Question about 2005 Nissan Pathfinder

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I have a 2003 Pathfinder that rattles when I accelerate and while driving.

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Most rattling is associated with the exhaust. In a lot of cases, this is as simple as a loose hanger that bounces while accelerating or going over bumps. Another very common cause is a loose heat shield on the catalytic converter. It's function is to prevent the extreme heat generated by the converter from being transferred to the exterior. It also is another layer of protection against debris directly striking the converter.

The shield is welded to the exterior of the converter and from time to time, a spot weld will break loose and vibrate. This would account for the rattle you hear. Most chain muffler shops won't weld it back place and would prefer to sell you a whole new unit. A local repair shop however is usually willing to weld the shield back in place for a nominal price.
To verify which is your case, with the truck cold, get underneath and pull on the exhaust along the length of the system. If it's a hanger, you will usually see a lot of play in the system. Also, tap on the outside of the catalytic converter shields and look for play there. Chances are, 1 of the 2 are the source of your issue.

Posted on Mar 18, 2011

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