Dash Buzz / Rattle Fixed

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by GSW, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. GSW

    GSW PRIUS POWER

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    I've been hearing buzzing and rattling sounds somewhere around the top of the dash in the mornings when the car was cool, by the afternoon many times the sound would go away a little while when the car warmed up in the sun. Sometimes it would buzz when it was cold or hot. It sounded like it was coming from the HSI display area, but I couldn't quite nail down where it was because its a little to far to reach while driving. Also I didn't want to scratch the clear plastic cover with my fingernail.

    I took a small wooden dowel about 3 ft. long with black felt taped around the end with electrical tape and started probing the area while driving down a bumpy road. Found it! It was the bottom of the HSI display starting at the large HV battery icon and went towards the right of that down past the "Avg mph" display on the end. The sound went away while putting pressure on the clear plastic in this area. After getting it home I took a flashlight and begin trying to figure out how to get a strip of black felt to provide enough pressure on the display. Turns out there's a gap there in that area and small pieces of felt would not work, but would just fall through if I let go.

    What ended up working was a 7 1/2 to 8 inch long piece x 1 1/2 wide of black felt folded 3 times to make 8 x 1/2 inches. I had to fold it to make it thick. Using the edge I just gradually stuffed it down horizontally across and into the gap, begining at the HV Battery icon along the bottom of the display and finishing and inch past the "AVG mph" display. It won't fall through because of the length of the felt is held up by plastic clips or guides 1/2 inch or so under the "cave" area. I just used the plastic end of a wire tie to start, but ended up just using my fingers to stuff it down. Carefully trying not to scratch any of the clear cover.

    I took it for a test drive about a week ago and it has not made a sound yet, interior being cold or hot. I don't know if this will work for everyone else, but its so easy why not try it if your hearing these sounds and can't pinpoing it.

    After stopping the rattling and squeaking in the console and now this, its so awesome to finally have a quiet ride 0-60 mph now. It never really rattled above 60 on the highway, just on the small side roads. If yours rattles in the same area and you try it, let me know how it turned out.
     
    edwardob, porschett and Jeremy Harris like this.
  2. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    I've actually removed my dashboard to find this and several other rattles, creaks and ticks. The HSI cluster is not mounted very tightly in the structure below the dash so it is prone to noises when there is body twist. I removed the cluster (2 screws and 2 connectors, if I recall) and found the back of it was made of a white plastic. The rest of it is black or dark gray plastic. There were several screws holding the back on that were loose so I loosened them bit more and carefully sprayed some silicon around the perimeter. Then I tightened the screws and creaks and ticks were gone from cluster.

    As a final insurance to stop noises, I put adhesive felt tape all along the back side of the cluster where it makes contact with the under-structure. When I put the cluster mounting screws back on, it was tight and made no noise. Believe me, there are many other components under the dash plate that were not very tight that I had to felt-line or tighten but I finally stopped all my dash noises. It's so nice to have a quiet interior but it was a lot of work with risks. There's only one other member here that I know of who has actually gone to this extent. Good solve on your part though...I hope your noise stays away and that new ones don't appear.
     
  3. GSW

    GSW PRIUS POWER

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    Thanks for the info Greg. Sounds like you came up with a permanent solution. I have considered taking the dash apart since I have the service manual on cd, but thought I would try this first. If any rattles crop up again I'll probably take the dash off. I also just wanted to give back a possible easy fix so someone could try if they had a related problem. Sad when anyone has to go to the length you did just to fix rattles, but thanks for your details.
     
  4. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    You're welcome! I also have the service manual on a PDF which was a big help in figuring out the process of the dash plate removal. Believe me, I wondered if I had the "stones" to do it, but being very careful I managed get it solved. I regret not taking pictures of the process, but was afraid I'd run out of time. I needed to get it done in a day.

    I forgot to mention about that gap you discovered. What I did was put a custom piece of 1/4 inch adhesive foam insulation (weather stripping) around the outer perimeter of the HSI cluster so it would press against the dash opening for it once re-installed. It works great and that piece cannot make noises anymore. It's also invisible but if you feel for it, you can tell it's there.

    I wondered if you hear any ticking or creaks from the center AC vents? That can only be solved by removing the dash plate - sadly. The vents are actually attached to the top plate, but the area between the two components should have been felt-lined from the factory. Good luck with your quiet ride and we all hope you have solved your rattles permanently.
     
  5. GSW

    GSW PRIUS POWER

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    Nothing so far, but its been mighty hot outside. Were talking 98-100 degrees. In warm weather the car is very quiet. I noticed the center A/C vents in the interior section of the PDF service manual and will keep an ear open. I drove it to work every day last week and all is well. I plan on waiting till this fall to see if there is any rattles or buzzes when the temps get much lower. Maybe by then I'll have the time and the cahones to take the dash out without getting to hot inside the car (if needed). Keeping my fingers crossed. :ear:
     
  6. katiesdad7

    katiesdad7 Member

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    Why can't the dealer do this under warranty? Mine has been in 4 times and still not fixed. It goes in for the 15k service next week and I will complain about the noises again. I have ben in touch with Toyota customer service and they have spoken to the service manager. THey will try technical support next week. We'll see.
     
  7. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    katiesdad7, I had mine into the dealer too and they kept it 3 days to do the dash quieting service under warranty. It didn't last though so I decided to tackle it myself. I think the problem is two-fold.

    1) The dealer is not motivated to do such a repair as other threads here hint that they are not reimbursed dollar for dollar for this effort.

    2) None of the technicians have been really "trained" to do this work so some of it guesswork on their part.

    I had to understand the problem before figuring out how to solve it, and I'm not truly sure myself if my car will still be whisper-quiet come winter. But I can tell you that the stab-lock design of most of the plastic dash components needs further refinement (Toyota, are you listening?) so that joined parts can not chafe during normal body-twist.

    I choose not to pursue my dealership about this as I believe they gave it their best shot and it didn't last. I want a good relationship with them in case something worse happens.
     
  8. johnmaci

    johnmaci Junior Member

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    Why can I obtain a pdf of the manual?:confused:
     
  9. GSW

    GSW PRIUS POWER

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    They were on ebay last year.
     
  10. GSW

    GSW PRIUS POWER

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    phoenixgreg is right on with this one. I knew if I could spend some time troubleshooting what few rattle problems I had I could fix them as opposed to taking it to the dealer. As phoenixgreg mentioned, whether or not they will stay quiet in cold weather is another story.
     
  11. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    John, I'm not sure if you can still purchase the online PDF (it is huge...7000 pages!) but you can write this person and inquire:


    [email protected] or [email protected]


    If I recall, the PDF download rights cost about $13 but you'd better have enough room on your hardrive once you do the unzip.
     
  12. Jeremy Harris

    Jeremy Harris New Member

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    Thanks for the fantastic advice regarding this rattle. I've been plagued with the same noise for the past year, the dealer hasn't been able to fix it and it's been driving me mad. I've resorted to wedging a stick between the upper face of the shield over the display and the upper dash surface to get rid of this noise.

    This morning I went out to the car, armed with your advice and some self-adhesive felt and fitted two thick felt pads in the gap you described. The result is no dash noise, even on the worst of my local roads!

    All I need now is a cure for the squeaking noise that comes from somewhere inside the rear seat back catch. Once this is fixed my Prius will finally be rattle free (I've already fixed the hatchback rattle, the rear hatch retractable screen rattle and the cold-weather centre console/flying bridge creak).

    Why Toyota can't fix these irritating noises is beyond me.

    Jeremy
     
  13. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    Jeremy, have you tried applying some silicon lube all over the shiny loop that latches onto the rear seat(s)? Some here have found that works - be careful not to get silicon on the fabric though as it will stain it.
     
  14. Jeremy Harris

    Jeremy Harris New Member

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    Yes, I've tried that, thanks. I've also tried fitting tape around the loop to try and damp the catch, but the noise seems to come from somewhere inside the seat back itself, maybe something to do with the catch release mechanism.

    The irritating thing is that the noise goes away for a day or two whenever the the seat catch is released and re-latched, making fault finding challenging.

    Jeremy
     
  15. markderail

    markderail I do 45 mins @ 3200 PSI

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    It's a sinister plot from Toyota to make us pay extra for the Lexus CT200h or CT250h...
     
  16. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    If you've got the spray silicon, you could spray it inside the latch mechanism and work the top button a few times. I also discovered the back piece of each seat can be removed to reveal the metal structure behind the back. By hitting it with my fist, I could get it to rattle so stuffing fabric and foam behind the structure seemed to help. But not too much or it makes the back piece uneven when you re-attach it.
     
  17. GSW

    GSW PRIUS POWER

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  18. airgas1998

    airgas1998 New Member

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    very good info here...unfortunately i have the dreaded dash display rattle that has devleoped. i thought maybe from some of the other members here my rattle was coming from the same place (lower section in front of the hsi display). however it isn't it's coming from the top portion rt corner where the dash material and some other piece meet. any ideas on how to fix this one?
     
  19. porschett

    porschett New Member

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    This simple fix actually worked for me! Thanks.
     
  20. Cloude1

    Cloude1 Junior Member

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    Old thread I know. Thanks for the info. After reading this I put a bit of blutac there and all seems good now. The dash rattle was driving me crazy where I was closed to getting rid of my Prius.

    Only thing it’s quite warm here (Sydney, Australia). I’ll know if 100% successful in the morning, but feeling confident.
     
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