What are good ways to fix a rattling sound from plastic parts that happens intermittently on bumpy roads?
The rattle seems to come from the plastic cover around the steering column (2020 Tesla Model 3), although that hypothesis might be wrong. The top and bottom parts of the cover might be rattling against each other or against the steering column structure.
- Put lube between the cover parts? What type of lube is suitable for plastic and long-lasting?
- Put thin stick-on foam or vinyl between the two parts?
- Put thick foam inside the cover to keep it tight?
I want the materials on hand before opening the cover, although I might try driving without the cover to test this hypothesis. The rattle isn't consistent over the same road, so pushing on the cover and other dash parts while driving isn't a clear test. Squeezing the cover does not stop the rattle.
- Pushing these cover parts around makes sounds similar to the rattle. That's encouraging for that hypothesis.
- Squeezing these cover parts while driving does not seem to stop the rattle although it's hard to be sure since the rattle is intermittent. Also, tightening the one Torx screw from the outside didn't help. (It wasn't loose.)
- I have not found other parts of the dash where pressing makes any similar sounds.
Warranty questions: The service center was unable to reproduce the problem, although I said it happened on a road near there, but then it did not happen that evening when I picked up the car.
Tesla owners report different warranty coverage policies on rattles from different service centers.
At the beginning of the Covid pandemic it was better to live with a rattle than have people work on it.