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Notes From The Road

Nuisance Noises
By Phil Coconis/autoMedia.com

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Noises From Parts Not Permanently Lubricated May Need Long-bodied Grease
As far as isolating noises involving the other components, it's pretty straightforward. If the noise occurs while using a component such as one of the control pedals/levers, you'll need to remove the lower dash cover, if so equipped, and make a visual inspection of the linkage. If things look extremely dirty, where it may be necessary to disassemble the linkage, it might be a good idea to refer the work to your favorite service pro, safety being the main consideration here. If it's completely clean and seems to be well adjusted, and it appears that there are no permanently lubricated (plastic) sleeves used, try applying some long-bodied grease to the critical pivot points on the linkage. Work the pedal/lever a few times, and the grease will get worked in enough to stop the noise.
Fasten Up
Determine if Tightening Existing Fasteners Will Stop the Noise
If the noise occurs when you hit sharp bumps, you'll need to simulate such a bump, the palm of your hand being a good tool for this purpose. Be careful not to bump the dash too hard, or you'll have an extra expense to deal with (and perhaps some damage to your hand as well). Again, with the lower cover removed, you'll be able to isolate the offending component by systematically damping each component (relay, control unit, harness section, etc.) as you bump with the other hand. Make sure that you know the frequency or pitch of the noise you are after, or the search can get confusing. And by all means, for safety's sake, only perform this procedure with the vehicle parked, on a level surface, with the engine off.
When you find the trouble area/component, determine if merely a tightening of existing fasteners will remedy the situation, or if new fasteners or ties will have to be added. Sometimes, industrial grade "hook-and-loop" fastening material may be a good medium to use, but your creativity and familiarity with your options and the existing circumstances are the best guides here. Experimentation is encouraged, along with forethought and common sense.
 
With a little practice, you can get really proficient at isolating and eliminating under-dash noises, not to mention the fact that being able to make effective repairs while working upside down in close quarters is an empowering experience. If you can do that, you can do anything!

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