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Discussion Starter #1
My 2010 Ody has recently developed a distinct 'loose bearing rattle/'rocks in a soup can' rattle' (that's what it sounds like to me, anyway!). In searching online for similar cases, it seems that it ends up being from the alternator bearings being shot. Can anyone else confirm that they've had a similar rattle and did it indeed end up being a bad alternator?

My second guess would be a bad chain tensioner. Both a royal pain to replace on these vehicles, at least compared to most older cars.

The rattle mostly occurs during initial acceleration, then dies down in sound intensity at steady speeds, but the noise seems to always be there at least to some degree all the time. We are the original owners and the car has been babied, both in maintenance and driving habits.

I'm hoping that, being the vehicle-specific group that this is, someone else has experienced the same noise and has figured it out! Thanks to all who may be of some help!
 

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How many miles do you have and have you ever had the timing belt and belt tensioner replaced? The timing belt tensioner, when worn, will cause the belt to slap against the timing belt cover and cause a rattling sound, but mine sounded like a steady tick rather than a "rocks in a soup can" rattle.

These alternators usually whine before they fail, not rattle. I'm wondering if you're having suspension problems. Does the sound appear when you are in park and hit the gas?
 
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How many miles do you have and have you ever had the timing belt and belt tensioner replaced? The timing belt tensioner, when worn, will cause the belt to slap against the timing belt cover and cause a rattling sound, but mine sounded like a steady tick rather than a "rocks in a soup can" rattle.

These alternators usually whine before they fail, not rattle. I'm wondering if you're having suspension problems. Does the sound appear when you are in park and hit the gas?
71,000 mi. No it has never been replaced. It did sound like a steady 'tick' at one time, but it's recently changed it's tune, so to speak! It's definitely engine-related. Do you recall how many miles yours had when it started these sounds?
 

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Are you hearing 'pinging' or knocking. Try some premium gas to see if goes away. If so, your search has narrowed.
Definitely a mechanical rattle---not engine knock. In researching it, it seems that the tensioner is the likely culprit and indeed, in the videos about this same issue, the sound is very similar. However, I know alternator bearings can go bad too and cause a similar rattle.
 

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71,000 mi. No it has never been replaced. It did sound like a steady 'tick' at one time, but it's recently changed it's tune, so to speak! It's definitely engine-related. Do you recall how many miles yours had when it started these sounds?
I don't know when it started, since it was there when I bought the van at 82K miles. My guess is that it probably started before 80K miles. I wouldn't be surprised if yours was a bad timing belt tensioner, although yours would be the lowest mileage one I've heard of this problem occurring on.

Take it to a qualified mechanic ASAP for a professional opinion. SERIOUSLY. These engines are interference engines, so if the timing jumps (i.e. the timing belt gets way too loose due to the bad tensioner) you would likely be looking at damaged pistons, and thousands of dollars to repair.

Standard advice here, if this is the problem, is to buy the Aisin timing belt kit off RockAuto (Aisin is the OEM supplier to Honda, and don't buy from other places like Ebay or Amazon due to the possibility of getting a counterfeit kit). The kit will include the tensioner, belt, water pump, pulleys, etc.

Are you getting any check engine lights? My belt had gotten so loose that it was throwing a code for a camshaft position sensor and was throwing the VSA light as well.

Please keep us updated.
 

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Remove the serpentine belt and start van. DONT drive. If the sound goes away, then it is the belt/tensioner/ alternator/P/S pump. If sound stays, it is from engine. Mostly from the TB tensioner. You will see the battery light during this testing (because alternator is not moving).

Good luck.
 

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OP, you can drive a few blocks without the belt, especially if you start with a cold engine.

Also, when belt is off, check the various pulleys for sound and feel.
 

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I had the alternator rebuilt early spring (@ 100K miles) but it made a howling noise. Shop even remarked that the noise resembles the pwr. steering air leak known to happen but that mine was indeed the alternator and that it was common in sound and frequency on these vehicles. 100 bux. me doing the labor and I still have my factory alt. (whatever that's worth, if this was a '70 Trans Am someone would be ecstatic I keep things like that on there, unfortunately in the '70s, I threw away things like this and bought Western Auto rebuilds)

Another vote to check the idlers very closely and keep in mind time wise, 10 yrs. is about rule of thumb to 100K miles. (Just rule of thumb, don't hold my feet to fire) so it's about time to start thinking about the long term items that have to be changed.
 

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I did the same. Bought a bunch of large stainless steel band clamps. 8 inch I think.
 
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