Chevy Malibu Rattling Noise- What to Do

Chevy Malibu rattling noise how to fix
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Noises in any car are everyday things that do happen when running the vehicle. Rattling noise in most cases with the car results from issues with the engine that can be old or have some faults.  If you have problems with your Chevy Malibu, you need to solve the problem immediately to avoid further damage to the system. The major causes of the rattling noise in the Chevy Malibu are the exhaust, timing chain, loose accessories, and other parts in the engine.

Before troubleshooting the rattling noise in the Chevy Malibu, it is good to consider checking the possible causes of the noises. You need to open the engine of the car and check if it has faults. If the engine parts have flaws, consider replacing or repairing them. Always follow the manufacturers’ instructions on how to handle the details with the Chevy Malibu.  Remember, some features in the vehicle need proper handling, and you cannot repair them.

The article below shows the causes of the rattling noise in the Chevy Malibu, the possible steps you can follow to troubleshoot the noises after that are the frequently asked questions, and lastly, the conclusion, which summarizes the whole article.

Curbing rattling noise in the Chevy Malibu

Tools needed

I. Check the oil in the engine

When you are experiencing the rattling noise in the car, it can be issued with the car engines that cause the noise where the engine lacks enough oil to perform its functions. If the engine oil is bad, consider replacing the engine oil with the right oil with the machine. Also, avoid using light oil but consider using engine oil recommended by the manufacturer. Use an OBD2 scanner to diagnose the engine faults and replace the faulty parts.

II. Tighten loose parts in the vehicle

Using the screwdriver, open the loose parts in the vehicle and fix them. When some elements are flexible, they will make a rattling noise which is not comfortable when driving.

III. Replace the catalytic converter

An old catalytic converter can cause rattling noise in the car. Therefore, when you have an old catalytic converter, consider replacing it with a new one to reduce the noise.

IV. Fix the exhaust system

The exhaust system can be leaking so that when the car is moving, it will make a rattling noise with them; therefore, check the exhaust system and fix the leaking part to curb the noise.

Causes of the rattling noise in the Chevy Malibu

Causes of the rattling noise in the Chevy Malibu

The primary cause of the rattling noise in the Chevy Malibu is the exhaust system where its parts develop faults, the internal engine problems like the lifter, oil issues, timing chain faults, and the loose parts in the engine area. I will discuss the features in detail below:

1. Lack of oil in the engine

 Most people assume the engine is thinking it cannot lack oil, which you need to check frequently in the car. When the machine has no fat, the crankcase will make a rattling sound, which shows the engine has failures.

Some vehicles with a faulty head gasket cause water to move to the crankcase, causing the noise. The lack of oil in the engine causes water that goes down to flow to the crankcase, which is not suitable for the engine’s health.

2. Bad engine oil

Engine oil usage differs from one vehicle to another since not all engines use the same engine oil. For instance, vehicle engines use oil depending on the speed and thickness of the engine oil. They are using incorrect oil for your vehicle engine resulting in the production of noise. Therefore, it is advisable to choose the correct oil for your vehicle engine to avoid causing further damage to the vehicle engine and avoid using heavy engine oil for your vehicle engine.

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3. Bad engine lifter

Sometimes you can be having noises, but all the parts are okay if you fail to check the engine lifter. A faulty engine lifter can fail to function as required, resulting in noises in the vehicle engine. Unfortunately, a professional mechanic can only do the replacement of an engine lifter. Therefore, if you experience noise resulting from a damaged engine lifter, consider replacing the distorted engine lifter with a new engine lifter.

4. Loose parts in the vehicle

When the car parts are loose, they are old, or something is wrong with them. So when they are open and the car is moving, there will be a rattling noise due to the vibrations in the vehicle. Sometimes the loose parts appear when the car user leaves some features on top of the valve after opening the car’s internal components such that when the vehicle is moving, it will rattle.

5. Loose timing chain

 A loose timing chain causes the rattling sound in any car since when you start the car, the timing chain starts too, and when it is open, it will rattle. You can quickly notice that the timing chain is loose when you start the car and sometimes when moving. Remember, when the tensioner is faulty, it will leave the chain open and ready to jump a tooth or fall off all of the ways.

6. Loose heat shield

The primary cause of the rattling noise in the exhaust system is the heat shield since it gets loose sometimes when they are old and accumulates in the mileage. When the heat shield collects once on the mileage, the exhaust system will always make a rattling noise. To notice the rattling noise due to the heat shield, consider starting the engine neutral and letting off the gas pedal.

7. It is leaking the exhaust system

When the exhaust system leaks, it will make a rattling noise that some refer to as a ticking sound. To check the leaking place with the exhaust system, check the bolt areas that connect it to the block at the exhaust and check if the bolts are loose and allow the leaking of gases and oil causing the noise. Spreading exhaust systems is the most common source of rattling noise in most cars.

8. Old catalytic converter

A catalytic converter in any car is responsible for scrubbing the pollutants out of the exhaust system. When the converter becomes old, the metals inside it can break down that causing the rattling sound in them. Failures with the catalytic converter are easy to notice since it will display a code in the engine that you will see when its light is on.

Frequently asked questions:

  • How can one fix the rattling sound in the Chevy Malibu?

When the Chevy Malibu is making the rattling sound, there must be causes of the noise that you need to identify before trying out any step in the troubleshooting process.  You need to identify the grounds of the noises, mainly with their parts, then follow the causes, which direct you on what to do to reduce the noises.


Now you have complete information about the causes of the rattling noise in the Chevy Malibu, which is from the parts like the exhaust system, the timing chain, issues with the engine and its oil. The article describes the causes of the noise in detail so that you can quickly fix them. To improve the rattling noise in the car, consider checking the parts with faults and replacing them or repairing them.

Finally, consult a technician to help you fix the rattling noise, mainly when having issues with the engine. Remember to read the manufacturers’ instructions that contain the measures to follow when troubleshooting the problems with the Chevy Malibu.

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