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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have this annoying rattle over bumps on our 03 Odyssey that is getting worse as the weather cools down. Traced the noise down to the steering column itself, seemingly right behind the air bag on the wheel. However, I took the airbag out and there is nothing loose at all. Also removed the upper and lower steering column covers and found nothing obviously loose.

Sometimes the sound seems "electrical" as well as a mechanical rattle -- it is very clear and directly in front of the driver so it is inside the vehicle.

OTOH, the steering wheel does not make any noises when turning full left or right. Would the cable reel inside cause these symptoms? Don't want to pull the steering wheel if I do not have to, however the noise is very annoying. :mad:

BTW, it is not a loose key, nor a loose ignition switch though the sound is close....it sounds slightly to the lower left side of the column.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
No replies or guesses? Today I pulled the steering wheel and disassembled all the way to the shaft. Nothing seemingly bad with either the combination switch/levers OR the cable reel. No obvious reason for the rattle.

Now the last thought before taking it into the dealer to try to determine -- would the intermediate shaft cause a loose rattle that seems to eminate from right behind the steering wheel? I do NOT feel the rattle in the steering wheel, so that may rule out problems in the steering column or shaft.

What the heck could this be? It really sounds like a spring/rattle like loose coins, higher pitch clicking at times, and is definitely inside the vehicle on the mid-upper behind area of the steering wheel. Instrument console is firmly in place and the noise is only apparent when driving -- either straight on on turns -- and obvious on most bumps. The clicking of the nearby AT shifter lock solenoid sounds similar -- I tried driving with both steering column covers off (do NOT recommend anyone doing this!), but the rattle is not this solenoid.

Got this shadetree mechanic stumped! Hoping someone had a similar issue....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Now that I am thinking about it more....what if it IS the AT shift lock/release solenoid? I thought it might not be because I had the top steering column off and did not see the AT lock arm engage when making the sound, however maybe the solenoid itself is activating and making the chattering rattle sound on bumps. The sound is very similar to the solenoid activating when the brake pedal is depressed at Park.

I really cannot see anything else in the steering column making that loose, chattering sound.

If so, what could cause the solenoid to activate while driving? Never happens while in park, even if I rock the car to simulate minor bumps. Would not think it is the brake pedal switch because that deactivates when the AT shift lever is out of Park. What could activate this solenoid on bumps? Loose wiring/intermittent connection?
 

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This is a strange one.

Perhaps the Shift Lock Solenoid, like you said, or the Key Interlock Solenoid/Switch. Both are in that area. You can test them both.

I usually can attach a .PDF but something is wrong and the Admin is working on it.

If you need the page on testing these 2 solenoids, send me an email address in a PM to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not the solenoids

Took out the solenoids and tested them. Functions perfectly. When I had the AT shift lever assembly out, I looked around for any other loose item that would cause the rattle. Nothing. After carefully reassembling everything.....SAME @#! RATTLE!

Now my thinking is that nothing obvious in the steering column could cause the rattle which often sounds like loose coins. From the passenger seat, my wife says that it is coming from the center of the car. Oddly enough, it seems true. From the drivers seat and moving my head around when driving (NOT recommended) to pinpoint the sound -- it shifts a bit, but stays close to the steering column.

Not:
-- glasses in the roof holder
-- on the passenger side
-- in the middle or rear of the vehicle
-- exterior -- definitely inside
-- easy to pinpoint exactly because it occurs only when driving

Any other ideas? This type of problem mars an otherwise excellent vehicle.
 

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I had a similar rattle in my TL that sounded like it was coming from the dash or center speaker. It turned out to be the driver's side unclipped sun visor rod rattling against the clip; placing the visor back into the clip stopped the rattle.

Have you also checked to see if the noise is caused by the coins in the in-dash coinholder/cupholder under the radio?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had a similar rattle in my TL that sounded like it was coming from the dash or center speaker. It turned out to be the driver's side unclipped sun visor rod rattling against the clip; placing the visor back into the clip stopped the rattle.

Have you also checked to see if the noise is caused by the coins in the in-dash coinholder/cupholder under the radio?
Yes, I emptied out all the coin holders and glovebox, pulled out all the panels on the dash, removed the radio, crawled under the dash looking for loose wiring, removed the instrument cluster, and of course disassembled the steering wheel and column. The only "pattern" to this noise -- seems more obvious when the air temp is cold. It rattles on both small and sharp bumps (not always, though) and sounds like it is clearly inside the vehicle.

Thanks for your suggestions. Any other thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Any debris in the HVAC ductwork? Down the windshield cowling, in the blower motor?
I actually do see just a bit of broken glass in the defroster vents -- as if sometime in the past (we purchased it used) the windshield was replaced, but not all the broken glass was vaccuumed up. However, the noise persists even when I turn the fan off.

Tonight I leaned forward to see if it is coming from the upper dash/windshield. So darned tough to pinpoint this exactly -- the rattle moves around a bit. However, it does seem to come from the front of the instrument cluster/mid-steering column and is below the dash level slightly. When I took the instrument cluster completely out -- there was nothing that can rattle like this.

The best way to describe the sound is some dice rattling in a plastic pill bottle. Occurs on bumps, but not every time. Definitely interior -- as if someone was inside the steering column rattling dice in a pill bottle.

(Sheesh...I really need to take a break from this!) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
NDNV, you nailed it on the head! The noise is directly coming from the interior windshield defrost vents. Something is inside the vent and rattling on bumps. Because I see bits of broken glass near the edges of the defrost vents, I will bet we have pieces of glass down there.

Tonight I tried putting a thin 3/8" flexible hose down there to vaccuum stuff out, but the suction was too little. How do I get access to debris inside the vent? Is the next item down the defrost vent the heater core? Or are there internal louvers that direct air flow? Anyone who has clean the ducting out, please share how you got access.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
FOUND IT!

Not the HVAC windshield defrost duct at all, but close. Where the windshield slopes down to meet the upper dash (furthest from the driver straight ahead) is the problem area. The windshield was just barely touching the plastic edge of the top dash. Every flex and bump of the vehicle caused the lip to touch the windshield, causing this clicking which was hard to pin down because the sound bounced off the glass in several directions. It appears that the windshield was replaced long ago (hence the bits of glass in the defrost vents) and it was positioned too close to the frame -- not enough sealant -- I did notice this when I took the plastic exterior cowl off. Barely touches the lip of the dash and RATTLE. Simply stuffed a rubber strip layer in the gap and no more noise.

Thanks for all the suggestions. This has been bugging me for six months....
 
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