2011 Honda Odyssey clanging like it is dragging a small pipe behind the family roadster

When I was in the family roadster pulling away from a family get together with the windows down I heard an intermittent sound that was similar to a small metal pipe being dragged behind the van. I quickly pulled over to make sure I wasn’t dragging some kids bike down the road. Luckily, no bike was underneath the car, but unfortunately there was no pipe being dragged. I can only hear it when the windows are down and the car is taking a turn or going over a bump and it sounds like it is coming from the rear of the vehicle. I think it has something to do with the rear axle but have no idea what to look for. Any ideas out there in Car Talk land???

It could be a number of things. If you know your way around a car then run it up on a set of ramps and inspect it.

If not take it to a dealer or an independent shop and have them raise it. More than likely you will owe them something for it.

It could be a lot of things. The first two things that come to mind are the backing plate behind the brake rotor being bent towards the rotor and a loose heat shield from the exhaust.

Had a similar experience once, took it to my car guys, ended up a muffler clamp was ocassionally going for a joy ride up and down the tailpipe, they fixed it for free! Have them check the heat sheilds also

Whatever it is, I can guarantee you that you won’t find the answer on the internet. You need to get under the car, preferably on a lift in a shop but DEFINITELY with the vehicle safely and securely elevated, and (I recommend wearing leather work gloves for this part) vigorously shaking various underneath things. Start with the exhaust system and its heat shields. Sway bars would be a good try too, since their bushings to the unibody tend to wear out. Anything that holds things, like trailing arms and steering links, should also be checked.

If you have no idea what any of these terms mean, take it to a shop and let them do it. The absolute worst thing you could do is get under a vehicle if you don’t know how to securely elevate it. If it should fall on you, you’ll be totally unable to breath and be dead in very short order. Yes, it really happens.

My best guess via cyberspace is that one of the exhaust hangers has become disconnected, and that part of the exhaust system at the rear of the car is hitting the underside of the car. I am frequently amazed at how many cars I see on the road with this problem, and if I have an opportunity to inform the other person I do so, simply because this is not just a noise issue.

A continuation of this problem for more than a brief period of time can lead to sufficient metal fatigue for part of the exhaust system to break away, and at that point, there could be a significant cost for the repairs–not to mention the possibility of carbon monoxide seeping into the car’s interior from the broken pipe.

As was said, this can be investigated (and possibly rectified) by getting underneath the car while wearing heavy leather work gloves. If the OP is not inclined to do this, then the car needs to go to a repair facility, and not to a quick oil change place where the kiddie employees may know less than the customers do!.

My old VW Rabbit would occasionally make a noise like that, and it was always a broken rubber exhaust hanger. I used to buy those 12 at a time, they did tend to break a lot.

Thanks for all of the input guys. I squeezed myself under the car and couldn’t find anything loose (checked all of the hangers, mounts, etc). I’ll have to get it on the lift to get a better look at it. Thanks!