Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2004 Civic shaking and noise

First of all, I don’t know much about cars so I apologize for any ignorance!

Anyway, so a little over a year ago I had to have my head gasket replaced and when I picked it up they told me I had a cracked motor mount. After having just spent an exorbitant amount and being poor, I decided to wait to fix that. It seemed to run fine so I didn’t worry about it too much. Sometime last year I started hearing this rattling noise when I pushed the gas. It would start and then die off. But it didn’t do it all the time.

Fast forward to the past month or so and I’ve started to get vibration and shaking, usually between 60-70 mph. Thinking it was my tires, I took it in to have them balanced. It rode smooth after that for a few days and came back. The rattling noise has also become more prominent and is pretty constant now. I took it back to the shop and they told me it was more than likely the motor mount. So I went ahead and had that fixed today.

When I picked it up it seemed fine. The noise seemed gone and it rode smooth. But as I drove home and got on the interstate everything came back and sounds/feels just as bad as before. What gives???

Shaking: If it’s shaking at 70 mph, and you take your foot off the gas, what exactly happens (shaking gone immediately, shaking gone at 60 mph…)?

Rattling noise: Can you produce the noise in PARK by revving the engine?

So of late it was always having this rattling problem, wherever you were driving, city surface roads or the freeway, but immediately after the shop replaced the mount the rattling clearly wasn’t there on the city surface roads. A definite improvement. But during the drive home the rattling came back while driving on the freeway?

My guesses, either

  • The new mount has come a bit loose, and needs to be re-tightened by the shop who installed it;

  • there’s another engine or transmission mount on the fritz;

  • it has nothing to do with the mounts, instead some kind of suspension or tire problem.

I’ll elaborate on the rattling: it mostly seems to happen when I’m accelerating; when I get to a steady speed, e.g. on the interstate, I don’t hear it. But if I’m in city traffic, stopping and going, it’ll start when I accelerate, go for 2-3 seconds then stop, but when I decelerate I’ll hear it again. It doesn’t seem to do it when I rev the engine in park.

When I’m going 60-70 and it’s shaking, if I take my foot off the gas it keeps shaking until it goes below 60. Also I noticed today I was going a little over 70 and the shaking had smoothed out, but when I had to brake it started shaking again.

About all that’s left is a bad tire or wheel bearing. Can you jack up each wheel and see if you can wobble it with your hands?

Hmm not sure I personally can do that, but I’ll ask the boyfriend :slight_smile: It really shouldn’t be the tires because I just had them done thinking that was the issue in the first place. But I suppose anything is possible! I’ll try to check the wheel bearing.

The rattling noise could be loose heat shields around the catalytic converter. Very common on Hondas. Does the noise seem to come from under the car? Can you duplicate it by slowly revving up the engine while in Park? That kind of rattle usually occurs at certain RPMs.

The shaking may be unrelated - but much more serious. Focus on that first.

It just sounds like it’s coming from under the hood, more on the driver’s side. I will try revving it in park to see what happens.

Ok when I rev the engine in Park I don’t really hear the noise, but when I take my foot off the gas it makes the noise. I’m also hearing a little vibration noise while just sitting in Park.

When you quickly let your foot off the gas, dropping the engine rpm quickly, even while the car is parked, that causes a rotational force on the engine, tending to twist it and the transmission in their mounts. Since you hear the noise under that condition, that would tend to point to another problematic engine or transmission mount somewhere. When the first mount fails, it puts more stress on the others, causing them to suffer early failure too, so your car having another problem mount would be a good suspect.

The exhaust system/cat shield rattling idea posted above is a good thing to check too.

Hi everyone, thank you so much for all your advice. So - I took my car back to the place that fixed the mount and he tightened the new mount which seemed to get rid of the noise. I had to kind of push him to acknowledge the shaking and he said it was probably the tires, which I had already had balanced twice. He thought maybe the front tires had issues so he rotated them to the back and said to see if that got rid of the shaking. I drove home and everything seemed fine, so I thought it was finally fixed!

Well today driving to and from work I noticed the shaking was back! Also, I am now noticing when I brake I can hear/feel a kind of creaking at the brake pedal. And - most worrisome of all, when I parked and got out I smelled a burning kind of smell and noticed a little smoke coming from the hood on the passenger side. What do you guys think? Could it be related? Am I just cursed?

Maybe. Maybe. Maybe no. Maybe not. The best solution is to get a local shop working on the two latest problems. This isn’t something that will likely be successfully diagnosed any further via the internet.

Feel your wheels after a drive. A hot one means that brake caliper is seizing up.

Thank you, insightful! My boyfriend just drove it around and when he returned said the front right tire was as hot as a frying pan. Taking it in tomorrow. Hoping that’s all it is.

Hillbilly diagnostics…my specialty.