Steering wheel rattle, resolved! | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
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Steering wheel rattle, resolved!


Well-Known Member
June 30, 2009
Reaction score
City, State
Dallas, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
'06 4.6L EB
Last weekend I decided to troubleshoot the long lasting (since new...) rattle noise that appeared to emit from the front dash. This was mostly noticeable when car was cold and when driving at uneven road. It was not loud enough to be a serious issue but on otherwise very tight and quiet truck it was practically the only rattle I could hear.

I tried hitting the dash but was not really able to reproduce the noise. Until I hit the steering wheel immediately it caused the noise I was looking for. Most sensitive spot was to hit upwards from underneath the steering wheel. It didn't take much to cause the noise.

I removed the airbag assembly by removing the two screws on each side of the steering wheel. The air bag assembly then can be lifted away. I didn't even need to remove any of its connectors.

What I found out is that the airbag assembly sits on top of a metal frame that is the horn actuator. That is supported by springs over the actual steering wheel frame. The horn actuator frame has plastic standoffs on which the airbag assembly would be resting. The issue was that it does not stay there tightly. The two pieces can rattle against each other when driving over bumps and holes.

The fix was that I placed pieces of felt pads over the plastic standoffs. (Three locations total.) Now there is no more two hard surfaces touching each others, and the noise is completely gone! :)

I think I should have taken pictures what I did but if you do have this issue and attempt this fix and once you see how the things are attached to each others you should know what are the right spots...