Mystery Noise on a Brand New Car

Trying to diagnose noises in cars is often a pain. If it’s something that happens while driving, you have to either try to figure out where it’s coming from while you’re driving, or pull someone else away from what they’re doing to drive while you listen to different areas of the car. Interior rattles can be even worse because there are so many different plastic panels that could be rubbing together wrong and you have to remove one at a time to see if the noise goes away.

A new Honda HR-V came into the shop with a couple thousand miles on it. The owner said it’s been making this irritating rattle or buzz noise ever since they bought it. I took it for a drive the only noise I could hear was for a few seconds while decellerating to a stop at a certain RPM and low speed. It sounded like it was right in the middle of the dashboard.

After I couldn’t locate the noise, I went for a ride with the service manager, and after he heard the sound, we went back in and started looking more. We opened the hood just to make sure it was nothing in the engine bay, and he happened to notice that the A/C line was rubbing against the brake lines. Because the A/C lines run through the firewall to the condenser in the dashboard, the vibration sound was getting transmitted right into the center of the dashboard. We adjusted the lines so they wouldn’t touch, and I had some foam tape that I wrapped around the A/C line just in case they touched again.

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