Q: Car has a "ticking" noise inside when cooling down.

asked by on October 27, 2016

Okay so I've noticed that when it's hot outside and my car is hot inside, when I have the AC on, as I'm driving I hear like a "ticking" noise from the door panels inside my car as it is cooling down I guess? Same thing when it's cold out and the heat is on. I don't know if this even makes logical sense but could the temperature difference really be making the materials inside the car expand and contract enough to do this? Thought it was maybe the window switches acting up but I shut off power to them and still does it. Any ideas? Also, I bought the car brand new, I've also noticed going over certain bumps in the road, I will hear a creak from the interior pieces. Is it possible to buy a new car that is totally free of that or will that always exist to some extent? Thanks! :)

My car has 12500 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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Unless parts of the car are actually improperly assembled, there is nothing you can do about noises that stem from differential heating and cooling (i.e., expansion and contraction) of materials.

A notable instance of this is your car’s exhaust system, which as it cools will make very characteristic noises. However, I’m wondering if the noises you are hearing are a consequence of vibration in the vehicle.

There is a known, and actually quite serious, "vibration issue" with the 2015 CR-V. As a consequence, Honda has issued a 19 page Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) 15-046, titled "Vibration While Driving and/or Stopped in Gear," to try to resolve the problem. The issue is serious and widespread enough (see numerous entries in NHTSA complaint database for the 2015 CR-V) that a lawsuit is currently pending against Honda in California Central District Court: Linda Oakes v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc, and Honda Motor Co., LTD. alleging damages due to this vibration problem.

With regard to your additional concern about other noises, cars are manufactured as well as possible (of course some manufacturers being more conscientious than others) but there are always going to be noises of one sort or another due to the nature of the product (cars are obviously bumping all over the place as they proceed down a roadway) and the inherent economic constraints, that is although it is probably "technically" possible to make a car that is absolutely silent (a $200,000 Rolls Royce being a good example) such vehicles would not be generally affordable.

But, if you hearing a noise that is obvious, consistent, and persistent, it probably does represent something that is loose and that should be checked out. If you’d like to have the noise diagnosed, consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can come to your home or office to do so.

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