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Weird Rattle from the rear (seats)

Hi guys!

So, I have a new neighbor that owns a 2010 Toyota Highlander (out of warranty). Recently, the vehicle has had a on and off “rattle” type of sound that comes from the rear of the vehicle. He has tried to get it into the dealership to take a look, but since it comes and goes, it’s hard to duplicate it at times.

Anyway, we noticed that if you put the seats down (60/40 split) then push them up with some force the “rattle” stops for awhile. So, we are thinking that this sound is coming from the rear seats. Do you guys have any ideas on what to check? Could it not be “latching” properly? It seems solid when you sit in it and rock, or if you push/pull on them.

We are really not sure where to look at this point? Should we pull the seats?

Thanks all!

Anyone??? Would love some input.

Like any rattle or squeak you just have to track it down. This really needs a hands on approach. Try grabbing the tops of the seat backs and gently jiggling them. It’s impossible to tell from here. It’s probably just a tiny bit of play in the latch.

Agree with My_2_cents. Rattles can drive you nuts and they can take a while to find. Better to use your friends to find the rattle than to pay a mechanic’s time. Have someone (or you) ride in the back and see if you can duplicate and pin-point the cause. If you don’t have the skills to adjust whatever is rattling, then take it to a mechanic and explain fully what you found.

I’ve noticed that the third seats in our 2011 Sienna sometimes rattle. Folding the seats down makes the rattle disappear. If I make sure when I raise them up if they lock firmly in the upright position they don’t rattle.

Your neighbor may want to try removing the seats, making sure all the hardware is secure, and putting them back in. Making sure the latches are securely closing is a good idea too.

These “resonant frequency” interior rattles can take some patience and work to find. Unless it presents itself at an opportune time, like when someone familiar with the problem happens to be sitting in the rear when it starts to rattle, it can be a process of trying things until something works. Sometimes it can seem like you have to tear half the car apart.

Best of luck to your neighbor.