A rattling exhaust heat shield can be both annoying and nerve-racking. Rattling in the exhaust is a common cause of heat shield issues, which can cause permanent damage to your vehicle. Here’s what to watch for:
Can I just let it fall off?
Some don’t see much use for a rattling exhaust shield so they’ll remove them and discard them, or let them fall off. But this can be a big problem down the road.
Heat shields are designed to protect other car parts from the extreme heat of the exhaust—removing them completely could cause premature failure of other components or even fire. Letting it fall off while driving can also pose a hazard for other drivers who may be in its path on the road when it finally detaches from your vehicle.
Rattling exhaust? Read more about what to do.
What are my options for repair?
The best way to fix a rattling heat shield is to replace it or reaffix it. Your mechanic might:
Weld: If at all possible, it’s helpful to tack the heat shield to the exhaust. This isn’t always possible as the thin metal heat shield and exhaust pipe may burn through.
Bolt: In some cases, the technician may be able to install new nuts and bolts to reaffix a missing bolt-on heat shield.
Clamp: Screw clamps can be used in cases where a heat shield was previously welded or clamped to an exhaust pipe.
Tie: Another way to fix a loose heat shield is with a stainless steel tie, which won’t rust after installation.
If a loose heat shield has you worried, your technician will use one of these quick fixes to hel stopp the rattling and prolong the life of the part.
While most heat shields will last the life of the vehicle that does not mean that they are not susceptible to failure. If you suspect that your heat shield may be having an issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician at V&F, to determine if the shield should be replaced. All of our auto repair services are backed by an industry-leading 3-year / 36,000-mile warranty on parts and labor. Call us today at (413) 314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.
This article was originally published in 2020 and has been updated.