How to find and silence squeaks-rattles in the car interior

Aug 31, 2014
How to find and silence squeaks-rattles in the car interior
  • How to find and silence squeaks and rattles in your car's interior.

    One of the most annoying things to hear while driving is interior squeaks and rattles. This article shows how to find them and silence them.

    plastic trim removal tool (cheap ones available from harbor freight)
    fabric or cloth electrical tape (also known as anti rubbing tape or wire harness tape) - can be found at any auto parts store or electronics store.

    The most common locations for interior noises is a loose trim clip or an area where two pieces of trim are rubbing against each other. First, identify the general location of the noise. While the car is parked, gently hit the area to pinpoint the location of the squeak. In my case, there were two locations that were squeaking or rattling - the dashboard air vent, and something in the door.

    To fix the dashboard air vent noise, first remove the air vent. Refer to the mk5 FAQ for detailed steps. I suggest using plastic trim removal tools instead of a screwdriver because anything harder than the plastic will damage the trim. Or at least wrap the screwdriver in thick tape. Early mk5 Jetta did not have fabric tape on this trim piece - VW added this on later mk5 Jetta from the factory. VW puts fabric tape around the air vent and dashboard trim on Audis to prevent any possible noise - this is one small reason why they cost more. I suppose they only put it on VWs if it's shown to be an issue!

    I added fabric tape to the same areas to tighten the fit and smooth out any areas of rubbing. I also added some extra to the trim piece to make sure any potential problem areas were dampened.

    The door noise was harder to find - it sounded like something inside the door was loose but once I was parked, I found it was the side view mirror rattling loud enough for me to hear it inside the car. Hitting the side view mirror while holding various bits showed it was the third piece on the right hitting the fourth piece on the right. I removed the side view mirror cover and used the fabric tape to tighten the fit and dampen any shaking. Refer to the mk5 FAQ for detailed steps on mirror removal.

    Another potential area for noise is the headliner and sunroof. There's lots of clips under the headliner and behind the interior trim - for details on headliner removal, see and good luck!
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