Mysterious shakes and rattles coming from the engine can be eerily nerve-racking. This kind of rattling in the exhaust commonly caused by heat shield issues—if the heat shield becomes loose due to poor hardware or rust damage, it will cause the heat shield to vibrate and produce a rattling sound. It might sound something like this:
This distinct “heat shield rattle” sound will be most prominent at lower engine speeds and may change in pitch or tone as your speed changes—it might not even be noticable when you’re zooming down the highway. But neglecting to address it is a recipe for distaster. IF the heat shield can’t do its job—shield critical engine parts from the heat of the engine—it can be detrimental to the health of your engine.
If the heat shield becomes severely damaged, you might also notice excessive heat radiating from the engine bay. Modern engines generate considerable amounts of heat, just from the regular operation. A majority of the engine’s heat is released by the exhaust manifold, the metal pipe through which the exhaust gases exit the engine. But, in order to prevent extreme heat from damaging the components under the hood, a heat shield is used to help manage and contain the high temperatures—a damaged or loose heat shield can’t provide the proper protection which can cause heat from the running engine to soak into the bay.
If this happens, the front end of the vehicle will be warmer to the touch than usual, and even more so when the hood is opened. In some cases, the hood may even become too hot to touch, as it continues to absorb the excessive heat. If not address this heat cab warp rubber and plastic parts of the engine, or cause other premature wear, and permanently damage your vehicle.
While most heat shields will last the life of the vehicle that does not mean that they are not susceptible to failure. A professional inspection will be required to determine if your heat shield is broken or simply loose, and make the necessary repairs to get you back on the road.
If you suspect that your heat shield may be having an issue, give us a call! 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.