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A4 B9 - Creaking / Tapping noise from rear

gaz_360 May 28, 2018

  1. gaz_360

    gaz_360 New Member

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    Hi All,

    Have been a long term viewer of the forum, previously owned an A3 saloon and managed to find plenty of answers on here when needed - Fantastic info and advice, has been really appreciated! Hoping you might be able to help me on this one...

    Purchased an A4 saloon back in February and have been very happy with it, apart from one annoying issue...

    There appears to be a creaking/tapping noise coming from the rear, around the parcel shelf/D pillar trims area. Having asked passengers in the back where they think the noise is coming from, nearly all of them have said it sounds like it's behind the near side D pillar trim.

    I've spent quite a while searching for possible fixes, came across a few threads where people had a similar problem, but never really managed to find a definitive answer regarding what needs to be done to remedy the noise.

    Also managed to find some possible TSB numbers - 2046397/1, 10091076, A641639 2046 - Unfortunately, although the titles of those TSBs include something along the lines of 'Creaking from rear', then don't elaborate on what the Audi technician would need to do to solve the fault.

    Think a lot of people took their cars straight back to Audi when the fault appeared, and as they were still under warranty, the fix was sorted there and then. Having checked with the Audi garage where I purchased the A4 from, they confirmed that rattles are only covered for the first year of warranty, any investigation work and fixes would now be chargeable.

    Decided a few weeks ago to try and track down the noise myself. Removed the D pillar trims and parcel shelf - Managed to find a few clips/fixings that were loose, applied some foam tape to stop them moving. The sub bolts also got tightened as they weren't overly tight. However the next day on the way to work, the noise reappeared pretty much straight away, no difference in frequency (Was hoping I may of at least dulled the noise slightly).

    So that's about where I'm at. Have taken some photos to see if you kind people might be able to pinpoint the bits I need to be looking at - From the descriptions that some people have given, there's some sort of fixing above the D pillar trim, going into the roof lining that rubs against the rear glass, but I can't find anything that looks like it could be rubbing? Have circled a popper/fixing in red, does anyone know if that's the offending piece?

    upload_2018-5-28_13-3-54.png

    upload_2018-5-28_13-4-14.png

    Would really appreciate any info or guidance on this, absolutely love driving the car, but the noise is driving me mad!

    Thanks for your time :)
     
    WesT-gefül likes this.
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  3. gaz_360

    gaz_360 New Member

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  4. SwordfishCoupe

    SwordfishCoupe Member

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    Hello, reminds me of when car sunroofs freeze in sub zero temps.

    Just in interest have you tried a rear passenger supporting the glass or wedging something against it? Could be the glass and would be good to rule it out.

    I would leave the panel off for a few days and see if any louder as well.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
     
  5. gaz_360

    gaz_360 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply.

    Good idea, I’ve just removed it so will see what happens this week. Who knows, could even be the D pillar trim itself causing the problem, will hopefully soon find out.

    Will reply back with any findings (Y)
     
  6. Smudge973

    Smudge973 Member

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    Hi Gareth

    Have you read my thread below, my car has been in for over a week, brand new black edition, rear glass has even been out...

    Audi are speaking with AudiAG and I hope something is resolved this week, my leasing company even mentioned rejecting the car... long way from that hopefully...
     
  7. Smudge973

    Smudge973 Member

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  8. cjp2k

    cjp2k Active Member Team Daytona saloon Audi A4 S-line owners group

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    I had mine fixed with the same noise. My car wasnt in the tsb list of effected cars but they replaced tge clips apparently which stopped it
     
  9. gaz_360

    gaz_360 New Member

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    Hi Smudge,

    Having had a read of your post, it's annoying to see that it seems that Audi don't really know how to fix it properly. Totally understand that not every car with the same/similar rattle will have the same source of the rattle, but they must surely know which parts need changing/modifying to resolve. Taking the window out certainly seems a bit drastic to me!

    Really hope they manage to get it sorted for you, especially as it's only a few weeks old.

    Having had the D pillar trim removed for a week now, with regular runs to work etc, I can honestly say I've not heard the noise once. However at this point, I'm not too sure if I can call it a 'fair test', as the temperatures have been quite high this week - Previously when the D pillar trim was in place, the noise appeared when temperatures were around 10-15 degrees C. I'll keep the trim off for another week, think the temps are meant to be dipping slightly, and see if it still stays silent.

    I'll do some more investigation around the area while the trim is off - Having looked at the clips on the trim, I can't see what would cause the noise, so I'm thinking when everything is back together, the D pillar trim might be pushing the head lining piece closer towards something around the rear glass causing the noise. Guessing with the trim removed, the headlining might be a bit more relaxed, therefore not touching the glass - Purely speculation at this point though.

    Thanks for the reply, I don't suppose you know which clips in particular were replaced?
     
  10. SwordfishCoupe

    SwordfishCoupe Member

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    Gareth,

    Just in interest did you eventually find the cause of this and all sorted?

    I have a really annoying creak over some minor bumpers and going around some bends. For the life of me cannot figure where it coming from. I have packed out the tool tray in the boot etc.

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
     
  11. gaz_360

    gaz_360 New Member

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    Apologies for the slow reply.

    Unfortunately it's still there, more so now the cold weather has arrived - It seems to make it occur more often.

    I've tried quite a few things:

    Removed D Pillar trims
    Removed Parcel Shelf
    Removed inner boot liner pieces (Left and right)
    Removed boot scuff plate
    Removed high level brake light

    With the pieces above removed (Although not all at the same time), then drove the car for roughly a week to see if the noise changed or disappeared. Unfortunately the noise remained, I can't even say the frequency of the noise changed with those items removed.

    Although I've not given up completely, I think the issue must be related to the glass itself, or the way it has been fitted - Especially as the number of vehicles having the issue is so high.

    I'll make sure to update the thread with any more findings.
     
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  13. SwordfishCoupe

    SwordfishCoupe Member

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    My next step after all that would be remove the rear seats just in case!

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
     
  14. jds_sg

    jds_sg New Member Team Scuba Audi A4

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    I have had the exact same issue as described above but during the summer I finally sorted it and solved the problem.

    Finally decided to remove both D pillars & parcel shelf (which is not too tricky if you use plastic trim removal tools, not screwdrivers) and of course this made absolutely no difference, the noise still occurred. For me it always seemed worse on a cooler morning or evening after a hot day.

    So with a flat screwdriver I levered the metal around the location pins in the pictures above away from the plastic base of the pin, at which point there was a loud crack. Thought I had broken the glass, but this was only the sound of the seal between the paint and the plastic base of the pin. Did the same on both sides then snapped the pins off too.

    Noise completely gone after that. It was just an expansion/contraction problem with the plastic pins adhered to the metal.

     
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  15. gaz_360

    gaz_360 New Member

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    Thanks for replying to the thread, info is very appreciated!

    Just to confirm, it's the white and grey pin/popper type piece circled in red in the first picture that you snapped off?
     
  16. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group saloon Audi A4 S-line owners group

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    Thanks for this, it has been noted before that these locating pins cause issues. Always good to know the procedure on how to do this. Might even give this a whirl myself.
    I don't suppose you took any pictures of the pins, or even the process?
     
  17. jds_sg

    jds_sg New Member Team Scuba Audi A4

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    I did try to take a picture at the time but couldn't get anything any good, access is quite difficult. Gaz_360's pictures are way better.
    I lowered the back seat and worked on it whilst lying down with my legs in the boot! That's the only way I found I could do it.

    Yes it is the pin circled in red that I removed, thanks for your great pictures btw they helped me identify what I was looking at.

    I did originally reply on a different forum about the same issue: http://www.vwaudiforum.co.uk/forum/showthread.php/187643-A4-B9-Creaking-Tapping-noise-from-rear but maybe no one saw it.

    I'm not sure it actually mattered that the pins were snapped off, I was just trying to release the metal part that they went through with the base of the plastic pin. I had read elsewhere that removing these pins solved the issue, so while I had the trim removed I snapped them off by pressing a small chisel into them to make a small cut or groove, and then exerting pressure further up the pin to break them. They're only used to align the window during assembly, a new window would come with them on.

    Good luck having a go at it! My biggest fear was damaging the D pillar trim, as that is visible so didn't want to mark it.
     
  18. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group saloon Audi A4 S-line owners group

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    Ok thanks for reply, just to check you snapped off the pins completely that Gaz has outlined in red?
     
  19. jds_sg

    jds_sg New Member Team Scuba Audi A4

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    Yes that's right, snapped them both off as close to the base as possible as described above, just found them in the garage actually don't know why I kept them, but here is a picture of them:

    Pins.JPG
    You can see from the marks on them that I had a few goes at breaking them! Access is difficult of course.
    But I would emphasise that you also need to make sure there is no contact between the base of the pin, which is glued to the glass, and the square metal hole that they go through. This is where I gently levered the metal off the plastic pin, which made a cracking noise, before finally snapping the pins off.
     
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  20. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group saloon Audi A4 S-line owners group

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    Brilliant, thanks very much for the info, it will be a great help. Have ordered some trim removal tools and will attempt this at some point myself..
     
  21. jds_sg

    jds_sg New Member Team Scuba Audi A4

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    No problem.
    I used some trim removal tools I got off Amazon, they do avoid the risk of marking the trim.
    I don't know if you've done this type of job before but I hadn't so I had a couple of goes at removing the D pillar without success because, I didn't have the nerve to use the amount of force it needed!

    If it helps here is the procedure I used:
    I used a broad trim tool to release it on the side next to the small triangular window, where there is a white plastic clip that straddles the air bag, as shown in the original picture.
    Then I basically got my fingers underneath the free edge and along the top, as far in as I could, and just pulled evenly and firmly, using my body weight too by leaning back. Fingers here are stronger than the trim tools.
    As I mentioned before I had the seats down and was sat facing backwards with my feet in the boot.
    There are two metal clips roughly in the centre that fix it to the body and I found that they come out quite suddenly. One stayed attached to the car where it should be attached to the plastic of the trim. If this happens be careful when releasing that it doesn't just drop into the cavity between the inner and outer metal of the body, as happened to me. Managed to retrieve it after a lot knuckle scraping from the access holes behind the boot trim! They attach to the trim again quite easily though.

    Hope this helps you, if you need any other info just ask. I did find it quite satisfying knowing that I had fixed a problem by myself for the cost of some simple trim tools.
     
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  22. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group saloon Audi A4 S-line owners group

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    Yes the trim removal tools are from amazon, fantastic advice thank you so much. I am hoping this fixes the rattle for good and will let this thread know my results...
     
  23. jds_sg

    jds_sg New Member Team Scuba Audi A4

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    Hope it does, looking forward to reading your progress...
     
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  24. gaz_360

    gaz_360 New Member

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    Brilliant write up - Managed to give this a go today, was successful in snapping the pins off (Sounds a bit strange to have successful and snapped in the same sentence :D). Not sure if I've managed to lever the metal part away from the remaining base of the pins, but that can always be adjusted some more if I find the noise is still there next week.

    To try and help others out, I took a few pictures of the process to go with the write up.

    I've removed the D pillar trims on mine a few times, so the clips aren't quite as strong as they originally were, so you may need to assert a bit more force if they haven't been removed on your vehicle before. I use the trim tool in the location circled red below (You may need to get your fingers behind the trim in a similar place to where the tool is pictured, quite a lot of force has to be applied, I would advise pulling it towards the centre of the car):

    IMG_4065 - Copy.jpg

    Once the initial clips 'pop' it should look something like this:

    IMG_4066.jpg

    Next move the trim towards the front of the car slightly, I've highlighted the end 'fin' piece of the trim - There are three 'fins' on the bottom of the trim that lock into the parcel shelf, it's important not to just pull the trim straight out, as the fins may break:

    IMG_4067 - Copy.jpg
    Next you can pull the trim over to the parcel shelf, it should feel relatively loose at this point. Then to remove it completely, you need to gently pull the whole trim towards the front of the car to unlock the fins from the parcel shelf. (The eagle eyed will notice one of the clips isn't in the trim, it got left in the metal of the car, took a while to remove it with some pliers, but managed in the end):

    IMG_4068.jpg

    To remove the pins, I too found it easier to lay the back seats down and point my legs into the boot area. Using some longs nose pliers, I managed to find the pin, then move left to right with the pliers until the pin made a rather horrible cracking noise:

    IMG_4069.jpg

    The pin base then ended up looking like this:

    IMG_4071.jpg

    I then used a flat blade screw driver to lever the metal away from the remaining pin base. Until I go for a drive, I won't really know it it has been successful - If not, I plan to try and lever the metal away from the pins a bit more. It's a bit awkward to get any tools in that area.

    All back together (Both sides have the same process):

    IMG_4072.jpg

    Hopefully the culprits!

    IMG_4075.jpg

    Will let you know if the noise has gone!
     
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  25. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group saloon Audi A4 S-line owners group

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    Thanks for all your photos and very detailed write up, they will be of a great help when I get around to doing mine...
     
  26. jds_sg

    jds_sg New Member Team Scuba Audi A4

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    Great pics!
    I think long nose pliers are a better bet for snapping the pins off than using a chisel, I hadn't got any as good as those.
     
  27. WesT-gefül

    WesT-gefül Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter

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    Instead of snapping these pins off have any of you tried some silicone spray
     
  28. jds_sg

    jds_sg New Member Team Scuba Audi A4

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    I did try some silicone spray, but not on the pins.
    When I was working through various sources of the noise (roof liner, rear centre brake light, various trim items in the boot, etc.) I did try some silicone spay around the outside join of the rear window with the body. By this time I was sure it was something to do with the glass, but hadn't removed the D pillar trims at this point.
    By the time I had removed the trims and could see the pins I was convinced a mechanical solution was necessary!
     
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  29. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group saloon Audi A4 S-line owners group

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    Trim removal tools arrived today, not bad for a tenner:
    20190118_102141-2268x3024.jpg 20190118_102315-2268x3024.jpg
     
  30. jds_sg

    jds_sg New Member Team Scuba Audi A4

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    Looks pretty much identical to the set I bought, except mine were blue. Think I only really used the 2 left hand ones on the D pillar to get it started, but once you can get your fingers in the gap you'll find it much easier than using the tools.

    A little weekend job then?
     
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  31. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group saloon Audi A4 S-line owners group

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    I wish, badly crocked at the moment due to an earlier kidney infection so I don't think I am quite up to crawling around the rear just yet.
    Maybe when the weather warms up a tad..
     
  32. jds_sg

    jds_sg New Member Team Scuba Audi A4

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    Sorry to hear that. When I was tackling this issue I was wishing for cooler weather! You can work up quite a sweat crawling about in the back.
     
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  34. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group saloon Audi A4 S-line owners group

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    I bet, but too cold now though...
     
  35. gregpot2000

    gregpot2000 Active Member

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    Hi There

    Does anyone have an update on whether this worked for them? I've had my car in the dealers about 4 times for this now, they believe they have fixed it every time but it makes no difference.
     
  36. SwordfishCoupe

    SwordfishCoupe Member

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    I broke off the passenger side and hoped it would help for me. Alas, I still have the noise.

    Not such a bad job though so worth a go.

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
     
  37. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group saloon Audi A4 S-line owners group

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    Sorry but nope, unfortunately ill-health has postponed my efforts for now...
     
  38. jds_sg

    jds_sg New Member Team Scuba Audi A4

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    It worked for me.
    I had tried everything as it was gradually driving me nuts last summer...I found I was listening for it all the time.
    Of course it depends if we are talking about the same noise though.
     
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  39. gaz_360

    gaz_360 New Member

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    Can confirm it worked for me. There’s been quite a mixture of weather and temperatures (That previously seemed to alter the frequency of the noise) since carrying out the work, haven’t heard a peep from it at all.

    Something to add that may help anyone who has removed the pins but still experiencing the noise, try to pry the metal loop/hole that previously had the pin going through the middle away from the glass. Removing the pins makes it easier to do that. I think this part of the fix is the part that solves the issue, not just the removal of the pins themselves.

    Hope that helps!
     
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  40. jds_sg

    jds_sg New Member Team Scuba Audi A4

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    This is the important thing to note if you are tackling this issue.
     

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