Why Is My Car Making Rattling Noise When Driving Slow?

Noises tend to degrade a driving experience. There are instances where noises lead the car into a dangerous situation. A noise heard from the car while driving catches the attention of the driver. Consequently, the focus is lost and things might get out of control. Your car functions with a huge quantity of metal components. Therefore, noises are usually initiated from metal hitting another metal. Modern cars are equipped with high-quality components to minimize noise. Therefore, any sort of noise from your car indicates a damaged component or a faulty mechanism is your car.

Noises depend upon driving situations. A knocking noise can be heard from the front wheel. Additionally, a clicking noise can be heard from the engine. However, out of all these, a rattling noise is the most irritating noise that your car can make.

Why Is My Car Making Rattling Noise When Driving Slow?

The rattling noise can be heard due to various reasons. Usually, a problem with the exhaust system leads to a rattling noise. However, the oil level of your car can also impact the number of noises heard while driving. The problem can be basic in nature, which might get fixed with minimal effort but sometimes, the problem calls for a repair and replacement of specific components of your vehicle.

1. Problems With Heat Shield

Heat shields are positioned under the car. They are basically a protective structure to restrict the flow of heat into the components of your car. A considerable amount of heat is emitted by the exhaust system of your car. The shields are responsible to face this heat. They protect the complex parts under the car. Constant exposure to heat leads to rust and consequently, these shields initiate a rattling noise.

2. Exhaust System Problems

The exhaust system emits excessive heat. In this process, there is a fair chance of degradation and malfunction with time. Corrosion and rust hamper the overall performance of the exhaust system. The exhaust system is used to a considerable amount of heat. Therefore, it can act in a noisy manner when the car is driven slowly. Usually, the exhaust system rattles because of a faulty tailpipe.

3. Failed Catalytic Converter

A catalytic converter is amongst the most vital components of an exhaust system. It looks like a honeycomb. The main function of the converter is to eliminate the most harmful substances emitted by the exhaust system. Therefore, the converter ensures that the unburnt gases are converted into a relatively less harmful emission. The chassis of your car comprises the core components of your car. The core degenerates over time. Consequently, small pieces drop into the honeycomb structure of the catalytic converter. These pieces constantly hit the walls of the converter and a rattling noise is heard.

4. Damaged Hydraulic Valve Lifter

Hydraulic valve lifters are a vital component of modern cars. They are responsible for closing and opening the engine valves. These lifters work with the help of hydraulic pressure hence, the mechanism is complex. Modern cars are equipped with high-end valve systems that demand constantly functioning valve lifters. Hydraulic lifters degrade over time and can rattle in case of any fault or malfunction.

5. Piston Malfunction

Pistons are positioned in the gas cylinder. They move frequently in a vertical motion. They are tightly fit between the cylinder walls. Therefore, any imbalance in the positioning of the pistons can lead to a car making rattling noise when driving slow. This rattle is known as a piston slap.

How To Fix The Rattling Noise From My Car?

Any kind of noise should be fixed on priority. Noises cause distraction and it is not a safe thing to be distracted while driving. There are various ways that can help you get rid of the rattling noise that is bothering you. Some of these fixes involve cleaning certain components while the other demand a repair or replacement of a few parts.

1. Cleaning The Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter resembles a comb-like structure that makes it prone to dust. Cleaning the converter ensures that the residual parts of the core are eliminated. Once the converter is clean, there is nothing obstructing the internal walls of the structure. The rattling noise is eliminated easily. Furthermore, a clean catalytic converter can remove the most noxious emissions of the exhaust system and protect your vehicle from further damage.

2. Inspecting The Exhaust System

The exhaust system of your car is a complex structure comprising various parts. It should be inspected for a potential gas leakage that might be a reason behind overheating. An excessively heated exhaust system is prone to mechanical damage. A car making rattling noise when driving slow is usually equipped with a faulty exhaust system. Replacing the heat shields ensures that excessive heat is eliminated. An exhaust system without any sort of malfunction is relatively silent and the rattling noise is not audible.

3. Replacing The Hydraulic Valve Lifters

The hydraulic valve lifters have a complex function to perform. If the problem is diagnosed with the valve lifters, the entire set must be replaced. A single lifter that functions improperly might be the reason behind the rattling noise. However, these lifters work in sets and any malfunction indicates that the whole set might act faulty in the future.

Is The Rattling Noise Really Mechanical?

Modern cars are equipped with effective cargo areas. Sometimes, the problem might be a silly one. Any substance constantly hitting the cargo space of your car or a loose glove box hinge can also make a rattling noise. Before rushing to a mechanic, you should try to look for any such substance inside the car, that might be a reason behind the car making rattling noise when driving slow.


A rattling noise from your car indicates a faulty exhaust system. This is a matter of concern because the exhaust mechanism is a complex structure that regulates the heat emission from your vehicle. The noise might not feel like a big problem, but it can lead your car into a complex malfunction in the future. Therefore, a car making a rattling noise should be inspected for a faulty exhaust system and repaired accordingly.

Stay safe and keep driving

Thank you

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