to find at a stop.

  • My old Explorer had the outer door handles rattle. The oe handles had a small tension spring that held the handle down yet separate from the linkage rod to latch tension. So at a stand still you don’t think in those terms when looking for the rattle, yet it was in fact the door handles.
  • Your Ranger has these handle tension springs too. Test by putting your finger just under the handle and see if you can make it wiggle without opening the door.

Wheel well splash guards are known for that too and may not outwardly appear to be the culprit. Dependent upon angle and speed of the the passing gale, much like blowing through a blade of grass held between your thumbs, they’d be more rigid at cooler temps and not display the same action.

With the truck up on a shop hoist you’ll need to test wiggle everything you can touch and while you do , think like you’re the wind to see if it’s affected.

It may be that the reason it occurs in one direction and not the other might not be the temperature, but instead the wind is hitting the other side of the truck and jiggling something. As said above, putting it on a lift may be in order, and doing a visual inspection. Something may be loose.

Found the issue!!! The rubber windshield seal was loose.

I decided to go through the carwash to see if the blower at the end would replicate the noise. As I was going through, water began to drip down the inside of the windshield. The noise started like crazy when the blower hit, and when I pulled out, I noticed that about 16" of the seal was loose. I pushed it back in and have nto had an issue since.

Thank God it was something simple and easy. That would also explain why the warmer weather caused the noise to increase, as the rubber seal would loosen up with the sun baring down on it.

Nice work!
And hanks for the follow up post.

Hi…I just brought a Ford Ranger Pk 2009 2WD and it has annoying vibration and rattle coming from the passenger side behind the glovebox and it happens when ever i take my foot off the accelerator.

Please help very annoying