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New sound

Now that the weather is cooling, and my windows are down, I am noticing an odd sound seemingly from the left rear of our Matrix. It is a fairly high (but indeterminately) pitched, sustained jingling or rattling. Somewhat like I am dragging a very light chain behind the car, or scraping a light metal rod along very finely corrugated, but thick (high pitched) metal. Or maybe like a really lousy triangle. It starts and stops unpredictably, but with changes: it may start or stop with the application of brakes or gas, or may do so randomly. I think. I have not been able to discern a consistent pattern.

We are about to take a short weekend road trip. Should I be very worried?

Does the sound go away if you gently apply the brakes? If so it may just be a brake pad rattling. If the brakes seem normal and solid it is not a problem. This is a common issue. Does the noise occur at all speeds but at a different pitch?

Thanks! The pitch seems to be pretty consistent at all speeds, and the brakes do seem solid. As for the sound going away when breaking- I think that is fairly consistent.

Okay, You may just have a bad heat shield on the cat converter. If the pitch is the same when it happens then it will rattle only at that pitch(mostly). This is not dangerous but annoying. It would take a mechanic just a few minutes to weld the loose part down or you can live with it for a while.

Thanks so much, I really appreciate it. Have a great weekend!

99% of the time these sounds turn out to be nothing serious, but since you’re planning a trip with the family it’d be prudent to get it checked out. Better to be safe than sorry.