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#493773 - 10/11/09 12:34 PM Rattling Noise at first start
Bolt Speedman Offline

Registered: 19/10/09
Posts: 136
Loc: Jackson, Wisconsin
scenario- 2003 xterra 3.3 6cyl. auto trans. 137000 miles, cats replaced 1 yr. ago, along with rear main seal. Question- I have a rattling sound coming from underneath or engine compartment. Sounds just like the heat shields rattling. Happens at cold start for about 20 seconds or until I put it in gear and give it a little gas. Had the dealer look at the cats and said they were fine. Could it be something loose on the trans from when they did the rear main seal? I NEED HELP WITH THIS!!!
If your stupid today, it's a safe bet you'll be stupid tommorrow!

#493774 - 10/11/09 03:04 PM Re: Rattling Noise at first start [Re: Bolt Speedman]
e207 Offline

Registered: 28/06/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Ashland, PA U.S.A.
heat shield should be an easy one to find. gotta be under there at startup when it makes the noise. try that first, if not that, then come back with some more info about it......
2002 SE/SC R.I.P. March 2015
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Reman'd engine installed 5/16/09 at 87,894 miles

Captain 38-90
Member of Fire District-38 Station-1 since 1991.

#493775 - 10/11/09 03:17 PM Re: Rattling Noise at first start [Re: Bolt Speedman]
Saturday Morning Offline

Registered: 27/12/01
Posts: 359
Loc: Shawnee, KS (Kansas City area)
Is it a tinny metallic sound? It is probably just a loose heat shield - totally benign. You can just ignore it or crawl under their and cut the thing off.

Nissan in their infinite wisdom put heat shields all over the place down there...any one of them can rust out and in fact most of them do. When you took it back to the dealer to have it checked you have to wonder if he checked them all or just glanced at the ones around the cats and responded yup they're fine.

Point being I've pulled quite a few of them off over the years (as have others) as they rust out around the mounting bolts. The rings at the flexible connection just behind the trans output shaft tend to go first, then the pass side pipe, followed by the drivers side....

Pull the thing in the garage if you have one, put on an old shirt, grab a flashlight and crawl under there. Check each and every heat shield top and bottom from the manifolds back. Try to wiggle them pry a little with a screwdriver right near the mounting bolts. Don't forget those two rings at the flexible (braided) pipe near the trans. output shaft. They shouldn't move at all. If they do move or are just bouncing around loose on the pipe as mine were you found the problem.

Good Luck

#493777 - 10/11/09 06:30 PM Re: Rattling Noise at first start [Re: Saturday Morning]
Bolt Speedman Offline

Registered: 19/10/09
Posts: 136
Loc: Jackson, Wisconsin
Hey, I really appreciate the info! I'm going to crawl around underneath the damn thing tomorrow and check everything. I hope that's all it is. The dealership is good for nothing as far as I'm concerned. I get more help from guys like you. THANKS!
If your stupid today, it's a safe bet you'll be stupid tommorrow!

#493782 - 11/11/09 05:45 AM Re: Rattling Noise at first start [Re: Bolt Speedman]
paddlerborn Offline

Registered: 01/07/09
Posts: 55
On my 2001 I had that buzzing sound while cold just before she shifted. Checked all heat shields, and finally found it.
If you look down on drivers side of engine, you will see a heat shield around the down pipe. It is held by two bolts. Both bolts were loose on mine, no corrosion, just loose.


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