First off, I ain't a guy.
Secondly, I'm sad to report that this problem has not been solved...yet. I know, pretty damn amazing considering the fact that I posted this problem way back in '05?? Jeez, I'm even surprised myself that I've lived with this annoyance for this long and still haven't been able to get it fixed, all thanks to my dealer. I will post my findings here though, since it may help out once and for all find a solution to this thing.
I first have to say that to get this problem even examined by the techs at my dealer, I've had to go in multiple times with the end result of "couldn't reproduce" or "can't hear it". Finally at one appointment though, I went in and told them AGAIN, the possibilities that it could be the heat shields or loose bolts and they decided to take a look at it. I had to leave it at the dealership again due to work and when I came back, all the tech guys had gone home (lazy ass people, it wasn't even 5) and was given a sheet explaining what had gone on by some bookkeeping lady. It said on that report that they removed rocks from the heat shields. Excuse me, rocks?? This was a complete surprise to me since I didn't and still don't recall driving on gravel. After I read this, I was pretty sure my problem was fixed since they removed rocks, not pebbles, ROCKS from my car. It seemed like everything was going well, until the next afternoon, when lo and behold, I start hearing the damn rattling once again. At this point, I was just so fed up and tired of this sh*t that I stopped caring. I mean what's to do when the professionals can't do anything about it? Especially for someone who's completely clueless when it comes to cars.
The problem with the rattling I'm hearing is that it never happens when the weather is cold. So, basically during fall, winter, and spring, (where I live at least) I literally don't hear this at all. I really don't think it's pinging as twowheelin suggested since to me this noise is pretty damn loud. The sound of a BB in a tin can would probably be too minute of a sound in my case. I also listened to that clip about ticking and it's definitely not it since it's probably 3 times as loud. I hear this after driving for a while in warm to hot temps; no longer just on hills but basically anywhere unless I'm driving over 60mph. So, as summer's approaching, I started hearing this a few weeks back and will be taken in tomorrow morning (not by me though). It's not actually going in for that problem specifically (burning tire smell after 4-month maintenance and tire rotation) but I'm hoping they'll take a look at it since it'll be left at the dealership for almost the entire day. It sucks they donít look at cars to fix on Saturdays, only oil changes. I'll let you know of the results.[/b]