Vehicle: 2009 Honda Civic LX

I don't know much but what I'm hearing sounds like it might just be exhaust rattle. I haven't been able to find anything loose under the vehicle or in the engine compartment after briefly looking though, plus I'm also hearing a metallic noise that is more "rotational" which seems to be related to the speed of the vehicle. Both these noises are intermittent and I'm not sure if they are related exactly. The rotational noise - which is more of a squeal than a rattle - I notice way less frequently.

When I started to hear these noises I checked my oil and it was low about 1 quart. The low oil pressure indicator didn't come on though so I'm hoping this isn't a major issue. My coolant was also quite low, but not low enough that the car was overheating.

I was thinking of removing my serpentine belt to check the pulley bearings but I'm not sure if it's worth it given the type of noise. From the sample video links I provided below, does anybody think this could be the issue?

I listened to some other peoples' catalytic converters that were coming loose inside and thought the noises On my vehicle might be similar. Ive already checked my CAT's heat shield and it doesn't seem loose but it sits vertically in front of the engine and I don't think I'll be able to remove the heat shield to give it a good wack with a rubber mallet to see if anything is loose inside. Any ideas/suggestions in this regard?

Intermittent Rattle: https://youtu.be/10oWf4tMHDQ

Intermittent Rattle & Rotational Noise: https://youtu.be/KipWAk3ixtc

1 Answer 1


That noise sounds like the splash shield to a disc brake. They're normally pressed/welded to the wheel hub. In New England, the salty roads here will deteriorate that shield and it will bend/wander into the spinning disc and make noise. I've had car's with LOOSE wheel hub components move and make contact with that shield. Please check your hubs, brakes, splash shields, in that order. Cat's hardly ever make such an intermittent noise but don't "whack" yours to test it please. Regular tinny looking heatshields sound similar, but not rotationally relatable as much as RPM relatable. Let us know what you find, cheers! p.s. a perfectly sized rock or piece of asphalt can get stuck between that shield and the disc, try bending the shield back and one might pop out. If the noise goes away before you perform the above, it was probably a crazy rock.

  • Please leave the videos up...so many people get frightened too much by this noise and think the car will explode, it will help them avoid embarrassment at the shop.
    – Ted Pants
    Jul 26, 2017 at 15:59
  • Sure... I have to admit I was starting to get a little worried about it myself.
    – Kevin
    Jul 27, 2017 at 14:54

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