The driving experience is filled with audible sensations: some good and some bad. Blower whine-good. Fan belt whine-bad. Exhaust rumble-good. Interior rumbling-bad.
It doesn't take many of these bad noises to ruin the time behind the wheel of our favorite machines. And if there's one thing that can make a car seem like a pile of nuts and bolts, no matter how fast it is, it's the rattles and squeaks. Tracing and quieting some of these noises can be difficult at times. The easiest solution is to crank up the stereo and drown out the offensive sounds.
Unfortunately we weren't able to perform the quick fix on our '70 Monte Carlo, as the car didn't have a working stereo until recently. After spending five months using the Monte as daily transportation and listening to all the moans and creaks, it was finally time for us to do something.
The most noticeable problem was a worn-out driver's side door hinge that allowed the door to bounce up and down while cruising with the window down. We contacted The Paddock and ordered a hinge repair kit and some weatherstripping. As it turned out, the repair was performed by one guy and only took about an hour. A quick fix to several months of suffering.
While we were working on the doors, we also took the door panels off and made sure that there was no debris rattling around inside them. We also checked that the lock rods and the door-release rods were not loose and banging against the inside metal door skin.
The door, hood, and decklid latches were all checked to ensure that they were adjusted correctly and holding the panels tight against the bumpers and rubber. By taking a slow walk around the car and tapping on the sheetmetal or bouncing it up and down and looking and listening, we were able to find a few other problems, as well. The front bumper was making contact with the grille and needed to be adjusted down a tad.
There are still some offensive noises that only show up while driving-they are getting fewer but harder to detect and fix. After all, this is a 30-year-old car and will never be as solid as a new one. However, with help and some adjustments it doesn't have to be an annoyance to drive or ride in.