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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an intermittent rattling sound that seems to come from the moon-roof. I can hear the noise when the moon-roof and moon-roof sliding cover are closed. Open the cover, the noise gets worse. Open the moon-roof, the noise gets even worse. I uploaded a short recording of the noise: Car Noise | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Sometimes it does not make this noise at all. Other days it makes this noise for the whole trip. The only possible difference I can make between when it will and when it wont make the noise is that it does not seem to make the noise on windy days. On calm days, it seems to rattles like mad.

Anyone have this problem? Any guesses as to what is making that noise?
 

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sounds like metal hitting metal to me but hard to tell. if you push on the headliner in certain areas does the noise go away?
 

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Do you hear the noise only when the car is moving? It seems strange that there will be no noise on windy days as when the car moves, the air would move around it. Maybe something is loose and flap around and hit the car as it drives but on windy days the wind kept that thing away from hitting car's body? Like a piece of tape or something?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do you hear the noise only when the car is moving?
Yes. Starts at ~5mph and continues at all speeds above. That said, I do not recall it happening on prolonged highway driving.

Regarding the wind/no wind connection, there may not be one. In defiance of my theory, it rattled yesterday even though it was moderately windy.
 

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It's been said before, but it can be a good idea to take absolutely all the loose stuff out of the car - including door pockets, glove box, centre console, everything in the boot and look under the seats. It's amazing how apparently unconnected things create rattles.
 

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You haven't been taking packing advice from Mitt Romney, have you? If so, get the dog off the roof! Those nails do damage to the paint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
UPDATE: I gave up on locating the roof rattle and took it to the dealer. There were three main noises that I wanted to address, and none of them could be replicated at the dealership. They gave me a brand new ES 350 loaner, which actually makes one of the noises that I brought my car in to have fixed. I'll discuss that noise first because I think that this is common across the Lexus and Toyota lines. This noise is a buzzing sound on the drivers side that seems to come from where the shoulder belt attaches to the pillar. It is most prominent at 70mph on coarse pavement. My CT makes this noise, the ES 350 loaner makes this noise, and a brand new Corolla I rented in California made that noise (only it was louder). Anyone else hear this in their car?


Noise number Two is the roof rattle, I got a really excellent recording of it before taking it to the dealership. This is noise that this thread is titled after, and I originally thought that wind may have been a factor. I now think temperature is a factor. The noise is present almost every morning when I pull out of the garage and do my 4-mile work commute. I park outside in the sun, and the car does not make this noise on the way home. I asked a friend that used to work as a Lexus tech what he thought about it, and he said that if it's the moon roof, it sounded like it should be adjusted up a little. He also said that two inch wide masking tape is your friend when trying to take exterior noises. Wind and other noises can cause a lot of weird sounds; Tape things until the noise stops, and then the dealership will be able to address the problem with a more sophisticated solution.


Noise number three is the creaking of the center console while cornering hard. We could not replicate it at the dealership even though we tried pretty hard. I believe this noise is most likely to happen when it the console is hot from the sun. Maybe someone else here has had this problem and addressed it?


BTW, the ES 350 is not a bad car. It seems very similar inside to the CT, and feels familiar as a result. I have heard of the ES being described as your grandparents car. I can see that; it's comfy and boring. That said, the motor is pretty interesting. It really has some get-up-and-go. Stomping on the gas can make you lose your grip on the wheel and the tires squeal a little bit. The motor pulls hard off the line and gets you up to 80+ rather quickly. Been a while since I've been in a pure gas powered car and I am enjoying everything about it except for the 20 mpg. I wonder what the hybrid version is like?
 

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I have the same rattle. Mine's also intermittent, but when it's bad, it's really annoying. I looked into the sunroof internals but it's very difficult to reach anything in there. Nothing I could reach was loose. Please post if Lexus finds the problem. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I got out the recorder and hit the road in our 7000 mile ES350 Loaner car this morning. My goal was to capture the buzzing noise I hear in the cabin, which seems to be common to certain Lexus and Toyota models. This is the sound of "Luxury" and the ES350 makes the same cabin noise as our CT200h. I used an equalizer to reduce most road noise outside the 4000Hz to 8000Hz range. About 9 seconds into the recording you'll hear it get quieter, then back to the "frying bacon" sound. That's because I drove over a short patch of new pavement. Here's the recording: http://www.flickr.com/photos/peckhammer/9645945777/


When I was pointing the mic around, the noise was loudest when pointed at the glass of the drivers door closest to the dashboard corner air vent. Basically pointed at the glass from about 12" away, aimed generally at in the direction of drivers door mirror.


The sound that I have heard in the shoulder belt anchor of my CT seems to be reacting to the same frequency generated by road that vibration. I am wondering if there is a spring or a thin piece of metal in there that could resonate at the frequency generated by that vibration? I quieted that belt anchor down by slipping a piece of sound deadening foam inside it through the slit.
 

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I have the same noise for the last 6 months. Ct200 2012. Intermittent and really starting to cause me to dislike the car. The noise of course goes away on two separate trips to Lexus dealer. Have tried to correlate noise with temperature ie in sun, or how much gas in tank (vibration related to weight). No correlation! Some days rattle from sunroof area is loud and other days not there at all!Very frustrated!!
 

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I have a 2012 ct200h with the moonroof rattle too. I tried pulling down the black wind reducing bar that is the making the noise- its at the front of the moonroof...between the front of the moonroof area.
Mine only happens with the moonroof closed - can you say...ANNOYED!!!!
Anyone who finds a fix from whoever let us know...
 

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I tried to listen for the last few days and I cannot hear anything from the car at all other than the water bottle moving in the cup holder. Once I remove the water bottle, the car is really quite inside while moving. I also never open my sun roof. I think I opened it about 3 times since I got the car, so maybe everything stayed nice and tight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
UPDATE: Car was taken to Lexus dealer on August 30th. They were unable to work on it until Tuesday 9/3 because of the holiday, but they gave me a nice loaner car so it didn't matter. A few days later, they said they heard the moon roof rattle and fixed it, but wanted to let it sit over night to see if it made the noise again. It did make the noise, only quieter, so they worked on it again, and then declared it fixed. I picked the car up on Saturday 9/7. I asked the service consultant what the technician did to fix it, but he was not sure. I asked him to find out so that I could communicate the fix to this forum. I have to take the car back again to fix the passenger door handle which falls off all the time. They have to order the replacement part, so I told him that he could let me know then.
I did not hear the noise for two days, but now it's back. At first it was somewhat quieter. An now it's as loud as ever. I am so annoyed by the moonroof rattle and cabin buzzing and creaking that I am considering trading the car in on a 3 series BMW.
I did test drive a 2014 Lexus IS 250 when picking up the CT, just in case I needed one. Very nice car. Very nice styling and cabin, extremely sharp handling. The V6 only produces 204 HP, so the power delivery is underwhelming. Better and smoother than a CT, of course, but not enough to sway me to buy one -- especially with it's 21/30 EPA MPG rating. The 204 HP V6 motor choice results in a very attractive car that is ultimately boring, IMO. The 306 HP V6 used in the IS 350 is a much better suited motor for the car, although you lose even more MPG. That's the motor that was in my Lexus loaner car, and it made me smile every time I pressed the gas pedal.
More to come...
 

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Oh wow. Don't give up hope yet. I'm going to try something with Velcro which I know probably work pretty well.
I'll get back to you guys later tonight. Keep the faith. This is a great car.
 

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[8:20]
Okay... just finished... here goes... the bar that raises up when the sunroof fully open I have found is the culprit when the sun is closed...its the resting spot has to have some Velcro on it to stop it from rattling when the sunroof is closed and you hit any kind of bump.. That's the only time my rattle occurs ...when the the sunroof is completely closed. I put 2, 2 inch blk velcro softstrips about 4 inches from the end of the sunroof sides. I then Hit my usual road and it is now completely silent. I'm a very happy man now!!!
 

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Very cool. Rattles and noises like that are so annoying. I'm glad you got it figured out. Hopefully this will save someone else some aggravation.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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True. Hey, I have learned so much from you guys and girls. What comes around goes around!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
[8:20]the bar that raises up when the sunroof fully open I have found is the culprit when the sun is closed...
Glad you got it figured out. My roof noise happens in all three positions, including fully open. It starts making the noise at 5 mph and continues at all speeds. I've suspected that bar, but I've grabbed it with my hand and it has no effect on the noise my car is making. Thanks for posting your fix. I am certain it will solve one of the moon roof problem variants that people are encountering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
UPDATE: The moon roof rattle became more frequent since it was last worked on. This maybe happening more regularly because the temperature has become cooler outside. My frustration level rose as a result and I wrote a terse e-mail to the service manager. I took the car in on Tuesday afternoon, got a loaner and waited for an update, which finally came this afternoon. The service consultant began by telling me that they did not experience the noise at the volume level I reported, so I braced myself for an "operating within spec" excuse. To my surprise however, Lexus (the mothership) had instructed them to replace the entire moon roof, motor, cables and all associated parts. So I might be driving the RX350 loaner through the weekend.

Since this problem started and was seemingly unfixable, I started looking for a new car to replace the CT, which has only 7000 miles on it. I've driven both the 2014 IS 250 and 350, a BMW 328i and an X1. I have to say that Lexus has BMW beat when it comes to the cabin. Lexus really does a nice job there, and their seats are superior, IMO. That said, I've driven an ES 350 with only 7000 miles on it, two brand new IS's, and the RX350 (~8000 miles on it). Everyone of them has similar cabin noises, buzzes and such. The ES was the worst, the RX's rear seats make a bunch of noise, but even the new models has slight noises that are similar to my CT. In some ways it is no surprise; the interiors seem to share a lot of the same side panels and plastic parts. This only makes me think that in time, they will all become rattle traps. NONE of those other cars made the moon roof rattle that some of our CTs make. though. Hopefully the complete replacement of the moon roof will do the trick.
 
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