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Q: Rattling on startup

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I have a high-mileage van with around 250,000 miles on it. There is a loud rattling noise when I start it up. When it is under load, the noise seems to disappear. I had the belts removed as I thought it might be causing the noise, but it still can be heard. What could it be?

Thanks for writing in about your 2000 Voyager Plymouth. You may have problems with your exhaust catalyst rattling inside the exhaust. When the substrate starts to break up inside, they will rattle inside the housings. As the exhaust heats up, they may stop rattling but as time goes by, the rattle can get worse as they break up in the converter housing. Have someone inspect the noise and verify that they need to be replaced.

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