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How to Correct Noise from Exhaust Rattling Against a Trailer Hitch

Installed hitch with cutout around exhaust

Occasionally a newly installed hitch will make contact with a vehicle's exhaust system, even if the hitch was installed properly. The exhaust-to-hitch contact can result in a rattling noise. So long as the hitch is the correct model for your vehicle and it is installed properly, there are solutions available to correct the problem while retaining the hitch.

Muffler with enough clearance to prevent rattleMuffler close to hitch

These images illustrate a muffler before and after it was repositioned to stop it from rattling. The first picture shows the muffler too close to a newly installed hitch, which can cause a rattle. The second image shows the muffler in a new position after adjustment.

Reasons for Occasional Contact between the Hitch and Exhaust

Depending on your situation, there are a few solutions that can be employed to correct exhaust-hitch contact.

NOTE: You can employ one or all of these solutions to manipulate the position of your vehicle's exhaust so that it does not come into contact with your hitch.


Solution 1: Bend the Hanger

Repositioned hanger and replaced isolator at front of exhaust

Using a pair of vice grips, a cheater bar or pliers, create more clearance by manipulating the hangers that are welded to the exhaust and/or to the vehicle frame.

Solution 2: Reposition a Bolt-On Hanger

Bolt-on hanger

If an exhaust hanger is bolted to the vehicle frame, it can be unbolted and repositioned to adjust the exhaust so that it is not coming into contact with the hitch

Solution 3: Replace the Rubber Isolator

Repositioned hanger and replaced isolator on front of exhaust Original hanger and isolator on front of exhaust

Replace the rubber isolator that serves as the link between the hanger welded to the exhaust system and the hanger attached to the vehicle frame.

Solution 4: Contact Us at for More Help or Take Your Vehicle to a Muffler Shop

A mechanic at a muffler or exhaust shop will have the tools and knowledge to accomplish any of the above solutions, as well as some other techniques.



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