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Subaru rattle

I have a 2002 Subaru Legacy GT Limited. I had a heat shield replaced by a Subaru dealer a year ago because of a rattle and now the rattle is back. It is an hour to the Subaru dealer, so I had my local mechanic work on it and it still rattles. Now the mechanic suggests removing the heat shield. Is this safe and/or smart? Thanks, Chrissy

Only remove the heat shield if you relish the possibility of your car’s carpets bursting into flames while you drive. In case you think that this is improbable, I can assure you that this has happened.

Think about it. Since all auto makers are reluctant to spend even one penny more than is absolutely necessary when building cars, would Subaru or any other car maker install a heat shield that was not necessary? As a result, I have to seriously question the judgment of your mechanic.

While I don’t normally suggest that people go to Midas or Meineke, I would suggest that you go to a muffler shop of some kind in order to have the heat shield properly welded or otherwise fastened.

If you go to Midas or Meineke, just be prepared for them to give you an incredibly long list of other repairs that they claim are needed. As long as you are prepared with a healthy dose of skepticism and with strong sales resistance, those places should be able to take care of the heat shield properly.

Thank you. That all makes sense to me. Like you said, the manufacturer would not put something on a car that is not necessary. Chrissy

There are heat shields and there are heat shields. I would guess if it was a non-critical heat shield it would already been removed.

I agree with VDC at least to a point. I would look for a local non chain muffler shop, not a brand name shop, unless that is all that you have available.

Consulting my father-in-law, a mechanical engineer, he disagrees that car manufacturers include only necessary parts on cars. He believes that some parts are on there because they meet some “standard” that may or may not be sensible. ?? Anyway, I did let my mechanic take the part off and show me what he thought was “unnecessary”. He also said it did not look like anything had been replaced in the last year. I paid over $500 last September to replace 3 heat shields. ?? The part he showed me was from the passenger side of the exhaust system and was about 1 foot in length and looked like a metal tube sawed in half. I called the place where I had the work done last year, a Subaru dealer, and they said that I was in no eminent danger, but I do plan to have it looked at the next time I am in the city. I would appreciate any further advise. Thanks

I don’t believe in removing heat shields. They ARE there for a reason, despite what some may say. Heat shields on the exhaust system are there to prevent the floor from becoming hot enough to ignite the carpet padding above, as VDCdriver said.

Removing the heat shield is the easy way out. I’ve always been able to find a way to tighten, bend, clamp, wedge, or adjust a heat shield to make the rattling stop.

I’d listen to the rattle before I removed the heat shield.