Q: There is a rattling noise coming from the exhaust. Car begins to jerk with this and sometimes it turns off.

asked by on

There is an extremely loud, almost metallic sound coming from the rear of the vehicle. After further inspection it doesn't seem to be a heat shield. The rattling only happens every now and again too. When it's having an episode the entire car is affected. The car begins to shake violently and jerks forward. Sometimes the car will shut off completely. The brakes get a bit stiff as well. While I'm accelerating (35-60 mph) everything seems fine but if I fall below or get above that margin all hell breaks loose.

My car has 159000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

You may have a catalytic converter that has broken up inside. The business part of the catalyst is made of ceramic material, (yes just like the clay pots) which is coated with the various precious metals that facilitate the reaction that cleans up the exhaust. If the catalyst is badly overheated, or if you bottomed on a speed bump and it suffered an impact, the material inside can break into smaller pieces. The pieces will sound just like stones rattling around inside a metal can. In the right conditions, one of those stones can shift into a position that blocks the exhaust and you have a sudden loss of engine power. Power that returns as soon as the stone shifts again and unblocks the exhaust. If you can crawl up under the car and strike the exhaust with a soft mallet, you might be able to hear the pieces rolling around. The solution is to replace the catalytic converter. It may also be necessary to replace some other exhaust pieces as sometimes the stones make their way down the system and settle inside the muffler. If you contact Your Mechanic they can send a technician to your home or office to check out your rattling exhaust and let you know if this is your problem and what can be done about it.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. There is a rattling noise coming from the exhaust. Car begins to jerk with this and sometimes it turns off.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: When pulling off, it feels like the rear end is dragging

If a wheel bearing in the hub was defective enough to cause drag, you would hear a tremendous amount of noise from the failed bearing. Wheels might also drag due to misalignment or failure of the brakes to retract. Misalignment...

Q: Engine noise when I press gas pedal

You most likely have a warped exhaust manifold that has caused one of the studs holding the manifold to the cylinder head to break. When this happens you will get a loud exhaust leak that can be quite annoying. I...

Q: Bank 1 and Bank 2 running lean

If lean faults occur after the manifold was removed and reinstalled, this indicates a vacuum leak which also means that unmetered air is coming into the intake. Either a vacuum line or induction pipe is loose, or the manifold is...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.