Why Is There Rattling Noise Coming From Front Passenger Side When Driving?

Hearing a noise coming from your vehicle can be alarming when driving, especially if you are on the highway. One common area you may hear a rattling noise coming from is the front passenger side. Know what to do if this occurs while you’re on the road. Why is There Rattling Noise Coming From Front Passenger Side When Driving, will outline some of the most popular reasons your car is rattling, how to fix it, and what to do if you are on the road when it begins.

Quick Answer

There are a few possible reasons the front passenger’s side could be rattling when you’re driving. If you hear a rattling coming from the front passenger’s side while out for a drive find a safe place to pull over as quickly as possible.

  • One of the most common reasons a car will rattle from the front passenger side is an issue with the wheel. Problems like a bad wheel bearing or loose hubcap are easy to fix, but can cause serious issues when they are not addressed quickly.
  • If you hear rattling coming from the passenger side that could mean your vehicle’s shocks need to be replaced.
  • When traveling at a low speed rattling on the passenger’s side is most likely caused by the engine idler pulley.
  • The sway bar link can also cause a rattling from the front passenger side. This common issue can cause you to lose control of your vehicle while on the road.
  • The cost to fix rattling from the front passenger side of your car can range from as low as, $20 to upwards of $1000.
  • To determine the source of rattling visit your local mechanic or automotive shop.

Anytime you hear a rattling noise coming from your vehicle it can be worrisome. Keep reading to learn more about what might be going on with your vehicle and how to fix it.


Ten Most Common Causes of Rattling on the Front Passenger Side of a Car?

There are many possible reasons your car is rattling from the front passenger side; however, some are much more common than others. Here are the top ten most common cause for rattling on the front passenger side of your vehicle:

  1. Problems with the front right wheel

If the front right wheel has a problem it will cause the car to rattling and shake. Some of the main issues you may see with the wheel are, the wheel is loose, the strut mount is worn or deteriorating, and the hub cap is damaged.

Noises caused by problems with the wheel will be consistent with the speed of the car. Higher speeds mean increased rattling and vice versa.

  1. Your car’s shocks need to be replaced

If your vehicle’s shocks are old when you hit a bump you will hear a rattling noise. Sometimes this noise may sound like it is coming from the entire front of your vehicle, instead of specifically from the front passenger’s side.

  1. The engine idler pulley is bad

When a vehicle’s serpentine belt needs to be replaced the car will sound like it is rattling from the front. This rattling noise will decrease when the cars speed increases.

  1. Control arm bushing is rattling

The control arm bushing is essential for maintaining control over your vehicle. This is the part of your vehicle that allows the wheels to go up and down, which is essential to handling. When it gets old it will make a rattling noise while driving.

The control arm bushing takes 90,000 miles to wear out on average; however, if it becomes damaged it must be replaced sooner. This rattling will start consistent, but quiet and eventually get louder.

  1. The sway bar link is weakening

When the sway bar is deteriorating, I will sound like there is a clunking noise coming from the front of your vehicle. Problems with the sway bar should be address right away, because this can cause a serious accident or expensive damage to your vehicle.

  1. The padding on the brake pads has deteriorated

A rattling noise could indicate a variety of issues with the brakes; however, worn brake pads is the most commonly occurring. Brake pads should be changed every 40,000 miles. This rattling will make a distinct squealing noise when braking.

  1. The wheel well is dirty

When dirt and grime build up in your vehicle’s wheel well the car can sound as if it is rattling when driving. Considering the last time, you washed your vehicle thoroughly can help you determine if this is the source of the noise.

  1. Low engine oil can cause a rattling noise

If the engine is low on oil you should pull over immediately to avoid cataphoric damage to your engine. When the oil is tow low air circulates through the engine, which creates the rattling noise.

To check and see if low engine oil is the source of your cars rattling use the dip stick to check your oil level. Simply pull out the dip stick and run a towel along it. Reinsert the dipstick and pull it out again. The oil level will show on the dipstick.

  1. Debris in the hood of your car, or stuck in the wheel well

If some sort of debris has made its way under the hood of your vehicle it may cause a rattling noise. Something stuck in the wheel well will also sound like rattling. This noise will most likely be more consistent when you are driving at an accelerated speed. You may be able to identify debris by visually looking under your cars hood, and in the wheel well.

  1. Consider the noise may be coming from inside the vehicle

Make sure to check in the glove compartment for something that could be causing a rattling noise. Cars today are made with more creative storage options. Ensure the noise is not coming from inside the vehicle before looking at other alternatives. 

How to Determine What is Causing a Rattling from the Front Passenger Side of a Vehicle?

If you find yourself experiencing a rattling noise when driving follow these easy steps to determine what the cause is.

Step 1: Note everything you can about the rattling noise – Identify where you think the noise is originating in your vehicle, if it gets worse when accelerating or vice versa, and what it sounds like.

Step 2: Research and contact your local automotive mechanic – Conduct research, if you do not have a preferred mechanic, to find someone reliable. You can look at online reviews, or find a recommendation through a friend.

Step 3: Use the information from step 1 to describe the rattling noise to an automotive mechanic – The automotive mechanic will most likely drive your vehicle to hear the noise for themselves; however, being able to provide them with your own description may help.

Step 4: The mechanic will identify the issue and make a recommendation – In most cases the mechanic will be able to identify the problem and give you a quote to fix it in advance. In some cases, they may have to practice a trial and error approach if they cannot determine the exact origin of the rattle.

Unless you are skilled at automotive maintenance, the key to determining the cause of the rattling noise is to have it serviced by a professional. Now you are ready to address your vehicle’s rattling noise.

Steps to Take if You Hear a Rattling from the Front Passenger Side While Driving

If you are on the road when you start to hear a rattling noise coming from the front passenger side it is natural to feel panicked. The driver should remain calm, and follow these steps.

Step 1: Find a safe place to pull over – A rattling can indicate various serious problems that could cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Find a place that you can safely pull over and park your car.

Step 2: Listen to the rattling noise – As you pull your car over listen to the rattling noise. Try to identify its pattern. Consider if it gets worse or improves as you accelerate and decelerate. This description can help determine the cause of the noise.

Step 3: Contact your local mechanic – Once you are safely parked call your local mechanic. They will ask you to describe the rattling, and determine if you can drive your vehicle to the shop or if you will need a tow.

The main thing to remember if you start to hear a rattling noise from the front passenger side is to stay safe. Remember this could indicate a serious problem with your vehicle. Pull over safely and consult a professional.

Does the Cause of a Rattling Noise Vary Based on the Kind of Vehicle?

What the rattling noise sounds like will help to determine what issue is causing it. A rattling noise can be the first sign of a serious issue with your vehicle. Listening to your car and getting help quickly can save you a ton of money, and ensure your safety on the road.

The rattling noise sounds like it is coming from the front middle or passenger side of my car. What does this mean?

This could indicate problems with the engine, which can be serious. Make sure you pull over right away.

When I speed up the rattling noise gets better, what does that mean?

Most likely this is an issue with the engine idler pulley.

Why does the rattling noise get worse when I take a sharp turn?

Rattling when taking a sharp turn is usually due to something being unscrewed in the wheel well. Having all of the nuts, and bolts check on the front passenger side can help determine the problem.

Why Does a Car Only Rattle When Driving Fast or Accelerating?

There are several problems that can cause rattling to occur when a car accelerates. If your car rattles when you speed up consider a few different possible problems.

Low octane fuel can cause rattling: Driving with low octane fuel can void your vehicle’s warranty. Regular octane fuel levels are on average 87, while the highest, or premium octane fuel, is 91 to 94.

Carbon deposits can build up in the engine: When carbon deposits build up in the engine they cause “engine knocking”, which can sound similar to a rattling noise

Rattling from the vehicle overheating: When the engine overheats it will make an irregular rattling noise when the vehicle accelerates.

Worn knock sensor: A damaged knock sensor can cause major issues within your vehicle. An early sign of a worn knock sensor is a rattling noise that increases during acceleration.

Improper ignition timing: When the engine is worked on the ignition timing has to be adjusted. If the ignition timing is not adjusted it can have a negative impact on the vehicle as a whole.

Will Common Causes of Rattling Be Covered by Insurance or a Car Warranty?

Your car warranty will cover certain parts of your vehicle for a set number of miles. What a warranty consists of will vary by model, year, and manufacturer. To locate your vehicle’s warranty, if you don’t already have it on hand, contact your manufacturer. It is a good idea to keep your vehicle warranty on hand. Keep in mind your vehicle may be eligible for a few different types of warranties including, manufacturer, extended, and bumper to bumper.

Problems with the engine: If the rattling noise is a problem with your engine the type of warranty you have will impact your coverage. Factory warranties will only cover defective parts; whereas, bumper to bumper warranties might cover old age parts.

Debris in the wheel well or under the hood: When rattling is caused by damage due to debris becoming lodged somewhere in your vehicle this usually is not covered under a factory warranty. Your best bet is to check your bumper to bumper warranty.

Loose part in the wheel well: If a loose wheel part is covered by your factory warranty will depend on if it is a factory defect, or from use. Keep in mind, the tire itself may have a warranty separate from the vehicle if you have had your tires replaced.

How Much Will Common Causes of Rattling Cost to Fix?

The cost to fix a rattling noise coming from the front passenger side of our car will depend on the source of the rattle. Some fixes will be relatively inexpensive, while others are very costly.

Problems with the wheel: If your right front wheel needs to be replaced, chance are all of your wheels need to be replaced. Having all of the wheels replaced on your vehicle costs on average $750. It is possible that a single wheel needs to be replaced due to an issue other than old age, such as a nail that caused a flat tire. Replacing one wheel will run you, on average $200 after labor.

Replacing the shocks: The cost to replace your car’s shocks will vary by car make, model, and manufacturer. On average, you can expect to pay between $300 and $580 to have your vehicle’s shocks replaced.

The engine idler pulley replacement: This problem is a less expensive fix, averaging between $100 and $180. The parts to replace an engine idler pulley only cost about $70; however, this is something most people will need a mechanic to install.

Fixing the control arm bushing: Every 90,000 miles most vehicles need to have their control arm bushing replaced, which can cost upwards of $650.

The sway bar link is old: If the sway bar link is the source of the rattle it will be a relatively inexpensive fix. The sway bar link can cost as little as $75 to replace.

Problems with the brakes: Issues with the brakes can sound like a rattling, especially when you use them. This rattling often starts as just needing to replace the brake pads; however, when ignored you can end up needing entirely new brakes. New brake pads can cost as low as $100 a piece. If your vehicle needs new brakes it can cost upwards of $1000 depending on the vehicle.

Wrap up

Hearing a rattling noise coming from the front passenger side of your vehicle can be very alarming. Remember, stay safe and pull over right away when the rattling noise begins. Having a mechanic assess the situation early on can save you costly repairs down the road. If you have had personal experiencing with a rattling noise coming from the front passenger side of your car please leave a comment below.

Leave a Comment