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Seems that our Ascent has also developed a passenger seat rattle. I’ve isolated it to the seat back with some trial and error:
  • No rattle when passenger sits in the seat normally
  • Rattle persists when passenger sits in the seat but does not lean against the seat back
  • No rattle when the passenger “sits” in the seat but just leans against the back and does not put weight on the seat bottom (very awkward to do)
  • Rattle persists when the head rest is removed
  • Seat belt being buckled or unbuckled does not appear to make a difference
  • Can easily reproduce the rattle by banging on the top corners of the seat back

One thing I haven’t tried is setting the seat back at different angles to see if it makes a difference.

Before I start poking around under the seat has anyone found a resource showing how to remove/unzip the seat back cover properly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Seems that our Ascent has also developed a passenger seat rattle. I’ve isolated it to the seat back with some trial and error:
  • No rattle when passenger sits in the seat normally
  • Rattle persists when passenger sits in the seat but does not lean against the seat back
  • No rattle when the passenger “sits” in the seat but just leans against the back and does not put weight on the seat bottom (very awkward to do)
  • Rattle persists when the head rest is removed
  • Seat belt being buckled or unbuckled does not appear to make a difference
  • Can easily reproduce the rattle by banging on the top corners of the seat back
One thing I haven’t tried is setting the seat back at different angles to see if it makes a difference.

Before I start poking around under the seat has anyone found a resource showing how to remove/unzip the seat back cover properly?
I'll say this much- we (subaru techs and myself) were all convinced it was the seat back at issue. I had that replaced (as mentioned in earlier post)....but that didn't solve the issue. The rattle came back about a week later. This became a very frustrating problem. Turns out we needed to have one of the tracks replaced that the passenger seat sits on. All of your points in your above post are similar to our original problem. You might want to try this- sit in the rear seat behind the seat making the rattle, and have someone else drive. Move the seat forward a bit so that you can see the track. Remove that plastic piece that sits on the end of the track. With the vehicle in motion, take your thumb and finger and squeeze the track. If the sound goes away while you are applying pressure to the track- I'd say that's the problem.

It took almost 2 weeks to figure this out, and then another 5 days to get a replacement track ordered delivered and installed. Hope you don't have to go through that. All I kept hearing from the wife was, "should have bought a Highlander...should have bought a Highlander...".

It's now been 2 weeks since track was replaced, and knock on wood- no insane rattle.
 

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I'll say this much- we (subaru techs and myself) were all convinced it was the seat back at issue. I had that replaced (as mentioned in earlier post)....but that didn't solve the issue. The rattle came back about a week later. This became a very frustrating problem. Turns out we needed to have one of the tracks replaced that the passenger seat sits on. All of your points in your above post are similar to our original problem. You might want to try this- sit in the rear seat behind the seat making the rattle, and have someone else drive. Move the seat forward a bit so that you can see the track. Remove that plastic piece that sits on the end of the track. With the vehicle in motion, take your thumb and finger and squeeze the track. If the sound goes away while you are applying pressure to the track- I'd say that's the problem.

It took almost 2 weeks to figure this out, and then another 5 days to get a replacement track ordered delivered and installed. Hope you don't have to go through that. All I kept hearing from the wife was, "should have bought a Highlander...should have bought a Highlander...".

It's now been 2 weeks since track was replaced, and knock on wood- no insane rattle.
Good to know! Thanks for the detailed rundown. Ill try that out tonight!
 

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Have (had) this issue on my 21’ Limited. Not sure what the torque spec is on the mount bolts in the floor but I broke the torque on the left rear bolt to see how tight it was. Not very tight at all in my opinion. Retightened the bolt to what felt appropriate and have not heard the noise since. Fingers crossed.
 

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Just a quick update.....Drove over an area that was always guaranteed to cause the passenger seat to make that known noise. Since the seat mount bold re-torque no noise whatsoever out of the seat.
I picked up my 2020 Touring in January 2020 and it developed this same rattle a couple of months ago and I had not taken the time yet to check into it. I saw your post @altitudewrench and decided to check it out the other day. I can now also report that the issue is now resolved after tightening the four bolts on each side of the slides. My quick check was to tap (bump) on the seat back with a fist and I could make it happen every time, as long as the seat was not all the way forward on all the way back. It does make it a lot easier to get to the bolts at each end of the slides if you move the seat all the way forward, then all the way back. After I tightened the bolts, checked it with some bumping and it looked good. Since then, I have driven it several times on roads that would always produce the noise and it is no longer there. By the way, in my case, if there was anyone in the seat, it would not make the noise.
 

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I picked up my 2020 Touring in January 2020 and it developed this same rattle a couple of months ago and I had not taken the time yet to check into it. I saw your post @altitudewrench and decided to check it out the other day. I can now also report that the issue is now resolved after tightening the four bolts on each side of the slides. My quick check was to tap (bump) on the seat back with a fist and I could make it happen every time, as long as the seat was not all the way forward on all the way back. It does make it a lot easier to get to the bolts at each end of the slides if you move the seat all the way forward, then all the way back. After I tightened the bolts, checked it with some bumping and it looked good. Since then, I have driven it several times on roads that would always produce the noise and it is no longer there. By the way, in my case, if there was anyone in the seat, it would not make the noise.
I plan to try this on my 2021 Ascent Limited today. My issue is the exact same as you describe, this post gives me hope :)
 
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