Date Registered: 02-2021
TOTAL POSTS: 71
How to fix common x-trail T31 rear interior rattles / knocks
I have finally won the T31 “battle of the rattle” I’ve been waging over the last few weekends. And it cost me $3 in parts and much more in my time. So to help you save some time, here are my solutions to common problems (let’s be honest, these are more hacks but whatever works right?), ordered by what I found and solved first to last.
Issue 1: Rear seat rattle / knocking
This is actually very common on t31 of this vintage and kms given posts I’ve seen here and other Nissan forums. As the manual notes:
When isolating seat noise it is important to note the position the seat is in and the load placed on the seat when the noise is present. These conditions should be duplicated when verifying and isolating the cause of the noise.
1. Headrest rods and holder
2. A squeak between the seat pad cushion and frame
3. Rear seatback lock and bracket
After following the steps above and shaking the rear SINGLE seatback in the upper lock positions recreated the rattle. The same steps could not recreate the sound on the DOUBLE seatback. Given the split fold design of the rear seatback, this result makes sense given the double seat weighs a lot more, hence it less likely to rattle as it would take more force to make it move.
Check out the Rear Seat Diagram before reading my solutions / hacks.
*Note, other x-trails have slight variations in this design but the components I’m talking about here are common across all T31s
Solution 1A: Correct seatback lock knob (See 18 in the seat diagram).
I noticed this was protruding more on the single seatback compared to the double seatback lock knob. This was causing a minor rattle. To resolve, I did as the manual said and turned the seatback lock knob clockwise to install it back into a fixed position.
Solution 1B: Seat striker (see 27 in the seat diagram)
But with the large knocking still happening, I noticed the sound would lessen if the seat was put into the most reclined position. Rather than trying to fix the latch and pin (as others have successfully done), all I needed to do was give the latch a smaller gap so the seat wouldn’t move when under less resistance (i.e. in the most upright positions where I always have them). The solution was the use some electric tape to loop around the top position. See this image, it will make more sense than this novel.
Issue 2: Rear tray rattle
The luggage floor itself was moving around when cornering and bashing against the interior plastic of the tail gate and rear seat. After removing the right hand side draw and comparing both, I noticed the left hand side was missing a clip to hold the luggage floor in place (see Luggage Floor Trim diagram).
Solution 2: Luggage rear clip missing (See luggage floor trim diagram item 19)
Grabbed the nearest screw that fitted snug in the hole and presto no more movement.
I guess you could try and source the correct clip if that’s your vibe too.
With the above done, things were much better in the back but I now noticed another major rattle and thumping noise over larger speed bumps. To diagnose I actually drove around a paddock at a mates place with the tailgate up…. Sure enough no major rattles anymore at all. So that narrowed the location of the final big thumping and rattling to the tailgate
Issue 3: Rear tailgate rattle
Somewhat common in the T31. Solutions online center around ensuring back door is aligned to body correctly, which you can do visually. But if you want pure accuracy then see the back door assembly adjustment standard dimensions table and fitment instructions here)
Solution 3A: Hinges and Door Lock (see back door dimensions / fitment table here)
So checked the hinges and lock position for any looseness in the tail gate but none was evident. Many T31 people seem to fix tailgate rattle issues by adjusting hinges or locks. Didn’t work for me, also hard to do this stuff solo
In my case, the rubber stops on the tailgate, whilst in great condition overall, had their little bubbled ‘knobs’ on the ends worn down very badly on one side.
This likely created a situation where, on certain bigger bumps the tailgate ‘thumped’. See the Back Door Trim Diagram for more details.
It is also worth noting that I do need new tailgate struts but I'm not sure if this is related or not.
Solution 3B: Increase tension between tailgate and rest of rear body
Simply put, I grabbed some white electrical tape and covered the area where the rubber stopper should press against the car. After a few days the worn rubber created an imprint on the white tape.
Comparing both sides it was clear one side was way more ‘worn’ than the other. I considered ordering new bump stops or going to the wreckers but in keeping with my theme of hacks, cheap and easy win. I put on more tape and tested it. The repeated the process until the rattling stopped. I then measured the thickness of the tape layers. I went to Bunnings and then attach the similarly sized peel n stick Anti-Skid surface protectors you can get from any hardware store (see https://www.madico.com.au/brand/protec/) to the location indicated by the imprint. It is only a very few mm think but it’s perfect. I also checked to make sure the boot was weather sealed correctly with this installed (hose down the car and check).
This solution saw all the major and constant rattles and knocks done with
With the biggest rattle resolved, I then discovered what seemed to be more constant rattle / hum from within the tailgate trim area. Like something was tapping the panel over rougher roads.
Issue 4: Rattle from ‘inside’ the tailgate?
Solution 4A: Loose cable repair in lower finisher inner
Following the T31 service manual to remove the back door lower finisher inner (see item 3 on the exploded view in Revhead Kev’s post at https://baustralianxtrail.runboard.com/t132203,offset=10#post2098216 ). Straight away I could see one of the large cables was loose and hitting the panel. Out came the cable ties. I also noticed a brown clip was loose where is attached to the panel (but not fully broken), so as I could not cable tie this one thing, see this image for my solution (it’s on brand for the rest of my solution so far )
Solution 4B: Loose clip in back door upper finisher
Finally there was a rattle from behind this finisher (see item 1 on the exploded view in revhead Kev’s post at https://baustralianxtrail.runboard.com/t132203,offset=10#post2098216). Found the clip for the rear washer was loose and just need to be reattached. That solved the tailgate rattling at all.
Be careful with the cables when doing any work back here.
Issue 5: Rattling back door side finisher inner RH (See item 2 in the Back Door Trim Diagram for more details)
Since I’d removed the Lower Finisher and Back Door Upper finishers… I then noticed the RH side finisher was much looser than the left without the lower or upper finishers supporting it. So I removed both to see what was going on.
Solution 5: Superglue broken clip
Sure enough, the RH side finisher had one broken clip. this image for comparison of the broken and non broken one.
So glued it back together. The install was ok but I reckon it won’t last more than a year given how weak the plastic nub was.
So with those issues all sorted, the car no longer rattles at all on the road and only as much as any other car would on dirt tracks.
Last edited by Nickelass, 25/Apr/2021, 4:50 pm
2010 ST (MY10). ** MODIFIED*** King lifted springs, Rear protection tray, Sony XAV-AX1000 headunit, CMD05 Command parking sensors, Garnish Mount reversing camera, Tow bar, Left side cargo drawer, ClicOn dash mobile mount
25/Apr/2021, 2:50 pm
Date Registered: 10-2006
Location: Mona Vale, Sydney, AUSTRALIA
TOTAL POSTS: 6006
Re: How to fix common x-trail T31 rear interior rattles / knocks
Thanks Nick, I'll add a link to this post in the DIY section of the forum.
Kev X450(c) T30 Guru
03 Titanium Ti T30 Series 1 **MODIFIED**
My CarPC Worklog
25/Apr/2021, 6:58 pm