Another (seemingly) Headliner rattle or ticking fix (with pics)
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This is a discussion on Another (seemingly) Headliner rattle or ticking fix (with pics) within the Interior Mods forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hello all, I've been chasing this rattle for years on my 2003 WRX Sedan. I've tried all the fixes posted ...

  1. #1
    HJC is offline
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    Nov 2003

    Headliner rattle or ticking or tapping fix (with pics) on 03 WRX

    Hello all,

    I've been chasing this rattle for years on my 2003 WRX Sedan. I've tried all the fixes posted from the various subaru boards from layering foam between the headliner and metal roof... WD-40 along the rear windshield rubber surround....silicone the plastic clips along B and C pillars...etc.

    Here's the symptoms. Random ticking or tapping which seems to come from the rear drivers side roof area. It's so annoying because it's right behind my ear. It goes away in the winter but extremely loud during summer temps. Putting pressure on the headliner with my hand right behind my head while driving silences the noise. So naturally I thought it was the headliner.

    I was so annoyed, I took the entire headliner out of the car to troubleshoot. There was still noise so it's not the headliner. I thought it was the boxy plastic structures along the b-pillar but holding them with my hand while driving does not help.

    After a while I figured out it was the black metal support bracket pictured here:

    In detail here:

    As you can see, there's lots of residual foam tape from other attemps at silencing this noise.

    You have to pry off the plastic boxy supports to access this bracket. I don't have the energy to go step by step...but you guys can figure it out

    The noise was coming from the bracket rubbing or vibrating against the structure it was bolted on to. When the car is moving, the vibration from the chasis would make it tap metal against metal. Either it just didn't fit well or the bolts were a little loose. I didn't take any chances. I took it off and put felt tape all along the metal contact surfaces.

    Like so:

    Put the bolts back on LOOSLY and shake it a bit to see if it makes noise. Add padding where necessary to quiet the noise. Then tighten once satisfied.

    Hope this saves someone some agony or searching for rattle that seems to come from the headliner. While you have the body parts off, it would be a good idea to see what else rattles and make noise. I put felt tape on various surfaces to limit the amount of rattles from the c and b pillars.

    I did this for the passenger side also just in case it gets rattling in the future.
    Last edited by HJC; 07-21-2010 at 01:27 PM.

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  3. #2
    Hammerdown Mod of Thunder josnroh's Avatar
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    Feb 2003
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    Good info.
    JOE/Flyin' Under the Radar
    2015 Buckeye Boxer WRX
    2003 Hammerdown Wagon WRX(sold)
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    Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge.

  4. #3
    Super Moderator (Actually a SuperSpy) SD_GR's Avatar
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    I wonder why the passenger side tends to do this less. Maybe the more frequent use of the belt has something to do with that. Great post.
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry. Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, 1929
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  6. #4
    Registered User mudferret's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Wow, that could explain my seemingly random rattle/squeak from that area. Good find.
    MMVI WRX - VF43 Airboy Tuned @ 3500'

  7. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Just curious, how did you get the headliner out of your car? Mine is made from fiberglass, is yours?

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