- Heat Shield Rattle: A common cause of rattling at idle is a loose heat shield. These are often located near the exhaust system and can become rusted or loose over time. You can check this by tapping the heat shields with a rubber mallet when the car is off to see if they rattle.
- Faulty Motor Mount: Another potential cause is a failed motor mount. This can create a heavy, hammering noise at idle. Check if your engine is sitting level in the engine bay. An uneven positioning might indicate a bad motor mount.
- Fuel Line Clip Issue: Especially in certain Ford models, the clip holding the fuel line can break, causing a rattle. Since you've mentioned the rattle occurs even when the car is in gear at idle, it's worth checking the fuel line near the firewall.
- Loose Components: Check for any loose components under the hood, like headlight screws, hood props, under-hood insulation clips, or hard lines around the radiator. These can sometimes cause rattling noises.
- Exhaust System Check: Loose parts in the exhaust system, such as hangers, can also be the culprit. It's a good idea to inspect the exhaust system for any loose or damaged parts.
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