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SOLVED! "i Cant Figure This Noise out!"

SOLVED! Front motor mount bolt was loose. Noise GONE!!!!

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Hello All!
Second post on this forum! NEWBIE alert...

So about two weeks ago My 2007 Dodge Caliber SE 2.0L was struggling to turnover. Took it to advanced and had the battery tested. While the readings were low, the battery tested fine. I started to hear a rattling sound every time i turned the car on but it would go away a few seconds after warming up. I dismissed it as a rattling heat shield and let it be.

Last week the car started making the rattling noise, only this time louder. I started to think ALTERNATOR! I took the belt off, checked all of the pulleys, yet didnt notice any trouble with the alternator. (did notice the belt was worn, but put it back on like a bum) The water pump pulley has enough play to stick one playing card up behind it, but that didn't appear to be of any significance. I have checked all the heat shields, the motor mounts and suspension parts, everything checked fine.

A couple of days ago, while merging on to the highway, I mashed the gas really hard and broke the serpentine belt. Soon as it happened, i pulled off (within 10 yards of it happening as i was still on the on ramp) and shut her down. Opened the hood, saw half of the belt was gone, called AAA, had it towed to the house, took the bad belt off, checked all pulleys again, and again they appeared ok. Put a new belt on and it ran great for a couple days.

Now I have this sound that rattles, but I cant tell if the car runs sluggish. Ive scoured youtube for hours night after night trying to find a sound that sounds like this rattle! I dont think its the alternator, because from all the sounds ive heard, when the alternator goes bad, it gives a constant sound. I finally found something that sounds similar to what i hear. Spark kock, or rather pre-ignition.

The car will occasionally rattle or knock in park, but not in idle. Even after the car has been cooled over night. I will not hear the sound when I accelerate steady from 0-60, but it will make the noise 80% of the time when im using light acceleration to maintain speed. I typically start hearing it at 40MPH and usually goes away at 60 and above. My car does not have a Tach so i dont know the rpms. The car will not make the rattle when in neutral and revving steadily up to higher RPMS

To correct what i thought was spark knock, i switched to higher octane fuel, but that didnt help. the spark plugs are about 30k miles old, so i will change them next. Someone told me to look into the Catalytic converter. To me it sounded like a possiblity, but it doesnt appear to be giving me any performance issues.

Im at a loss. I have suspected everything from heat shield to CVT, from suspension to ignition and i cant figure this damn sound out.
Im worried i'm going to figure this out too late, as this is my only car, and if you happened to catch my newbie introduction, i just moved from Florida to Arizona, and i'm 2261 miles from home.

I am going to upload a clip of the sound, ill keep it as centralized on the sound with minimal talking. (after 20 hours of videos on youtube trying to diagnose a sound, i get so irritated when all you hear is road noise or a ten damn minute introduction about how someones car is making a noise they couldnt figure out)
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Doesn't sound like the alternator.
Do you know anywhere with a rolling road for a test, possible CVT.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, i can jump on the highway right up the street from my house.

I was hoping it wasnt cvt. i was leaning towards the transaxle, but it doesnt make the sound under load in a turn.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK, Im going to change the knock sensor out and change the spark plugs real quick. (Already bought them and have had the car cooling down.) Then ill record jumping on the highway.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, so thankful it was not the CVT! I just hope that I didnt do a lot of damage to the motor with the mount being loose!
 
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