What Causes a Clicking or Knocking Noise in the Dashboard? [Read And Find Out]

You are driving down the road with your kids, and even with their screaming and shouting, you can hear some clicking noise coming from the dashboard. The first thought is that a bottle or a toy is moving inside the dashboard.

However, after you check the dashboard and make sure that there is nothing inside, the sound continues. The clicking or knocking sound can worry you because it is not as common as the other clicking noises your car emanates from time to time.

You must investigate any unusual sounds coming from any part of your vehicle because it is an indication that something is wrong. It is important to find out why the dashboard is making noise. 

Main Causes Of Dashboard Sounds

There are several causes for the clicking noise coming from the dashboard, including a faulty door engine, heater control loss, transmission problems, and even incorrect weather settings in the car. 

  • The HVAC or the Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning system controls airflow, cooling, and healing with the blend doors and motors. Only computers can track all temperatures, fan speeds, and motor positioning. The HVAC can work well only when it receives correct blend door readings. In some cases, the degrees can get miscalculated, leading to wrong motor activation and causing dashboard noises. You will have to recalibrate all the inputs, especially the blend door positions. The main reasons for losing blend door locations are: 
  • A disconnected or flatcar battery
  • Stepper motor not working correctly or removed without recalibrating 
  • There are several electric equipment pieces in every vehicle that need circuits, relays, and control modules. Modern vehicles have much more electronic equipment, and the vehicle may even have more than 3 different fuse boxes, all with their relays and fuses. 

A relay controls a circuit by making and breaking connections. Relays are used in circuits, power seats, horns, wipers, lights, etc. To find a faulty relay, you will need to listen carefully to hear the click.

Then you can shake it and check because faulty relays generally produce a rattling sound. It is easy to fix a relay, and all you have to do is replace it with a new one. You can even do it yourself.

Pull out the old relay and push the new relay in. However, do this only if you are familiar with your car components and usually carry out small repairs to your car on your own.

It is better to go through the car manual with the diagrams and explanations before starting the project. 

  • A faulty stepper motor can also cause clicking in the dashboard. It is an electric motor that is designed to move in specific movements. The device can create a small angular rotation when a uniform magnitude is required while the DC sequential switching is going on. The best and the most recognized thing about the stepper motor is that it works efficiently with brushes. Several stepper motors perform different work in most automotive systems, including around the heater systems. Sometimes the stepper motor connected to the heater system fails to blend car doors, leading to noise from the dashboard. To find whether the problem is due to a faulty stepper motor, you will need to scan and find a fault code. The scanner can identify and locate the exact fault. If the stepper motor is faulty, it is best to replace it, especially when you know it is causing problems with the blend doors. 
  • Sometimes, it could be lost trim parts that cause the sound. The plastic and metal bits could be vibrating against each other and making a noise. Even more worryingly, there could be rattling in the components inside the dashboard. If you listen carefully, you can understand if the noise is coming from the surface or the inside of the dashboard from loose cables or parts. To find out the location of the sound, ask someone to drive the vehicle while you keep your ears tuned toward the sound. 

Usually Asked Questions About The Dashboard Noises

Q. What is the reason behind a dashboard clicking when you start the car? 

A. There may be different kinds of clicking noises ranging from continuous ones to single loud ones. Each will be due to different reasons. The noise is often caused by a faulty starter motor, faulty relay, or any other electrical problem. 

Q. Can clicking noise from the fuse box travel to the dashboard? 

A. Yes, the clicking sound caused by a relay turning on and off fast can be heard by the driver through the dashboard. The clicking sound is mostly caused by a computer failure or resistance in the ground wire.  

Q. Are clicking relays a sign of some fault? 

A. Mostly yes, clicking relays is not a good sign. The electrical signal cannot reach the starter motor from the battery if the relay is faulty. You may keep trying but your car will not start. It is only faulty relays that make the clicking noise. 

To Sum It Up

Whenever you hear some clicking sounds coming from your car, it does not mean the vehicle is damaged or needs extensive repairs.

The important thing is that you must understand and differentiate between different sounds to take care of the problem. Many sounds from the dashboard could result from the normal sounds coming from the compressor. 

Sometimes, the sounds and clicks are like signs and warnings, and if corrective measures are taken at the right time can prevent bigger damage. It is necessary to carry out regular vehicle inspections, just like your health checkups.

When you hear clicks from your dashboard, you can either take care of the problem yourself or take the car to a garage and get a mechanic to check.

Don’t ignore any irregular or unwanted noises coming from your car and take care of the problem as soon as possible. 

Liam Dare

As CEO of ReplicarClub.com, my passion for the automotive world motivates me to build online businesses that provide information and entertainment to users. I am proud to contribute in a positive way to the automotive community.