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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone tell me what this noise is? It doesn’t happen all the time. It sounds like it’s coming from the left side under the hood? In the last couple months these are the things that have been fixed: front brakes (pads, rotors, bearings), 4 new tires, alignment, replaced catalytic converter, O2 sensor, air fuel ratio sensor, exhaust gasket, bearing seal, oil change, loose spare tire in mount in trunk tightened, smog check: passed.
I’ve had a mechanic check for anything loose underneath and found nothing. Did a full inspection found nothing. What is also strange is if a strong enough gust of wind blows by even with the car off and parked it will make the same sound just not as prolonged when driving on for a couple seconds. It starts around 30mph and stay at higher speeds or abruptly stops when I reach 50-60mph.

link below for rattle sound:
Nissan Cube rattle?
 

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This will sound strange but open the hood ever so slightly and feel around up under the hood in the large holes on either side of the hood latch. On my 2012 there is something large, rough to the touch, hard, black and flat. This item, whatever it is, freely moves around in the hood itself. I can see it making that sound if wind gets up under the hood while driving making it flutter. If I open the hood very far, it slides to the back and I can't see or tell what it is. It may be something that was glued to the underside of the hood for vibration damping. I honestly don't know what it is, but the upper and underside of the hood does not come apart so I can't get it out. Mine seems to stay in place at the front when the hood is closed and doesn't rattle. I've thought about shoving in some foam pieces with the hood barely open to keep it from moving around. So far the only noise it makes is a sliding sound as it slides to the back when I open the hood fully. No... I'm not on medication. This is an honest assessment and could be your problem
 

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I managed to get 2 pictures of the offending piece of whatever it is inside the hood. It's tan on the bottom and black on top. The top is rough like sandpaper. It seems to be about 15" long and maybe 8" wide. It's also about 1/16" thick and very brittle which would cause a rattle. It has a cloth backing (bottom).
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20200812_120349_001.jpg 20200812_120400.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Update: brought the car in this last Saturday, told them I had a rattling sound up front, asked if they could check the drive train, wheel bearings, cv axle, and whatever else! The called me back a few hours later saying the sound is an internal engine under load noise, basically telling me my engine is on its last legs and that they don’t fix engines. So they couldn’t help me. They didn’t tell me anything else as I still don’t know what the cause is? Couldn’t tell me if something was loose or had a leak. I’m gonna take it to another shop for a second opinion. If the engine was going bad would the rattle sound it makes stop be intermittent? Could it possible be a heat shield? A leak in the exhaust manifold?? The car has 185,277 miles on it, has a replaced (new) transmission about 5 years ago, I just replaced the catalytic converters, our brand new tires, and had the front brakes fixed. My Honda’s engine didn’t crap out on me until 247,000 miles! They couldn’t tell me anymore info. Is it possible that this can be fixed without a rebuilt engine or me having to buy an entire new used car? Money is tight!!
 

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Update: brought the car in this last Saturday, told them I had a rattling sound up front, asked if they could check the drive train, wheel bearings, cv axle, and whatever else! The called me back a few hours later saying the sound is an internal engine under load noise, basically telling me my engine is on its last legs and that they don’t fix engines. So they couldn’t help me. They didn’t tell me anything else as I still don’t know what the cause is? Couldn’t tell me if something was loose or had a leak. I’m gonna take it to another shop for a second opinion. If the engine was going bad would the rattle sound it makes stop be intermittent? Could it possible be a heat shield? A leak in the exhaust manifold?? The car has 185,277 miles on it, has a replaced (new) transmission about 5 years ago, I just replaced the catalytic converters, our brand new tires, and had the front brakes fixed. My Honda’s engine didn’t crap out on me until 247,000 miles! They couldn’t tell me anymore info. Is it possible that this can be fixed without a rebuilt engine or me having to buy an entire new used car? Money is tight!!




I have the same issue and just found a loose bolt near my serpentine belt. Its just above the crankshaft pully (big one on bottom). Tighten that bolt and you are good to go. 2010 Cube 1.8L 160,000 MI
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Did you take your car into a shop? Or did you find it yourself? I’m not very knowledgeable about cars/parts whatsoever!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Did you take your car into a shop? Or did you find it yourself? I’m not very knowledgeable about cars/parts whatsoever!
 

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In your original post you said, "What is also strange is if a strong enough gust of wind blows by even with the car off and parked it will make the same sound just not as prolonged when driving on for a couple seconds." If the engine is off and it makes the sound with a strong wind, how can it be "an internal engine noise under load"? I watched your video and heard the intermittent noise. I've completely rebuilt 3 engines (all American made) in my lifetime and that doesn't sound like an internal engine sound. Parts in an engine either go up and down or rotate in relation to the engines RPM. An internal engine sound will increase in frequency as the RPM increases. Example: Knock............ Knock........... Knock.......... to Knock... Knock... Knock... to Knock, Knock, Knock to Knk, Knk, Knk. Your sound is too intermittent to be related to the mechanics of the engine.

I've only had my 2012 Cube for 10 months and it only has 39K miles. I will tell you this, I've owned a 1994 Nissan pickup for 20 years. I bought it with 6K miles. It now has 280K, doesn't leak or use oil between oil changes and I've only had to change the alternator at around 200K. A rebuilt alternator cost me $81. Nissan makes great engines that last a long time as long as you take care of them. The most important thing is oil changes. The day I bought my Nissan pickup in 2000 I immediately drained the oil and installed Mobil One synthetic. I did exactly the same thing on my Cube. Be wary of mechanics whose immediate answer is, "You need to replace the engine."
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks! That makes sense! And it was also a little weird to me that they couldn’t tell me exactly what the cause was other than internal engine. Like they couldn’t tell me it could be this or that? I feel like they maybe didn’t look around in the car at all and just maybe to it out for a drive to hear the sound and that’s it. I’m gonna take it to a different shop for a second opinion. I’m not sure if I wanna take it to the shop where I had my catalytic converter, sensors, front brakes replaced. They did a great job at that but they couldn’t find the source of the sound either. Should I find a third place to take a look?
 

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Or should I tell them to check all the mounts and bolts? Like the one you mentioned, and check the heat shield, leaks or cracks in the exhaust manifold? I was always told not to tell mechanics where to look (as they might not be honest) because they will sell you on stuff you don’t need that doesn’t fix the problem. Should I look for a mechanic that specializes in Nissans that’s not the dealership?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
In your original post you said, "What is also strange is if a strong enough gust of wind blows by even with the car off and parked it will make the same sound just not as prolonged when driving on for a couple seconds." If the engine is off and it makes the sound with a strong wind, how can it be "an internal engine noise under load"? I watched your video and heard the intermittent noise. I've completely rebuilt 3 engines (all American made) in my lifetime and that doesn't sound like an internal engine sound. Parts in an engine either go up and down or rotate in relation to the engines RPM. An internal engine sound will increase in frequency as the RPM increases. Example: Knock............ Knock........... Knock.......... to Knock... Knock... Knock... to Knock, Knock, Knock to Knk, Knk, Knk. Your sound is too intermittent to be related to the mechanics of the engine.

I've only had my 2012 Cube for 10 months and it only has 39K miles. I will tell you this, I've owned a 1994 Nissan pickup for 20 years. I bought it with 6K miles. It now has 280K, doesn't leak or use oil between oil changes and I've only had to change the alternator at around 200K. A rebuilt alternator cost me $81. Nissan makes great engines that last a long time as long as you take care of them. The most important thing is oil changes. The day I bought my Nissan pickup in 2000 I immediately drained the oil and installed Mobil One synthetic. I did exactly the same thing on my Cube. Be wary of mechanics whose immediate answer is, "You need to replace the engine."
Question for you, I’m noticing a slight light tapping, I guess I would say, on the gas pedal. It’s very light. Sometimes not even noticeable. Could this be caused by whatever sound it’s making?
 

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On my Versa, the exhaust heat shields were very flimsy. I had to fix two of them. I used 3M Dual-lock fasteners. That worked well.
My Cube had an engine rattle when cold. It had 99k miles when I bought it. I've been using Mobil 1 with a half quart of Rislone. The clatter is much less now at 114k miles. I'm thinking it was the timing chain adjuster causing the issue. Previous owner used conventional motor oil. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I’ll try using synthetic Mobil 1 oil and see if that helps! Not sure what they put in as I usually just drop it off and wait when I get an oil change. Could I have them drain my oil and I purchase a few quarts of what I want to put in, if they don’t have it, for them to put in?
 

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The repair shops don't like to use parts that the customer supplies. It cuts into their profit. Most oil change outfits offer a full synthetic oil. That will be the one to use.
I prefer to change the oil myself. If you bring up instructables.com and search "inexpensive car ramps", it will bring up my 2x6 ramps that I use often. Works for the Cube, the Quest or my C1500 GMC. My Cube, '09 model, has a splash shield under the filter. Pretty inconvenient. I remove the bolts, 10mm socket, and pull down on the splash shield to get at the filter. The ramps will allow a better look under the car so you can jiggle the heat shields too and see if they are the source of the rattle.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
In your original post you said, "What is also strange is if a strong enough gust of wind blows by even with the car off and parked it will make the same sound just not as prolonged when driving on for a couple seconds." If the engine is off and it makes the sound with a strong wind, how can it be "an internal engine noise under load"? I watched your video and heard the intermittent noise. I've completely rebuilt 3 engines (all American made) in my lifetime and that doesn't sound like an internal engine sound. Parts in an engine either go up and down or rotate in relation to the engines RPM. An internal engine sound will increase in frequency as the RPM increases. Example: Knock............ Knock........... Knock.......... to Knock... Knock... Knock... to Knock, Knock, Knock to Knk, Knk, Knk. Your sound is too intermittent to be related to the mechanics of the engine.

I've only had my 2012 Cube for 10 months and it only has 39K miles. I will tell you this, I've owned a 1994 Nissan pickup for 20 years. I bought it with 6K miles. It now has 280K, doesn't leak or use oil between oil changes and I've only had to change the alternator at around 200K. A rebuilt alternator cost me $81. Nissan makes great engines that last a long time as long as you take care of them. The most important thing is oil changes. The day I bought my Nissan pickup in 2000 I immediately drained the oil and installed Mobil One synthetic. I did exactly the same thing on my Cube. Be wary of mechanics whose immediate answer is, "You need to replace the engine."
so in checking out the car further myself, I noticed that the aeroshield on the front of the hood was not secured down on the left side. Put some duct tape on it to keep it down and the sound went away!
 

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so in checking out the car further myself, I noticed that the aeroshield on the front of the hood was not secured down on the left side. Put some duct tape on it to keep it down and the sound went away!
That's excellent news! Way better than getting and internal engine sound fixed.
 
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