2012 VW Jetta FIX for Rear Deck Rattle Subwoofer Buzz (Vibration)

Discussion in 'VW Mk6 Golf, Jetta, Beetle, Sportwagen TDI forum' started by Hoosier Dude, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Hoosier Dude

    Hoosier Dude New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Car:
    2012 Jetta TDI
    I purchased my 2012 Jetta in August 2011. With a matter of weeks, I started to notice a rear deck rattle and buzz that seemed to get progressively worse. The rattle could be heard when going over bumps and the buzz could be heard when playing music with prominent bass (caused by the subwoofer) – I am convinced the problems were related. Anyway, I returned the car to my VW dealership four times between November 2011 and July 2012, each time providing detailed information regarding the problem. They did the VW subwoofer TSB (91I5) which simply places a layer of insulation (damper) between the deck and the metal frame – useless. Other than that, the only thing the dealer did was install or re-attach a thin layer of rubber seal that’s attached to the deck (two 6†sections and small pieces at the corners). The rubber seal is supposed to prevent the deck from making contact with the glass, but it’s so thin and the sections are so short that it’s worthless. My last visit, the dealer told me they couldn’t identify the problem and therefore wouldn’t be able to fix it. Finally, I took matters into my own hands. I did the fix outlined below this weekend (took me 6 hours but can be done in about 3-4 hours with good instructions), and I now have a solid ride -- no rattles, no bass buzz! I am not a mechanic, so please forgive me if I called something the wrong name.

    The Fix: Install weather-strip on rear deck and apply Dynamat to top of subwoofer box

    Materials Needed:
    • MD sponge rubber weather-strip (black, 3/8 in. X 3/4 in. X 10 feet, part number 06635, Home Depot)
    • 12†by 36†piece of Dynamat (or comparable) sound deadener
    Instructions:
    1. Lower the rear seats so you can crawl around the trunk.
    2. Disconnect the audio cables from the subwoofer box (you will need a tiny screw driver to “unlock†the connector).
    3. Unscrew the five 10mm bolts and remove the subwoofer box.
    4. Remove the plastic corner panels between the deck and the headliner by gently pulling the pieces away from the frame.
    5. Now focus on the plastic panels that support the outer seat belts (along the door frame). Open the small access door and unscrew the star screw (get yourself an automotive star screw driver set from your local auto store – I use these a lot for various car projects). Gently pull the top of the plastic panel away from the frame of the car – that will give you enough room to remove the deck after doing 6. below.
    6. Unscrew the star screws from the five plastic rivets holding the deck to the frame. Three of the rivets are easily located at the front of the deck; the other two will become visible after doing 5. above.
    7. Now you’ll have to remove the five plastic rivets. This can be done by gently lifting the front of the deck (preferred method, but watch out, they’ll fly!) or getting a small screw driver under the “lip.†Careful, the rivets break easily (I need to order two replacements).
    8. Disconnect the brake light wire (same technique as bullet 2.).
    9. Gently lift the deck from the frame, and slide the seat belts through the slits so that you can remove the deck from the vehicle.
    10. Go to Home Depot and buy MD sponge rubber weather-strip (black, 3/8 in. X 3/4 in. X 10 feet, part number 06635)
    11. Remove any rubber strips installed by the factory that are intended to prevent contact between the deck and the glass.
    12. Apply a continuous strip of the MD material to the edge of the deck that’s closest to the glass. Leave no margin between the weather-strip and the edge of the deck.
    13. Apply Dynamat (12†X 36†piece) to the top of the subwoofer box. Cut the Dynamat so that it conforms to the contour of the box and cut to size as needed. Use a seam roller (if you have one) to smooth out the Dynamat.
    14. OPTIONAL: I have read posts where owners applied Dynamat to the underside of the metal frame (visible after you remove the subwoofer box) and also the underside of the deck itself. I’m sure a small strip or two on either wouldn’t hurt.
    15. Reverse all of the above “take apart†steps (1. through 9.)
    16. NOTE: when you reverse step 4., you should remove the two longer metal clips (unless you want to spend an hour re-installing each corner panel). Then, remove the three smaller metal clips from the corner panels and re-attach directly to the metal body. Push the corner panels onto the clips. Easy!

    The 2012 VW Jetta TDI is an amazing car from a mechanical standpoint. The “fit and finish,†sadly, is cheap. If you’re bold enough to do this project, you will at least be able to enjoy a quiet, solid ride. As I was putting the car back together, my 11-year-old son said “It takes a smart man to take a car apart and put it back together again.†I chuckled and said to myself “Smart? No. Determined? Absolutely!†One other comment. I’m a bean counter. I know nothing about cars, but through my determination (and frustration), I was able to come up with a fix that’s far better than anything the dealership (or VW) came up with. I am very disappointed in my dealership for failing to correct a simple problem (I believe weather-strip alone would have done the job; the Dynamat was an extra precaution). If I can do it, why can’t they? Ultimately, VW needs to improve the engineering and quality of its interiors.
     
  2. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    23,900
    Car:
    2006 Jetta TDI
    Location:
    CT
    Will add to FAQ, Thanks! The writeup contest requires pictures though, if you can go back it'll be considered.
     
  3. Hoosier Dude

    Hoosier Dude New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Car:
    2012 Jetta TDI
    Thanks, but I was "in the zone" with this project and didn't take any pictures. I'm just happy to be able to share this information with other owners who have this prevalent problem. The results of the fix have been amazing -- I feel like I'm driving a new car ... again!
     
  4. sleone2

    sleone2 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2017
    Messages:
    1
    Car:
    2016 VW GLI
    Location:
    Honolulu
    id love to know how you got the last two bolts out closest to the rear trunk opening. they seem to be burrowed in some kind of plastic fastener that turns when i turn the bolt. will not loosen! please help!
     

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