Interior panels in '96 Saturn vibrate excessively



I’ve been perusing the internet in hopes of finding some sort of help with this, but haven’t been able to get any help. Hopefully someone here can help me.

I’ve got a '96 Saturn SL2 which has been very reliable over the years, for the most part. But, recently (starting a couple months ago and intensifying until now), the various plastic panels on the interior (doors, dashboard, etc.) start to vibrate depending on the speed of the car. Say I’m idling… maybe the panel above the center console (stereo, etc.) will vibrate. I’ll accelerate, and that will stop. Then when I get to, say, 25 MPH, some door panel will start to vibrate. Accelerate to 35, maybe that will stop vibrating, maybe not. Generally, hitting the panel stops the incessant racket, but without a constant pressure on the panel, it usually starts back up again. Though this isn’t really posing much of a physical problem as far as the car goes, it’s posing quite a risk to me completely losing my mind sometime in the near future.

Do the panels just need to be tightened, or what? If so, is there any way that I would be able to do this, or would I need to bring it in to a mechanic?

I appreciate any advice that you guys can give.

Thanks in advance!


Many of these interior panels are held in place by hidden clips. It is possible that one or more may have broken off, likely by a mechanic who was too much in a hurry when disassembling the dashboard. You can check by removing the panels yourself.

If you find any stubs of broken clips you find it almost impsssible to replace them. In such cases you may have to resort to adhesive to ensure a firm fit.